Avoid these 10 budget blunders when you tie the knot
ARRIED friends and couples on social media agree – some of their wedding expenses weren’t worth the cost. We spoke to wedding and event planners Aleit Swanepoel from The Aleit Group and Minda Maritz from Blush Society about how to avoid money mistakes surrounding the big day.
1 BAD PLANNING
Have a budget – the most you can spend – then break it down and don’t leave anything off the list because it will come back to bite you.
Include optional items if you have money left over when the must-haves are paid for.
Sites such as hitched.co.za and weddingflair.co.za offer budget planners. Record your spending with apps from the Apple and Google stores, such as Wedding-Happy and Wedding Planner by the Knot.
2 TOO MANY GUESTS
It usually costs R300 or more per head for a basic meal excluding drinks, Swanepoel says. By inviting 100 guests instead of 150 you’ll save R15 000. The more expensive the price per head the more you can save by cutting your guest list.
AN EXTRAVAGANT 3 CAKE
Choose a smaller cake. You pay about R1 000 a layer, so save up to R2 000 by reducing the size of your wedding cake, Maritz says.
Many couples serve the wedding cake as dessert so it does double duty. If the cost of dessert is R80 a head you’ll save R8 000 if you serve your cake to 100 guests.
If you have a friend who’s a good baker, ask whether they’d make your cake as a gift if you provide the ingredients.
A COSTLY 4 WEDDING DRESS
Having a wedding dress made can be expensive. Depending on the designer and fabric, it can cost between R10 000 and R100 000. Hire a dress, Swanepoel suggests. The cost depends on the local service providers, but it’s usually between R2 000 and R8 000.
Or sell your dress afterwards. Maritz recalls a bride who had a dress made for R18 000. She sold it for R11 000 online after her wedding so she ended up spending only R7 000 on her dream dress.
5 TIME AND PLACE
A wine farm can cost R140 000 for 100 guests over the weekend. Have your wedding at an unconventional time, for instance in the week or during winter, Maritz advises. This can save you about R10 000.
Morning weddings can be 50% cheaper than an evening affair. Not only the venue, but the food will cost less as you won’t serve a three-course meal, and people tend to drink less or no alcohol in the morning.
Research venues in your area. You can pay around R56 000 for a venue that includes a threecourse meal for 100 guests – much less costly than a wine farm.
PRINTED 6 INVITATIONS
They’re beautiful but present two problems – the postal service can be unreliable and printed cards are pricier than e-cards. Printed cards with matching envelopes can cost upwards of R30 each. Add R4,20 postage for each and 100 invitations would cost more than R3 400. If the invitations are bigger, the postage increases.
Websites specialising in invitations provide a cheaper and more eco-friendly way to send them and receive the RSVPs.
Costs vary but a personalised page showcasing your invitation could start at around R600.
7 THOSE GIFTS
It’s tradition to have small gifts for wedding guests. But the practice is falling out of favour with the budget-conscious.
If you put down bottles of dessert wine at R60 a head it will cost R6 000. Rather save this money and opt not to do it at all.
EXPENSIVE 8 FLOWERS
Choose blooms that are in season and grown locally. A king protea is about R35 in season, but out of season costs R80-R95 a stem.
Bouquets and flower arrangements for the occasion can easily cost R35 000, but if you buy the flowers yourself, you can save up to 40%.
A florists can charge R10 000 or more for their services. Ask a friend if they can do the flowers for you to cut this cost.
AN ELABORATE 9 MENU
Do you really need your guests to indulge in a puff of foam or a Master Chef-inspired jus? Chances are they wouldn’t want to anyway. Keep your menu to seasonal food or stick to old favourites that can feed small crowds easily.
Buffet meals are also cheaper than plated. You can save R50R100 a head because you don’t have to use as many waiters.
Consider seeking out local small businesses whose prices will probably be more favourable than those of fancy catering companies. Ask friends or colleagues or check out your local Facebook groups for recommendations.
Couples often underestimate the cost of a wedding photographer, which ranges from R12 000 to R85 000. If you have a photographer friend, ask whether they’d be willing to offer you a discount or the service as your wedding gift.
Photo booths are popular, but charge on average R8 000 for seven hours. Rather use technology and create your own hashtag for social media, Maritz says. Ask your guests to upload their photos with this hashtag.