10 Smart Ways to Save Money for your Wedding

10 Smart Ways to Save Money for your Wedding
10 Smart Ways to Save Money for your Wedding

Weddings should be a reflection of the couple’s personalities as well as a celebration of their commitment to one another. But with the average cost for a wedding in South Africa being upwards of R250 000, it’s no surprise that people tend to get a little nervous when starting to plan. However, you don’t need to spend a fortune to be able to afford a memorable wedding. These are our 10 Smart Ways to Save Money for your Wedding.



Before you begin planning your wedding, sit down with your partner to discuss what each’s priorities are. This will help you decide where you can splurge and where you can cut corners. For example, if you want your reception to be held in a place where you had your first date, or you have a certain dress in mind, knowing the cost of those first, will help you with the budget for the rest of your wedding. Obviously though, if your list of ‘priorities’ is a mile long, you will need to compromise. Take heed Bridezillas out there, this compromise is for yourself and your partner (not just for the latter).


Guest list

Keep your guest list short and sweet as this will help reduce costs for the wedding reception. Most catering services will charge per guest, so it makes a big difference having a guest list of 100 versus one of 150. A great way to limit your guest list is to think about how much time you will need to spend talking to each one of your guests (especially those you may not entirely like but have to invite).


Food costs

Food is most often the bulk of the budget for a wedding. But this can be curtailed if you consider a buffet versus individually plated food. I’ve even heard of people serving pizza and burgers for their wedding but granted, it did fit the ‘theme’ of their casual nuptials. In Mauritius, where I am from, weddings are mostly cocktails and this really cuts down on food costs (albeit at the expense of tired feet)!



There are wedding venues opening all over South Africa but don’t forget that you could consider a beach or backyard wedding, or what about hosting your wedding at a park or have you might even consider renting a home for a day. You can also save on costs if you plan your wedding during the so-called off-season and if you aren’t fussed about the day of the week. Weekday weddings are gaining in popularity.


Wedding attire

Whilst I realise that it is difficult to compromise on your wedding attire, especially the wedding dress, there are other options. Months before your wedding, look out for sales at dress shops, rent a gown or consider redoing your mom’s wedding dress. Don’t forget that you still have to have money for flowers, music, drinks and of course the photographer so think creatively about the wedding attire to stay within your budget.



I think that the music you play can either make or break your wedding reception. All your guests are there to celebrate with you, so choosing your DJ or music, shouldn’t be overlooked. Ways to save money on the music is to consider asking a family member or friend to compile and manage the music or what about you and your partner compiling a play list together that you invite your guests to add to beforehand. Spotify, for example, allows people to share a list which friends and family can add to.


You want your wedding day to be well photographed and since your photographer is spending the entire day with you, make sure you have a rapport with them. But again, if you’re on a tight budget, perhaps you have a friend that wouldn’t mind taking photographs on the wedding day. This could save a hefty packet.

Bar service

Save a lot by having an open bar for only two hours at your wedding. During this time, you can serve only beer and wine and soft drinks. After the two hours, spirits and all drinks can be for the guests’ own account. Alternatively, you could buy the drinks yourself and just hire someone to tend to the bar. If you do it this way, for a few months leading up to your wedding, you could be looking out to specials and/or buying a case of drinks a month to spread the cost.


Spending a ridiculous amount of money on invitations is a thing of the past. If you’re crafty and want an invitation, you can make your own with your bridesmaids and friends. If you’re a true millennial however, you probably won’t even need to print anything, as you can now send out electronic invites using Canva or a host of other applications.

Flowers & Decor

It is becoming increasingly popular for brides to plan a DIY wedding (which if done properly, can save you so much money). However, for those that would prefer to delegate, ensure that your florist and/or planner knows exactly how much you are willing to spend. For the flowers, choose in-season varieties and ask what the cheaper flowers are that still make an impact. For the décor, research what realistic costs and be creative. Having bigger tables, for example, will require less flowers.

These are just some of the ways that you can save money for your wedding; there are loads more. Just remember though, that spending a fortune on ONE day may lead to financial stress after the fact, so stick to your budget!