Let’s face it, not all of us will manage to pull a Kate Middleton kind of wedding or an Emmy Kosgey one for that matter. But who said you have to break the bank to have the wedding of your dreams? The important thing here is that you are getting married to the person you love. After all, a record breaking wedding doesn’t guarantee a happy marriage.
Low budget weddings do not have to look cheap. I have attended weddings that were organized for much less and they turned out extraordinarily great. On the other hand, I have been to expensive weddings and was left wondering where all the money went to. Your wedding is what you make it to be. For the soon to be brides and grooms, here’s some advice on how to cut down on your wedding budget and avoid getting married and going broke at the same time.
Identify your priorities early enough
The best way to keep your wedding within your budget is to prioritize early. Have a list of the things that you must do, the ones that you would love to do and lastly, things that you dream of doing but are not necessary. Organize all your wedding needs into these 3 categories and start by fulfilling the must-haves as you move on to the least important ones.
Schedule your wedding for off season
In Kenya most weddings take place from April to December. If you decide to get married in any of these months, expect to pay more than usual for standard services like transport, location and florists. There is also the risk of finding all the best service providers fully booked so you might be tempted to settle for less. If you have to get married during these months, make bookings early and you will save on cash.
Engage your friends and family in the planning process
You don’t have to call your pool of friends and family members to form a committee but you can ask them to help you out during the planning process. Avoid hiring professionals to do all the work for you if you can’t afford it. You can get a friend who is good with graphics (to help you design invitation cards), photography or even caterers (your friends can offer this service) and you will save a lot of money at your wedding.
Trim your guest list
This is probably the hardest step you’ll have to make when preparing your low budget wedding. You can choose to omit some of the acquaintances/ friends you haven’t contacted for years and choose a card-only wedding. The fewer guests you have, the lower the cost of your wedding. Be careful not to ruin friendships because some people may take it personal.
Choose a wedding theme that is cheap
I once saw an African wedding which no cake was served. The couple had ‘ugali’ and ‘mbuzi’ beautifully displayed at the reception. It sounds tacky but trust me, the reception was amazing. The couple dint even look as if they couldn’t afford the wedding cake but it appeared to be a decision they made in order to blend with their African theme. It left people talking about this wedding for all the right reasons. Look for a wedding theme that is unique and cheap.
Choose the right location
Low budget wedding locations include places like churches, public parks, schools and other public institutions. There are institutions that have breathtaking wedding venues and charge really low rates if any. However, remember that there are certain locations like parks where you will have to pay more for tents, bathroom and seating and these extra charges can be overwhelming.
Shop for a non-bridal dress
Non-bridal dresses are basically beautiful dresses that can double up as wedding dresses but they cost much less because they are not sold as wedding dresses. You can find a really nice white dress that is cheap simply because it isn’t a wedding dress. You can also chose to rent instead of buying a wedding dress.