Whatever you can do to stay within budget, do it!

The biggest and most-anticipated wedding of the year is finally upon us – Saturday, 19 May 2018 – where Prince Harry will be tying the knot and saying ‘I do’, to former Suits star Meghan Markle. If you’re planning to walk down the aisle anytime soon or involved in an upcoming wedding planning process, consider having a Saturday in on May 19 and watch the royal wedding to inspire you to plan and think ahead for your big day.

A lot of thought and planning has gone into this particular wedding, with a number of people wearing different hats to ensure its smooth execution. The planning process – from the invites to the venue and décor – can be a lot of things, exciting, jovial and stressful just to name a few, which is why proper planning is always essential.

Proper planning is essential!

Sharing some of his top tips when it comes to planning and executing weddings for his clients, legendary celebrity wedding and events planner, David Tutera says: “I begin by sitting down with [the couple] to lay the groundwork for a smooth planning journey. Every couple should take some time, completely by themselves, to envision their perfect day. Ask yourselves the most important question of all: What feeling do I want my guests to have throughout the celebration? What emotions do I want them to take away? The answers to these questions will inform every decision [they] make.”

Adding to this reasoning is the wedding planning site, Great Occasions, who says that “the average wedding cost per head is between R700 and R800.”

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Furthermore, Happy Ngale, financial planner at Alexander Forbes retail, recommends that engaged couples start planning their wedding by determining the budget and the type of wedding they want: Will it be big or small? In a hotel, at home or on a beach?

“It is crucial to keep the budget in check by ensuring that you are only spending based on your affordability,” says Ngale

Financial tips for planning a wedding

Ngale offers the following financial tips for planning a wedding:

1. A savings account is a great way of accumulating funds for your wedding

You will need to find a cost-effective savings account by analysing the taxation of proceeds from that account, financial advisor fees, and investment manager’s fees. Always look for the most cost-effective product because that 0,1% difference in fees compounded by the number of years you will be saving, has a significant impact on the end results.

2. Be strategic with your spending

Try to cut costs and be realistic about what you can and can’t afford: Look for sales; rent a gown instead of buying a new one; ask your friends to do your make-up and hair; let your family do the catering; and oh, your mom’s neighbour, yes that one who works for a florist in Sandton, she can do your floral arrangements, sometimes at over 50% discount…

Whatever you can do to stay within budget, do it. Always be in discussions with your family and ensure they understand your budget, otherwise your mum will invite all her colleagues and their cousins. Avoid the not-so-important ‘cultural expenditures’ and focus on the important ones.

3. Use a stokvel to save for your wedding

There are different kinds of stokvels in the townships, and today stokvels have become very savvy – there are even wedding stokvels! You could join a savings stokvel where you take turns to receive lump sums of money or become part of a grocery stokvel for functions whereby each member of the stokvel will bring non-perishable food items for the wedding and that takes care of 60% on the food budget.

Weddings are a happy occasion and so should yours be with the right amount of planning having gone into it. Reflect on the weddings you’ve attended and liked, as well as on the things you promised yourself you would never do on your wedding day. When you feel you have a good collection of ideas and inspirations, it’s time to start putting them in order and turning all of these fantasies into realities!