Every couple wants a good wedding, they’ve been to several weddings and are already gathering ideas. The focus with every wedding , big or small, rich or poor bride, you’ve got to have it the way you want... ok maybe not exactly you want, I’d have wanted Princess Diana's wedding if I could afford it… but there’s got to be something about the wedding that spells out yours and your partners personality.
Now back to the main topic, budget weddings, a budget wedding does not necessarily have to look like a budget to your guests. I’ve seen weddings where the couple spent very little but the wedding looked out of this world. The trick is ask ask and ask. Ask families, friends, colleagues for help.
After the big question and all the yeses have been said, the couple needs to sit down and draw up a budget, be sensible, I know a couple who spent almost a million naira of mostly borrowed money. Please don't do this! Look at the wedding date and calculate how much you can save by then plus whatever you already have saved, also leave some money for after the wedding, don’t spend it all!
Once the budget is set, decide where you want to spend most of your money, people tend to spend more on one thing and less on others, for example, if you love music, you may favour having a life band instead of spending a lot of money on your wedding car. Make sure there's a fine balance, a friend of mine once reported a wedding she attended where there wasn’t enough food but the brides car was a Bentley, the guests were heard murmuring that the bride had used the food money for the car!...you don’t want that!
Once you’ve decided what the priorities are and the share of your budget allocated to each task, start looking around you for help. You will be surprised how much people around you can do to help, if you have a friend who does her make up so well, she could pass for a professional, ask her to do your make up, if you have an aunt who knows her flowers well and can arrange them, ask her if she would do your flower arrangement, if you have an uncle who just bought that nice Mercedes, let him know you will be needing his car on the day, do you get my drift?, people are the best resources we have, so don’t be shy, get asking! What's the worst they can say "No" then you look to other places.
Also look at the things you can do yourself, if you’re a little creative, why not try making your own stationeries'. Go online, check out different designs look for simple but classic designs that you will be able to put together yourself, all you need is a good printer and classic paper, besides saving money, you will also find this to be a lot of fun, you may even work on it as a couple, you will remember working on this and I’m sure there will be many stories to tell after your big day.
Look for bargains everywhere, if you buy a display wedding gown, ask the store to knock off some money because you’re buying one that they’ve displayed already, don’t be put off with the fact that you may have to dry clean it first, I’ve heard that when a designer finishes making a wedding gown, they usually dry clean and steam it to bring out the shine of the material so see even if you’re buying a new gown, it’s already been washed!
Also if you are brave enough, you could find a good tailor and design your own gown, I had a friend who did that, she got the materials, sat with her tailor and voila, they came up with the most unique dress which didn't cost her much at all and even better after the wedding you can take it to the same tailor and get an evening gown out of it. Two for the price of one I'd say!
Don’t be afraid to ask your vendors to tailor their services to your needs. For example, if your caterer says they do a cooler of fried rice for x amount as they put x amount of ingredients in the rice, ask them if they will reduce the price with reduced ingredients. Ok we have to be careful here, we're not saying no prawns and the rest, just enough to carry the rice along, there's no need for excess or maybe a better example, you don't need a bean cake (moi moi) with seven lives, just a few ingredients will do.
On cakes, fruit cakes for example are usually the most expensive type of cake but they have dropped in popularity, have something less expensive say maybe a lemon cake, it would be different and I’m sure your guests would love it!
A budget wedding can be a brilliant wedding if good planning and thoughts go into it, your guest won't believe it when you tell them how much you spent. Enjoy..
By Margaret Bukky Apampa