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How to have a big wedding on a small budget

20 May 2015, 09:44Daily Fix

Settle on a budget

You’ve got the ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ bit waxed, but since your beloved popped the question you’ve realised that the rhyme leaves out the most important bit – ‘something budget’.

So before you start weighing up bustier against halterneck, settle on the amount you have to spend.

Then ‘add another 10% for unforeseen extras’, suggests Pam Black, author of The Really Useful Wedding Guide for South Africa and owner of Celebration House. ‘If you don’t end up spending that 10%, you’ll start your marriage with a nice windfall.’

It’s easier if you can see where your money is going – the handy Wedding Budget Planner tool at www.weddings-inafrica.com (under the Brides’ Pages link) considers all expenses from minister’s fee to music.

Decide on priorities

It’s your wedding and your budget, so spend on elements that will make the day memorable for you.

If you have your heart set on a three-course gourmet meal, then splash out on that and cut back on something you’re not too fussed about. Remember that things add up quickly. ‘So often I see brides who get swept along by their mother saying “What about this?” or “Let’s just have that” – and they’re the ones left paying for something that they didn’t really want in the first place,’ says Black.

Enlist friends & family

If your best friend is a design whizz, ask her to create your invites as a wedding gift.

The same goes for an aunt who owns a hair salon, or an uncle with a contact in the wine industry. They’ll feel involved and you’ll have one less thing to pay for. (As long as you know they’ll do a good job before you ask – you don’t want to ruin a friendship over tartan invites that don’t quite match your pastel colour scheme!)

Internet inspiration

From venues and photographers to caterers and honeymoons, the Internet gives you the power to find what you want at the price you can afford. Be inspired by other invitations, dress designs and menus, or tap into the online community of bridal blogs and forums to find tips from brides who managed on a tight budget.

Some good sites are:




- Daily Fix


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