Everyone dreams of the perfect wedding, and planning one invariably entails a lot of expenses. Many things have to be in place – the lighting, the decorations, the stage, the sound system, the bouquets, the souvenirs, and the cake too! The average Nigerian wedding costs a heartbreaking 3 million naira, and that’s for many grooms bad news. The good news however is that you can reduce wedding cost greatly without sacrificing style, and without compromising the elegance of the ceremony.
So how do you make sure that your fairy-tale day doesn’t turn into a financial nightmare?
- Set Clear Priorities
Clarity in thought and in need is important to trim cost without ruining your idea of a perfect wedding. Write down the most essentials only, and in order of their importance. Drawing up a budget might seem like an obvious point, but many couples forget to start with this all-important point.
- Cut Expenses on Your Dress
I know ladies, I know your wedding gown is a big deal. It’s hard to compromise here, but wedding gowns can run your estimates to feverishly high numbers. If you find a dress with a ridiculously high price tag, be ready to explore, be ready to look elsewhere. You’ll probably find another one just like it around the corner, with a price tag that will not singlehandedly wreck your budget.
- Beg, Borrow, or Steal
Instead of forking out to get insanely expensive necklaces, shoes or earrings, consider getting them second hand or borrowing from friends and family members that you trust. Unless you make an announcement, nobody will suspect.
- Give a Short Notice and Trim the Guest List.
The easiest way around having over so many people at your wedding ceremony is to close up the number of days between the announcement of the wedding and the actual ceremony. Do not over-invite people – if there’s anyone you wouldn’t happily buy a meal on any other day, then you should leave their names out.
- Use a Neutral Location
For many Nigerians, the beach might sound like an odd place to get married, but hey, who says you have to fall into the cliche! If you consider what it would take to host the whole town, then a beach wedding might actually be a wise alternative. Nice pictures, great background, and a calm environment.
- Cut Cost on Invitation Cards
The huge amount of money spent on invitation cards can be cut too. One way to do this is to buy less expensive, yet stylish cards. Nobody really cares about the color, the size, and other unnecessary features on the cards that cost you extra cash to print. You can use invitation software to make the cards yourself. The point of an invitation card is to inform and request the presence of people – text messages or e-mails could do just that, at little or no price.
- Use Local Expertise
Consider using local expertise for many wedding tasks. From a hair stylist to a master of ceremonies; from top decorators to a rock band, using talented friends and family members can help reduce the overall cost. For instance, instead of hiring celebrity artistes, you could try that church brother with the voice of angels, or you could simply hire a DJ. In terms of decoration, video coverage, makeup etc., take time off to find out some good hands around you. Big brands come with big budgets.
Listen, this is from me to you. Do not forget the purpose of a wedding ceremony: to get married. At the end of the day, you will be Mr. & Ms. X. If you spend just #100,000, you will be just as married as the couple who have spent 100 million naira.
And that, dear reader, is all the fact.
You can also check out Simi’s Checklist to help you calculate how much you need to spend for your wedding. Click here