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How to save on wedding costs without removing the sparkle

September 8, 2015

The whole point of a wedding is to try capture and retain that magic, which only happens at truly special events. Yet, we also know that weddings tend to be incredibly expensive events.

As Hitched found out in their 2014 survey, the average cost of a wedding in South Africa was a truly staggering R128,045. This might seem a great deal to most of us – especially, as the survey indicates, most of that is spent on the day itself.

But weddings shouldn’t be about how much we spend. They should be about celebrating a relationship we’ve formed with our partner and wanting to display this love to others. This means we can find smart, efficient ways to save on expenses in the wedding without compromising the day itself.

Some ways are sneakier than others. For example, it helps not to label your ceremony a wedding. As Bankrate notes:

“one Boston television station had reporters call 11 venues and get quotes for a wedding reception. Later, they asked for the price for a retirement party on the same date. Eight out of 11 had a “marriage markup” — in one case from $65 to $90 per person.”

There might be good reasons for why the venues themselves do this – such as noting wedding ceremonies take a greater toll on the venue and staff – though analysts are not convinced this makes up for such a dramatic markup.

You can also attempt to forgo certain aspects – there’s no reason to have a champagne ceremony for example. This saves you a great deal on glasses, spillage and the champagne itself.

Also, as Quartz writer Assysa Barrette notes about trying to get rid of her wedding dress, despite family protestations:

“Like a good, mindless consumer, I had not put any thought into what I’d be doing with my dress post-wedding. I also did not take advantage of some of the less wasteful opportunities available to brides today, from buying a secondhand wedding or renting one, to making it from scratch or piecing it together from far less pricey off-the-rack gowns.”

Again, there are alternatives and we need to encourage the view that this shouldn’t be a display of status or wealth, but love, adoration and reaffirming values we cherish on the person we want to spend our life with. This can be represented in a gigantic wedding or elegant wedding bands for women and men. Either way what matters isn’t the display of wealth, but respect and love.

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