Wedding Tips & Advice

Are Weddings Really Expensive?

There is a current assumption that weddings are expensive. Sensationalist journalists even call them ‘freakin’ expensive – in case you were not already stressed enough by the ever rising cost of food and petrol, now the anxiety of a wedding is added to the milieu.

But is the presumption really true?

The Catholic church in the Phillippines recently stated that church weddings need not be expensive and that donations are minimal (each church, depending on whether or not you’re doing a church wedding, has it’s own system of payment – some donations, others a flat fee).

So what makes them so expensive, if the fee is nominal? Well, says the church (and they may well have a point), it’s the couple’s attempt to make the ceremonies more ‘special’ that makes them expensive.

And that is the crunch. It’s the idea we have about how we want our weddings to be (admittedly spurred on by a huge wedding industry with a vested interest in getting you to part with your dosh) that adds to the expense.

According to the Ebay classifieds blog, almost 80% of weddings are funded by the bride and groom, the average cost of a wedding (in the US) is $27, 710 (ouch) and the average number of guests is 196.

But you can bring your costs down, and here are 5 easy but effective ways to do so:

  • Trim the guest list (drastically) – according to Forbes, this is the number one way to cut cost. If the catering is going to cost R300 a head, simply cutting 10 people off the list is R3 000 down (easiest way to cut over all cost without changing any of your ideas)
  • Buy a second-hand wedding dress from an antique shop or a website like Ebay – you can end up paying a tenth of the price
  • Choose the right day to marry – find out when the most expensive wedding slot is (usually a Saturday) and avoid it; get married on another day, it should save you as much as 10% (and ask for a discount if you do marry outside of the most expensive time)
  • Forego dinner, opt for breakfast instead – far cheaper
  • Use local designers on sites like – for instance you can pick up gorgeous material floral centrepieces at half the price of fresh flowers

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Happy Wedding Planning!

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