Cutting The Costs Of Wedding Budgets


Tips on budget guzzlers from wedding essentials

Photography by Shutter Speed Studio

Scenario 1

You know you are below budget from the start but you want to have a wedding. What are some of the ways you can go about arranging for your dream day at a minimal cost?

Guest list

Looking after your guests, who may have spent aconsiderable amount to be with you, should be your mostimportant concern. So think seriously about the number.It’s better to invite fifty and look after them well, than tryto stretch your resources. Make out a guest list – if in doubt,ask yourself, would you be insulted if they did not invite youto their wedding? Work out how many are likely to comeand then you will know how much you will roughly spendper head. Remember, food is a very big budget driver as it takes up almost 50% of the total wedding budget.


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Ask for help

Depending on how creative your friends and family are, askthem to help in all sorts of ways. But never allow someoneto take over responsibility for an area in which they have noprevious experience. For most girls the greatest priority isthe dress, which I think is a mistake. You can have the mostbeautiful wedding dress and it does not have to be worththousands of shillings. What is most important is that it fitscomfortably and emphasizes your best features. Similarly,it is a needless expense to have ten bridesmaids or even smoother the church with flowers, when few well placed arrangements, highlighting the building’s best features, can be as effective.

Photography by Ben Kiruthi

Double your pleasure – group wedding

This is good for friends, cousins or even brothers. You probably have the same family friends, common friends and relatives. If you do decide on a double wedding, there’s a great deal of “killing two birds with one stone” to do.Fortunately, most of it saves you money. You send out oneinvitation for both couples, buy one set of flowers, have aDJ or band. It would be best for everyone’s eyes and earsif the level of style and formality between the two weddingparties was the same. Long, flowing burgundy dresses in one party and red polka-dotted mini-skirts in another will not make for a pretty picture. Similarly, it’s doubtful thatyour DJ will appreciate alternating heavy-metal tunes forone couple with classical recordings for the other.

Let’s say a sister, close friend, or relative wants to share your wedding day. You, of course, would tell her to Get Lost.Okay, maybe you’re glad to share this day with someone who’s special to you. Whoever the special person is, the two of you will have memories to share for the rest of your lives.Before you consent to a double wedding, realisticallyconsider your relationship with the other couple. If thetwo of you are likely to be pulling each other’s hair out atthe altar, or have drastically different opinions on religion,fashion, music, or other issues, you may want to “just sayno” rather than risk any embarrassment at the wedding. Inother words, you should only agree to a double weddingif the memories you and your potential fellow couple willshare for years to come are likely to be pleasant ones.The main piece of protocol to be aware of in a doublewedding is that the older of the two brides proceeds downthe aisle first with her wedding party, and does other keythings first. As you might imagine, two full wedding partiescan get rather large, so find a place that can accommodateeveryone. Aside from the fact that everything is done twice,the double wedding can be just like any other wedding.As far as bridal showers and other pre-wedding events go,it’s up to you and the others involved to decide whether ornot to do things jointly. It’s certainly easier on everyone elseif the two of you have a joint shower, but if either of youfeels the need to retain a sense of individuality, you mighttactfully request doing some things separately.

Cocktail reception

Serving hors d’oeuvres (bitings) and appetizers at your reception is not only one of the hottest trends in catering,but also affordable. The secret is to have your caterer keep the preparations simple and the ingredients inexpensive.Include an assortment of meat and vegetarian samosas,spring rolls and kebabs. Presentation is very important. For example, if people walk in and the food is appealing and tastes good, it makes an impression.

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Destination weddings

For less than Kshs.100,000 your groom and you can have a real wedding complete with God’s blessings. Many hotels are now offering wedding packages for example the Whitesands hotel.


That’s all folks!

It is not common but an idea that few have tried. Couples without a budget for a reception go ahead and invite guests for the ceremony only. Let your guests know in advance though. After the church service you leave for your honeymoon or to your first night venue. Or alternatively organise for a small cocktail drink.This is what you should do. First, review all your expenditures; menu, music, flowers, everything. Then consult each vendor to figure out where it’s possible to cut costs or change choices without reneging on your agreements. Many service providers told us that they would be willing to work out a solution with couples in a genuine financial crisis.In this section, professional wedding planners and service providers give advice on budgeting for the big day and surprising brilliant suggestions on how to reduce your expenses without sacrificing your dream.

Photography Photoshots Kenya
Photography by Photoshots Kenya

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