Planning a wedding takes time and money, and saving money for a wedding requires planning, motivation and dedication. In this post, I will lay out a 7-step plan you can follow to save enough money for your Nigerian wedding.
Nigerian weddings are expensive, and every year (no thanks to inflation) the cost of wedding-related things gets costlier. Many savvy couples take from 12 to 24 months to plan and save up for their weddings, so that they don’t have to take a loan and still have enough money to start off their marriage life.
Like I said, you need to come up with a plan of action for saving money, and this post is it. Below is our 7-step plan that you can follow to save up money when preparing for a Nigerian wedding.
1. Set the wedding budget
Before starting to save, you need to set a goal of the target amount you are looking to save, and your wedding budget is the goal. Simply put, your wedding budget is the total amount you want to spend on your Nigerian wedding.
It’s important to be realistic with the amount you choose to budget for your wedding. Ask yourself these questions: can you can afford and realistically save up this amount within the next 12 to 24 months? If your answer is ‘No’, consider reducing your budget to an amount you can realistically save up within 1 to 2 years – unless you plan to have the wedding in the next 3 or more years.
2. Decide over how long (number of months) to spend on saving
How long should I set aside money every month, when saving for my wedding? Most Nigerian couples get married between 6 months and 24 months from the proposal/ engagement date. On average, the timeline is couples wait about 12 months from when they decide to get married. That gives you an idea of how long you need to save money for your Nigerian wedding.
3. Decide how much to save per month
You need to decide exactly how much to set aside every month towards your wedding budget. Even if you’re from a rich family and want to ask your parents for wedding money, you still need to save a part of your budget – to show them that you are serious.
How much should you save per month for a wedding in Nigeria? Here’s a simple math to know how much to save for your wedding: Take your planned wedding budget amount and divide it by the number of months you intend to save up. For example: Your wedding budget is N1 million and you want the wedding in the next 12 months. So, we’ll divide N1m by 12 which equals N83,333. That means, you need to save N83,333 every month for 12 months in order to save up to N1m needed for your wedding.
*HINT: If that’s too much per month and you can’t handle that, you can do 2 things: either extend the wedding date so that you’ll have more time to save or cut down your wedding budget so that you need to save less amount of money per month.
4. Open a separate savings account for your wedding
Keeping your wedding savings account separate from your other accounts will help you resist the temptation to spend it before it’s time and motivate you to only spend it on wedding related things. Also, a dedicated wedding account makes it easy for you to track your wedding expenses when the time comes.
Consider not making an ATM card for this wedding account (or destroy the ATM card), so that you can reduce the temptations of spending from it. That way, you can ensure that you only deposit into your wedding account and not withdraw from it, until you save up the complete money and are ready to start paying for your wedding things. Also, avoid making any in-bank withdrawals from your savings account while you’re still saving. Stay motivated and track the amount you’re saving.
5. Be Consistent
You need to keep at it. Save consistently without skipping a month. Make regular deposit every month. Choose whether a daily, weekly or monthly savings will work best for you, and commit to doing it on a specific set date of the week or month.
Set a recurring alarm to remind you and actually save something every month. Pick a specific date of every month or week to deposit into your wedding account. Transfer the savings amount on the set date, every month. You can leave an automatic instruction to your bank for them to transfer your specified amount from your salary account to your wedding savings account every month.
6. Top up Whenever You Find Extra Cash
Top up your savings from time to time. Whenever you get extra cash, make a habit of moving it to your wedding savings account instead of spending it.
7. Cut Down Personal Daily and Monthly Expenses
Saving for a wedding requires sacrifice, motivation and dedication. You need to be intentional about it. If you’re looking for more ways to save from, look into the things you splurge on. Being temporarily frugal can help. Find areas of your lifestyle that you can cut down on spending.
You can temporarily cut down or cut off some luxury lifestyle spending you are used to. For example: eating out, Netflix subscription, DSTV or other cable TV subscription, gym, outfit shopping. You can either totally cut off some types of expenses or spend less on them – for only a short time while saving for your wedding.
- Start early to save – immediately after you got engaged, start saving a portion of your salary monthly towards your wedding. The earlier you start saving, the less pressure you’ll feel as every month of savings gets you closer to the total amount you need for your Nigerian wedding.
- Make it a priority to fund your wedding account every month.
- Be Consistent and Commit to it. Don’t skip any month. Ensure to commit to what you can afford to save every month, without weighing you down.
FAQs (My Answers to Frequently Asked Questions)
When should I start saving for my wedding? The best time to start saving for a wedding is immediately after you got engaged (i.e. after the marriage proposal). Start your wedding savings countdown right after you’re engaged – and start saving up some money every month for your wedding.
How much money should I save monthly for my wedding? How much of your savings should I spend on a wedding? If you have already set a wedding budget and have an idea of your wedding date or how many months in advance you want to have the wedding, you can use this simple formula: Wedding Budget (amount in Naira) DIVIDED BY Number of months to wedding date. See examples in my answer to the next question below.
How do I save for a Nigerian wedding in 6 months? First, set an overall amount you want to spend at your wedding (i.e. a budget). Use this simple formula: divide the total amount by 6, and that gives you how much you need to save monthly towards your wedding. For example: you plan to spend a total of N1.2m (i.e. your budget). Using our simple formula: 1,200,000 divided by 6 EQUALS N200,000. So, N200k is what you need to save every month.
How to save for a Nigerian wedding in a year? 1 year is 12 months. We’ll use our simple formula again. Simply divide your wedding budget amount by 12 to know how much to save monthly for a year. For example: you want to spend a total of N6m (Six million Naira). Using our formula again: N6,000,000 divided by 12 EQUALS N500k. That tells us that you need to save Five Hundred Thousand Naira every month over 12 months in order to reach your set wedding budget of N6m.
How much should you spend on a wedding in Nigeria? To give you an idea – a low-key micro-wedding can cost from N200k to under N500k. A small Nigerian wedding with few guests can cost between N500k to N1.5m. Some couples also spend as much as N2m to N20m on a Nigerian wedding. The beautiful thing about Nigerian weddings is that beautiful weddings are being planned on a wide size of budget.
*Bottom-line: There’s no general average spending amount among Nigerian couples, because different people in Nigeria fall into diverse income bands. Therefore, how much you would spend on a wedding in Nigeria depends on a couple of things – the size of wedding you are dreaming of, the size of funds available to you (via your savings, parents), your taste as per how luxe or low-key of a wedding you desire. *Your question and focus should be: how much are you willing/ able to spend on your wedding.
How can I reduce my wedding expenses? The first way to reduce expenses in a Nigerian wedding is to reduce the number of guests according to your catering budget. Once you do that, you can see as much as 30 to 40% reduction in expenses. Food and drinks (i.e. catering budget) make up to 40% of the budget in Nigerian weddings, because there are usually so many guests. Wedding caterers charge per plate, and so each guest is a cost. I wrote a post that includes more ways on how to reduce wedding expenses in Nigeria.
How do you plan a low budget wedding in Nigeria? A low-budget wedding can be planned by doing a lot of cost-cutting and money-saving things such as renting your outfits (instead of buying new), using a cheap or free venue, cooking food in-house (instead of hiring caterers), purchasing drinks and foodstuff wholesale, begging friends and family to help as as MC, Photographer, Videographer, Hairstylist, Makeup and gele artist. For more tips, read my guides on how to plan a low budget Nigerian wedding.
How do you plan a wedding on a small budget in 6 months? Is it realistic to plan a wedding in 6 months? Yes, many Nigerian couples have successfully planned their weddings within 6 months, and are still doing so. It is doable. The truth is that many people get stressed out when the wedding planning time is too long, and want to keep it short and simple. You can use our ready-made guide to planning a Nigerian wedding in 6 months checklist
Can I plan a wedding in 3 months? Yes, you can. It is doable as long as you keep the details minimalistic by inviting few people, hire only venue and vendors near you, have a few bridesmaids and groomsmen or none (to make it easy to manage), send invitations by sms/ text messages and WhatsApp (to avoid printing delay). There are a few more steps involved. You can use my step by step guide on how to plan a Nigerian wedding in 3 months.
Your Next Steps (and Conclusion)
With solid savings plan and dedication, you can save up the amount you require to plan the Nigerian wedding of your dreams. I have given you my 7-step action plan (above) and the next step is for you to put it to work and start saving.
With that being said, know that:
- The more money you plan to spend on your wedding, the more you’ll need to save monthly and you also need to save for a longer time to get the complete amount you budgeted for.
- If your planned wedding date is farther away, you have more time to save up and less pressure.
- If your planned wedding date is closer, you need to save more amount monthly to reach your target (total wedding fund). *You can either adjust your wedding date or adjust your wedding budget/ cost to make saving for your wedding more comfortable to you.
On a final note, ensure to match your wedding savings plan to your pocket. I mean that you should be mindful of your income level and be realistic to set a wedding budget that you can truly save up to within 1 to 2 years. Splurging on the wedding is nice if you can afford it – but if you can’t do too much, just know that it’s okay and you can still plan a beautiful wedding with less. Just don’t kill yourself while saving for your wedding. Remember that the wedding will last only a day and you’ll have many years to live in your marriage, which requires more money.
If you have rich parents, you may want to try begging/ asking them to help pay for some of your wedding expenses. I wrote a detailed post that explains how to go about that and what to say. You can check out that post.
There you have it on how to save up money when preparing for a Nigerian wedding. I’d like to hear from you. Which of the steps above are you using or what are you doing How are are doing differently? Comment down below and let’s get the discussion going!