If you’re planning a wedding and looking for ways to cut down cost, this post is for you. Between making your wedding budget and punching the calculator with actual market price of different items, it is normal to be faced with big numbers. How do you cut down this cost to meet the size of the money at hand? I’ll show you how in this post.
Fun fact about wedding planning is that it’s not really about ‘how much’ (was spent), but ‘how well’ (it was planned). We’ve seen 1 million Naira weddings that looked and felt cheap, and we’ve also seen 500 thousand Naira weddings that looked elegant, and guests felt the couple spent over a million bucks – read on for tips to get your own low-cost wedding look expensive.
9 Ways to Cut Down Your Wedding Cost in Nigeria
Now, you may be thinking: where can I possibly cut down costs without sacrificing the quality of the wedding I have always dreamed of? If that sounds like you, then you’re the one I had in mind when writing this article – below are 9 ways to cut down your wedding cost. I recommend that you print out this list and work through them one by one.
#1: Buy a Small Cute Wedding Cake with a Few Tiers/ Steps
Save costs on wedding cakes by not overspending on cakes for display (at the reception) and photo snapping. There’s a smart way that even big weddings use to save on wedding reception cake, and still have big, tall layers of cake on display. We wrote detailed steps on how to use that method, in a previous article. The idea is to plan to make 2 different cakes at your wedding – a small but cute wedding cake with a few layers (tiers) display in the reception and second cake for the purpose of serving your guests.
The guests’ cakes should be plain (no icing, no decoration) because most adults (guests) do not eat the icing part of cakes. I’m sure you’ve seen icing left at the tables, after a wedding party. You can get big, plain cakes cheaper from any good cake store, supermarket or hotel pastry-shop to serve your guests. Icing and decorating costs money, and most guests do not eat icing. Why waste money on what no one wants?
Decorated, iced cakes cost more than plain cakes. Now that you’ve got plain cakes for your guests, you can spend less on the decorated, reception-display cake, by ordering a smaller sized cake-width with a few tiers and use the dummy-cake method to add more tiers and get an overall big, tall display case.
With the above clever hack, no guest will know the cake they ate is different from the one displayed, and you’ll score a big point by impressing guests who were happy to be served big cake portions and you also win by not paying an arm and leg for a big wedding cake to serve the entire guests. By the way, if you have or a talented friend or family member, you can ask them to help you bake the regular cake instead – so that you’ll further save money. Here are some money-saving wedding cake ideas:
#2: Rent a Cheap Wedding Venue
Spend less money on a wedding venue by renting a cheap town hall or an open field/ garden. Have your wedding in the morning or afternoon of a weekday, and you’ll see less crowd that you can really afford to feed.
#3: Arrange to Have Some Wedding Food Made at Home (DIY) at Home Instead of Paying Wedding Vendors
Don’t buy everything, make some yourself. Ask your mom’s friends, aunties and close talented friends to help you with catering (food), baking the wedding cake, snacks (chin-chin, fried meat, moi-moi etc), souvenirs, MC etc – but please draw the boundary when it comes to photographers and makeup artistes – hire known experts on those ones because you won’t have a second wedding in case your makeup and photos didn’t come out right – and you want to be able to show people nice photos after the wedding. Some things you can do yourself at home include:
- Having relatives cook the wedding party jollof rice for your guests
- How to make Samosa at Home
- How to Make Spring Rolls at Home
- How to Make Party Doughnuts at Home
#4: Put Together Your Own Personal Planning Team
If you can’t afford a wedding planner, assign one of your super-organized friends as your wedding coordinator. This person should be hands-on and known to (delight in planning everyone’s birthday parties) with the task of your wedding day coordination as well as your pre-wedding planning buddy. You gotta give that role to somebody if you don’t want to see your wedding going the way you didn’t anticipate. Be sure to give her the white wedding planning checklist\and phone number of all your vendors to work with, – and you can be the wedding planning project manager, responsible for following up with everyone who’s helping you while using our wedding day itinerary as a guide to know when every task must be done. Here are helpful guides to help you organize your team of helpers and how to delegate tasks to them:
- How to Guarantee Your Wedding Will Go Perfectly (with Tips for Delegating Wedding Tasks)
- Wedding Day Coordination Checklist
#5: Save Cost on Wedding Venue Decoration
Find an open field/ garden with a natural scene. Or a hall with neutral walls and floors – no dramatic wall and floor colours but with a great ambience – so that your venue still looks amazing without needing any or an extensive decoration – and you’ll not have spent any money on venue decoration. Also have tables and chairs be covered in a simple neutral-coloured cover-cloth. Did you know that the wedding cake is also part of the wedding decoration so that when you place a simple wedding cake at your reception venue, that cake enhances the room decor? By all means avoid colour-riot, rainbow-coloured reception venue decor. The secret to appealing design and decoration is “less is more”.
#6: Don’t Hire a Live (Music) Band. Instead, Find a Really Good DJ
Music bands are more expensive than a DJ – any day. So, don’t hire a live band, instead, get a good DJ – you’ll save money and your guests will have so much great time that you’ll have to beg them to stop dancing (long after the wedding party has come to an end). Please don’t choose a semi-pro DJ over a professional one, just because it’s cheaper – be ready to pay a little extra on getting a DJ that will get your guests up and dancing. An unprofessional DJ always dulls a wedding. Instead of hiring an amateur music band that your guests do not enjoy listening to, hire a good DJ that will make your guests never want to stop dancing. You can find a good DJ by using our tips on where and how to find good wedding vendors.
#7: Don’t Pay for a Master of Ceremony (MC)
Ask an eloquent or smooth-talker friend to be the MC on your special day.
#8: Rent a Wedding Gown Instead of Buying a New One
Rent a fairly-used (pre-owned) but trendy wedding gown. Not all rented wedding gowns look frumpy and old school. Some shops that sell wedding dresses also do hire some out, for a small fee. In fact, some of them are always buying new wedding dress styles and designs to add to their stock, and you may be lucky to be the first person to wear the one you choose. It’s a good idea to see what the latest wedding gowns look like and make a note of the styles you like. Also, you should know in advance what styles and shapes of wedding gowns that will look best on your body.
Look around different bridal shops, ask other brides or even your bridesmaids if they know a place that hires out new styles of wedding gowns, and clean ones. In Nigeria, some event caterers and cake bakers also rent out fairly-used wedding gowns, but it’s more likely to find newer styles from bridal shops that sell wedding dresses. But still, look everywhere – you never know where your best-fit wedding gown is.
- ALSO: 5 Things to Know Before Buying a Wedding Gown
- 17 Wedding Gown Shopping Tips to Help You Find the ‘It Gown’ Faster
#9: Have Your Groom Wear a Pre-Owned, Previously-Worn Suit and Accessories
Instead of buying a new wedding suit, your groom can wear an old, unworn suit that’s fit for the wedding occasion. There’s always that suit that hasn’t yet be worn, lying in your groom’s suitcase – because he had reserved it for a special occasion.
More Smart Ways to Cut Down Cost When Planning a Wedding
Now you know our 9 smart ways to slash cost when planning a wedding in Nigeria. This article is a part of our series on smart ideas for cutting down cost costs when planning a classy, small Nigerian wedding. Be sure to read the other posts in the series:
- 9 Steps to Reduce Wedding Cost and Still Have a Quality Party
- How to Plan an Inexpensive Wedding (19 Practical Ideas)
- How to Plan a Small Wedding in Nigeria – Everything You Need to Know
- 5 Ways to Plan a Cheap But Fabulous Wedding
- 10 Unique Ideas to Get a Big-Girls Wedding on a Small Budget (Bougie on a Budget)
- How to Plan a Low-Key Wedding in Nigeria
- Simple Things to Do to Wow Guests When Planning a Small Wedding
- How to Plan a Traditional and White Wedding Same Day (Checklist)
That’s a wrap. Now tell me, which of the above things are you going to do to cut down your wedding cost. Which of those tips have you already done? Finally, do you have any additional tip? Tell me in the comments box below.
Thank you so much for this.
Stella Anokam says
My pleasure, Blessing.
We have many other posts on how to save costs on a Nigerian wedding. Also, check them out, as you may pick one or two vital ideas. All the best!
Am having headache on the souvenirs to get,must there be souvenirs anyway
Stella Anokam says
Hello Dora, thanks for reading our wedding planning tips and commenting.
No, there must not be souvenirs at weddings – it is optional.
We advice to focus on the things that matter most to your guests and would make them feel your wedding was the best wedding party they have ever been to, and souvenirs are on the bottom list. Think of it, if you nailed the souvenirs and the MC, music, food and ambiance of your wedding is not fun enough, no one would remember the souvenir – guests would leave bored and gossip well. Besides, at Nigerian weddings, the quantity of souvenirs are usually not enough to get to all guests.
Wedding planning should be fun for the bride, and so, you should cut out anything that gives you headache OR just keep the souvenirs simple if you must have it. An idea could be to do it last, if there’s time OR delegate your friends or close family members to help out with suggesting or shopping for appropriate souvenirs (take that stress off you or strike it out).
Really great ideas.
Now planning doesn’t look like so much of an uphill task.
Stella Anokam says
I’m happy to hear that from you. Promoting (low) budget weddings in Nigeria is our goal here – to remove the ‘fear’and ‘mystery’from Nigerian wedding planning. Let us know how it goes. Happy planning.
Thanks for the various articles especially the ones on cost-saving, has really been helpful for me as I’m planning a low-budget wedding.
Stella Anokam says
You’re welcome, Fisayo. It gladdens my heart that our tips were of help to your wedding planning. Thanks for your feedback, and be sure to read our other articles on how to save cost when planning a Nigerian wedding. Oh, and we also have plenty of wedding fashion and style ideas for brides-to-be, guests’ aso-ebi and bridesmaids – come by to read them.