One of the numerous questions I frequently get from our readers is ‘how can I cut down on my wedding costs?’. In looking for ways to have an affordable wedding, some couples consider borrowing money – but wish they didn’t have to. Instead of taking a loan for your wedding and starting your married life broke, you can look for ways to cut down costs on wedding things to make the amount of money you already have work for you. No, cheap weddings don’t have to look cheap, if you follow our low-cost wedding guides. And, yes, big weddings are nice-to-have but not everyone was born rich or has wealthy Uncles and Aunts. So, read on for how to have your Nigerian wedding on a budget by cutting down unnecessary costs. Scroll down to see where to cut costs.
We’ve written several posts on so many ways to budget and also save costs when planning a Nigerian wedding, but in this post, I’ll show you practical and effective ways to make your money do more at your wedding – especially if you are planning your wedding on a tight budget. First, let me assure you that the success of a wedding event is not determined by how much money it was planned with. That means it is possible to have a memorable and beautiful Nigerian wedding at a low cost if you know the things to cut out or cut down, which won’t affect the quality of the wedding. Read on for the 9 simple steps to cut down on your wedding cost without looking cheap at all.
9 Cost-Saving Ideas to Cut Down Wedding Cost in Nigeria
Here are 9 creative and practical ideas to cut down on wedding costs in Nigeria without looking cheap. These tips are effective and have helped many of our readers organize a decent, more affordable wedding on budgets they didn’t think was possible – and without needing to take a loan. Here you go:
#1: Pre-agree on a Specific Number of Guests
Save money on wedding catering and venue by opting to invite few guests. Set a limit to the number of guests to invite and stick to it. Even one single additional guest could make a big increase to your wedding cost beyond what you can afford. So, think twice before giving out invitation cards to everyone in your street or office. In a previous post, I showed you how to figure out how many people to invite, based on your wedding food and drinks cost.
#2: Use Text Messaging to Send Out Wedding Invites
Save money on invitation cards by using WhatsApp messaging, cheap bulk text messages, emails, and Facebook messages to invite your age-mate friends and colleagues. Only print invitation cards for older guests, including your parents’ friends. This should cut the cost of invitation cards by about 50% or more – be sure to let people know in the messages that they should consider the text messages as their formal invitation to the wedding. For the paper invitation cards, you may want to buy some packs of pre-printed wedding invitation cards for the folks that will require paper invites.
#3: Use the Same Venue for Both the Wedding Ceremony and Reception
Another way to save cost on the wedding venue is to hold your church/ religious joining ceremony and reception at one venue to save on duplicate venue hire.
#4: Have White and Trad Wedding on Same Day
To save cost on feeding guests twice, choose to have both your white and trad wedding on the same day. And, if for any reason, the two weddings can’t hold on the same day and you still want to save cost, invite-only a handful of your close friends and family to the traditional wedding, so that the white wedding can be for a bigger audience.
#5: Avoid Setting Your Wedding Date On a Busy Month/ Week
Most big and fancy wedding venues like hotel halls are cheaper on weekdays. You can take advantage of the cost-savings. Also, the knowledge that most people would be at work and only your few, most important guests will do everything to be there.
As you know, every single additional guest increases the wedding cost, so you have to find a way to reduce crowd and unwanted guests. Minimize incidence of uninvited too many guests by choosing a non-peak and less traditional time to get married: avoiding popular Nigerian wedding months like December, Easter holidays, major public holidays, valentine’s day weekend; choose a weekday instead of a Saturday.
- Akah and Claire’s Celebrity Weekday Wedding proved to many that fixing a Nigerian wedding on a weekday is as fun as on a weekend.
#6: Use An Old, Previously-Owned Jewellery
Borrow or use one of your old, hardly-worn or not-yet-worn pieces of jewelry for the traditional and/ or white wedding or borrow an occasion-jewelry from your mom or sisters (no one will notice it was not new jewelry – they’ll only notice that you looked elegant walking down the aisle).
#7: Buy a Non-Diamond Wedding Ring
Save cost on wedding rings by buying a ring with cheaper precious stones instead of an expensive diamond wedding ring – those are cheaper and still gorgeous. Even celebrities are wearing non-diamond engagement and wedding rings – royal bride, Kate Middleton’s engagement ring stone was sapphire; Facebook founder, Matt Zuckerberg’s bride had a ruby stone. So, explore other elegant non-diamond wedding ring stone options – they are a lot cheaper than diamond.
#8: Wear a Really Long Wedding Gown (to Eliminate Need for New Shoes)
Save money on wedding shoes by wearing one of your old, unworn or nearly new shoes or a cheap one, and then buy a really long wedding gown style that will hide your shoes. No one will even notice your foot-wear and you’ll win by saving yourself from buying expensive wedding shoes.
It is possible to rent a beautiful, in-vogue wedding gown that enhances your figure at a much lower cost than buying a new one. There are many bridal and rental stores that offer this service at every nook and cranny in Nigeria.
- SEE: The Latest Wedding Gown Styles Spotted at Society Weddings
- Types of Wedding Gown Trains and How to Know the Best One for You
#9: Go to the Hair Salon for the Bridal Hair
It’s more expensive if you invite a hairstylist to your house for home-service, so save costs by going to them. A day before your wedding or about four hours before, take yourself to the hair salon to do your wedding day hair, instead of bringing the hairdresser to your bridal suite – this should cut down your hair styling cost as you’ll not be paying extra ‘home-service’ fee for taking the hairstylist out of his/ her shop.
- SEE ALSO: The Latest Wedding Hairstyles for White Wedding
- 5 Beautiful Natural Hair Wedding Hairstyles
- How to Do 2 Wedding-Worthy Packing Gel UpDo Styles
- The Latest Igbo Brides Traditional Wedding Hairstyles
Wrapup: Lowering Wedding Cost in Nigeria
So, you see, it is possible to have a low-cost or more affordable Nigerian wedding or even cut down cost on an expensive wedding. There you have it for my 9 creative ways to cut down the cost of a wedding in Nigeria.
MORE POSTS ON PRACTICAL WAYS TO CUT DOWN WEDDING COSTS IN NIGERIA:
This article is a part of our Nigerian weddings-on-a-budget series. Read some other posts in the series:
- 5 Ways to Use Small Money to Organize a Fabulous Wedding
- 10 Unique Ideas to Get a Big-Girls Wedding on a Small Budget
- How to Plan a Low-Key Wedding in Nigeria
- Simple Things to Do to Wow Guests When Planning a Small Wedding
Now tell me, what are you doing cut down costs in your upcoming Nigerian wedding? Also, which of the above methods are you going to use? Tell me in the comments box below.
Please ma I’m planing a wedding next year with a budget of 500k and I’m a baker
Stella Anokam says
Hi Funmi, congrats in advance. Okay, you did not ask a question, so I was not sure what to reply. Anyway, in case you meant to ask whether N500k budget can work.
The answer is Yes, it can work for either a white wedding or a combined trad and white reception IF you keep the number of invited guests low (below 100 and below 50 guests). Here are some ideas and tips for you:
>N500k Wedding Budget Sample: Other People’s WEdding
>An Epic Micro Wedding in Lagos (Photos)
Good evening ma. Please I want to ask if it is possible to do a wedding in abuja with 250,000 just for fifty guests and how to go about managing that amount
Stella Anokam says
Hello Vivian. While the price of things have seriously increased, it’s possible and it would be very low-key, but that would mean you do everything between you and friends/ family helping you (cooking, snacks, drinks-shopping etc) AND hire a very cheap garden-bar OR find a free location.
You have to be able to find a place to hire wedding gown for very cheap, even if that would mean going to a slightly far part of the town. Your groom may re-use one of his pre-owned suit (because you guys don’t have extra cash).
You may not be able to afford an MC and DJ – consider asking friends/ family members to help out.
Photography – you should be able to find a cheap photographer to cover your event, but get some friends to support by using their phones to take shots and videos for you (so that after the wedding, you can collate what they’ve got, and choose which ones to print or share on social media).
Hope those tips help. I wish you all the best.
Good evening ma. Please I want to ask if it is possible to do a wedding in abuja with 250,000 just for fifty guests
Stella Anokam says
Hi Vivian, I just replied you (check the comments) – you asked this question before).
Ige Abidemi says
Hi stella. am planning my wedding next year with not up to 100 guest for the traditional wedding. am skipping sourveniers, my fiance is a photographer and am using one free open space like that. so am working only on the decor, food and drinks, alaga, couples attire and am looking at 200k.
Stella Anokam says
Hello Ige. Nice to see you around. I like your plan, but hope your fiancé would make solid arrangement for someone else to photograph the wedding (since he cannot possibly be the groom and the photographer on same day).
Now, to your question: Here are my views:
The amount may be enough if you can comfortably spend half of that on food and drinks, and the balance N100k on the other things (alaga, décor and your outfits). I believe you can make it work by renting a beautiful wedding gown.
For the balance N100k to be enough for 100 guests, that comes to finding a way to spend N1k per guest on both food and drinks. This one would be tight, considering the increasing cost of food items in Nigeria. Can you find a caterer to deliver food plus a drink (per person) at N1k? Or would your friends and relatives be able to use that amount to cook for 100 people, and still provide drinks inside?
I think it would be tight to work with that for food. One way to ease the stress is to consider inviting less than 100 people – so that you’ll have more money to spend on quality food for the fewer guests that would be there.
Your budget would work for a small, fine wedding BUT you’ll need to still figure out the exact number of people to invite, based on that N100k feeding logistics – 50 people? 70 people? 80 people?