I am planning a wedding right now and JESUS LORD it is expensive. In addition I am planning it from afar without a coordinator and none of my bridesmaids are nearby. I am not one of those ppl who dreamed about this day from childhood and would have been happy with a gorg dress, amazing ring, and my father walking me down the aisle infront of 20 ppl followed by a lunch. But noooooo! My groom wanted a big party! Me, if I am doing the whole shebang, I want it classy. No community centre reception and DIY decor (unless I actually had family/ friends who did decor for a living).
Anyway on to your question...( may not necessarily apply to Nigerian weddings...
Ways to cut cost:
1. Prioritise elements of wedding and cut costs on those things falling at the bottom:
Top 3 priorities were food/ drinks, decor and ambiance. Bottom 3 were favours, transport and paper elements (menus/ programmes etc) As such, I'm going to either do my paper elements or have them made as cheap as possible, my groom got a friend with access to a few nice cars to get a deal on that for us (so no limo or vintage cars) and I am trying to find cheap (but practical) favours. Some ppl cut out favours entirely.
2. Cut back on cost of dress:
Though a beautiful dress was important to me I decided to be practical and face the fact that I wont be wearing it for more than 8 hours and even less if my mom has her way (she wants me to change for the reception). I bought my dress from a Chinese vendor Dressilyme.com that does knock offs or can create a dress from pics you send. It's a simple lace dress and didnt look exactly like the picture I sent but I paid $350 USD+ shipping to the Caribbean when the real one costs about $1200 USD. I intend to jazz it up by getting custom made jewellery from a local designer for about $160 USD. You can also check out another chinese vendor called Jasmine's. I didnt buy from them because they are more expensive and take longer to make the dress but the work is better. You can also buy preownded dresses or rent them
3. Tap into your DIY side:
I did not have much confidence in my creative side but I thought to myself that in this day of Google where EVERYTHING you need to know is online I should at least try. So I decided to make a flower and brooch bouquet. Got a lot of compliments on it, so I decided to make my brides maids bouquet, boutonnieres etc. They are satisfactory and cost like 1/3 of fresh bouquets. My groom even told me that I could actually do this on the side with more practise :).
4. Keep guest list down:
I have a large family and the groom has a lot of friends. It's been a struggle. We are losing the battle but still trying to keep our list at 130.
5. Utilise friends with talents:
My MCs will be one of his friends and one of mine. DJ is a friend of his. Videographer is a friend of mine. Try to find friends to make the cake, do your favours, co-ordinate etc.
6. Utilise networks:
I didnt have any to use but my cousin's reception was held at a hall owned by the social club his father was member of. Think he got it at half off.
7. Use up and coming vendors:
If you are willing to take the risk, hire people who are relatively new to the industry. My photographer is not one of the big names in my country but he also charged 2/3 what they did. I can see from his facebook that he is not AS good but good enough for my requirements plus he is getting better at each wedding. Also up and coming people are more open to ideas and give 110% because they are trying to build a client base. Do your research though. I found a potential day coordinator that was only about 2 yrs in the business and charging 1/2 of what others were. I found one of her recent clients on facebook and also a friend had her as a friend and they both said the same thing : she is NOT the most organised. So research research research first!
Edited by jdoriginal - Jan 08 2014 at 9:02am