Wedding on a Budget: When to Splurge and When to Save


In Afrikaans, there is a saying, “Goedkoop is duur koop.” For those who don’t understand the Afrikaans language, this saying implies that buying things for cheap will end up costing you more money in the long run, as the item won’t last and will have to be replaced. Now, this might be true in many cases, but when it comes to a wedding some things only need to last one day.

We investigate which products and services are okay to skimp on and which parts of your wedding you should throw money at.


A Photographer

One day after your big day, the photos are all you will have to remember the special occasion. So, it’s important not to be too frugal on this matter. However, some of the prices I saw while looking for a photographer knocked me off my three-tiered cake!

Beware of paying too much. Look for someone reasonably priced with a great portfolio.

The Catering

For thousands of years all weddings have been based around one thing – a feast. Now, caviar and carpaccio don’t need to be on the menu, but it is important that whatever is served is top quality and tasty. Rather spend a bit more and have empty plates and satisfied guests.

Your Shoes

It’s a known fact that the more expensive the shoes, the more comfortable they are. It’s all about the quality. Expensive shoes have more padding, are made from better materials, offer more support for the arch of the foot and it takes hardly anytime to walk them in. If you’re planning on heels and a good time on the dance floor, buy good shoes for your big day that you can wear long after the wedding.



While flowers are quite literally the centrepiece to your wedding, remember that they only need to last a day. It’s not necessary to order flowers through a fancy florist when you can collect beautiful blooms directly from a flower farm or wholesaler and get your bridesmaids to help you put together the arrangements. I do advise a practice run though.

Manicure and Pedicure

Unless you’re into tips, gel and the works, it’s just not worth spending a few hundred bucks on getting your nails done. The night before the wedding, organise a sleepover with your bridesmaids and make it a pamper party. Take turns to give each other manis and pedis and get the steadiest hand in the house to paint your nails in the colour of your choice.

Hiring a Car

The days of driving off mid-reception with a ‘just married’ sign, tins trailing the car and guests waving their goodbyes are long gone. That’s exactly why hiring a car is unnecessary. If your own car isn’t quite luxury, then get a family member to drive you in a more elegant variety or why not borrow something a little bit unexpected like a beetle, mini or tractor.

Read these other great wedding articles by Terri:

Planning a Wedding Online
Your Wedding Budget: Necessities vs. Niceties
Antenuptial Contract: What to Do Before Saying I Do

You can find Terri on Twitter @terrilategan


About Author

Terri de Sousa is a copywriter who graduated from the AAA School of Advertising in Cape Town. She loves finding a good bargain, negotiating a better deal and getting value for money. She is also an avid blogger, sharing her experiences and opinions.