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Most couples will battle with their budget at some point during their wedding planning.

While there are plenty of cost saving tips out there some of the advice is questionable. Hiring amateurs or going the DIY route can easily end in tears. The good news is that there are a few tricks that we can share with you to help you save some bucks without spoiling your big day.

  1. Get ruthless with your guest list

The single biggest thing you can do to reduce costs is cut your number of guests. Calculate exactly how much each additional person is costing you. This will help you to make better decisions and more readily remove names without remorse.

  1. Opt for a less popular date or time

By choosing a weekday, an off season date or a breakfast celebration over an evening reception you can take advantage of lower venue rates while scoring room to negotiate with all of your providers. Any one of these options will also allow you to make shorter notice bookings giving you even more leverage.

  1. Hire your wedding attire

There is no stigma attached to hiring your gown and suits. Brides that have been there will tell you that realistically you are not going to look at your dress ever again let alone wear it. If it’s a must for you to own yours consider buying second hand. Connect with local wedding planning communities on social media for great deals direct from former brides.

  1. Get your priorities straight

There will inevitably be certain aspects of your wedding that you want to splurge on. If you know what is important to you and what is not you can do some selective big spending even if you are on a tight budget. Make a list of your must haves. Decide if food trumps entertainment or if lavish flowers take priority over a vintage car.

  1. Fake your cake

If you don’t plan to share your wedding cake with all of your guests you can order some dummy layers. This will bring down the bill without compromising the overall look.

  1. Choose a venue that includes a lot

Watch out for hidden costs and be sure to compare like with like. Venues like Hudson’s that don’t require much extra décor and include plenty with their venue fee will save you a fortune.

  1. Hit the sales

Research your vendors to find out if they have any upcoming sales. In recent years Black Friday has become huge in South Africa. While retailers aim to use this to get consumers to make impulse buys you can get wise by not making the purchase you were going to make anyway until the sale is on.

  1. Get your florist on board

Flowers are notoriously expensive. If your centrepieces aren’t a big deal for you it is worth discussing this with your florist. Ask them for pocket friendly suggestions before setting your heart on something you saw on Pinterest. You can spend less on décor if you are prepared to make compromises such as using minimal blooms and plenty of greenery or having candles as your main point of focus.

  1. Modify your menu

Most caterers will be reluctant to offer you a discount but you can get clever by swapping out courses. Serve wedding cake for dessert and allocate the money saved towards canapés. If you don’t want to forgo pudding consider scrapping the canapés altogether. Depending on the timing of your wedding they are not essential.

  1. Make favours work double time

When planning your table décor factor in your favours. If they are prettily packaged and match your theme you can use them to add interest to your place settings. This removes the need for napkin rings, ribbons or other details that add up.

  1. Have less tables

More tables equal more décor and thereby more cost. To keep the quantity of tablecloths and centrepieces required to a minimum arrange your seating plan to allow the maximum number of guests per table.

  1. Couple up

You can cut the quantity of some of your wedding items in half by providing one per couple instead of one per person. This can be applied to favours, printed menus, orders of service, confetti packets and parasols offered at the ceremony.


Book a venue that will keep your budget in mind. Schedule a viewing of Hudson’s venue to start planning your wedding with us without breaking the bank.

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