How To Actually Pay For Your Wedding

Your wedding is probably the priciest party you’ll ever throw in your life. It’s easy to say you’ll stick to a budget, or have tons of fabulous DIY (Do it yourself) details, but at the end of the day, your venue and catering bill could amount to way more than you imagined. It’s important to understand how your budget will be broken down. Saving up for the wedding isn’t an insurmountable task—we promise. Here’s how to save up and pay for your wedding by spending smartly and cutting back a little along the way.

Use this simple math equation.

If you have a big budget goal that seems daunting, divide it into smaller chunks that are easier to digest. The simple math trick that makes it all work? Take the sum of your desired budget and divide it by the number of months you have to save up. Getting married in a year with a budget of 30,000,000 million? Divide 30,000,000 by 12 (which equals to about 2.5 million per month). If that amount seems like too much per month, add more time or try cutting back on a few of your big-ticket monthly expenses to help you save.

Where should this money go? Into a newly created “wedding account,” of course. Throughout your life, having a savings account dedicated to something more exciting than a retirement plan, like travel, a wedding or another big event, is a good idea and will help make saving more fun. Obviously, the amount of time you’ll need to save up for a wedding depends on your current income and expenses. For example, if you can only save 1 million a month, but your dream wedding looks like it will cost somewhere in the 50,000,000 million range, you’ll be saving for over five years.

Therefore, when you’re thinking of your budget, work within realistic parameters and don’t set unattainable goals. For some couples, more drastic sacrifices will be required, while other to-be-weds will be splitting the cost with relatives and friends to help lighten the load. Think about what’s best for you and your partner and what makes the sense. Be practical about your limits. The amount of time it takes you to save will depend entirely on your own circumstances.

Cut back on monthly expenses.

Do you belong to a gym, club or subscription service that takes a monthly sum out of your account? Cutting back on these types of expenses can have some of the quickest effects on your account balance. Turning off your DSTV subscription could save you good amount a month, and ending a gym membership could all also better your savings. You’re not going to give up your mobile phone (airtime), but you might be able to change the data plans. Even 50,000 off a monthly bill can save you 600,000 shillings over the course of a year. You can also consider cutting out nonessential monthly costs. We’re not talking about your health plan, that’s non-negotiable.

Stop little spending habits that add up.

Scale down your shopping during the months you’re saving or only buy lunch out one day a week. You’ll begin to see a little wiggle room for your wedding account in no time. It could be your coffee, bottled water, snacks, eating out for lunch and dinner, or having drinks with your mates. It could even be taking a cab or boda-boda instead of taking the taxi, or parking your car closer to your office and therefore paying a higher parking fee. A thousand shilling here, three thousand there—it adds up over days and weeks. Cutting back on a few (or a lot) of these expenditures can result in saving up some good money at the end of the month. But don’t worry—cutting out these expenses isn’t going to change your whole life for the next year. Trust us, time flies when you’re wedding planning.

Make bigger sacrifices, if you’re willing.

Looking for any possible way to cut costs or find extra money to help pay for your wedding? There are some more drastic measures you can take as well. You could move in with your spouse if you haven’t already to save on rent for the year. If you both own a car, consider selling one of them—that itself could save you more than 10 million in expenses like gas, tune-ups and insurance. Such expenses from that car could pay for a third of the wedding.

Avoid debts.

One big thing to keep in mind: Don’t start your marriage off in debt—it’s never a good idea—and don’t consider paying for things with money you don’t have and won’t have for a long time. In other words, you avoid taking any loans to cover costs. “Going into marriage with debt for a one-day party is a huge mistake,” Bach says. “People start their lives in these huge financial holes and it’s just a shame. It’s smart to create a specific wedding account to put money into and then simply reverse the math to come up with your savings plan.” Bottom line: Don’t spend more than you can afford.

Think of creative ways to make more cash.

Have you considered selling items you don’t need anymore online? Or even take a few gigs if you time allows you to. This can be a great way to supplement your wedding fund. Once you have a plan in place to actually pay for your wedding, start a wedding budget. It’s also worth checking out some planning advice to get a handle on the whole process. Whatever kind of help you need, we’ve got you completely covered via keep you on track every step of the way.



Real Weddings

Salma Sandra's Nikka via mikolo