Love the wedding, invest in the marriage

Getting married in South Africa is an expensive business. Accurate numbers are hard to find, but depending on the wedding planner, the costs could be anything from R70 000 to R130 000 for 80 to 100 people.

Marlies Kappers, head of marketing at financial services provider, DirectAxis, says that everyone wants a wonderful wedding but in the long run memories are more important than how much money was spent.

“Of course, every bride wants to be beautiful and every couple wants to have a wonderful time with their family and friends. These things all cost money and it’s better to spend it on things that are important to you as a couple rather than being extravagant to impress the guests.”

Today young couples often need to carry the wedding costs, because the tradition of the bride’s parents paying for the nuptials and the groom’s family paying for the drinks seems to be waning.

For a young couple wanting to get married this means either having to find a way to get the money or postponing the wedding until they can afford it.

For some, this might mean applying for a loan.

The application process should be quick and straightforward if the applicants meet the affordability requirements regulated by the National Credit Act, the money can be available within 24 hours of approval.

If you are thinking about getting a loan to get married, then Marlies suggests considering the following:

Work out a budget. How much can you afford? Use a loan calculator such as the one found here to determine what your repayments will be. Once you know how much you can spend you can plan accordingly.

Once you know your budget, you can start working out how much you can afford for the dress, how many people to invite and scout appropriate venues.

There are no hard-and-fast rules to wedding budgets, but the major costs will be venue hire and food and drink which will comprise about 50% of the budget. Other costs include the dress and accessories, photography, music, flowers and décor, invitations and the table dressing. Each of these will make up between 10% – 15% of the costs.

Think about things that are important to you and your fiancé and which will contribute to warm, abiding memories. If you’re both into nature and the outdoors, perhaps you could consider a beautiful garden somewhere.

When planning, remember to leave a reasonable contingency of 15% for unexpected costs.

“Another way many young people today create abiding memories is to ask guests to contribute towards their honeymoon, rather than buy them wedding presents,” says Marlies.

“Although planning and budgeting may seem the least romantic aspect of your wedding, you’ll love each other for having done it for the rest of your married life,” she says.

All articles written by a STAFF WRITER have been checked and verified to the best of our abilities. Should you have any queries or concerns, please don't hesitate to email them to

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