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Wedding is a big deal, that’s the truth. But being a big deal doesn’t necessarily mean you must spend big. You can successfully plan a small wedding and still have a great time with your spouse, your family and your guests. Planning a small wedding is not as easy as it may sound. You will need to put your feet down on a number of things, seek out the best bargain and learn to ignore a lot of things. In this piece, we shall be exploring all the small wedding ideas that will not hurt your pocket.
In all sincerity, it is expensive to get wedded, especially in a country where prices have skyrocketed recently, and the budget for a regular wedding is giving a housing budget a run for its money. Regardless, you can still plan a small wedding with just the amount you can afford.
What is a small wedding?
A small wedding can mean differently to different people. It is really about how you see the word ‘small’ itself. For a person, small might mean a kind of event meant for between 50 and 100 people. For another person, small could mean an event that lets you get close with every single guest at your event. Small could be determined by budget or by intimacy. And quite interestingly, you can still host a small event on a big budget. That would come down to your taste and preference for your guests. Examples of this kind of small wedding is the type celebrities like Jay Z & Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, Toke Makinwa, and Stephanie Okereke had.
This article will however focus on those who want to have a ‘Small budget Wedding’.
I guess you will permit me to then say that as far as this article is concerned, a small wedding is that wedding in which you cut your coats (costs) according to your limited budget.
But why should you plan a small wedding?
Planning a small wedding affords you the rare opportunity to do the following:
- You will have fewer guests to cater to, which means you’ll be having a personal event you can manage.
- You get an opportunity to spend your budget on the things that matter most to you. No unnecessary spending.
- There is little or no chance of having disgruntled guests. You will see to it that everyone is well catered for.
- Chances of things going wrong is drastically reduced. Having a large ceremony sometimes makes things get clumsy.
- You get to enjoy a level of privacy, even while celebrating your big day.
How do you plan a small wedding?
When planning a small wedding, you still get to follow the basic rules of planning a regular or big wedding. Only that in this regard, you tone down on your desires. Let’s get down to brass tacks on what you are to do.
Bearing in mind that we want to plan a small wedding because of the limited budget, the ideas that will be shared in this article will be somewhat ruthless and downright straight to the point. Get ready.
1. Set a date that favours your small plans.
It is important to note that the date you choose for your wedding can play a role in how you manage your budget for the wedding. It can either play out in the season and how cheap you find wedding materials in the market or play out on what day of the week you are getting wedded. If you are getting wedded on Saturday which is a weekend, a lot of people will want to be there. And depending on how strong your resolve is, you may be helpless when they start arriving. If you however consider shifting your wedding to a rare day like Thursday or Friday, you would have cut out your guest list by half because not all of them may be able to make it down. That way, you have less mouths to feed at the event.
2. Be strict about your invitation
Another way of making sure your wedding is small is by limiting the number of guests you expect. This is a good alternative to the first option I gave. You can just hand out invitation cards and state on it that it is only for those who have gotten your cards. You need to also stress on the cards that it only admits a number of persons. That will help you know just how many people you are expecting and those you will need to cater for. Note also that you may or may not need a ‘bouncer’ to enforce your strictly by invitation order.
3. Define your budget
This should actually come first, but it’s not too late at number 3. When planning your small wedding, the key word is ‘Budget’. Everything must come down to the lowest denomination of the currency you intend to spend. You need to determine how much you can raise for your event, and then strategically build a budget that fits just how much you are able to raise or can potentially raise. The budget will serve as a good box to operate from without running into trouble later. The good thing about doing your budget is that it can accommodate just about any amount you intend to spend. So, never pass on the opportunity to draw up a budget before getting down to real business of planning your wedding; big or small.
4. Get a cheap or free venue
Everything between Number 1 and 3 was about how to bring down the size of the people at your small wedding. Everything after number 3 will be about how to cut down on your spending as you plan. One of the first places to cut down this budget is in the venue for your wedding. Most people who have wedded will tell you that the venue is one of the cost heads that takes a lot of money in a wedding budget. If you can cut out the monster, you have solved about 50% of the entire issue with spending on your wedding.
How is this possible? The aim is to plan a small wedding, and that you means you have to get a cheap or free venue. Instead of renting a hall, you can look out for a large space that is not entirely for commercial purpose. Speak with the owners for a cut down fee just for that day. Alternatively, you can speak with the authorities of the church you intend to use for your wedding. If they have a small space just around the church, you can utilize it for your reception at a small price. If none of that is possible, you can as well use a large compound of your house or a friend’s. Either way, just cut down on what you’ll pay for venue.
5. Cut out the reception ceremony.
I have seen this play out before, and that’s why I’m including it. You really do not need a wedding reception if you think you can’t afford it. Just package the food in small packs and share it to your guests immediately after the church service. Everyone will eat and be merry in their homes whilst you go on your honeymoon and plan a future with your spouse. Nobody gets hurt in the pocket and life is good for everyone.
6. If you want a reception, make it short.
It may seem extreme to some people that reception should be cut out. Some people can’t even bear the thought. I understand. It’s fine to have a wedding reception, but you can still make it snappy. Since it is a small wedding, you don’t necessarily need a long reception. Cut to the chase and let everything be over as soon as possible. The new couple can get on with their lives quickly too.
7. Cut out the souvenirs.
In Nigeria, we are used to the practice of handing out souvenirs to guests who come to weddings, especially those who buy the popular ‘asoebi’ attire specially chosen for the wedding. As you plan a small wedding, you can do without the asoebi, and also do without the souvenirs. If anyone wants to hand out souvenirs, let it be their personal decision and their personal spending. You can stay out of it and use the money to give your guests a good time instead. They have so many souvenirs already, yours will only end up in the store rooms like others they have received in the past.
8. Enlist the help of family and friends.
You need help with anything at your wedding? Don’t go far. Look for family members or friends who can do it for you without charging you so much. Some of them can even do it pro bono. Do not be afraid to ask for help. A lot of them will be willing to go to lengths for you, because they will count on you to do same for them. Use the human resource around you to your benefit. Your friend may be willing to be your MC at the reception; you can get your sister to help you with decors; and also ask your cousin to help you provide music at your wedding too. What more? Even your parents can join you in planning a small wedding!
9. Hunt for bargains with your vendors.
If you can’t get the desired help you need from family and friends, then you need to hunt for bargains with your vendors. Make sure you don’t go overboard. It’s an event for just a few hours in a day. Go for a vendor that will do a good job without hurting your budget. It is a small wedding remember, you don’t need a celebrity appearance. Just look good, and be genuinely happy. You don’t need the best DJ in town to make your guests have a great time. The DJ in your neighbourhood can do the same thing for a very low price. Your decors do not have to be the most glamorous either, just make sure they are lovely enough.
How much does it cost to plan a small wedding?
Having taking note of areas you need to pay attention to when you are planning a small wedding, the next concern might be about how much it costs to plan a small wedding really. In all sincerity, no two weddings cost the same. There is no standard cost for how much a wedding cost. So many determines the cost, chief of them is your budget.
With just about any amount you have, you can have a wedding. The whole essence of the day is to be united in holy matrimony, so even if all you have is nothing, you can still have your wedding and be happy.