How to Save Money on Wedding Costs in Nigeria

Save money on wedding in Nigeria

 According to data from Statistica, upto 70% of all women between 15-49 in Nigeria in 2018 were married. Wedding planning can be a daunting and expensive endeavor, with the average cost of a wedding in Nigeria ranging from ₦500,000 to ₦5,000,000 or more. The pressure to create a perfect and memorable day can lead couples to overspend and break the bank. However, it’s important to remember that a successful wedding is not solely defined by its price tag.

With the right adjustments and mindset, couples can have a beautiful and joyous wedding celebration without incurring unnecessary debt. So, how can you save money on wedding costs? One simple answer is to prioritize and focus on what truly matters to you as a couple. Identify the aspects of the wedding that are most important to you and allocate your budget accordingly. For example, if you’re not particular about a live band, consider hiring a DJ or creating a playlist instead.

In this article, we’ll explore various ways to save money on all major aspects of planning and holding a wedding, from planning and attire to decorations, food, and more. Implementing the steps and ideas shared here ensures that you can have a stunning and memorable wedding celebration that fits your budget and leaves you with a sense of financial freedom and peace of mind. 

couple wedding photoshoot

How to save money on all major aspect of planning your wedding 

The planning stage of your wedding is where the foundation of your special day is laid. It’s essential to be mindful of your spending habits during this phase to ensure you stay within your budget. 

Before we share the tips on how you can spend less on every major area of wedding celebration, let’s take care of two foundational aspects that is crucial to make saving money for your wedding celebration possible: creating a budget and steps to stick to it. 

Setting a Realistic Budget: 

  • Determine how much you can afford to spend on your wedding: Begin by assessing your overall financial situation. Calculate your total savings and any contributions from family members. Ensure you consider other financial commitments and future plans. If you have N800,000 in savings and plan to use N500,000 for the wedding, leave a buffer for emergencies or future needs.
  •  Prioritize your spending based on what’s most important to you as a couple (e.g., venue, food, photography): Discuss with your partner which aspects of the wedding are most significant. This helps in making decisions where compromises are necessary. If you both value photography highly but are less concerned about having a live band, allocate more budget to hire a top-tier photographer.
  •  Allocate your budget accordingly (e.g., 40% for venue, 20% for food, etc.): Break down your total budget into categories. Assign percentages based on your priorities.  Allocate 40% for the venue, 20% for catering, 15% for photography, 10% for attire, 5% for invitations, and 10% for miscellaneous expenses.

Stick to Your Budget

  • Track your expenses to ensure you’re staying within budget: You can simply use a hardcover paper or your phone to detail and monitor all wedding-related expenses. Regularly update and review your spending. Track deposits, payments, and receipts and constantly review it with your partner. .
  • Make adjustments as needed to avoid overspending: Be flexible and ready to reallocate funds if one area exceeds the budget. Look for cost-effective alternatives without compromising quality.  If your desired venue costs more than planned, consider trimming the budget for decorations or opting for a more affordable catering option.

Here are some valuable tips on how to save money on every core area of planning your wedding ceremony: 

How to save money on wedding reception

Planning a wedding reception can be one of the most significant expenses of your big day, but there are many ways to keep costs down while still creating a memorable event. You can save money on wedding reception in Nigeria by choosing an affordable venue, limiting the guest list, using a music playlist instead of a DJ or live band, and offering small chops and other affordable meal types. Here are some practical tips to help you achieve a budget-friendly celebration. 

Choose an Affordable Venue

Selecting a budget-friendly venue is one of the most effective ways to save money on your wedding reception. For example, in Lagos, there are less exquisite event centers that are affordable. Additionally, some venues may offer discounts for off-peak dates or weekday weddings. You can use a website like OgaVenue to compare venues in Lagos and across other parts of Nigeria.

Limit the Guest List

Trimming down your guest list can significantly reduce costs. Fewer guests mean fewer meals, drinks, and less space required. Invite only close family and friends, and consider having an intimate ceremony followed by a larger casual celebration if you want to include more people.

Offer Small Chops and Affordable Meal Types

Serving small chops and other affordable meal options can be a cost-effective way to cater to your guests. This approach not only cuts down on catering costs but also provides a variety of flavors for your guests to enjoy. 

Rent Instead of Buy

When it comes to items like tableware, linens, and furniture, renting can be much cheaper than buying. Look for rental companies that offer package deals or discounts for multiple items. Renting ensures you have everything you need for the day without the high cost and hassle of purchasing.

Use a Playlist Instead of a DJ

If hiring a DJ or live band is out of your budget, consider creating a playlist of your favorite songs and using a good sound system. Many venues have the necessary equipment, or you can rent it at a reasonable price. This way, you can still enjoy great music without the additional cost of live entertainment.

Simplify the Cake

Opt for a smaller wedding cake or a simple design to cut costs. Alternatively, you can also consider a dessert table with a variety of sweets, which can be more affordable and offer guests more options.   

How to save money on wedding dress

Your wedding dress is a significant part of your special day, but you don’t need to bore a hole in your pocket to achieve it. How to save money on wedding dresses in Nigeria is by renting a wedding gown, buying a pre-owned one, shopping using discount codes online, dress made from affordable materials by local tailors, using accessories to enhance your dress, etc. Here are some tips on how to save money on your wedding dress: 

  • Consider renting a dress: Renting a wedding dress can be a cost-effective option. Prices typically range from ₦20,000 to ₦50,000, making it more affordable than purchasing a new dress. Many rental shops, such as Rent a Wedding Dress Nigeria, offer a wide range of designs and sizes, ensuring you can find a dress that fits your style and budget. Rental shops often carry dresses in various styles, from classic to modern, and in multiple sizes to accommodate different body types. 
  • Buy a Pre-Owned Wedding Dress: By buying a pre-owned wedding dress, you can save up to 50% off the original price. It significantly reduces costs while still allowing you to wear a beautiful gown. Many pre-owned dresses are like-new, as they have only been worn briefly for the wedding ceremony and reception. 
  • Shop during sales or use discount codes online: Timing your purchase with sales events or using discount codes can lead to savings on wedding dresses. Some offer a range of affordable wedding dresses starting from ₦30,000, especially during seasonal sales which you can always consider.
  • Look for dresses made from affordable materials: opt for materials like lace or tulle, which can be less expensive but still look elegant and beautiful. Dresses made from these materials can be found at a lower price point while maintaining a high-quality appearance.
  • Avoid designer dresses and opt for more affordable brands or local designers:  Choosing non-designer brands or local designers can help you stay within budget without sacrificing style. 
  • Consider having your dress altered or modified: Instead of buying a new dress, you can alter or modify a family member’s or friend’s dress to make it uniquely yours. Adding new lace or beading to a simple gown can transform it into something special without the high cost.
  •  Use accessories to enhance your dress: Accessories like veils, belts, or jewelry can elevate the look of your dress without the need to buy a new one. A vintage belt or statement necklace can add a touch of glamour to a simple dress.

How to Save Money on Wedding Flowers

Wedding flowers can be a significant expense, but with some creativity and planning, you can save money without sacrificing beauty. You can save money on wedding flowers in Nigeria by using locally sourced flowers, as well as by doing some DIY flower arrangements.

  • Choose Locally Sourced Flowers

One of the best ways to save money on wedding flowers is to opt for locally sourced blooms. Not only are they often cheaper, but they also support local farmers and reduce your carbon footprint. By choosing flowers that are grown nearby, you can avoid additional shipping costs and contribute to the local economy. In Nigeria, for example, using locally available flowers like hibiscus or frangipani can be both cost-effective and environmentally friendly. These beautiful flowers are perfect for creating stunning arrangements without breaking the bank. 

  • Shop at Wholesale Markets or Online Retailers

Another smart tip is to shop for flowers at wholesale markets or through online retailers rather than traditional florists. Buying in bulk from wholesalers can lead to significant savings compared to purchasing from a local flower shop. This way, you get more value for your money and can allocate savings to other aspects of your wedding.

  • Work with an Affordable Florist or Utilize Your Wedding Planner

If you prefer to work with a professional, consider choosing an affordable florist or having your wedding planner handle the flower decorations as part of a bundled service. Many wedding planners can offer simple flower arrangements at a cheaper price, which can save you time and stress. By negotiating a package deal, you might find that the overall cost is lower, and you’ll still get beautiful decorations tailored to your theme. This approach not only helps you stick to your budget but also ensures that your wedding flowers are coordinated and professionally arranged.

How to Save Money on Wedding Decorations

Wedding decorations can be expensive, but with some creativity and resourcefulness, you can save money without sacrificing style. How to save money on wedding decorations is to repurpose items as decoration, use fabrics, find affordable options, use natural elements, and borrow from friends and families. Here are the ideas in detail:

  • Find Affordable Decoration Options

When planning your wedding, consider shopping at thrift stores, garage sales, or online marketplaces for affordable decorations. These places often have unique and inexpensive items that can be repurposed for your big day. For example, thrift stores might have vintage picture frames or glassware that can be perfect for table settings or photo displays. By hunting for these hidden gems, you can add a special touch to your wedding decor without spending a fortune. 

  • Make Your Own Decorations

Creating your own decorations is another great way to save money while adding a personal touch to your wedding. DIY projects like making paper flowers or pompoms can be both cost-effective and charming. These handmade decorations can bring color and whimsy to your venue, making it feel uniquely yours. There are plenty of tutorials available online to guide you through the process, so even if you’re not particularly crafty, you can still achieve beautiful results. Plus, involving friends and family in these DIY projects can be a fun and memorable part of your wedding preparation.

  • Mix and Match

Don’t be afraid to combine different styles and elements to create a unique look for your wedding. Mixing vintage thrift store finds with modern DIY decorations can result in an eclectic and personalized atmosphere. For example, you could pair elegant, vintage candelabras with colorful, handmade paper flowers to create stunning centerpieces. This approach not only makes your wedding decor more interesting and unique but also allows you to incorporate various elements that reflect your personality and taste. 

How to Save Money on Wedding Invitations

How to save money on wedding invitations in Nigeria includes the use of digital invitations, making your own DIY paper invitations, and finding affordable printing options. Follow the guide below to see exactly how to apply these wedding invitations cost-saving tips.  

  • Go Digital with Invitations

Consider using digital invitations, such as evites or email invitations, to save on paper and printing costs. Digital invitations eliminate the need for physical materials, significantly reducing expenses. Platforms like Evite allow you to send beautiful digital invitations for free or at a low cost. You can also share your invitations through social media accounts, making it convenient for you and your guests.

  • Design Your Own Digital Invitations

If you want a more personalized touch, design your own digital invitation using a template or a design tool. Tools like Canva offer a variety of templates that you can customize to match your wedding theme. With Canva, you can easily personalize your invitations with your own text and images, creating something unique and special without the expense of hiring a designer.

  • DIY Paper Invitations

For those who prefer traditional paper invitations, consider making them yourself. Crafting your invitations can be more budget-friendly than buying pre-made ones and adds a personal touch. Purchase high-quality cardstock and design your invitations at home using simple tools like paper cutters and glue. Adding personal touches like photos, ribbons, or embellishments can make your DIY invitations stand out and feel more luxurious.

  • Use Online Printing Services

To save on printing costs, consider using online printing services like Printivo. These services offer competitive prices and often have discounts or deals for bulk printing. They provide good quality products, making them a cost-effective choice for your wedding invitations.

  • Negotiate with Local Printers

If you prefer to work with local printers, don’t hesitate to negotiate for a better price. Ask for discounts, especially if you’re ordering in bulk or using their services for other wedding-related printing needs. Local printers may be willing to offer competitive rates to secure your business. 

How to Save Money on Wedding Desserts

Wedding cake can be a significant expense, but with some creativity and flexibility, you can save money without sacrificing taste or style.  You can save money on wedding desserts in Nigeria by providing smaller or alternative desserts, using affordable bakeries like the local bakeries, etc. We have explored these in detail below: 

  • Opt for Smaller or Alternative Desserts

One way to save on wedding desserts is to choose a smaller cake or set up a dessert table with multiple options. Instead of splurging on a large, expensive cake, consider a small two-tiered cake for the wedding party. Complement it with an assortment of cupcakes, cookies, and pastries for your guests. This not only keeps costs down but also offers your guests a variety of delicious treats to choose from.

  • Shop Around for Affordable Bakeries

Finding an affordable bakery can make a big difference in your wedding budget. Shop around and compare prices from different bakeries, especially those that specialize in wedding cakes. Local bakeries often provide high-quality cakes at a lower cost than larger, more well-known bakeries. Some may even offer package deals that include a cake, cupcakes, and other desserts, providing excellent value for your money.

  • Consider Local or Specialized Bakeries

Smaller or more specialized bakeries can offer more personalized service and better prices. Look for a bakery that frequently caters to weddings and can deliver a beautiful, delicious cake within your budget. These bakeries often have the experience and expertise to provide you with a stunning cake without the hefty price tag. 

Wedding proposal anime

How to Save Money on Wedding Food and Catering

Wedding food and catering can be expensive, but with some creativity and flexibility, you can save money without sacrificing taste or quality. You can save money on wedding food and catering in Nigeria by considering buffet-style or food truck catering, affordable catering options, and considering local catering companies, etc. Let’s explore these tips for finding affordable catering options in detail: 

  • Shop Around for Affordable Catering Options

Finding the right catering company can make a big difference in your wedding budget. Take the time to shop around and compare different catering companies to find affordable options that don’t sacrifice quality. Ask for package deals or discounts for larger orders. Many catering companies offer packages that include meals, appetizers, and desserts, which can help reduce the overall cost per item. By comparing prices and services, you can find a catering solution that fits your budget without compromising on taste or presentation.

  • Consider Local Catering Companies

Local catering companies often provide more competitive prices and personalized service. A local catering company that specializes in weddings might offer a complete package tailored to your needs and budget. These companies are often more flexible and willing to work with you to create a menu that suits your preferences and financial constraints. Additionally, supporting local businesses helps boost the community and can result in a more personalized and attentive service on your big day. 

  • Finger foods and appetizers: One effective way to save money on wedding catering is to serve finger foods or appetizers instead of a full meal. Offering a variety of small, easy-to-eat options can be more budget-friendly and allows guests to sample different flavors. This approach not only keeps costs down but also adds a touch of sophistication to your wedding reception as guests can mingle and enjoy a wide range of flavors without the formality of a sit-down dinner.  

How to Save Money on Wedding Photography

Hiring a wedding photographer can be a significant expense, but with some creativity and flexibility, you can save money without sacrificing quality. In Nigeria we see people paying up to half a million just for having a photographer or videographer for their wedding ceremony. 

Follow these tips to save money on hiring a wedding photographer in Nigeria – work with affordable photographers, consider a package that includes only the essentials, negotiate with photographers, go for a friend or family relative who is a photographer, etc. Let’s expand on these some more: 

  • Affordable Photography Packages

When it comes to capturing your wedding memories, finding an affordable photographer is key. Start by shopping around for photographers who offer budget-friendly packages or discounts. Look for those who provide seasonal discounts or special rates during the off-season or for weekday weddings. This can significantly reduce your photography costs without compromising on quality.

  • Essentials-Only Packages

Consider choosing a photography package that includes only the essentials, such as a set number of hours of coverage or a specific number of edited photos. For example, you might negotiate a package for ₦50,000 that includes 4 hours of coverage and 40 edited photos. This way, you ensure that the most important moments of your day are captured without paying for unnecessary extras.

  • Customizable Packages

Don’t hesitate to negotiate with photographers to customize a package that fits your budget and needs. Many photographers are willing to work with clients to create a tailored package that meets both financial constraints and photography preferences. For instance, you can arrange for the photographer to cover just the ceremony and key reception moments, reducing overall costs while still preserving the most important memories.

How to Save Money on Wedding Rentals

Wedding rentals can add up quickly, but with some creativity and resourcefulness, you can save money without sacrificing style or comfort. You can save money on wedding rentals in Nigeria by borrowing or repurposing items, renting only the essential items, and finding affordable rental options. Let’s expand on this some more below:  

  • Borrow or Repurpose Items

One effective way to cut costs on wedding rentals is to borrow items from friends, family, or neighbors. This can include tables, chairs, linens, or decorations. Borrowing these items can save you significant rental costs and add a personal touch to your wedding. For example, you could borrow your neighbor’s outdoor furniture for the reception or use your china and glassware for the table settings.

Repurposing items you already have can also be a creative and budget-friendly solution. Old jars or bottles can make charming vases or centerpieces. Mason jars or wine bottles can be transformed into beautiful vases for flowers or candle holders, adding a unique and personal element to your decor.

  • Affordable Rental Options

When you need to rent items, shop around for rental companies that offer affordable options or discounts. Compare prices and look for deals to find the best rates. Some rental companies provide package deals or discounts for booking multiple items, which can help you save even more.

  • Rent Only What You Need

Another way to reduce rental costs is to rent items only for the necessary hours or days. For example, you could rent tables and chairs just for the reception instead of the entire day. This approach can significantly cut down on rental time and costs, helping you stay within your budget.

How to Save Money on a Wedding Venue

The wedding venue is often the biggest expense, but with some creativity and flexibility, you can save money without sacrificing style or ambiance. We see people paying millions of naira for luxurious places for wedding venues but you can save money on a wedding venue by considering non-traditional or outdoor venues and finding affordable venues. Let’s expand some more on these tips for finding affordable wedding venue options in Nigeria:

  • Choose Outdoor Venues

Opting for outdoor venues like parks or open fields can be a beautiful and cost-effective choice for your wedding. Natural settings often require minimal decoration, which can help you save on decor costs. For instance, having your ceremony at a local park can provide a stunning backdrop without the high price tag associated with traditional venues. The natural beauty of these locations can create a memorable atmosphere for your special day. 

  • Affordable Venue Options

When searching for a wedding venue, shop around for those that offer affordable options or discounts. Look for venues that provide budget-friendly packages or off-peak rates. Some venues offer discounted rates for weekday weddings or during the off-season, making them a more economical choice. By being flexible with your wedding date, you can take advantage of these discounts and significantly reduce your venue costs.

  • Combine Ceremony and Reception Locations

Consider having both your ceremony and reception in the same location to save on transportation and decor costs. This can streamline your logistics and reduce overall expenses. Look for venues that can accommodate both events, such as a community center, a local hall, or even a friend’s backyard. Hosting both parts of your wedding in one place not only simplifies the planning process but also helps you save on travel and decoration costs.

How to Save Money on Wedding Transportation

Wedding transportation can be a significant expense, but with some creativity and resourcefulness, you can save money without sacrificing convenience or style. You can save money on your wedding transportation in Nigeria by borrowing cars from friends instead of renting assuming that you don’t have yours, by renting cheaper brands of vehicles, finding other affordable transportation options, and negotiating deals. Let’s explore these in details

Borrow Cars from Friends

One of the simplest ways to save on wedding transportation is to borrow cars from friends or family. If you don’t have a car, asking friends or family members to lend you their vehicles can be a cost-effective solution. This approach not only saves money but also adds a personal touch to your wedding day. Your loved ones will likely be happy to contribute to your special day in such a meaningful way.

Rent Cheaper Brands of Vehicles

If borrowing isn’t an option, consider renting more affordable brands of vehicles. Luxury cars can be tempting, but they come with a hefty price tag. Instead, opt for reliable and comfortable vehicles that are more budget-friendly. This will still ensure that you and your bridal party arrive in style without straining your budget.

Find Other Affordable Transportation Options

Exploring other affordable transportation options can also help cut costs. For instance, you could use ride-sharing services like Uber or Bolt for short trips or shuttles for transporting guests. These services can be more economical compared to traditional car rentals, especially for short distances. Additionally, coordinating carpools for your guests can reduce the number of vehicles needed, further saving on transportation costs.

Negotiate Deals

When renting vehicles, always try to negotiate deals. Many rental companies are open to offering discounts, especially if you are booking multiple vehicles or renting for a longer duration. Don’t hesitate to ask for special rates or packages that can help you stay within your budget. It’s also worth checking for any ongoing promotions or discounts that you might be eligible for.

Where to save money for your wedding  

In today’s digital age, technology, and fintech can be powerful tools in helping you save money for your wedding. One such tool is Sycamore NG, that helps you set goals such as for your wedding and give you all the tool you need to save towards it.

On the Sycamore Target savings app, you can save for your wedding goal in two ways: The flexible plan which allows you to put money aside whenever you want for your wedding in the future. Then there is the Goals Plan which automates the saving deduction process at the interval you have set. This interval can be daily, weekly, or monthly. 

To ensure you reach your wedding savings goal using the platform, you should calculate and estimate the amount it will cost for you to do your wedding, the number of months or years before your wedding and decide how much you will put aside either weekly or monthly to hit that figure. It helps to be realistic when setting these figures and take into consideration, your earnings, expenses, and lifestyle.  

In conclusion, saving money on wedding costs requires careful planning, creativity, and flexibility. Remember, it’s about celebrating love and commitment, not about overspending. Plan smart, your dream wedding is within reach. 

Sycamore NG Target Contribution offering allows people like you to set diverse savings goal, including saving money for your wedding, with features that empower you to hit these goals. You can choose to put money aside for your wedding savings goal at your own schedule or automate the saving deduction process. Get started here.

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