Like buying a house or a car, weddings can be quite costly, hence its important to save so that you don’t start your new life with your partner with a huge debt.

Product Specialist at FNB Financial Advisory Ester Ochse says you have to be realistic about your wedding budget.

“One needs to work out how much the budget is for the wedding and then put a savings plan in place to reach that goal. When it comes to saving for a wedding and drafting the budget, it is best to be realistic about how much to spend,” Ochse says.

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She also encourages couples to start saving as soon as the decision has been made to tie the knot.

“As with anything to do with saving and investing, the earlier one starts, the greater the likelihood of reaching one’s goals,” she says.

And depending on your budget, your vision and what you’d like to spend on your wedding, the time it takes to save for a wedding will vary for every couple.

Recent statistics on South African marriages and divorce rates have shown that the biggest issues that lead to divorce in South Africa are around finances.

And while your wedding might not lead to divorce, starting a marriage with debts can really put a damper on any relationship.

While taking a loan might seem like an easy way out, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of doing this. Are you willing to deal with the stress of being in debt after just getting married or would you rather start afresh and enjoy your life together?

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Ochse can’t emphasise the importance of saving for your big day enough.

“It is advisable to save up for a wedding than to go into debt for this type of expense. The day, while precious to the married couple, is just another party for the guests. So going into debt to try to impress the guests is not a good idea. One should definitely stay within the means of the soon-to-be-married couple,” she says.

There are plenty of investments from which to choose, including short-term products and longer-term vehicles.

“This will depend on how far in advance the engaged couple starts planning,” she says. 

Here are some ways to budget wisely for a wedding:

  • It is important to draft a full budget for the wedding, including the invitations, anti-nuptial contract, flowers, dress and catering.
  • Remember to keep some money in the kitty for unexpected expenses.
  • The couple should look around for discounts and bargains and consider renting the wedding dress and making their own invitations instead of having them professionally made.
  • It is important that there is open communication between the bride and groom on what they can afford. This will also be beneficial for future discussions regarding finances.