How much does a SA wedding cost in 2020

By now, you must have lived and relived your wedding day numerous times. Your imagination can run away with you having Pinterest in your pocket to show you extravagant weddings that most of us can only dream of, but with a little help on where to apply your budget, we assure you that your day will cover everything.

Love is in the air and so are your fairytale wedding dreams. You are totally into it if you:

  • Check bridal dresses, accessories, and shoes all-day
  • Secretly practice your wedding vows before going to bed
  • Silently observe and learn from happily married couples around you
  • Visit home furnishing stores and preparing to ‘nest’
  • Can’t stop thinking about walking down the aisle

Well, if the above holds true, then, love has hit you hard. This is the part where we have to make you familiar with another hard-hitting reality, your wedding is the priciest and most expensive party you will probably ever throw and poor budgeting will ruin your day and crash millions of memories that you are planning to make.

It is certainly the least glamorous part of wedding planning, but it is financially the most important too. Whether it is a small budget wedding or a big opulent wedding, distributing the budget evenly is no less crucial than carefully choosing your partner for the rest of your life (as many poor financial decisions can break many homes)!

After talking to famous wedding planners and doing hours of ground research, we came across this budget breakup so that you still feel the love in the air without stressing too much about your budget.

Bride Control Wedding Budget

On average, an elegant wedding in South Africa costs approximately R70 000 to R150 000 for 80 to 100 guests. This ranges between R875 and R1 500 per guest. Now, here’s a quick run-through of the entire budget break-up for you to consider:

50 Percent: Venue, Catering and Rental Costs

Marriages are planned in heaven but finalizing a wedding venue for your heavenly wedding is another hell of a task. Here’s a recipe to make it taste a little less bitter for you.

Make up your mind and decide exactly what you want

There are endless venue options but don’t get lost in it. Filter by your type and minimize the selection. If you two prefer outdoor views and serenity, then getting hitched in a wine estate or farm will be the perfect choice for you to make. This venue will cost you somewhere around R50 000 to R70 000 (might vary based on the time of the year). However, if you two are more of a ‘stay indoor’ type, then a perfect ballroom venue is your go-to choice. It will cost you somewhere between R45 000 to R70 000. Please see that these packages include a fixed amount of cutlery, crockery, glassware, tables, and chairs. SHOP VENUES

For catering, good food is always equivalent to happy guests with great smiles and feedback. Never leave this for last, it often happens that the good caterers are pre-booked and you lose your chance of creating a striking impression despite your willingness to pay. Some venues have in house catering while others allow for external caterers. Any decent catering service in South Africa will charge you R450 to R850 per head. Go on, book yours now. SHOP CATERERS


20 Percent: Wedding Attire and Photography

A pretty wedding dress should cost you somewhere around R15 000. Of course, it can go passed R100 000 and come down to as low as R4 000 but R15 000 was the most beautiful and adequate option. We hope this range gives you a fair idea. SAY YES to the DRESS - White Dresses or African Traditional or Indian Traditional 

A skilled photographer with an impressive portfolio can be hired for somewhere around R1 400 per hour. However, the range varies from R100 per hour to R2 500 per hour. Remember that you want to be selective since you are looking for both skill and reliability to show up on the day and provide you with your footage thereafter. After all, it’s all about preserving memories that matter. EXPLORE PHOTOGRAPHERS For more help on selecting your photographers, see Wedding Photographer 8 Point Check


9 Percent: Hair and Makeup

We understand this section might tempt you but don’t spend more than 9% on your hair and makeup. Or else, you will end up losing out on other important items to complete your day. 9% is more than enough for your beauty needs! You’re beautiful just the way you are. SHOP STYLISTS - Hair and Makeup


8 Percent: Décor

Flowers are expensive, we know! No matter from which part of the country you try to source or import, this section will eat up a major part of your budget. But it’s ok, let’s keep it 8% for the sake of good photography and ambiance. SHOP DÉCOR & FLOWERS A two-tier wedding cake ranges from R600 to R3 500. SHOP CAKES 


9 Percent: Entertainment & Stationery 

Who remembers a boring wedding? Well, nobody.

Allot 9% of your budget for your guests’ entertainment and stationery. A premium quality, laser cut wedding invitation card with wooden embellishments and engraved initials will cost somewhere around R60 per piece while a floral laser printed will cost approx. R20 per piece. You have a wide range of vendors and variety to choose from. EXPLORE DJs & Lighting or SHOP Invites & Websites


4 Percent: Transportation and Goodies for Guests

Everyone loves post-wedding calls of appreciation. If the guests are calling you after getting overwhelmed with your hosting and gifts, you have certainly done something good and memorable. Dedicate the remaining 4% of your budget for the proper care and happiness of your wedding guests. You can either go for customized gifts or a standard one based on your remaining amount. SHOP FAVOURS

Here’s one final tip for you to plan your day. Remember to calculate ROI before each investment. Here, ROI need not be monetary, it can be a dream you do not want to give up or something sentimental. Remember it’s give and take and each couple will be willing to forgo some things to make sure they have their non-negotiables. Pay attention to every detail with an open heart and an open mind then, plan your budget accordingly. Once you have an idea on budget, start planning with our easy online Checklist.

We hope this will help you in making a proper budget for your wedding without putting you into hot waters. Please note that our research is based on an above average wedding in South Africa, you may incur less or more than this depending on your choices. Regardless of the budget, remember that there is no constraint on choosing to be a happy bridal couple no matter what the day throws at you. You will definitely not be able to control every minute detail but you can control how you react, after all the most important thing of the day is getting to call your spouse yours forever.

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