How Much Does a Wedding Cost in South Africa?

This is one of the first questions asked when you plan on getting married; what does a wedding cost? We chat to a few of South Africa’s top wedding coordinators to find out what they have to say on the cost of a wedding in South Africa. Whether you are a local or an international couple looking to have a destination wedding in SA, this should be a helpful blog to get you started.

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How Much Does a Wedding Cost?

A difficult one to answer right?  The cost of a wedding varies immensely, and each couple’s budget will be different. We have featured weddings across the spectrum in our blog; from a small, intimate ceremony on the beach, to massive and luxurious, extravagant weddings costing over a million rands.

That is why it is very difficult to predict how much your wedding will cost. There are many variables to consider. Some people will want lots of flowers decorating every surface, while someone else might prefer a simple, single centrepiece. You might find that it is important to have the best photographer available, where someone else doesn’t care so much about their wedding photos. It depends on what you want.

Some of the important budget points to consider:
  • How many guests will attend?
  • Where and when do you want to get married?
  • Will you need to cover accommodation costs for your guests?
  • Are you willing to spend on a good photographer?
  • Do you want wedding videography?
  • Flowers! They are expensive. How important are flowers?

There are many blogs out there with incorrect or outdated information when it comes to what you can expect to pay for a wedding. Especially for South African weddings. And this is mainly because a budget is such an individual thing. The best we can do is to give you some advice and tips to have in mind when you start planning your budget. A good idea is to contact a wedding planner for a consultation, as they will have up to date knowledge on what service providers currently charge.

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How Many Guests Are Too Many Guests?

One of the biggest elements that will determine the cost of your wedding is your number of guests. Keep in mind that each guest is a chair, a knife and fork, a plate, an entire plate of food and drinks. It all adds up and the more guests you have the higher your budget will be. Sit together and set up an estimated guest list before you start your planning. This will help you get a better idea of what everything will cost.

To help our Pink Book brides estimate what their wedding will cost, our Wedding Budget Series features wedding planners given percentage breakdowns for planning a wedding with R50 000, R100 000 and R250 000. This handy series gives you an estimated cost of what you can expect to pay for a budget, average and high-end wedding.

The Cost of a Destination Wedding in South Africa

If you are looking to have a destination wedding in South Africa, you are in luck! Industry professionals say that you can plan your dream wedding in SA, for a fraction of the price it would cost you back home. Coordinator Tracy Branford of Trunk Events estimates that you can comfortably have an elegant wedding with all the latest decor & trends at approximately R250 000. This includes venue, photos, videography, food, hair & makeup, etc. So budget-wise, for international clients who get married in South Africa, it’s definitely a win. South Africa has lots of amazing things to offer as a wedding destination.

The wedding vendors are world-class, and food, wine, and entertainment are extraordinary. Cara-Lee, of Mosaic Weddings, finds that a lot of her couples from the UK want to have the full three-day wedding, and it is something they would not be able to afford back home. Here they can enjoy a grand wedding, the rehearsal dinner, a next-day brunch with all their guests – all for the same amount of money. When it comes to the luxury, high-end budget weddings, some international clients are prepared to spend amounts of R850 000 and above. But these budgets will all depend on the client’s requirements.

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Why You Need To Have A Wedding Budget Sheet

You have to be able to afford your wedding. Everyone has dreams of what their perfect wedding will be, but sometimes you need to be realistic. You will need to understand what you can afford and plan accordingly; so having a budget sheet as a guideline will help you keep track. Your wedding budget sheet will show you on which vendors you have gone over budget, or where you have a little more to spend. Sticking to a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have the wedding that you want.

You will just need to be open to compromise. Vendors or wedding coordinators will be able to recommend alternative options if you give them a realistic price range. Perhaps you can’t have orchids everywhere, but there are other flower options that are just as beautiful but more affordable. Be open to suggestions and take advice from the experts. At the end of the day, you need to enjoy your special day, but you don’t want to start your married life completely broke or in serious debt.

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Tips For Managing Your Budget

1. Get an Idea of What Things Cost

If this is your first time involved in wedding planning, you probably have no idea what things cost. How much is the average cost of a venue? What do photographers charge? And what is the most expensive part of a wedding? So it is important to get a rough estimate of the industry-standard costs before you start planning. A good idea is to go for a consultation with a wedding planner. They plan these events on a daily basis and will be able to give you an idea of what things really cost.

2. Get Comparative Quotes

Another important tip is to get comparative quotes. Even if you have found your perfect (dress/photographer/decor/etc.) from one supplier, get prices from different vendors, just to give you options. Try to get a quote BELOW budget, ON budget, and OVER budget. Then you can sit down and decide which option is the best. Perhaps you can save some money on some vendors and allocate it elsewhere. Maybe you can save some money on the decor and splurge on that dream dress.

3. Get Coordinator Discounts on Vendors

Not only does a wedding planner help with planning and coordinating all the tiny details, but they also have other benefits. Often planners have great relationships with service providers and they can get a good deal from those service providers. They are often able to offer you things like discounted prices or extra freebies. Coordinators build up great relationships with certain service providers that they use often, and you could definitely benefit from this.

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Thanks to our featured wedding planners for their time and advice! Featured planners are Authentic Planning, Mosaic Weddings, IDo4U, Nicolette Weddings, and Trunk Events. And thanks to ZaraZoo Cine for the videography and editing.

Photos featured in this blog are from these amazing South African wedding photographers: Andy & Szerdi, Jacki Bruniquel, Sulet Fourie Photography, ZaraZoo Photography.

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