Inexpensive Wedding Ideas - Tips to Plan the Cheapest Wedding Ever!

Before writing this article on inexpensive wedding ideas many thoughts ran through my head and they are:

  • Is there still anything like a cheap wedding these days?

  • Low budget wedding, how low can one really get?

  • Is small budget wedding realistic?

These thoughts have likely crossed your mind too. And if it has you're on the right page because I'll answer all these questions before the end of this article.

But first why do you need to learn about inexpensive wedding ideas?

The first reason that will come to mind is because you and your groom to be don't have much to spend on your wedding. And the other will be because you want to save money. After all there's more to life than a wedding. You're starting a new life and wouldn't want your account to be in red after your wedding; that wouldn't help your new union at all.

But aside these two obvious reasons, in a previous article I titled cheap wedding plans I shared more practical reasons using some true life stories why you may want to consider an inexpensive wedding even though you have the money to spend. You may want to go read that article first before you continue with this article.

Inexpensive Wedding Ideas - Questions Answered

Okay so let's dive into sharing some inexpensive wedding ideas by answering the above questions I raised.

Is there still anything like a cheap wedding these days?

It makes sense to ask because what people call small wedding these days usually take half a million naira and above. And moderate weddings are from one million and above.

I don't know about you but for the average Nigerian this is not small money especially with many grooms to-be earning monthly salaries of N50, 000 and less. If a groom to be earning N50, 000 a month spends half a million on a supposedly low budget wedding he would have spent 10 months salary on a wedding. If that's the case how much will be left in his account for the upkeep of the new family he's starting?

At this rate it means to a small wedding and still have at least 3 months' salary in your account as savings you have to start saving for the wedding at least a year and two months to the time of your wedding. This may sound practical because some actually take longer than that to save for their wedding. But keep in mind there are far many graduates earning less than N50, 000 than those actually earning up to N50, 000. So what hope do such ones have? Do they have to wait all their lives to save up for a wedding or can they actually have a wedding with just a few months' salary savings?

To finally answer the question yes, there's still something like a cheap wedding. And it's not the half a million naira and above kind of cheap. It can be far much lesser than that. It's just a matter of how honest the bride and groom are with their situations and how willing they are to let go of:

  • Pride

  • The desire to show off

  • The concern about what people will say

  • And be able to make decisions and stand by them without letting their parents take over the wedding.

Some parents are very considerate. If I decide to do a really small wedding today I'm sure my parents will have no qualms about it. But many parents especially mothers will never allow it usually because of the fear of friends; "what will my friends say" "what will my meeting members say, how will they see me?".

And it's understandable really because usually these mothers have attended the weddings of some of their friends and had a good time. But while we're sympathetic to them, you must understand this is your life. Would you the bride rather keep waiting for your groom to save enough money for your wedding while you risk another girl snatching him away from you or his taste of woman suddenly changing or would you rather do things as small as your situation can handle and become the wife to that man you love so much? It's your decision.

How low can one really go with wedding planning expenses?

I've considered this a lot so much that I posted it on my Facebook profile to get other people's views. I posted:

Guys let's test our creativity! If you're saving towards marriage and all you had saved up for it is N50,000 and you realized you could not wait anymore to get married, you can't wait to make that lovely girl your wife. And so decided to organize a wedding with N50,000 how would you plan it?

While I did not get a response that answered the question above, I did get a response that hit home for us from one of my Facebook friends Gt Itoje Ogheneruese. He said:

Because of shame so many people are yet to get married just because they want to surprise guests during their weddings! Nigeria is not growing because every man wants to live above a standard. Take for instant, the one who uses 50k to get married is better than the one who is waiting for millions before his or her marriage! We should always consider our purse for what so ever we want to do. We should not do things to please others at our own personal detriment.

N50, 000 sounds ridiculous for a wedding right? But people have done it and some have even spent less than that.

A friend told me some time ago of his friend that just took his fiancée to a wedding registry and in few hours they were back home as husband and wife. He didn't even inform his neighbors that he was getting married except a few friends that stood as witnesses. He probably didn't even spend up to N50, 000.

Another story was that of a groom who got married and afterwards came home and shared biscuit and groundnut. I may not approve of that and I'm sure his invitees grumbled but at the end of the day what's important is that he was married.

I have a good idea how I want my wedding to be like. And when I think about it with my mind's eye I see it eating a lot of money. But then I'm also the type that I know when I do find a man I love and I have to wait to get married to him because we have to first save some huge sum of money I'd rather send all the wedding glamour to hell and go to a registry with close family and friends, say I do, come back home for some refreshment and a lot of dance and I'll be done.

How to Plan a Wedding with N50, 000 and still have Fun

Wedding attires

Groom should use a suit he already owns. Don't have any suit? Borrow from your brother or very close friend. For shoes, you do have a black shoe right? That goes with any color!

Look for some close friends as groom's men. But you want to also minimize the financial burden on your friends so one criteria for picking which friends should be on your groom's men list should be whether or not they already have a suit, preferably the color you want. To make this easier, use a black suit. If a guy has one suit it's usually black.

Don't bother with little groom otherwise known as ring bearer because in some cases you'll be expected to pay for his attire and we don't have that money; except you know of a kid who already had that role before and so have a suit to use.

Bride should use a used wedding gown from a family member or close relatives or friends. My elder sister's wedding gown was reused by her husband's niece. Bouquet or flower should be borrowed. Usually people don't even know what to do with these. Many end up using it to decorate their parlor as did my sister until she eventually threw it away. So you can easily find one, use it and even return it when you're done. As for shoes, use an old shoe.

Keep in mind the fact that you're using old attires doesn't mean you can't blend colors. You may just be able to blend simple colors. But if that turns out to be stressful then forget about blending colors.

For bridesmaids and little bride what applies for groom's men and little groom applies too. Pick a dress color that almost every girl is sure to have.

Keep in mind we've not spent a dime out of the N50, 000. We're saving that money for things that are more important to the wedding.

Wedding ring

Spend N3, 000 or less to get a wedding ring. You may have to replace it after the wedding as such ring is likely to quickly fade after a few months. But by then the wedding would have been out of the way.

Wedding ceremony

No Introduction; at least no one that involves more than a few bottles of drink and cola.

Wedding guest list should be 30 people, 50 maximum.

There should be no church wedding just registry or there should be church wedding instead of registry if it wouldn't involve giving the church some money.

Traditional wedding; that is the paying of the pride price is really the main wedding for us Nigerians. So before the ceremony talk to both families about this. In fact the girl should plead with her family on behalf of the groom and put her feet on the ground. A little stubbornness might be required to stand up to her parents and get them to bend a lot for you. There should be no party for the traditional rites. Just something that could be done in the evening before the wedding day among few family members. The trick to getting in-laws to let go of some things on the traditional wedding list is to promise to buy some of the things they require after the wedding. And after the wedding make sure to make it up to them somehow when you can. Let's assume that the traditional rites takes N10, 000. We still have N37, 000 left.

After the registry/church ceremony go home for a little refreshment and a lot of dance. You don't need a DJ just get speakers and CD player from a friend or a neighbor; they will be glad to help. I've seen people do this several times. And when you have the equipments put one of your brothers or neighbors in charge to play songs relevant to the wedding day.

With the N37, 000 we have left we can plan for some refreshment for 30-50 guests. Two crates of minerals or two and a half is enough. Buy the amount of Rice that will be enough to entertain 50 people. Buy some meat, a 10-15 thousand naira meat should be enough and then some spice to make a jollof rice and we're done!

Have your guests seat in the parlor and entertain them. You can borrow seating chairs from your neighbors to add to the seats you already have in your parlor. After refreshment everyone goes outside to dance till they're all tired!

Is a Small Budget Wedding Realistic?

So how realistic is these inexpensive wedding ideas I've shared?

You may be thinking, yeah right, it's easier said than done, but really it's doable. In fact you can even have a wedding with far less. When I came up with all these cheap wedding tips, to make sure I'm not just saying things that are not possible I decided to discuss it with my neighbors to hear from them if all these is doable. And they said it's very doable with even far less money! Then one of my neighbors told me that when her close friend got married, they didn't spend up to N10,000. How did they manage that?

There was no wedding attire at all. The bride didn't use a wedding gown. She and her groom wore a suit they already had. Then they told a few close friends to go with them to church and be their witnesses as they got married. She said after the wedding when everyone was waiting around with hope that there'll be a reception, the new husband said, as if it was meant to be a joke:

Ha, what are you all still waiting for? Do you people want to go home with us to see how I make love to my wife?

Everyone laughed. But it didn't take long for them to know the man meant it! And right there at the church everyone wished them the best and went home.

There was no money spent on wedding attire, there was no refreshment and wedding party but there was one important thing; there was a wedding. A wedding took place nonetheless and two people became one!

Why these Inexpensive Wedding Ideas?

Of course it's not because I exactly want you to organize a wedding with N50, 000 or less. The point of sharing these inexpensive wedding ideas is so that you can know that you can get married with basically any amount you want. So if it bothers you to organize a wedding for several hundred thousands, then use these inexpensive wedding ideas to cut down your cost.

What to keep in mind when planning for an inexpensive wedding is that you want to make sure you only spend money on something you can't borrow from someone else either from your family members close friends or neighbors.

So now you know you can plan a cheap wedding and go as low as you want in the amount you spend.

But it's not going to be easy. There will be a lot of distractions. What are some tips to keep you on track and make sure you spend only as much as your wedding budget indicates? See the article on cheap wedding tips.

Oh, I forgot to add, please there's nothing like an inexpensive wedding when marrying a girl from the Igbo speaking part of Nigeria. If you love one of their girls you either go well equipped with the naira currency or forget about a wedding for as long as you can equip yourself. :)

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