28 Realistic Tips On How To Cut Down Costs On Your Nigerian Wedding
This article focuses on realistic ways you can cut costs from your wedding budget. One thing you must know is that the wedding industry is highly commercialise and before you decide to jump on social media trends, you should have a good knowledge on how you I tend to cut costs and not fall into wedding debt.
Nigerian weddings have become more expensive after the pandemic that struck the world in 2020… trying to cut costs almost seems impossible. But it is only normal for any couple to want to try to cut cost on wherever necessary, especially couples who are on a budget.
Not to worry, I have listed out 28 realistic ways that you can cut costs on your wedding budget. These tips have worked for me and many of my other couples.
Disclaimer: This article is for couples on a small budget and for those who are just finding ways to save money off their wedding. But if your wedding budget can accommodate everything you want, by all means, splurge as much as you want. We should also bear in mind that ‘small budget’ means a different price tag to many people. It could be N1 million Naira to you, while it could be N10 million Naira to another.
1. Reduce your guest list
I sometimes say that this may not even affect how much you would be spending, because this may also depend on your personal taste, choice of vendors etc… I explained this in another article I wrote on Creating A Realistic Nigerian Wedding Budget For 2022 But no matter how hard it seems, cutting down on your guest list is always a great place to start.
2. Consider using up and coming vendors
The most sought after Nigerian vendors can be quite pricey. Thankfully, social media allows you to have a variety of options, so be flexible and source for other cheaper options that can work within your budget.
I paid N15,000 for my makeup per day in 2016. The option I originally wanted was N120,000, but it was way out of my budget, so I started checking and ended up using the makeup artiste that normally did my outing makeups.
3. Cut down on your catering menu
You can have just the African menu and scrap the continental menu. If your caterer isnt adding tablescapes to her deliverables, then leave it out, as tablescapes also known as table settings can be quite expensive. You can read all about the Nigerian Wedding catering menu
4. Reduce the number of cake tiers
Wedding cakes cost a lot more than you think. You will be shocked to find out how much a tier of wedding cake cost. By reducing the number of cake tiers, you would be reducing your wedding budget and this can do you some good.
Naked cakes are also a great way to save money off your wedding cake. Reduce the fondant or butter icing and you may be able to save some money off your wedding cake.
Wedding TIP: If you and your partner are not cake lovers, you can totally scrap it out, or you can introduce a dummy cake (although it is not cheap but it is cheaper than having a real cake). Don’t worry, your wedding guests won’t notice this.
5. Rent your wedding dress.
Just like the wedding cake, wedding dresses are sometimes unbelievably expensive. You can save yourself some thousands of Naira by renting a wedding dress, instead of buying one.
6. Reduce the number of wedding vendors.
In as much as you may be needing as many as 20 or more basic vendors to begin with, you may want to cut out the extras, like the desserts, cocktails, grills, special effects etc that does not ‘necessarily’ add much to the day. etc
Check out this article on 21 must-have Nigerian wedding vendors checklist
7. Choose either a band OR a DJ
Many times, Nigeria couples tend to feel the need have both a band and a DJ at their wedding reception… but the good news is that you can have either of the two.
There are amazing bands that can sing all genres of songs and you wouldn’t even feel the absence of a DJ. These options of bands can be quite pricey though.
You can opt for the cheaper option of a DJ, as DJ’s can play all manner of music.
8. Cut down on your decor accents
Decor for me, is single-handedly the most expensive item that you would be paying for from your wedding budget list.
You can reduce the price of your decor by reducing some of the not-so-important decor accents that you can do without. For instance, hanging flowers, gazebo, excessive flowers, bridal suite etc… you can go for something unique and this does not necessarily mean that it will be expensive.
You can also read: Nigerian Wedding Decor: All You Need To Know
9. Bargain Bargain Bargain
In as much as I don’t advise to over-negotiate a wedding vendor’s fees, so as not to compromise on the quality of service given, but don’t accept prices Nigerian wedding vendors give you at face value. Bargain and try to reach a meeting point. Be ready to meet the vendor half-way.
10. Scrap the themed wedding
Themed Weddings cost a lot more and almost all your wedding vendors will charge you more for a themed set up. This will definitely shoot up your wedding budget. It is even more difficult to sou
11. Hire a coordinator instead of a full-fledge wedding planner for your big day.
Hiring a wedding day coordinator may be cheaper than hiring a full Wedding planner. But it is advisable to at least get someone to hell coordinate the activities of the day, so that you can enjoy your day.
12. Reduce the bridal party or do away with it if you can
With a bridal party, comes bridal party expenses. From outfits, to makeup and accessories, to hotels, transportation, gifts etc. Nigerian bridesmaids do not help when it comes to the planning and would rather stress you out.
I would normally advise my couples to do away with the bridal party if you can… but if you are the type who love having your close one’s around you, then you can pick a few of your close friends or family members as your bridal party.
You can also read: Nigerian Bridesmaids: Do you need them? All you should know
13. Create a guestlist, so that you can save money on the invitation cards.
So instead of printing 300 invitation cards for 300 guests, you can create a guest with all the names of the people you intend to invite and hand over to your security personnel and ushers. This way, they use the guestlist to usher in guests.
Related: Nigerian Wedding Invitation Cards
The PROS and CONS of this:
The advantage of this is that you would be able to save some money but the disadvantage, is that you may forget to include some names on the guestlist and this may cause a problem on the wedding day. So if you are not sure that you would be able to include all your wedding guests on the guestlist, then this may not work for you.
14. Reduce cost on the unnecessary rentals
Ensure that your nigerian wedding venue space will be covering the essentials like chairs, tables, couple stage, tables for vendors etc… ditch the special chairs as this can significantly increase your wedding budget, as they don’t come cheap.
I wrote an article on All You Need To Know Before Choosing A Venue For Your Nigerian Wedding
And this other article on 33 questions to ask before picking the perfect venue for your Nigerian Wedding. You can use this as a guide.
15. Substitute your cocktails and mocktails or scrap it totally.
Instead of having a regular mocktail or cocktail bar, which cost from about N800 per glass, to about N1,500 per glass. You can have a vendor or a family member provide eatable ice and cups, then buy drinks like the virgin Mojito Non-alcoholic Schweppes, or the 5-alive citrus, Berryblast and other flavoured drinks and have the waiter put ice in cups and add these drinks to the ice and you would be good to go.
16. Substitute the desserts for a simpler option or scrap it
A plate of dessert ranges from N900 to N1,200 and this is minus the service fee, logistics and V.A.T that comes with each vendor’s quotation.
This comes with about 6 dessert options variety, you can reduces these options to q or 3. Many of your guests won’t even eat the desserts, while many wouldn’t notice if you don’t have desserts at your wedding.
You can shave off a lot of thousands of Naira from your wedding budget by removing dessert completely
17. Ditch the photobooks!
Instead of having your photographer provide photobooks, you can decide to have just soft copies of your wedding pictures instead and make your photobooks when you are financially stable.
18. Remove alcohol from your drinks list
Alcohol can be pretty expensive to buy and it quickly adds up to your wedding drinks budget. Be sure to inform both family about this, as they may want to provide their own alcoholic drinks themselves.
19. Assign family members to wrap your Eru- Iyawo (traditional bride’s gift list)
It may surprise you to know that Eru- Iyawo wrapping is not as cheap as you may think. I have had many of my couples assign members of their family to help wrap the gift items.
NOTE: It may not be as fancy as the ones that you see on social media, but they would get the work done and would have helped you save some good money.
20. Cut down on your after-party expenses.
After-party is a big deal at Nigerian weddings, so I would totally understand if you do not want to scrap it totally… but you can cut down on some expenses.
For instance, you would need some or all of the following items to make your wedding After-party great.
– After-party chops,which includes but not limited to the following: mini shawarmas and burgers, grills (fish and chips, turkey or chicken and chips, with corn cob etc), asun, peppered snail, gizzard and ponmo etc.
– After-party props: LED caps, bands, glasses, money sprayer etc
– Cocktail mobile bar and all the paparazzi that comes with it
– Drinks- Water, alcohol, juices etc
– Frozen foods- Frozen rolls, ice cream, gelato etc…
– Hypeman- Someone to hype your guests up. They do not come cheap either.
You can either decide to remove one or more from the list above or reduce the quantity to be provided.
NOTE: It is important to note that many of these Nigerian vendors have a minimum order quantity. If they are to go lower than their MOQ, they would charge higher and you may still result in paying the same amount or close to it. So it may be better to remove that particular item totally.
Souvenirs are not a necessity and it can seriously add up to your wedding budget. You can also have your family members handle the Souvenirs for your guests.
Wedding TIP: If you are concerned about people not taking Souvenirs home from your wedding, think about those that wouldn’t still get souvenirs despite arranging for Souvenirs for your wedding (because not every guest will get souvenirs, even if you buy them). More so, you may not be able to afford to buy Souvenirs for the number of guests that you would be inviting, so what’s the whole point of worrying about it? Huh?
22. Use a family car or a friend’s car as your bride and groom cars.
Car rentals can be quite pricey. It ranges from about N50,000 to N650,000 for just one car and you may need two cars.
Alternatively, you can ask family members or friend to help in this area. They just may have a car (with or without a driver), that they may be willing to give you for your wedding and this can save you a lot of money.
My brother’s friend gave us his car to use for my wedding.
23. Wedding Programmes
Nigerian wedding guests don’t care so much about programmes. But if you cannot do without them, probably because the church is demanding for them, then you can reduce the number of wedding programmes to print.
You can also reduce the number of pages that the programme will contain. Remove all the unnecessary items, like the reception programme, wedding vendors list, bridal party list etc… They would end up in the bin anyway.
24. You may want to consider a week-day wedding.
This used to be a great way of reducing costs for wedding venues in Nigeria, but these days it may not be the case. Week-days in Nigeria where wedding venues are concerned, starts from Monday to Wednesday. While weekend starts from Thursday to Sunday.
You MAY be able to get a couple of thousands of Naira shelved off your wedding budget if you fix your wedding on a week-day.
Some vendors will also be willing to give you a discount if your wedding is on a week-day.
25. You can consider having a Micro wedding.
Micro weddings became a trend during the global pandemic and it may seem as though, it is here to stay.
Micro weddings aren’t just about cutting down on your guestlist, but it involves cutting down on all other wedding feferities. This also includes the time of the ceremonies.
The joining ceremony and wedding reception shouldn’t be more than 2 hours.
Here is a breakdown of the 2 hours wedding joining and reception timeline:
● 30-minute ceremony: there would be no sermon, just processional and Recessional hymns
● 1 hour “mini-reception” with a first dance, toast, cake cutting, father- daughter dance. This way, you cut costs on all the extras, and you can even just have food packed with drinks, dessert, small chops in a pack and just have it handed out to guests by the wedding ushers.
● Grand exit
● 30-minute portrait session with your photographer
You should be looking at maximum of 30 guests or at most, 50 guests for a micro wedding.
By having a reduced timeline, you may be able to save money off the wedding venue and another couple can still grab up the venue for the same date. This would have to be explained to the venue manager during the venue inspection period.
NOTE: This will take a whole lot to pull through, as Nigerians are generally known to be late comers. This would require being very strict with the timeline.
26. Start planning early
The earlier you start, the better discounts you would be able to get from your wedding vendors. The payment process won’t stress you out, as it will be well spread out.
27. Avoid the peak Wedding months.
Peak periods for weddings in Nigeria are February, April, September to December. Some Nigerian wedding vendors tend to charge higher rates for these months. You can decide to get married on other non-peak wedding months to get cheaper rates.
28. Focus on what matters to you
If trending on social media big wedding blogs is what matters to you, then I would advise that you splurge on things like, your photography, wedding outfits, make-up and hairstyling.
Your wedding decorations would probably not trend, so you can spend less on that and spend more on the above listed items. You can wear something unique or an out-of-the-box photoshoot idea.
You can also decide to pay big wedding blogs to have your wedding featured on their blogs. Just focus on what’s important to you, then you can create a list of what you are willing to splurge on and what you are willing to do away with, to enable you get what you really want.
Planner’s Note: Nigerian Weddings and vendors are generally expensive. I would 100 percent recommend having a small wedding. The attention to detail and creativity of the vendors will not disappoint. I had a small and intimate wedding and I would forever be grateful for it.
I hope you found this article helpful…
How were you able to save money on your wedding day? Share with us in the comment section.
You Know I Love You
X.O.X.O Best Wedding Planner In Lagos
Olamide~ The Heiress
La’ Heiress Weddings