The Wedding Budget Commandments

budgetingWeddings are very magical; they have this way of making one loose touch with reality until your wedding planner or wedding committee hits you square with your wedding budget. The Wedding budget is that paper with three bold columns with titles that read Wedding topic, wedding Budget Estimate and Wedding Budget Actual Cost. This piece of paper is essentially critical as a wedding planning tool it makes sure that you and your partner are constantly in tune with your finances. Of course it would be every bride and grooms “wish ” and “dream” that they stay within the wedding budget, so we have laid out the five commandments that will help you stay on the straight and narrow wedding budget road!

Thou shall have thy wedding budget always!
Your wedding budget is essentially the life support system of your wedding. For most Kenyans brides and grooms it acts as a guide to what you should allocate to each particular wedding service , and helps you approximate how much you should spend on your wedding. It is often referred to by most brides, grooms , wedding service providers and wedding planners. It is financially suicidal not to have a wedding budget.

Thou shall always remember the three O’s
The three O’s is an acronym for Off Season, Off day, Off time! This should be music to any bride and groom planning their wedding. Want a glamorous wedding at a cost effective budget? Here’s the secret ! Have your wedding on any other month except December, August and April. Have your wedding on any day except Friday, Saturday and have your wedding reception in the evening a.k.a. a dinner reception, or a breakfast brunch!

Peak Seasons, days and times often generate high demand for wedding services and products hence the prices  of some wedding services and products are often altered in tune with the season.Peak seasons also generate more wedding guests remember each guest equals a wedding invitation card, wedding chair, will seat on a wedding table, a meal and a drink ( for others its two), wedding cake e.t.c. So to cut down on gate crushers you could have your wedding on a Thursday.

Thou shall be realistic
Brides this one’s for you. Every bride has a dream some want to get married to Denzel others want to have Celine Dion belt out a tune while they walk down the aisle, whatever your wedding dream you ought to be realistic. You can fake it till you make it. Instead of paying through your nose for that Chanel vintage gown you  have always dreamt of you could have a local designer imitate the design and  they will do it at quarter the price to suit all your bridal gown dreams. Instead of flying Celine in get the Djs to play her CD as you walk down am sure the guests would still love it!

Thou shall stay true to the guest list
We love wedding guests they make the wedding lively, fun and without them you wouldn’t have anyone to join in the “Mugithi”, but  gatecrashers will always be embedded into your wedding memories when you remember how your favorite aunty had only Chapati and Fanta because the food ran out!As a couple you should sit down and quietly decide on the number of guests you think you can comfortably cater for it’s a good thing having  KShs 500,000/= with a guest count of 30 it’s a bad thing having kshs 500,000/= with a guest count of 3000.Make sure you can cater for each and every wedding guest.Implement a guest control measure to ensure that there are absolutely no gatecrashers.

Some couples use security companies, others have a strictly card invitation wedding others have opted to use food and drink vouchers, while others have set table seating arrangements.Whichever method you choose to adopt or invent ensure that you and your partner are true to the guest list because if you are not you will be cheating on your bank account.Consider trimming your guest list as an option of cutting down your budget costs. This is often considered brutal but you sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind to your finances.

Thou shall mix and match
You only get married once! So you need to have the wedding of your dreams. You  always wished that you would exchange vows in a glamorous ball room, or you would be driven to church in a classic vintage car!  So how do you experience your wish on a budget. Compromise! If you really want to for example be driven to church in your vintage car, you could cut down, your budget  on other areas of your wedding service and product providers , to ensure that your wedding budget does not feel the pinch!Mix and Match the wedding service providers to ensure that you get to experience a little bit of your dream wedding day.

A bride often needs bridesmaids to offer her moral support as she goes through the wedding planning process, to help her with certain duties during the wedding and above all to look hot for the camera, to capture this beautiful moment in time for eternity.

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Wanjiku Kariuki is a certified wedding planner and coordinator and is the lead consultant of, a Kenyan wedding website.