Since I began #theweddingcounsellor platform, I have been flooded with hundreds of questions. Makes me so happy to be able to respond and help brides-to-be seeing that I was in your shoes just few months ago!

I was shuffling through some of the questions I have received and realized the most frequently asked question is how to save money. Is it necessary to do this? Is it necessary to do that? Can I save in this area etc. Hence my inspiration for this article.

There are so many ways to save your money while planning a wedding and I will give my experience as usual . However, please note that all these are based on my opinion and if you feel your wedding day will not be complete without any of the things I mention below, pleasseeee go ahead and spend on them! At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is to ensure you are the happiest on your wedding day without (speaking in plain terms) having to soak garri after the wedding!

1.     Transportation: My ladies! There is a common trend which we ALL know of, which is the use of limousines and other convertibles to your wedding venues. If you have gone over board and you’re looking for where to cut out from, pleaseee look into this! For my wedding, I used my parent’s car to the venue, my sister drove her car with some bridesmaids and I let my car out to other friends, who wanted a ride to the venue. The good thing about a limosine is all of you will be in the ride together so you can all gist while getting to the venue etc but for 300-450k, I think its ok to hold the gist till whenever you have time! Piggybank your 300-450k, if you can!

2.     Wedding Cake: If only I knew before my wedding, I would have definitely gone this route! Do you know you can use a dummy cake and only one or two layers will be an actual cake! This can go a long way as to save you 100’s of thousands. Piggybank the 100k-500k and go the dummy route!

3.     Artificial Flowers vs Natural Flowers: Let me just go straight to this point! 50k vs 5k! No one and I promise you, no one will go home with your flowers and possibly try to make a garden of it! No one will ask if your flowers were real or not and trust me when I say- flowers do not contribute to your marriage!  If you want to cut down on your budget, please replace your natural flowers with artificial flowers! I used artificial flowers for my bouquet. It was soo affordable(see pictures attached). There are experts who can actually make your artificial flowers look soooo real! Please piggybank your 50k.

4.     Chairs: I think I mentioned this in one of my videos. My darlings, I have spoken to some planners and they explained how chairs contribute to the ambience and the class of a wedding. An average dior chair can be rented for N550. Imagine you have 1,000 guests that’s an additional N550K for chairs. If you have gone overboard, pleaseeee kindly piggy bank this N550k and get normal chairs with chair covers. I don’t remember the particular kind of chairs I used for my wedding. I definitely did not rent 1,000 dior chairs, I used chair covers for my wedding and believe me, I do not have any form of regret. Please, piggy bank your N550k.

5.     Number of times you change: I know I am so guilty of this lol! However, if I had gone over board for my wedding, this would have been the first thing I would pull out! Nowadays, everyone changes into a reception dress, it only makes sense because we all want to be freeee to dance for the after party, we all want to be more comfortable etc however if you have planned more than 2 outfits and are looking for where to cut back on, please piggybank a few pennies from your outfits. With the numerous outfits I had, I repeated my shoes and jewelry for some. That’s another way you can piggybank! You don’t need to get a whole new set of shoes and jewelry for each outfit change.

6.     Venue: Many brides have asked me about venues especially for introduction and I always tell them, its ok to have your introduction in your house, you can piggybank a few pennies! Also, you don’t need to lodge in a hotel for weeks leading up to your wedding day you will consume a lot on food and drinks and other hotel bills. Most people dress up from their home and others choose to leave from a hotel to church. Good thing about leaving from a hotel is you have less crowd. Less aunties coming to check if the make up artist has done a good job and if your cleavage is not showing (“Let me see her dress. Let her not come and disgrace me o “) however, I always tell my brides-to-be that if they really want to leave from a hotel, they can check in a day or two days before the wedding to make some savings!

7.     Wedding Prints: Ladies, the world has gone digital! Some people now send invitation cards online. There are so many websites where you can fix your guests email addresses and it will automatically send to them. The only downside is that you will most likely have more mogbomoyas at your event as one person will print copies for him, his wife, cousins and other uninvited people. Now, what you can do is get an invitation for a family or for a couple. In my case, I also had access cards so I had one card for a family and put access cards inside for the number of expected guests from that home. You don’t need to give one invite to each of the guests. You will find out that for 1000 guests, you might only need to print 400-500 cards at the most! For your young friends, you can just give them access cards, no need for invitation cards.

If you have a customized menu, you can print 3 per table(table of 10). You do not need to print out one menu per head. Also, the wedding programme, I believe your older guests will want to have your programme but you need to negotiate the best deal with your printer- fewer pages, cheaper papers. In summary, your prints should not even take up to 1% of your total budget some guests may not even leave the venue with the prints and they will end up being thrown away.

Now, I will not tell you piggybanking ways if I also don’t tell you ways to get some money from you wedding. Two major points

1.     DANCE!!!! : Allow up to 1 hour to dance with your parents friends and older adults. Adults actually come to weddings with the amount of money to spray already planned! If you don’t dance, they will carry their money back. Money from sprays can go a long way in your new home

2.     Use your contacts: If you have an aunty or a friend that’s affiliated to weddings one way or the other and you believe they will do you a good job, USE THEM! You will obviously get a better deal as opposed to going with a new vendor! If you have someone who works in a drinks company –make that call, you might just be getting free drinks! If you know a caterer, make the call. I call It wisdom! Thank me later!!!!

To ask me more questions about the wedding journey please email pweddingcounsellor@gmail.com or DM me on Instagram- @phoebedamiasolo also share your experiences, how did you piggybank? I’d love to hear from you

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