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10 Ways to Avoid Marriage Debts

Updated on November 30, 2016

A couple tying the nut

A couple getting married
A couple getting married | Source

How to marry without debts

You can marry without dents if you do the following

1 Make a budget

2 Save on wedding gown

3 Search for discounts

4 Reduce the venue cost

5 Use your connections

6 Leverage on family and friends

7 Prioritize

8 Plan together

9 Reduce the cost of food and drinks

10 Plan ahead

Marriage and debts

Marriage is a special union ordained by God and accepted as an important rite towards having a family and responsibility.

In the African context whatever your age, achievements, position or fortune without being married you are considered lacking seriousness

Marriage is a joyful union that is accompanied by a wedding, and wedding don’t come cheaply especially were there are traditional marriage provisions that guide such union.

Even in advanced nations weddings are expensive ventures that could adversely affect the couple’s finances for several years.

You can have a very glamorous wedding without breaking the bank all it takes is proper planning and budgeting. without a budget wedding costs would probably spiral out of control, causing unnecessary hardship at the beginning of a new family.

In order to get the wedding you desire you need to establish what is important and what isn’t like making a budget, and keeping track of you spending.

Other things to consider while planning the marriage are looking for much needed discounts, prioritizing, how much would the venue cost, and cuisine costs.

Having a limited and exclusive guest list, the cost of your wedding gown, honeymoon locations and discounts. Use your connection for your benefit is the way to keep marriage debts low. Let us look at tested ways you can reduce costs and still have a superlative wedding.

Wedding day

A couple in love, wedding day image
A couple in love, wedding day image | Source

A carry out bag

Image of a carry out bag. It is good to plan the wedding together
Image of a carry out bag. It is good to plan the wedding together | Source

1 Plan together

Discuss with you spouse

Marriage is not a one person event two people are involved in the union, having an honest discussion highlighting your needs and expectations can go a long way towards a good wedding. Planning together has multiple benefits and shows togetherness in purpose, which translates into deeper understanding of each other.

Finances might not be as rosy as you think discussing honestly gives you a clearer picture of what you can accomplish with the available funds. You can also pull resources together if that’s what is required to achieve a wonderful end result.

Jointly decide on what’s important and what you might consider wasteful, and working out a mutual plan eliminates unnecessary expenditures. Traditional marriages can be very expensive especially when there are certain acceptable practices, a young couple I know managed to have a fantastic wedding despite having dire financial constrains.

To fulfill a certain tradition provision which had a list of expensive items the groom needed to buy; they pulled resources together using time as an ally (six months) to gather all the items. They jointly bought each item only when they could afford it, keeping the perishables for last.

Making a guest list

It is important to make a guest list
It is important to make a guest list | Source

2 Wedding guest list

On your special day you might be inclined to have all your friends and family in attendance but finance and budgetary allocations would put a constraint to that fantasy. Wouldn’t it be better to invite a few people who would experience an unforgettable occasion on a smaller budget than a large number of guests utterly disappointed despite your huge expenditure?

This scenario was so true at a big society wedding I attended several years back, the bride and groom flew into the country barely three days to the wedding, they allocated huge funds towards their union and the massive hall was filled to capacity. Despite the financial involvement the overwhelming crowd caused a shortage in food and drinks and a disconnect between the revelers at the back and the actual ceremony.

A wedding guest list should include immediate family members of each family, uncles and aunties, close friends, acquaintances and a few office colleagues; you might make it strictly by invitation if you wish. If you invite one hundred people make provision for one hundred and fifty people because that’s about the number you’d get on the day.

Bag of money

Bag of money image. It is good to save for the wedding day
Bag of money image. It is good to save for the wedding day | Source

Getting a wedding gown

Which option would you prefer

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3 Save on your Wedding dress

Saving On your wedding dress just makes common sense especially if you are working on a practicable budget; bridal gowns are very expensive because of the kind of fabric, exclusivity and function. The same goes for traditional bridal wear which might require expensive fabric and accessories.

There are a number of ways to half costs on bridal gowns and still have a beautiful gown at the end of the day, new does not mean better or trendier. Some of the ways you can work within a budget and get excellent results when it comes to wedding gowns are some of the following.

Buy a wedding dress

Buying a wedding dress can be very expensive especially if they a branded by top designers which attracts crazy almost unreasonable prices. If you have to buy a wedding dress why not buy one that is on sale, it is cheaper and would save you some money which can be channeled into other wedding items.

Search and take advantage of discounts, clearance sales and other promotional gimmicks bridal shops use to sell their stuff, you don’t have to buy designer labels just to wear once and keep in a closet or box for the next fifty years.

Sample sales

You can use sample sale websites to purchase a gown at a reasonable discount, sample sale websites periodically offer for sale large number of gowns to potential brides at a discount sometimes as much as seventy percent (70%off).

The sample sales can fall under the category of bridal sample sales or simple sample sales, online resources can be used to locate local dealers and find out the period such offers are made.

Wedding gown

Image of a bride in her wedding gown
Image of a bride in her wedding gown | Source

Things to consider when planning a wedding

other cost considerations
The cake
The Venue
Drinks and food
Transportation to wedding
Small chops
The gown
shoes, makeup
soft drinks

Wedding flowers

Wedding flowers
Wedding flowers

Purchase a used wedding gown

Used wedding gowns have their down sides and the practical side; many brides after the wedding usually sell their wedding gowns while some keep them. The percentage of those that sell, or donate the gowns are upwards of sixty (60%) percent, which allows new brides a cost effective way of getting the gown.

There are two kinds of used gowns the ones that have gone through several brides through borrowing and the ones used only once, the latter one obviously are pricier than the other and still retain their quality. Used wedding gowns when purchased can be adjusted, redesign, fitted according to the brides taste.

This can easily be done through an experienced tailor to do all the blinging, fitting and adjustment, using this technique would reduce your cost by twenty five (25%) percent. Before buying any used gowns look out for stains, cuts, discoloration, and wear and tear before choosing a gown, there are hundreds of stores that stock used gown.

Make your own gown

Why not make your own gown it would reduce your costs by forty (40%) percent, before choosing this option you must be sure of the skill of the tailor to avoid having a badly sown gown. You can either buy a used one and modify or sow the dress from scratch.

The advantage of sowing the dress is that you can choose any design, style, embellishment you like but remember the goal is to save money. Keep the costs down, bargain hard or rather purchase the material and add-on by your self, and make sure the gown fits properly.

Rent the gown

Renting the gown is the cheapest option and it makes sense, bridal gowns are worn only once in your life-time, so why should you spend an inordinate amount of money just to wear an outfit once. Renting is very popular and no one knows the difference between a rented gown and a purchased one.

Some rented wedding gowns are fabulously made, elegant and might have been used only once, so renting such a gown saves you undue cost, looks really nice and does the job.

5 Connections matter

Friends and family are always eager to add their bit towards the success of your wedding, so having them add value is not out of place. You might have a maverick baker who incidentally is your friend or family that can bake your cake. Could be a fashion designer friend to sow your gown, by leveraging on their talents you would save lots of money.

Other useful connections that could save costs are using a free hall instead of a rented one, using personal cars instead of renting expensive cars, and involving friends in aspects that are tailor made for them.

4 Prioritize

Preparing for a wedding is almost like taking an examination; you don’t need every aspect of the subject matter to ace the test all you need is the key points. Same with marriage plans take into consideration the essentials like cuisine, venue and location, guest list, professional fees like event planner, caterer’s photographer, wedding dress, engagement ring, music, and other important stuff.

By prioritizing only the important stuff you can work easily on a practicable budget, if there are aspects of the wedding that family and friends can do even the better. Family and friends are always eager to be part of the occasion and could provider service free like ushers, masters of ceremony and many other imputes.

Determining what you regard as important and giving it top priority allows for better planning and effective budget making.

Planning a wedding on a budget

6 The venue is important

A free venue is the best location if you can swing one; the next option is to reduce the cost by paying for only the essentials at an event center like adequate electricity, chairs, and tables. Search diligently within your immediate environment for venues that offer discounts, the beautiful thing about venues is that your event planners decorative skills can transform any space to the wedding of your dreams.

Avoid using a venue that is a long distance for your abode, keep it within the neighborhood unless you are considering the guest list and wedding crashers

7 Discounts are cool

Weddings are expensive ventures so making use of discounts and planning ahead makes it less stressful, you can get discounts from the baker, photographer, florist, event planner, master of ceremony and even the venue. There is nothing you can't get a discount on if you search diligently, you might even get free service along with certain goods, always search for discounts it would save wedding costs.

8 Party costs

Food and drinks are one of the most expensive expenditure during weddings but they can be carefully tailored to your tastes without undue costs. The cuisine should be carefully chosen with a view towards excellent service, scrumptious meals and wines without breaking the bank.

You can buy your drinks from whole sellers or mega stores which are usually cheaper than retailers. Work closely with the caterers and only allow essentials without having to serve too much variety of dishes, unless it’s expected.

Every professional you hire can give you a discount if you choose wisely and include only the essentials.


Honeymoon image of two glasses. make reservations early and enjoy discounts
Honeymoon image of two glasses. make reservations early and enjoy discounts | Source

9 Save costs on your honeymoon

Honeymoon is all about love the most important thing to remember is your spouse; love is about the heart even a shed might feel like a palace (just a metaphor). You have a few options that might seem cheap but would do the job nicely, some of which are listed bellow.

Take a road trip

Road trips are less expensive than flying off to an exotic location, so if you are so inclined take a planned road trip. Take the romantic road trip mapping your way through beautiful scenery, coffee houses, restaurants and moderately priced hotels, alternatively drive through the open country and make things up as you go.

Book in advance

Booking a flight several weeks or months in advance would give you huge discounts, affordable honeymoon locations abound all that is required is finding them. A good travel agent would provide lots of options that you can choose from, booking ahead always gives you a nice bargain.

Off season honeymoon bookings would save travelling costs and hotel reservations because during this period hotels slash their prices to make up for the shortfall in guests.

Shag at home

Staying locked up in your love nest might be romantic depending on the creativity of the couple, they can visit tourist sights, take short road trips, indulge you culinary sense and many fun activities. Honeymoon home hideouts only work when the couple has prepared an interesting antennary to reduce the boredom.

House swap also works especially when done with friends; if you can stand a stranger in your house destination house swap is also a new fad.

Family can lend a helping hand

Teddy bear image. Family can help reduce wedding costs
Teddy bear image. Family can help reduce wedding costs | Source

Girlfriend Wont Talk About Debt But Wants to Get Married

10 Make a budget and leverage on family

Making a budget is the most important step before working on your wedding plan, the budget should include cost of wedding gown, wedding cake, drinks, food and beverages, professional service like caterers, event planners, photographers, and master of ceremony. Other budgetary cost considerations are location, honeymoon, engagement ring, and other accessories.

The budget would give you a clear cost analysis of how much you need to spend to have a beautiful wedding ceremony. Choose carefully the day of your wedding; weekends attract higher costs so if you are watching costs any other week day would work nicely.

Leverage on family and friends

All the financial requirements shouldn’t come from only you and your spouse, family impute is very important, in Africa weddings, traditional marriages and engagements are a family affair. Both family of the bride and groom do their bit financially sometimes more than the couple, even at the event they offer checks, cash and other assistance.


You can marry without debt if you are frugal with your spending; create a budget, leverage on family, search for discounts and book early. You can prioritize and reduce costs to the bare minimum while hosting a superlative wedding.

© 2014 femi


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi, Im Linda from Medan . I'm interest in Full Day pre/post wedidng Package : Rp. 5.900.000 . Btw , with those package , how many photo we get and how many shoot we take ? And please kindly inform me about the album etc . Waiting for your reply . Thanks a lot

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      7 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very useful and important suggestions made by you in this hub! Prior planning helps a lot in cost cutting. And moreover the money saved is money earned. This saved money is very much essential to make a 'start' for the newly weds.

      Thanks for sharing the useful tips. Voted up!


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