By Ann Esievoadje for tftmag
A major reason why some guys dread proposing marriage is because of the high cost of weddings. What I am about to share with you is not for those who are trying to plan a wedding on a budget. It is for those who can not afford a budget wedding. The bible says the farmer who observes the weather will not sow i.e. if we keep waiting for all conditions of life to be right, we may not achieve the things we want to get out of life. We may not all be like Cinderella, whose luck turns, landing her with a rich prince-charming but we can have our childhood fantasy of a ‘grand’ wedding. Here’s how to go about it:
Lean on me – Drawing up a budget can be very heartbreaking especially when you can not save up to half of what you need to take care of the essentials for your wedding. I want it to be clear: you do not have to have all the money in the world to get married. Do what you can with what you have. If you run out of cash, don’t be afraid to ask your family for support especially if you are a guy. I know it’s hard but it’s not like you are asking them to feed you and your wife after you are married. Humble yourself and let family get involved.
Learn to prioritize – Draw up a list in order of priority for your wedding. List out all the things you want for your wedding and find out the cost – both estimated and actual amounts. Start with the ones you can afford and as the money comes in use it to meet most important/highest priority items. Personally, I believe the following are very important: food, venue, pictures, decoration, drinks, and your outfits. That’s my opinion. Your priority list maybe different but whatever it is, ensure the things closest to your heart are well taken care of with the first inflow of cash you get.
Vendor Friends – The first thing you need to do is, check how many of your friends are professionals in their field of passion as it pertains to providing wedding services. If you have friends with great skills like cooking, graphic designing, decorating, planning events, baking, etc, then you are in luck. Simply ask them to help out. Even those that require some form of payment for logistics will want to help out with as minimal a fee as possible because you are their friends.
Learn to compromise – For everything you dream of, there is a substitute. Just because you love real flowers does not mean you plan money you do not have on them. Instead of using Chicken and Fried Rice, you can use Beef with Jollof Rice. There’s no sense in paying five hundred thousand naira for a hall when you can’t afford fifty thousand for drinks. Have an outdoor reception in a botanical garden to cut cost on decor. If you can’t get the exact ring you want, there is no shame if you settle for the next best thing (besides, who will know it is not Italian gold if you don’t tell them?). Have a pastor join you and your wife on a Sunday in church and share drinks for the congregation. The most important thing is that you get married. Be willing to forego certain preferences to stay within the amount of money you have.
You’ll always reap what you sow – Having invested in people’s lives positively, it is only natural for people to financially support you during the planning stages of your wedding. You will always reap what you sow but not necessarily reap where you have sown it. Remember, when you ‘Do unto others what you want them to do unto you’, the better your chances of receiving ‘unrequested’ financial aid in your time of need. Do not forget to be grateful for every penny (or in our case as Nigerians, kobo) you get. Especially if someone is offering to chauffeur you and your bride for that day, let you rent their wedding gown, lend you their hairpins, gives you what you would call ‘ meager cash’ or hook you up with someone who would give you what you need at a reduced price. A grateful heart always attracts more.
You do not have to wait till you have met Mr. or Mrs. Right before you begin to plan your dream wedding. Irrespective of how much you spend on your wedding or how much stress you encounter while planning your wedding, remember the day is about you and your spouse. The wedding is a one day event but your marriage is till death do you part. The important thing that day is saying “I do” in the presence of friends and family. There is so much I can say but ultimately the choice is yours.