What Can I Get For My Wedding Budget In South African Rands?

The wedding budget varies according to exactly what it is that the wedding couple require. Every bride and groom to be, have different ideas and individual extravagances and by this we mean, that one couple are willing to spend more on a photographer while another will spend more on the catering. The amount spent should be within realistic parameters and no couple should at any time feel that they have been treated unfairly, no matter where in the world they are marrying.

The suggested spend for 2010 is as follows:

50 guests – around R70,000


From R1500 – R3000 (this should include legal documents, including unabridged certificate and possibly an Apostil and transport within 30km).


The cost of flowers does depend on flower choice and seasonal availability but you should not pay more than:

R600 for your bridal Bouquet (posy or trailing)

R50 -R150 for a button hole

R500 for a ceremony arrangement of standard size

R250 for one box of rose petals

R300 – R600 for table arrangements. (5 table arrangements R3000)

There are certain times of year i.e. around Valentine’s Day where the cost of flowers escalates substantially, especially roses.

Photographer: R10000

Depending on choice and location, experience and popularity, SA photographers are charging anything from R3500 for a small package and up to R25, 000 for luxury packages. The average cost for a location wedding with a good photographer should be around R10, 000.

Wedding Cake R3000

The question is do you want one tier or 5, do you want fruit cake or sponge, do you want rich chocolate or plain vanilla. These are all things that increase the cost of your cake. The use of dummy layers can help to bring the cost down and of course the decoration intricacies and the time it takes. We have some talented cake makers in SA and wedding cakes have been made from the bizarre to the absolutely unbelievable. Do not expect to pay less than R500 a tier and this would be for a basic cake, for something memorable look at paying no less than R3000 and be willing to spend up to R5000 if this is where your extravagance lies.

Wedding Menu’s R17 500

At the moment from three stars to five star venues the costs are coming in from R220 per person per head to R600 per head depending on the venue and the three course menu.

In the mid 1990’s you could pay R50 – R100 per head at a five star venue today you would pay R350 per head for the same menu. This is a good price for a dinner menu that your guests will remember.

Wedding Coordinators R1500 plus 15% of confirmed services – R60,000 (R9000).

Your wedding coordinator should save you money or at least give you a wedding exactly within your budget and this includes their costs. I.e. if you have R35000 for a small intimate wedding then their fees should be built into your budget.

They should charge you a deposit i.e. R1000 – R1500 (this covers copious amounts of admin), they then quote you according to your budget including their 15% fee of confirmed services. For example if a photographer’s quote is R1000 then your wedding coordinator will quote you R1150. They will then act as liaison between yourself and the photographer and ensure he/she arrives on the day.

The wedding coordinator is there to make you feel special and ensure your wedding day is within your budget and as close to your dream wedding as humanly possible.

Make Up Artist & Hair R4000

R1500 for a Make-up Artist seems reasonable these days, with hair it is all about length and style, up styles are time consuming, highlights do not come cheap budget R3000 for both hair and make-up, add an extra a R500 for nails and an extra R500 for any other treatment that may ensure you feel truly indulged. You are the bride after all.

Wedding Dress: R2500 for an evening gown, R5000 to hire a dress for a day or R15000 for something designed especially for you. This will depend on your needs and your thoughts. You can look beautiful in an evening gown, you can feel like a princess in a hired wedding dress and you can feel special in something made for you, this is an individual preference.

Music – DJ – R3500 – R5000

Venue fee: estimate R6000

Second time around or first time bride the parameters are the same, you will still want to feel special, it is all about love and togetherness and you still dream the same dreams, no matter your age…why not then do everything you can for as much as you have to spend.

50 guests around R35000

Find an outdoor venue – beach, forest, garden. (No charge)

Get a permit from the local municipality R150

Hire some 5 white parasols, 50 white chairs,1 x bridal arch, white/red carpet – this should not come to more than R4000 including delivery within 30km.

Drape the arch in some white cotton and a few flowers or Ivy – R350

Hire a small (50 man) marquee/ gazebo to erect in the event of inclement weather R3000 (do not use it if you don’t have to – you are just buying peace of mind)

Minister – R2500

Flowers – Bridal Bouquet – keep it simple, 2 flower types and some greenery, if you are tall go for a posy, and if you are short have a trailing bouquet. Use ribbons (R50), it is easier than you realise to do it yourself. A good florist will assist you for R350.

Grooms buttonhole – 1 rose or other flower, some ivy, florist wire, pearl edge pin R50.

Buy 50 cupcakes and hire a stand R2000.

Play Music on your IPod (no cost)

Make up – R1000 (there will be someone willing to do it for this price)

Wedding dress – there are some gorgeous boutiques that sell fabulous dresses, it is worth the search and why not be a little different if not daring R3500.

Photographer – go for a local person who comes recommended with a smaller package at around R3500 plus R1000 for extra prints.

Venue – find a restaurant that has a section you could use and is willing to arrange a set menu of R250 per head for 50 guests. R10000

Supply one white wine and one red wine and one sparkling wine per table (3 bottles per 5 tables at R70 per bottle). R500 for the kids and juice and the rest is cash bar. R1550.

Make your own order of service, and buy 2 candles for the tables (R500), choose a restaurant that has the decor that suits your personality. There may not be much else to do on the table other than a small gift. Look at R25 per person -a candle with a note, glass figure and chocolate or other R1500.

This would not include accommodation, but keep all your extra money for a night of sheer indulgence and passion and a honeymoon week to remember.

On the day, do not fret the small things…just relax; your guests will be doing the same!

*please note this article is merely a guideline for brides local and international getting married in SA.

This article was Published in Brides Essence Magazine Issue One May 2010.

Source by Justine Engelbrecht