There are three important days in a person’s life: The day one is born, the day one gets married and the day one dies. Seeing as one has little control over the first and the last, it is the second that has more meaning in someone’s life. For this reason, so much emphasis is put on the day nowadays. The ironic part is, in the yesteryears, getting married was as final as death, yet it was just as inexpensive, if not less expensive. Nowadays, as weddings get more expensive, the success rate of marriages ever so decreases.
Now that weddings no longer cost a few shillings but an arm and a leg, how do you finance a wedding? Below are a few ways in which you can raise money for a wedding.
1. Wedding Committees
This is a tried and tested way of raising funds for weddings. A committee of family and close friends is formed and the committee helps the bride and groom to be in raising funds for the wedding. The members of the committee will meet say once a month (or every fortnight) to deliberate on matters of the wedding. They will further make pledges on how much they will be able to contribute towards the wedding.
While this method has worked so well in the past, it is losing popularity because people have started misusing it. Instead of family and friends, people are now including acquaintances and basically anyone on their phonebook in the committee. And need I mention about the “kind reminder texts?”
While this may be a good way to raise funds, caution should be exercised so as not to lose friends or have them aggravated. You can check on the rules to adhere to if you are to use this means of raising funds for your wedding in this post Your wedding is not our wedding – why your Cinderella wedding is driving your friends mad.
This is one of the best ways of raising funds for a wedding. You do not have to put the fate of your big day on family and friends. Someone once told me the best way to save for a wedding is to start now, even if you are 20 and not in any relationship. Purpose to put away a few thousands every month for your wedding. In five years, you will have saved around Kshs. 300,000 (if you have been saving Kshs. 5,000 every month). While it will not be enough for a wedding, you will however, be better off than starting from scratch when the wedding is a few months away.
If the wedding is in a year, you will probably need to save more every month. In this case, the first step will be to open a bank account specifically to handle the wedding matters. Saving requires discipline which most of us are not blessed with. In this regard, it would be great if someone set up a standing order from your main account to your wedding account so that the process can be without hustle.
3. Sponsored Weddings
Sponsored weddings are almost non-existent in Kenya but I bet you that trend will start soon. A sponsored wedding is a wedding in which different elements/ services of a wedding such as the venue, cake, dress, video and photography, decor etc are donated at no cost or at discounted rates, in exchange for advertising and promotion of the sponsors.
The advertisement can also be in many forms including having the service providers set up tents or banners at the venue, being mentioned as sponsors by the MC at the reception and/ or having their logos at the wedding. If the bride and groom are influential on social media, then social media can also be a means of advertisement.
Family and friends could also sponsor a wedding whereby an aunt can offer to pay for the cake, a friend offers to pay for the venue etc. The best part about family and friends doing it is that they only require gratitude (and maybe favours later) but not space to advertise.
4. Insurance Products
A few insurance companies have insurance products that help someone finance for a wedding. You simply let them know your budget and they will come up with a product that will be tailored to your budget. You will start contributing premiums which will be used to finance the wedding.
The few products I have seen in the market, are however, just like saving in a bank account since the premiums you pay is what is used to finance the wedding. There are other insurance firms that even go as far as recommending service providers to those to wed. The downside with this is that it is difficult for you to negotiate with the said service providers since they sort of have an agreement with the insurance firms and they probably charge the firms premium rates which are higher than what they would charge individuals.
Do you have talents or extra skills? You could use them to raise funds for the wedding. Moonlighting is simply getting an additional source of income from side hustles. Can you sing? Organise a paid concert. Can you draw? Organise an art festival of sort. You can invite your friends who do various arts to donate their arts or at least part of the proceeds from the sale of their arts to your wedding kitty.
Last year I went to a music concert of two people who were to wed. The bride was a singer while the groom was a drummer. Through their contacts, they got friends to play the other instruments and to be the background vocals. It was so nicely done, and the concerts (they were two) were well attended.
It is important to note that mostly, one will use a combination rather than one means of financing a wedding. Moreover, what will work for you will not necessarily work for someone else and vice versa. The most important thing is to make sure that you do not start a marriage with a lot of debts that will take years to pay off.