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Less is more: Wedding tips from event-planner and founder of Nono Events

Image: 123RF/Ruth Black

One consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic is that traditionally large wedding celebrations have had to give way to smaller affairs.

While many couples are now looking to plan intimate micro-weddings, the overall cost of a wedding can still burn a hole in the pocket if you’re not careful. At a time where budgets are already stretched to the limit, it is even more critical to be clear about where and how one spends money.

Maureen “Nono” Skosana, is the founder and CEO of event-planning company Nono Events. She says the silver lining of lockdown restrictions is that it can allow couples to curate experiences that are more personal and shared with just their immediate family and close friends.

Skosana believes this not only helps the couple save money on the wedding reception but can also make planning easier.

As frustrating as it might be to have to limit your expenses when it comes to your big day, Skosana has some tips for how to tie the knot in style, without breaking the bank.

Commit to a wedding budget: 

“While you want to splash on the special day, it is very important to acknowledge your finances, then establish an overall limit of how much you plan to spend — and stand by it. Being realistic about your expectations is crucial when planning a wedding. If there is something you cannot afford, say so — weddings aren’t the time to be shy about money.”


“Discuss your budget with your partner and agree to the things you both need for your special day. Start early and draw up a list of what will make your wedding memorable and what you could do without at a push.”

Avoid debt

“Start married life with your finances intact. A wedding in its entirety is costly, so it’s important not to go into huge debt to pay for the day. Similarly, you don’t want to dip into the savings you have for a specific purpose such as a new house. Look at minimising the costs of the day and cut out unnecessary spending or borrowing of money.”

Make lists and get quotes:  

“Make a very detailed list that includes the venue, food, décor and drinks, down to nails and hair for the big day. Decide what you would like and find out how much these things cost. Even though wedding costs depend on the couple’s preferences, having a comprehensive list can help you stay realistic about your spending and stick to the budget.

Look for package deals: 

“Take advantage of package deals from one supplier instead of using different suppliers. This will help you stay in the saving bracket and might work out less costly. Be honest and discuss your budget with your preferred supplier. This will enable them to work out an appropriate cost-saving package.”


“Make sure that you have a proper RSVP process in place. This will help manage catering and other costs.” 

Practical party favours:  

“Instead of spending a fortune on traditional thank-you gifts like sugared almonds, look into giving your guests something more practical and cost-effective like a small plant or an ornament.”

Check the Ts & Cs: 

“Lockdown has changed the way weddings are celebrated so it is very important to take note of the government’s regulations regarding events. It is critical to scrutinise your venue’s policy on cancellations or postponements.”

This article first appeared in the March 2021 print edition of S Mag.

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