Ten Ways to save money (and prevent Israaf) on your wedding

  1. Venue—While everyone dreams of having their wedding at some glamorous locale, try to keep economy in mind.  If you absolutely MUST go with a fancy shmancy place, limit your guests to only the most intimate family and friends.  If you have to invite everyone and their grandma, then try to pick a location that is big but modest—you can always decorate the venue later to make it look nicer.  Also, consider holding the event outdoors if the weather is nice.  Sometimes a smaller budget can inspire your creativity to make something memorable.
  2. Decorations—Forego the garden of flowers on the stage—they’ll just get tossed in the trash when the event is over.  Unless you plan on pulling off each and every flower at the end of the night, stick with the simple two chairs and curtain backdrop, with only a few flowers here and there.  If you’re concerned about the stage looking bare, add in a few choice decoration pieces to set the mood.
  3. The Wedding Dress – Borrow someone else’s dress.  If you have a sister or cousin that doesn’t mind lending you their old dress, why not use theirs?  There are also plenty of places that rent out wedding dresses at only a fraction of what they would cost if you bought them.  If neither of these options are available for you and you absolutely MUST buy a dress, consider purchasing one overseas (Pakistan, India, wherever you’re from.)  When I went wedding dress shopping in the U.S., dress prices were up to $1000 for even some fairly simple designs.  I bought a much prettier, much more detailed dress in Pakistan for a fraction of that price.
  4. The Wedding Jewelry – Again, consider borrowing some from a family member.  Also, if you have a good relationship with a jeweler, they may be willing to allow you to rent bridal jewelry, provided you give them a deposit.  Another great, low cost option is to go with an artificial set.  With the skyrocketing price of gold these days, the trend is turning towards artificial sets that match the wedding dress.  You can also easily get a gold plated set or one that LOOKS like it is real gold.  Also, consider crystals instead of diamonds or precious stones in the jewelry—many times you will be unable to tell the difference.
  5. No photographer—Do not go with a professional photographer—not only is it very expensive, but it violates the terms of pardah.  Even a female photographer can not guarantee you that no male will ever see your photographs during the editing process.
  6. Limit food selection—there is absolutely no need to have 13 different dishes and five different desserts.  Keep the food simple and proportionate to the amount of guests you are expecting, otherwise a lot of it will go to waste!
  7. Invitations—Consider using an online service for your invitations—it’s much easier to keep track of RSVPs and see how many guests you should expect.  If you need to give out a paper invitation, keep it REALLY simple and inexpensive—most people will just throw it in the garbage anyway.
  8. Makeup—You absolutely CAN do your own bridal makeup!  Practice makes perfect, and you can easily recreate a salon look at a fraction of the cost.  The best thing about it is that you will be able to keep all the makeup and tools you used, so you can easily recreate your wedding look whenever the desire strikes you.  But please practice the halal use of makeup!  Make sure you do not use makeup in front of non-mahrams (your male cousins are non-mahrams too, FYI).
  9. Bridal trousseau—You do not need to buy all of your clothes and shoes in advance.  Just buy two or three good fancy suits and three good pairs of fancy shoes (one in a color or style that will go with the majority of your outfits.)  You can always buy more later on.  Fashions change very fast so it’s better to buy clothes a little at a time.
  10. Wedding Cake – forego a dessert dish if you’re going to have cake, or if you’re going to have dessert, don’t have a cake.  If you WILL have a cake, then don’t go for some crazy design that costs thousands of dollars, because in the end it is just going to be cut up and eaten!  Go for something simple and elegant, big enough to feed everyone.

And that’s all I got so far.  If anyone has any more ideas, drop me a comment, I’d love to hear what you come up with.

2 Responses to “Ten Ways to save money (and prevent Israaf) on your wedding”
  1. Umm Tazkiyah says:

    that was great =)

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