From the archives | Local couple has wedding worth R2000 – and they’re now debt free

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Happy couple. (PHOTO: Supplied to Move!)
Happy couple. (PHOTO: Supplied to Move!)

Thinking of having an expensive wedding? This couple might make you change your mind.

This interview was done in 2019. 

It is said that an average wedding costs between R100 000 and R250 000.

Most people usually do not have this kind of money, so they take up loans for a day’s celebration, to impress friends and family. Getting into marriage with huge debt can cause couples to be depressed and sometimes leads to divorce.

Drum speaks to Kabelo Khumalo who, together with his wife, spent less than R2 000 on their wedding.

Kabelo says this is the best decision they have ever made.


In 2012 Kabelo (30) met his wife Mukhethwa Khumalo (25) at an all-night prayer meeting at a church they attended in Port Elizabeth when they were both students. After the event, Kabelo introduced himself to Mukhethwa. The pair then saw each other again at church a month later after the school holidays and that is when Kabelo decided to ask the lovely lady on a date.

“I asked her out for coffee, she said she wasn’t a coffee lover but preferred water. I then asked her on a water date,” laughs Kabelo. From there a friendship brewed and later developed into a relationship. Since they are devoted Christians, the pair had a unique relationship.

“My wife and I, while dating, did not kiss, touch or be intimate with each other. I kissed my wife for the first time when we got married,” explains Kabelo.


At the time Kabelo and Mukhethwa were talking marriage, a lot was happening in their lives.

“Mukhethwa was still studying towards her honours degree. I had graduated and I was a trainee and not earning very much. I saved some money for lobola and in August 2015 sent my uncles to negotiate lobola on my behalf,” he says.

“It was tough because we wanted to have our wedding a few months later but our families were against the kind of wedding we wanted to have. We wanted an intimate wedding at Mukhethwa’s home and she wanted to wear a tutu-skirt as opposed to wearing a traditional wedding dress, and so we didn’t get married as planned because our families wanted a big wedding.”


To raise more money, Kabelo, who has always had an interest in becoming an author, published his book which he wrote in 2013. It didn’t bring in the money they had hoped for. In January the following year, the couple decided that they were getting married and were doing it their way.

Kabelo says he and his wife called a marriage officer and they met them at a nearby restaurant and they signed. They had brought two of their friends as witnesses. “We were very happy that we finally did it. We called our friends to tell them we were married and organised a wedding celebration at a nearby park a few days later,” he explains.

“We got married under a gazebo in the presence of 12 friends and our pastor and his wife. We bought pizza worth about R800, one 5-litre juice and sparkling wine for about R50. My suit was bought for me by a friend. My wife got her dress for R180 and her shoes cost R130. My ring cost R250 and hers cost R550. We also played music from a cellphone and connected it to a small speaker. We had a great day even though our families were not there to share it with us.”

Two months later the pair drove to Mukhethwa’s family to share the news. To their surprise, Mukhethwa’s mother was very happy for them. A few weeks later the pair visited Kabelo’s parents and they too were ecstatic.

Kabelo’s mom said that she was happy they did it because she knows how sometimes families can stand in the way of what two people who love each other really want.


Not long after we go married, his contract as a trainee came to an end and he was jobless. Luckily Mukhethwa got a job not long after that.

“I was glad I did not have an expensive wedding because we did not have to worry about debt,” he says. “After almost two years of being unemployed, I found a job and things began to look up for us.” One of the things the couple feel strongly about is that there is no need to spend hundreds of thousands of rands on a day’s celebration and spend the rest of your marriage in debt.

“If you can afford it, go for it of course. Make sure you get into your marriage on a good foot. After we got married, we were able to start working towards the future and not work backwards,” says Kabelo.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24