For many couples, a wedding is the very first time they ever think about planning a massive event.
At times it’s hard to know how much the event is going to cost until you start getting into the essentials of planning.
For Akhona Khanya Magingxi, it was only when she was at the end of planning her wedding that she realised what a costly affair the celebration would be.
Growing up, the 32-year-old had always wanted a big wedding because she knew her mother had many people to invite.
So, when she got engaged to 35-year-old Xolile Magxingxi, it was only fitting that she get started on planning her dream wedding.
"I was prepared to spend around R80 000 on my wedding day. We saved up enough money to do wedding preparations, and I was excited about having a big wedding," says the Capetonian.
She found a venue, a cake, and had the bridesmaids’ dresses made. However, after seeing just how expensive the wedding would be, she and her husband, Xolile, decided it was best for them to buy a house for their family instead of having a big wedding.
Meanwhile, her friends planned to throw her a surprise bridal shower when she got back from her lobola negotiations in the Eastern Cape.
"I got so many gifts from my friends, they were excited for me," Akhona says.
Although she was grateful for the kind gesture and gifts, Akhona had to break the news that she and Xolile had decided to cancel their wedding plans to her friends.
She is the one who initiated the conversation about cancelling the wedding. Her husband was on board with the decision. "My husband initially wanted the wedding because I wanted it, and he also wanted to make sure that my mom was okay with the cancellation of the wedding, but when I explained everything to him, he understood," says Akhona.
"My husband and I were renting a beautiful house at the time. We found out that the owner wanted to sell it and we couldn't miss that opportunity. At the time, we had a three-year-old daughter and had to be very strategic about our decisions.
"If we did have a wedding, we were not going to be able to put down the deposit for a house. We paid R50 000 deposit, and a had bit of money to save."
Akhona and Xolile formalised their marriage at Home Affairs, had lunch, and went back to their beautiful home, ready to face their life challenges that do not involve financial problems.
“One thing I realised is that there is life after wedding celebrations, and when we looked at the costs, we felt it was not necessary to spend that much money,” she says, adding that marriage is a commitment. You can celebrate at any other time when you are financially ready and able to afford it.
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