A Very Costly Wedding

Since I’ve never been married, I can’t write from personal experience, however, observation has been my guide.

Through witnessing the weddings of friends, cousins, siblings and relatives I have come to conclude that the husband-to-be’s expenses are ridiculously high.

Allow me to break it down for you:

Take attire: The groom obviously wants to look great, hence the basic cost, including two outfits tailored to his style and preferred brands, along with accessories, typically average around N$30 000.

Doubling this amount for the bride’s oufits brings the clothing expense alone to a total of about N$60 000.

For those men who value their culture, there is the added expense of traditional attire.

This process can be quite difficult and requires a diplomatic approach to ensure inclusivity. Allocate around N$10 000 to this so everyone gets a traditional shirt or dress.

Lastly, suitcase items for the bride’s basic needs for the day – shoes, cosmetics, perfume, accessories and even pocket money.

Total cost: N$80 000.

The majority of men focus too much on the tent and decor, which takes up a large chunk of their budget.

Here one needs to have faith in vendors and hope they turn up and deliver. I mean they will bully you for deposits and render substandard work.

Avoid using family members as vendors – rather go with external vendors.

Expenses for tent rental, decor, DJ services, amenities like portable toilets and a generator typically average around N$60 000.

Additionally, most grooms prioritise an artist of their choice to perform, and they quote around N$10 000 for three songs, so the total cost for tent-related items could amount to N$70 000.

There is no wedding without food and drinks, and if you think of it, a wedding is just a chaotic dinner.

Keep in mind an Oshiwambo wedding can be active for up to eight days.

Very important: The groom needs three oxen, of which one needs to go to the bride’s house, and goats for the week.

He needs drinks for before, during and after the wedding.

Most forget to buy water, while this is the most important drink at any wedding.

Again, the majority just buy a lot of Tafel Lager, maybe because it is cheaper, but folks, the world has migrated to Windhoek Draught now.

There is just no variety. I mean a few wines, beers, ciders, whiskies, juice, champagne, gin and vodka would be appreciated.

Food and drinks combined could easily amount to N$80 000 in total.

Take other expenses, including firewood, ice blocks, videography, photography, fuel for travelling, fixing minor stuff at the house and admin costs, like groomsmen not paying on time and the groom having to use his own cash to substitute or borrow and be charged interest.

Everything has a cost these days.

Regarding groomsmen, what I’ve learnt when selecting them is to prioritise genuine friendships over those who simply enhance the aesthetics of your photos.

Remember, a wedding’s success isn’t measured by its social media presence. Your ‘A team’ should consist of friends who are reliable and supportive, willing to roll up their sleeves and pitch in when needed.

Choose individuals who can offer wisdom, guidance and practical assistance, whether they’re close friends or cousins, as their support would ensure your wedding day is perfect in every way.

Total cost: N$20 000.

Every successful project or event includes a contingency budget, and a wedding is no exception. Countless unforeseen circumstances could arise, such as a car breakdown, trailer tyre blowouts while fetching oxen, or even unexpected incidents like having your wine stolen by your cousins from Angola.

It’s essential to allocate a contingency fund for such situations. Let’s designate a budget of N$15 000 for this purpose.

Overall, a wedding could cost N$265 000.

Gentlemen, let’s focus our spending on what truly matters.

The key elements are ensuring your wife looks stunning and that there is an abundance of delicious food and drinks. From my observation, these are the elements that truly make a wedding memorable.

As guests, we primarily attend for the dining experience, so that’s where the focus should be.

– Meneer_SK advocates men’s grooming and all matters relating to men. Follow him on Instagram @Meneer_SK

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