When Elma Visser (25) got engaged to Pierre Cronjé (26) in December last year, she decided to open a Capitec Global One facility to help with her financial planning. We spoke to her about the process of preparing for her big day and financial advice she’d offer couples about wedding planning.
How long did you give yourself to plan for your wedding?
More or less 8 months to get everything sorted out.
How did you draw up a budget for the wedding, reception, honeymoon, etc.?
We had an idea of what would be a “reasonable” amount to spend. We then contacted a whole range of vendors – more than 50. We captured the prices that we thought were reasonable on a spreadsheet and presented this to our parents, who had generously agreed to help us cover costs.
What made you choose Capitec to manage your part of the wedding budget?
I’d heard a lot about the great service one receives at Capitec from friends who already banked there. The higher interest rates offered on a savings account also appealed to me, as did the fact that with Global One I got 4 free savings plans to budget for different focus areas.
How did you decide on naming the 4 accounts at your disposal?
I decided on the names for the 4 savings plans based on what I was financially responsible for, namely the wedding dress, the accommodation, the bridesmaids and the wedding band.
Did you manage to save your target amounts?
Almost! I think that no matter how thoroughly you budget, there are always going to be hidden costs with wedding planning. For example, I completely forgot about the bridal veil, which is a separate cost to a wedding dress in most cases. So, I needed money that I hadn’t initially budgeted for to pay for that!
Were there other cost surprises?
The big shock is how all the little things add up to a much larger amount than we anticipated. Manicures, pedicures, facials, hairstyling and so on cost a lot more than you would ever imagine. Flowers also cost a fortune. I would encourage brides to think carefully about these details when doing their planning.
Is your partner also on a savings journey? If so, how are you splitting responsibilities?
We save together. His major cost has been saving towards the “surprise” honeymoon.
Do you have any financial planning/savings/budgeting advice for brides-to-be or couples?
There will always be hidden costs. The most important thing is to identify right from the start what your priorities are. For example, Pierre and I both wanted our guests to have a fantastic meal and delicious wine, which might mean that we’ll have to compromise on the flowers.
Secondly, start saving as soon as that ring is on your finger, maybe even sooner! Ask friends and close family members to assist where they can if they have talents in that department, for example with photography or catering. People actually love to help and contribute their skills.
Lastly, even if it will be difficult, commit to putting a set amount away each month. We both realised how much less we could do without. We’re planning to keep saving the same amount or more each month, now that we’ve learned how to save better. The first couple of months that you do without certain treats in order to save for long-term goals are the hardest, but it does get better and at the end of the day it is completely worth it.
What are your next savings goals, using your Capitec Global One facility?
Pierre and I love beautiful home interiors, so we’ll be saving to decorate our new little home. We’re looking at getting a larger fridge, a new couch, a coffee table and hopefully a dishwasher, so we’ll probably rename the 4 savings plans accordingly. We’ve also decided to put any monetary wedding gifts straight into my four savings plans. It’s really nice to have specific savings targets to work towards.