Wedding Costs in Botswana: What to Expect and A Way to Raise Funds

wedding costs

Weddings are expensive. And in Botswana, that’s even more true than elsewhere. It’s not uncommon for a couple and their families to end up funding a traditional Batswana wedding ceremony, as well as a civil ceremony or a white wedding.

These ceremonies can be so hard on the pocket that it puts some couples off the idea of tying the knot entirely. According to figures released by Statistics Botswana, the biggest dips in weddings in Botswana happened in 2009 and 2011 – when the world was experiencing an economic downturn.

Overall wedding costs in Botswana

On average, Batswana couples in the middle-income bracket spend from P150 000 to P300 000 on the traditional and white weddings.

This amount includes the formal asking from the groom’s family for the bride to be married (patlo), the handover of the bride price (magadi), the bride handover to the groom’s family (kgoroso), the white wedding (including church ceremony) and the official civil ceremony at the court (molaodi).

Wedding celebration costs

Wedding celebration costs in Botswana depend on the location and type of service provider you choose to help you host your wedding.

An affordable service provider in Kanye, for example, might charge around P11000 for a quotation of 250 people for a traditional wedding. This amount would include P1 800 for a marquee, P1 500 for a draping, P2 000 for a carpet, P625 for plastic chairs, P250 for a red carpet, and P1 250 for chair covers. Similar costs can be expected for white weddings.

A more expensive service provider in Gaborone, for example, might charge around P40 000. This figure is inclusive of a tent for 300 guests at a cost of P15 000, 300 tiffany chairs at P7000, flowers and crockery at P7000 and cutlery and glassware at P5000.

Traditional Batswana wedding costs

Even before wedding celebrations are planned, several traditional rituals are usually followed. These can be stressful, and sometimes involve financial costs.

For a traditional Batswana marriage to be official, it’s customary for the groom’s family to pay the bride’s family a gift in the form of bogadi/magadi.

Traditionally, bogadi is expected to be paid in full in one lump sum. This can cause financial stress. However, there are instances where bogadi is paid in instalments.

Although each village is different, an expected average of eight cows is paid for magadi in Kanye.

Patlo needs to be paid to the bride’s family before negotiations for magadi can even start.

Other wedding costs in Botswana

An average wedding dress, whether for a traditional or white wedding, costs around P4 500. You can expect to pay about P 3000 for a two-tier cake, around P3 500 for a groom’s suit and something like P10 000 for rings for the bride and groom.

If you have both a traditional and a white wedding, these costs double.

How to keep wedding costs manageable

Before you start making wedding plans, assess how much money you can realistically spend. Then make sure you don’t exceed this amount by budgeting as carefully as possible.

Start with a list of what you need for your wedding. Delete activities and extras that are non-essential, or won’t really add to the special nature of the day. Consider reducing the number of wedding guests and insist on including only close family and friends.

Shop around, get quotes and don’t be afraid to ask a professional for advice.

Also, note that having your wedding at home isn’t necessarily cheaper than hosting the celebration at a venue. In fact, Boingotlo Motlalekgosi, who owns Bridal Empire Co, says Batswana weddings celebrated at home are often the most costly.

A way to raise funds for your wedding

If you’re struggling to cover the costs of a wedding in Botswana, one option is to secure a loan.

You could apply for a loan from a bank. Alternatively, consider getting an asset-based loan instead of a bank loan. This is a quicker, more straightforward option and won’t impact your credit rating.

Getting an asset-based loan for a wedding (or another purpose) involves using a valuable asset you own, such as a vehicle or expensive jewellery, as collateral for a loan. Because the loan is secured, there’s no need for credit checks or delays caused by lengthy application processes.

For more information about using an asset to secure a short-term loan – for example, to help cover wedding costs in Botswana  – contact us on 71 388 088 or simply complete and submit our online application form.

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