Cost of a Modern Traditional Zambian Wedding in 2018…


Remember the good old days when hosting a traditional wedding in Zambia cost you almost next to nothing. The wedding would take place in the home grounds of a family member. A high Table would be placed at this selected venue for the bride and groom. The Groom arrived first, and the highlight of the ceremony was when the bride emerged from the house covered in a traditional chitenge cloth and then the groom was invited to unveil her and join him at the high table. Speeches would be made by both sides of the families joining together in marriage. The catering was done by both families who shared the cost of food and drinks. The music would be provided by the family hosting at the home. This also meant a couple would save a lot compared to those having a western style wedding. Unfortunately, the cost of any wedding cannot be under estimated. No matter how simple you want to keep your wedding. Its bound to attract some expenditure, especially with a lot of businesses in Zambia that now offer services in all matters concerning weddings, its become hard to have a basic wedding with no trimmings. (eloping comes to mind if you don’t want to spend any cash, although you must be prepared to face a few upset family members who were preparing to celebrate the big day with you).
The cost of a typical Modern traditional Zambian wedding in 2018 can be broken down into the following: (please keep in mind that the following price quotes are based on the minimum prices charged and maybe subject to change)
Counsellors. -minimum quote are from K1,000 and K1500.
Its become custom for both families of the bride and groom to hire traditional counsellors who will counsel the couple before, during and sometime after the wedding.

outdoor wedding

Venues. – minimum quote is from K2,500
The venue of a traditional modern wedding is usual held in the front or backyard of either the bride or groom’s family home therefore cutting hiring costs as this tends to limit the number of people and therefore the expense comes from hiring chairs, tables and catering equipment. Unfortunately, not all have the fortune to have their own family home as a venue and others prefer to book venues with large gardens specially meant for kitchen parties and weddings which tend to have a higher minimum cost of K3,500 and upwards. The cost of these venues incudes chairs, tables, equipment and catering if required as well. Always check what’s included in their package before you sign the contract. (check the Tips section on our website to see examples of questions to ask any venue.)


wedding tent that can be used for a traditional Zambian wedding.

Event Planners. -Minimum quotes start from K2,500
A lot of event planner companies in Zambia now do a fantastic job in decorating venues for kitchen parties, western style weddings as well as a traditional wedding. You can use traditional themes where one can use thatched brooms, reed mats and dry flowers. You can also incorporate your own ethnic tribal traditions in the theme. Bare in mind an additional cost for an outside tent which may start from K3,000

couple in simple outfits suitable for a traditional Zambian wedding. copyright Art-Proz  Photography, Zambia.

Wedding attire (Bride).
As there is no strict dress code at a modern traditional wedding, some brides to be may opt for a western attire, but most will go for a traditional attire using chitenge which a local fabric. To have a traditional dress tailored using local fabric will cost K1,500 which may include a head gear and neck beads and hand accessories. If you don’t want to go down that route or don’t have the time to have one made, then you have the option to buy an already made attire which may include head gear and accessories, and this may cost from K2,500.
Wedding attire (Groom).
Just like the bride there is no strict dress code. A tailor-made attire using local chitenge fabric will cost from K1,500. An already made attire with accessories will cost from K3,500 and above.

dance troupe. copyright picture-Nomakanjaniarts.

Traditional dance troops to entertain the guests will cost from K1,500. This will depend on the number of members in a group hired. This will include drums and all other traditional instruments used to perform. There are now event companies which offer traditional music and DJ music business. These will tend to be at a higher cost compared to traditional dancers.

western style food buffet that can be served at a traditional wedding.

Food and Drinks.
The cost of traditional food, traditional brews and drinks will start from K2,000. This cost may go higher due to the addition of western foods for some guests (keep your foreign guests in mind who may not be used to eating traditional Zambian food) including keeping in mind food allergies and religious beliefs of others.
Finally, a modern traditional wedding will roughly cost between K15,000 to K25,000.