How to save money at your wedding….
When you are planning a wedding, your ideas can quickly escalate beyond your budget, so I have gathered together some top tips to save money so you can still have the wedding of your dreams!
The Rings and Jewellery
Second-hand doesn’t mean second rate – vintage and second-hand rings can be just as sparkly and impressive as new ones at a fraction of the price. Plus celebrities such as Kate Moss and Scarlett Johansson both chose this trend so you will be among the A-List!
Ask your mum/grandmother/aunt if they have any jewellery you can borrow for the day. I wore a pair of my mum’s crystal earrings which fitted perfectly with my vintage theme and also counted as my ‘something borrowed’.
At The Ceremony:
Plan to re-use the decorations at your venue. Choose a responsible person (with a large car!) to transport flower arrangements and pew ends to your reception venue.
Or even better, hold the ceremony and reception in the same place – this saves on transportation and venue decoration.
If you are getting married in a church, quite often their flower ladies are more than happy to coordinate their weekly floral display to suit your wedding colour scheme.
At The Reception:
The easiest way is to cut the guest list. Don’t feel pressured to invite anyone that you don’t want to. You will only resent it and it may even come at the expense of inviting someone else that you really want there.
Don’t be afraid to ask if a venue has a discounted rate for weekday or off peak weddings.
Have the largest tables possible so that you don’t need as many centrepieces.
I am a huge advocate for professional photographers as I have seen more than enough weddings where ‘Uncle Bob’ has offered to capture the day on his fancy SLR camera and the results have been disastrous. So look for a photographer who offers a ‘Digital Only’ package, which can work out around £500 cheaper than if you purchase a posh album. You can then browse through the images in your own time and either print them out yourself or use an online photo book site to create your album for around £40. Or why not buy a digital photoframe to show a slideshow of your favourite images?
Food and Drink:
Choose Prosecco or Cava instead of Champagne as your welcome drink.
Don’t feel you have to go for a fancy menu – sometimes home cooked style menus such as a carvery or pie and mash can work out cheaper (and will fill your guests up more!)
Stationery and Invites
If you feel confident about DIY stationery there are lots of sites to help you with your designs – my favourite being Wedding Chicks. However, do not underestimate the time and effort it takes to produce a large number of beautiful invitations!
Email your Save the Dates. Wedding etiquette no longer dictates that everything has to be sent out on gold embossed handmade ivory card!
Ask your florist to suggest seasonal flowers to help keep costs down. If you have your heart set on Peonies/Lily of the Valley/David Austin roses then why not just have them in your bouquet and choose complimentary flowers for the rest of the designs.
You don’t have to get everyone a buttonhole! Usually, the Groom, Best Man and Father of the Bride would be at the top of the list.
Some florists will offer a discount if you wish to buy flowers in bulk off them to DIY some of your flowers, but as with the invites, this can take a lot more time and effort than people realise and as they have to be made up the day before the wedding, make sure you have an army of creative people to help out!
Intricately decorated wedding cakes are expensive and there is a good reason for that when you take into account the hours of skilled labour that go into creating lace icing and sugar flowers. You could order a simple style cake from the professionals so you aren’t compromising on taste or quality and then decorate yourself with ribbon or a funky cake topper. Naked cakes are also on trend which look lovely with some berries and flowers scattered on each tier.
Another idea is to ask friends and family who should really be appearing on Bake Off to contribute towards a ‘Dessert Table’. You will end up with a fantastic range of home baked cakes and desserts and you can choose one to cut as your wedding cake.
Enlist your friends!
If a close friend has a talent that you could use (hairstylist, florist. calligrapher, baker…) and they are invited to the wedding, maybe ask if they are willing to give a discount in lieu of a wedding present? Or perhaps a friend who is a confident public speaker would be happy to be your Master of Ceremonies.
Asking for cash.
It is not uncommon these days for married couples to steer away from the traditional wedding gift registry. So why not set up an account for guests to donate money towards your honeymoon? A lot of travel agencies will be happy to set this up for you and provide you with a list of guests that have contributed so you can send a thank you note (or postcard from the Bahamas!).
Keep an eye out for discounts.
Sites such as local Facebook selling pages and The Money Saving Expert can be a great way to look out for relevant discounts and second-hand goods to help you save money.
What not to do…
It may seem like a great idea at the time but do you really want to start your married life in debt? When you look at the interest you will pay over the course of a loan you may not think its worth it. If you have to borrow, make sure you are doing it in the best way possible – don’t borrow more than you can afford and try and find suppliers that offer interest-free credit.
Gamble on a cheap online dress.
You know the saying – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. You want to look and feel like an absolute princess on your wedding day, so why risk forking out on a dress that is poorly made out of cheap fabric that looks nothing like the picture advertised? Take a look at the Bridal Beware or Knock Off Nightmares pages to see more of these horror stories! Most Bridal shops will have a sale rail of discontinued dresses that are a fraction of the original price.
My best piece of advice it to set a budget and stick to it and prioritise which areas are the most important. So if your wedding photographs are your top priority, book the best wedding photographer you can afford and work the rest of your budget around that.