We all know that planning a wedding is an expensive business, so thinking of ways to help your wedding budget stretch further is really important. An average wedding is costing around the £30,000 mark. That’s a lot of money and if you can afford it that’s great but don’t go getting yourself into debt for just one day. You don’t need to spend that sort of money to have the day of your dreams. What’s important is who you share it with, not what you spend!
Write down your budget
I know it sounds too simple but it really is! Don’t be fooled by the simple things, setting a budget will help you stay in control of your money. Use a budget planner and add everything and I mean EVERYTHING - even those few packets of tissues or confetti that are a pound or two each. It will all add up and if you don’t keep tabs on your spending the cost will soon escalate. It will be easier to control if you can see what you are spending!
Sunday or weekday wedding
In days gone by weddings were always on a Saturday and most probably in the summer. Because of this prices soared and now you can get a much better deal if you get married on a weekday, a Sunday or in the winter months. Some brides worry that getting married on a Weekday or Sunday means that a lot of guests won’t be able to make the wedding but that isn’t necessarily the case. As long as you give people enough notice they will probably only be too happy to book annual leave or book the Monday off to recover from the festivities. At the end of the day, if they want to be there, they will be there!
Ask a favour
Buying wedding gifts along with a new outfit and possibly accommodation can be quite expensive for guests, so maybe call in some favours from friends and family to save them money as well as yourselves. Do you have an auntie that is a dab hand at making awesome cakes? Have you got a friend that is good with flowers or one that has a fancy car? Don’t be afraid to ask them if they would mind making your wedding cake, driving you to the venue, or helping you with flowers in place of buying you a gift. Just remember to tell them that it’s OK to say no if they really don’t feel they can do it, you don’t want them to feel under pressure and like they have to do it.
Borrow from friends and family
Borrowing is a key way to keep control of your budget. You most likely have friends and family that have already got married. If you loved a family members tiara or bridal jewellery, see if you can keep it in the family and maybe start a new tradition by asking them if they would mind you using it for your wedding. Maybe you liked a friends table centerpieces or their table plan ask if they would mind you borrowing it. By doing this you will have your something borrowed for your wedding and at the same time you can keep costs down as well.
Be a DIY diva
DIY now has a completely new meaning in the wedding world. The more DIY you can do, the more money you can save. Just remember to not take on more than you can handle and start as early as you can to stop the stress as your date gets nearer. Are you any good at sewing? Make some decorations like bunting or pom poms. But if needlework isn’t your forte, pop into the charity shops and grab some old photo frames to revamp and make a table plan, look for some vases or glass bowls for centrepieces for the tables. Get the artistic juices flowing but don’t get too far out of your comfort zone.
Pre-loved versus new
Depending on what your budget is for your dress, you could look at some of the well known high street ‘off the rail’ wedding shops or you could consider buying a pre-loved dress. Hundreds of pounds are spent on wedding dresses and most brides only wear their wedding dress for a maximum of 12 hours and then decide to sell it on after the wedding. By buying a pre-loved wedding dress you could get your dream dress for a fraction of the cost. It makes perfect sense if you’re on a tight budget, or you’ve fallen for a gown that costs more than your venue hire and honeymoon put together!
Sit down meal versus buffet
The traditional wedding of a sit down three course meal, followed by wedding cake, tea and coffee, and then an evening buffet are no longer the norm. You don’t have to do this anymore, why not consider getting married later in the day and serving an eye catching buffet for the day and evening guests together. Or think about cheaper meal options, Opt for fun food like a BBQ or hog roast for the day guests followed by bacon butties or pizza in the evening and give your guests wedding cake for dessert. Think outside the box and see those savings mount!
Many people have never heard of corkage but it’s an important thing to ask about when booking your venue. Finding a wedding venue with no corkage, means you could save yourself a massive amount of money. Venues that don’t charge corkage allow you to bring in your own alcohol and you won’t have to use the alcohol the venue provides and charges for. This means you can spread the cost and buy alcohol over a period of time, taking advantage of any supermarket offers or you could get a ferry over to France to stock up. This way you can provide beer and wine to go with the meal and a fraction of the cost.
The wedding cake
Wedding cakes are an expensive addition to any wedding. Do you actually need or want one? For a few years now people have been shying away from the traditional wedding cake and opting for something a bit simpler and cheaper. Have you thought about a naked cake, or a doughnut tower, a cupcake tower with a smaller wedding cake on top? Another new addition to the wedding cake ideas, is a cheesecake, yep a cake made from real cheese! With this option, some couples use the cheesecake as part of there evening buffet by just adding crackers and fruit.
It’s all about the flowers
Or is it? Flowers are a beautiful addition to any wedding but from florists and wedding specialists they aren’t cheap! Think about an alternative bouquet such as brooch bouquets or paper bouquets. But if flowers are your thing, look at the larger stores and supermarkets. Fake flowers are very popular now and you can pick up bridal bouquets and bunches of flowers and make your own at a snipping of the cost. Alternatively pick up some Gypsophilia, Roses, Lillies or any of your favourite flowers from the supermarkets the day before your wedding and again make your own bouquets. Either option will mean you are quids in!
If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
This one is quite simple but the one most people hate doing., Don’t be afraid to haggle, ask if that’s the best price on offer or ask if there’s some kind of deal you can do. At the end of the day the supplier can always so no, so it doesn’t hurt to ask. They could also say yes and if that’s the case you have saved some more of those pennies. Think about what you really want from that supplier – is there any way to you/they can tailor what’s on offer so that it suits you both? Remember if you don’t ask, you don’t get!