As soon as you get engaged money becomes a huge issue. It can put a lot of pressure and strain on your relationship so it is worth sitting down and figuring out what is most important to you. If you are on a budget or are hoping to find some more cost effective options here are some of my helpful tips that will ensure you won’t overspend or waste money on unnecessary things.
1. Consider Off Season
The summer months are peak season for weddings. Rates are extremely high throughout June, July and August so why not buck the trend and choose to have an early Spring or Winter wedding? Venue rates will drop and there will be more wiggle room for negotiation on price. Plus, if you choose to have your wedding out of season your guests will appreciate this as they probably have every weekend in summer booked out for weddings!
2. Choose a Well Decorated Venue
By choosing a venue that has beautiful decor already you will only need to add small personal touches to finish it off. Ornate venues with lots of art work or painted ceilings are great, as well as conservatory venues which are full of plants and greenery. Think about what type of decor you want before picking your venue so you can specifically visit places that have your theme incorporated already. This will save you lots of money on hiring props and decorations.
3. Talented Friends/ Family
This is such an amazing way to get your friends and family involved in your big day. Utilise their skills and ask them if they would like to help with certain aspects of the wedding. Chances are they will jump at the chance to help you out.
If you know someone who is skilled at organisation ask them to help keep you on track with your planning. If your Mum is an amazing baker ask her to make your wedding cake or edible favours. If you have friends in the fashion industry they can help with dresses and bridesmaids. You might know a DJ or even a caterer. By asking those closest to you to help with the wedding it will save you having to spend so much money and also means you have complete trust in them.
4. DIY Invites
If you like crafts and would feel excited to make your own invites I would definitely suggest this as a money saving tip. Wedding stationary can be extremely pricey, there are so many beautiful designs out there but the cost can sometimes be a little daunting.
As long as your invites reflect your personality and are informative there is no reason why you cannot make your own. Pinterest is full of great ideas, keep it simple and pretty and you can’t go wrong. Remember you will be making a LOT of them so try not to make them too complex or time consuming otherwise you might give up!
5. Forgo the Cake
Cakes are such an integral wedding tradition that a lot of couples feel they have to have one. That iconic photo moment of the cake being cut is so ingrained in our minds that we often think it is an essential part of any wedding. However they can be very expensive, luckily there are some interesting cake replacements that won’t blow your budget.
To save on a rather pricey cake you could replace it with something a little fun and different. Donuts would be a playful alternative and a lot more cost effective. Another alternative cake option (which will also help to help reduce costs for your evening snacks) would be a cheese board. This could then be cut up and served with crackers, chutneys and wine for your guests to nibble on throughout the evening.
6. Bulk up with greenery
Flowers are such a fun way of adding personality to your wedding. However, your dream bouquet and table decor can rack up the pennies. I would consider using more foliage and greenery throughout your venue so you can spend more money on your own bouquet. You can use eucalyptus, lavender or rosemary sprigs to add colour and interest to your tables. This will help reduce the cost of your flowers but will look just as pretty. Another idea is to make some DIY terrariums and use them as your centrepieces (see my DIY Terrarium post for some more Inspo)
7. Sample Sale Wedding Dress
A wedding dress is one of the most expensive items of clothing a woman buys in their lifetime. It is the one day you get to wear an incredible dress that will be tailored perfectly to you. The average wedding dress budget is around £1,500-£2,500 which is a considerable amount of money. If you are looking to spend under £1000 I would highly recommend visiting a sample sale. Sample sales are a great way to find a designer dress at a heavily reduced cost. Sample dresses have been tried on a few times but most shops will make sure that any broken or damaged fabrics are fixed before the sale. They simply need a dry clean and then are immediately ready for you to start alterations. You can often find high end designer dresses for half price or less.
8. High Street Bridesmaids
Bridesmaids dresses are a bit of a nightmare at the best of times let alone having to worry about the extra costs involved. When each of your girls are different heights, body shapes and colouring how are you supposed to find a dress that suits them all at a reasonable price? My advice is to turn to the high street. Rather than worrying about getting everyone in the same dress I would suggest sticking to a colour or complementing colours and choose dresses that work for each individual bridesmaid. By looking on the high street you will find some great dresses at a reasonable price. Lots of high street shops have launched bridesmaid ranges to help you out. My favourite at the moment is ASOS there are so many cute designs that won’t scare your accountant.
9. Save on Shoes
Unless you are a true shoe addict I would suggest saving on your shoes. If you are wearing a full length gown your guests will not be able to see your feet for most of the day. Opt for a high street shoe instead of high end and you will be able to save some money. Make sure you are really comfortable and that they match your wedding gown, there is no need to buy high end if you cannot afford it. There are plenty of affordable, beautiful shoes around and remember you don’t need to wear white shoes, Golds, Silvers or even a pop of colour work just as well.
To have something borrowed is wedding tradition anyway but it can also help to save you some money as well. The best items to borrow are veils and jewellery. Veils can be very expensive especially if they are lace edged or beaded, if you have a friend or family member who would like to lend you their veil you can bring it along to your dress fittings to see if it works with your style of dress. Veils are often only worn for the ceremony and are not something that feature heavily in the day so it is a great option to save some money.
Jewellery is also another amazing thing to borrow, often your family will have some jewellery that has been passed down that would also hold a real sentimental value.
Your wedding is about enjoying the day with your partner, family and friends, no one will kick up a fuss if you choose not to have that giant ice sculpture or flying horse! Keep it realistic and spend money on the things that mean the most to you.