I probably don’t need to tell you that weddings cost a fortune – believe me, I know! I got married in September last year (Have a nosey here!), and we saved and paid for everything within a year with a bit of help from family along the way.
There are a hundred and one things to pay for, and it all soon adds up. Before you know it, you’ve spent at least £10,000 on one day. ONE DAY! (And to be honest that’s probably being sensible, too). In the year of planning and executing the wedding, my husband and I found ways to save and things to compromise on that kept things within sensible realms of spending, but without necessarily going without.
Forget the Favours
What’s the point in wedding favours anyway? We spend time worrying about it, and then I thought, if I went to a wedding and thought it had cost the lovely couple a fortune just to give me some novelty chocolates I’d scoff down in seconds, I’d feel terrible! Wedding guests are privileged even to be there in the first place, you don’t need to shell out gifts! Which brings me on to…
Trim the Guest List
Composing a guest list can be a tricky thing. By having less people you’ll save money on food and drink, but you might not wish to leave people out. There are many guides out there to help you but my advice would be this – invite who you want to be there. If money is an issue, keep the ceremony & Wedding breakfast small, and invite your wider friend groups to the evening party. If you can’t trim the guest list down, don’t worry, because you could…
Get Creative With the Cake
Forget about the traditional iced 4 tier monstrosity. Simple and rustic Chic is in! Maybe even think about making it yourself (but remember that taking on too much before the big day could end in tears!) or getting one of the chefs in the family to do it. It’ll make a big difference to your budget, and family love to help in whatever way they can when it comes to your special day. My cake was made for me by an Aunt on my husband’s side of the family, and it was delicious!
Make Some of the Decor
There are loads of things you can make to add to the decor yourself, like the bunting. Don’t go out and buy it when you could make it for next to nothing. It’ll take more time, but you’ll have more of a budget to play with! We created a photo wall using string, pegs, and some cute postcards that cost 80p each from Paperchase! Visit your local outlet places as well – we picked up boxes of tealight holders, bunting and luggage labels for our seating tags for outlet prices. We had reams and reams of fairy lights, too!!
This also applies when it comes to invitations – my husband designed ours and we got the printed through a contact I had at work for free! If you’re not creative, there are lots of great small companies you can approach to make paper themes wedding invites!
Table flowers can also be covered off with relative inexpensive by saving jam jars for a year and using wild flowers!
Marry Out of Peak Season
Marrying during peak season is nice, but it isn’t essential. Marrying out of peak season, on an unusual day will save you a load of money. Just make sure you let all of your guests know well in advance so they can get the time off work – remember – it’s your day!
Rent Your Outfits
Why buy your wedding outfits when they’re probably only going to sit there forever after never to be used again? This is especially true of ushers and bridesmaids. Rent them instead! You’ll save a fortune on dresses, suits, and shoes.
I turned to Etsy for some of my bridal accessories, and i didn’t need to compromise on anything – I bought some beautiful things and well within reasonable price!
Ask for Favours Rather Than Gifts
Instead of asking for gifts from your family, ask for favours instead. We never had a wedding list, but close family wanted to know what we wanted as a wedding gift. My mother paid for my dress and my Dad chucked in for the catering! . Usually couples put a poem on their invites, requesting financial help versus gifts – people do understand that picking our your own things is much better and less stressful!
Make your own Playlist
Why get a DJ when you can make your own playlist? You can include songs you know you’ll like, and songs that will get everybody up and dancing. You can even include songs especially for other couples that have attended, or ask for suggestions on your RSVP cards! I spent hours crafting playlists – one for the dinner, one for the first dance, and then a couple of playlists for the evening party! It was fun, personal and I got so many comments from my guests on my epic song choices!
In short, your mantra should be, “It’s our day”. I can’t stress that enough to people who are planning. Family are important, sure, but your wedding day is a reflection of you and your partner’s personalities, and compromise on your choices should be minimised! If you’re soon to be married, congratulations.