Don’t we all want to plan our wedding and either come in or are under budget? Well, I’m your girl for being a budget bride yet still having that luxury feel.
We’re nearly 10 months into this married life and I can’t believe we’ll soon be celebrating our first wedding anniversary. I feel I didn’t optimise my wedding enough for content and with wanting to tailor what I was going to blog about (a story for another day) – this post seemed perfect.
The biggest thing I learnt about wedding planning was is that I could spend as little or as much as I wanted to on anything. Always wanting to get the best value for money, I scoured the internet most evenings to try and get the best deals. Below are the 9 things where I think you can really save your pennies and keep that wedding budget in check.
Work out whats important
When we started planning for our wedding, the first thing we did was work out what was important to us and what we wanted to spend our cash on. It was a ‘must have’ on our list to have a venue with grounds, that could supply good food and had affordable rooms for our guests. We spent a while thinking about the weddings we had attended in the past few years and picked what we liked and didn’t like about them.
Your wedding day is the one day where you want to feel absolutely amazing. All attention is on you and you want to feel the very best version of yourself. But, it doesn’t have to come in as expensive as you think. My dress was from the known shop, Wed2B, where all dresses come in at less than £600. Though you can read mix experiences of Wed2B, I had a lovely experience there and the girls working couldn’t have done enough for me. It’s even worth going there just to look and try on the variety of different dresses, which is what I did with a friend who got married a few years ago. The wedding industry has even gone to the high street, where you can pick up wedding dresses at ASOS or Dorothy Perkins.
Our wedding venue was no corkage, which was a huge money saver when 2 families really like a drink. Though the venues are harder to find, it’s worth looking into or even paying the corkage fee, as it may come in cheaper. We supplied all our drinks from after the ceremony up until the meal had finished. Sainsburys and Marks and Spencer do some fantastic wine offers around Christmas and Easter time. We picked up our beer for the reception drinks from a majority of supermarkets depending where the offers were. For the Pimms, we went to good old Aldi. It also gives you the chance to have more of a variety of drinks, and pick a wine you like, rather than having what the venue provide.
Use your mates
I will forever be in debt to my friends and family who helped us with our wedding. Two of my closest friends spent many a weekend in our old conservatory as part of our wedding craft club. They painted crates, handpainted our names in a specific font and spent 2 weeks making me a wedding post box. My Mum spend the last 6 weeks before our wedding tentatively caring for our table decoration flowers that’ll be going in their homemade containers. It saved us a crap tonne of money in the long run and it was such a buzz walking around our venue knowing that mostly everything was handmade. We still have so many of the decorations in our house, which we could never have done if we only had flowers.
Also call in those favours. Have a friend who’s good with a camera? Get them to take some snaps. Got a mate who bakes? See if they can help you with the wedding cake.
Later in the day
It was always my intention to have our ceremony mid afternoon to break up the day. Having an earlier service means more people are left waiting around, and can leave people paying for entertainment, and can easily add some more cash onto the end of the bill.
Confession – two tiers of my wedding cake were actually made of polystyrene and were decorated by my Mum. Why? Remember step number one: realise what’s important to you. I really didn’t care about a cake and couldn’t pay three figures for it. So, we faked it.
Hobbycraft sell fake cake tiers from £2. I had 2 friends bake some cupcakes for me, which went down well, and it saved us a lot of money. Plus, who really eats cake at a wedding?
DIY your invites/stationary
All our stationary was completely handmade, and another money saver. After stalking pinterest and YouTube videos, I spent a weekend with my in-laws crafting together the invites I wanted. We went for a pocket design that came in at around £1 an invite, instead of £5 per invite which we were being quotes by different suppliers. I have a full blog post about my process here.
Our Save the Dates came in cheap too, as we used a photograph our wedding photographer took, and did some simple edits. A full blog post on it is here.
Weekday/Off peak date
The most expensive day to get married on is a Saturday, and the most expensive months are July and August. We saved ourselves £5k by getting married on a weekday in March, and we got everything from the venue that we would have had from the August wedding. If you give people enough notice, people will be able to make it. It can also save you some money with suppliers, as they generally tend to be cheaper on a weekday.
Are wedding favours really needed? I’m not so sure. You can either ditch them or not have to go very extravagant. My friends favours were a bargain where you bought sweets from a wholesaler and added them into gorgeous little boxes off ebay. We had charity favours from the Dogs Trust, which were very well received at our wedding.