Planning a wedding can take many a long hour of trawling through the internet and making endless phone calls, with the majority of brides and grooms squeezing those hours into lunch breaks, evenings and weekends. It can be stressful and costly, not to mention time consuming. So to help you through the process, Janet Haynes, wedding planner and company director of the new Wedding Fayre Boutique in Daventry, reveals 12 hot planning tips from herself and the other leading suppliers within her boutique…

wedding planning tips

What are your ‘must haves’?

Set your budget and help yourselves by deciding your ‘must haves’, and what you’re prepared to be more flexible about. Discuss what’s more important to you then budget accordingly.

Parental contributions

Are parents or family contributing to the budget or as is more common these days, will you be covering the bill yourselves? It’s worth making sure your money is working for you by having it in a high interest account or an easily accessible cash ISA which will maximise the interest on your savings and any contributions made by family members.

Fun raising

Explore ways of raising funds by selling your unwanted goods via car boots or online sites such as eBay.

Don’t skimp on important suppliers

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Don’t be tempted to cut costs on things like photography or videography as the pleasure from these will last for years to come. Make sure you choose a trusted recommended photographer who will listen to your needs. Alex Haynes of Alex Digital Photography, from the Wedding Fayre Boutique advises couples not to be intimidated by photographers and their packages: “Don’t be afraid to ask photographers if they can amend set packages to meet your individual needs as a couple”. You can try to negotiate a reduced price package or substitute items to better suit you.

Prioritise your planning

Your venue is top of the list of priorities for your day. Decide what aspect of your venue is more important to you. Is it the character of the venue, do you have your heart set on a grand country manor, or a marquee? Is it the location that’s more important to you or is it what the venue can offer in terms of on site accommodation facilities?  I would give a cautionary word about venues which aren’t exclusively yours, do you want to compete with another wedding party and overcrowded communal areas on your wedding day? It can be far from ideal.

Off-peak discounts

Staverton Park Hotel and Golf complex’s weddings co-ordinator, Laura Jones-Finch, recommends asking venues about their ‘off peak’ packages and late availability deals, as great savings can be made when booking these packages. Picking a weekday instead of a weekend or a day that is out of season. This can cut the cost of your reception venue by as much as half.

wedding planning

DIY touches

Modern weddings are all about personal touches, so why not make a few things yourself and stamp your own personality on the day? The easiest things to make are cupcake favours, chairback details and hanging decorations like pom poms or bunting.

Family talents

Make sure you tap into the talents of your nearest and dearest. Someone who loves baking could be enlisted to make your wedding cake and a close friend or your chief bridesmaid could do your hair and make-up on the day. These are all avenues worth exploring, it’ll make your loved ones feel valued and a special part of your day and you can save money at the same time.

Alternative catering

Using local caterers who offer alternative suggestions for your wedding breakfast is a great way to keep your day fun, carefree and within budget. Artisan Caterers from the Wedding Fayre Boutique, explain that hog roasts and party buffets are becoming increasingly popular, particularly with brides planning a relaxed, outdoors celebration. An additional treat can be a candy buffet such as the Wedding Fayre Boutiques, Sweet Cotton Candy traditional candy cart. They can be used as a dessert alternative or just a fun focal point at the reception.

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Gatsby glamour

Why not include some Great Gatsby-style glamour in your day with a fabulous firework display? Tamara of MLE Pyrotechnics says that a spectacular firework display with bespoke name firing, can be the ultimate finale to your perfect party.

Floral savings

One easy place to save money is on your wedding flowers. “Use local suppliers where ever possible,” says Peter of Granmead’s Florist. “Also choose seasonal blooms to help keep costs under control.”

Are you strapped for time?

Why not enlist the help of a planner to help organise your day? Today’s planners offer flexible options such as planning by the hour, planning workshops, on-the-day management or full, bespoke planning. A good planner will give you support, direction and inspiration, and help you stick to your budget!