Here’s part two of our savvy-saving alphabet from Emily Berryman, bringing you the perfect ways to create a beautiful, budget wedding from M-Z…
M is for multitasking
Perhaps you can move your ceremony flowers to your reception or serve your wedding cake as dessert? Any way you can double up your uses will make nifty savings.
N is for newlyweds
Recently married friends, family and forum members offer a wealth of experience on how to work a bridal budget. The average wedding may cost a whopping £20,000 – but these genius ladies will reassure you that it doesn’t have to.
O is for off peak
If your heart is set on a budget-busting venue, consider tying the knot during a quiet month or midweek. Less popular times (that’s not a Saturday between May and October) see hire fees slashed by as much as half!
P is for prioritising
Splurge on the elements of your day that are most important to you and be more frugal elsewhere. Love all things fashion? Go for a show-stopping gown. Self-confessed foodie? Push the boat out on amazing grub!
Q is for quality vs quantity
There are some things you can afford to scrimp on – for example, switching champagne for cava, or smoked salmon for bacon butties – but for some, cutting costs is a false economy. Never compromise on your photographer (it’s better to have a good one for a short time than to have a shoddy one hang around all day!) and never invite more guests than you can afford to feed.
R is for RSVPs
Wedding stationery can take a frightening bite out of your budget, but not everything in the stationery packages is necessary. Believe it or not, guests will respond to your invitation despite not having a flashy laser-cut RSVP card!
S is for seasonal
Staying in season with your food and flowers will ensure better quality and save you pennies too. Holding a summer time bash? Carry sweet peas and serve juicy strawberries and cream. Prefer autumnal romance? Lace your bouquet with hedgerow berries and warm guests with yummy pumpkin soup!
T is for themes
Having a theme is a great way to save without looking like you are scrimping. Consider having a country-style bash, complete with picnic baskets and bunting, or an easy-on-the-wallet white colour scheme. The only rule is to stay away from anything too rigid. You may be honeymooning in Egypt but that’s not to say guests will be appreciated being told to dress like Cleopatra!
U is for unnecessary ‘essentials’
The wedding industry is awash with so-called ‘must haves’ that are ‘guaranteed’ to make your day stand out – but before you panic-spend yourself silly, first think about whether you really, really need it. Guests will enjoy your celebrations with or without a save the date magnet.
V is for VAT
The silent sting in many a quote – ALWAYS check that VAT has been included in your price. At 20%, it makes a massive difference to your total expenditure – and maxing out that Visa is not the best way to start married life. It’s true what they say – make sure that you always read the small print.
W is for wine
Provide some vino for guests to sip during the wedding breakfast (traditional wed-iquette suggests half a bottle per head) but a free bar for the entire night is by no means obligatory. Buy your booze on a sale or return basis and take back what is not drunk, if you have stronger willpower than us!
X is for Xtras
Sometimes what you assume is included in the package isn’t and likewise, some extras are thrown in at a cost that you didn’t want or ask for. For example, if you are hiring a marquee, is the dancefloor, lighting and heating included in the price? Little extras cause big panic attacks.
Y is for yes
Accepting help doesn’t make you half a bride, it’s the key to saving your sanity! Perhaps your auntie is a pro on the sewing machine or your dad has the negotiating skills of Alan Sugar? Utilising the talents of clever friends and family can save a packet.
Z is for (over) zealous plans
Finally, remember that it is your wedding day you are planning, not Kim Kardashian’s. A few extravagances are good, but all guests really want is to see the two of you beaming like loved-up maniacs. And that doesn’t cost a bean…
Did you miss the first half of the savvy-spending alphabet? Well you can find it right here. We’ve got lots more brilliant money-saving tips right here, from buying your wedding dress to the flowers you’re holding when you walk down the aisle.