Savvy spending in key places is essential to get your ideal wedding for less. Use these six tips to have the day of your dreams without blowing the budget…
Planning the perfect wedding for less is becoming ever more do-able, and the trend for handmade weddings stronger than ever.
And while we’re all for it, here at Wedding Ideas there are a few elements we definitely don’t think you should scrimp on. It’s worth splashing the cash on your dress and photographer – these are the core elements that will define your big day and the way you remember it, so it really is worth getting the best you can afford.
With that said, there are ways to plan a wedding for less – here are our top tips to do exactly that!
Between the ceremony and reception, temptation abounds for spending – whether it’s on the wedding breakfast, the decorations, the entertainment or the cake.
Instead of splurging on them all, spend on the parts of the day that matter the most to you. If you are a total foodie, then that exquisite three-course meal might be worth the money. If you can’t live without live music, hire a band, but forgo some of the other extras.
You’ll also want to consider what aspects will play the biggest role in your day. Where will you spend the most time and what will you be doing? Spend money where you’ll be able to appreciate it longest.
Hire don’t buy
You’ll almost definitely buy your wedding gown, but you don’t have to do that for the groom and groomsmen’s suits too. If keeping the big day suit isn’t top of your husband-to-be’s priority list, hire it instead to keep your costs down.
Likewise, don’t feel you have to buy every decoration, string of bunting or table runner. Look to the many businesses that offer everything you need, from décor to tableware to garden games, for hire to get your dream day for less. If you do choose to buy items, Sell My Wedding (@sellmywedding) suggests shopping for second-hand pieces in good condition. We’s also recommend the Wedding Ideas Shop, which is jam packed full of fabulous wedding decor, favours and more, all at affordable prices!
Friends & family
Your friends and family will be full of excitement in the run up to your wedding day. Put their excitement and skills to work and have them help you with the preparations.
If your best friend is a whiz on the sewing machine, enlist their help sewing bunting. If you know a brilliant baker, why not ask if they would make your cake? Get together to prepare favours, place settings and all the little jobs that soon stack up. Laura Reed of thingsbylaura.co.uk recommends “DIY where possible but leave it to the pros where needed. It worked wonders for me.”
Save the date
Saying ‘I do’ on a summertime Saturday means you’ll pay premium prices. Opt for a midweek ceremony or get married out of the peak wedding season to make your budget go further.
Taking last minute cancellations is another great way to nab your dream wedding venue within your budget if you’re flexible on the date. Venues will be keen to fill the date, so are likely to reduce their rates and might even throw in some extras for free.
The three-course sit down wedding breakfast is no longer the only option for your reception. Try an increasingly trendy barbecue or hog roast to give your guests great food at more affordable prices. Choosing food that is in season will also help you get more for your money – the same applies for flowers. You can find an A-Z of wedding food and drink ideas here (some of them could save you money!).
We also love ditching starters in favour of canapés after the ceremony or the traditional dessert course in favour of a DIY dessert table. This could be a sweets stand, cheeseboard, cookie station or even slices of your wedding cake. Provide cellophane bags alongside your sweet selection so they can double up as your wedding favours.
We are big advocates for taking a minimoon after your big day. Enjoy a luxurious weekend away with your new spouse without the stress of a big added expense. You don’t have to forgo the traditional honeymoon altogether – just give yourself a few months to save after the wedding before taking that trip of a lifetime, or use a gift list service like Buy Our Honeymoon or Patchwork to fund it.