Whether you’ve got £50 or £1k for finishing touches, there are loads of ways to add wow factor to your day! Emily Berryman tells you how…


If you have £1000…

With a healthy chunk of cash in your pocket, the ways you can add wow factor to your day are endless – from going all out on lavish lighting and flowers to extravagant catering and gifts. But resist the urge to spend like a woman possessed on things you don’t really need and instead think about upgrading the essentials, such as your catering, photography and entertainment.

“The main elements of your day that are the ones worth throwing money at – for example, instead of settling for an ‘OK’ photographer, book an amazing one,” says leading wedding planner, Carmen Yuen-Stevenson. “After all, you will have spent a small fortune on your celebrations – and it is your photographer who captures every precious moment. It’s something you will be thankful for when you look back on your beautiful pictures in years to come.”

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More of a party girl? Real bride Susan Carter recommends splurging on your entertainment. “We wanted a fun atmosphere, so paid for a close-up magician to keep guests entertained during the drinks reception and sunk the rest of our budget into hiring a brilliant band,” she says. “It’s not your frock or favours that guests remember – it is how much fun they had – and everyone, from my gorgeous granny to my trendy work mates, still talk about what a fab night they had at our reception, questionable dance moves and all!”


If you have £500…

With this kind of money left in your wedding account, you can still add lots of finishing touches that friends and family will really enjoy. Believe bigger is better? Vamp up your cake by plumping for a towering design to give your room a focal point, or go for dramatic floral displays.

“When dressing a room, it is always more effective to have a few big arrangements instead of lots of small designs dotted around the room,” explains wedding blooms specialist, Charlotte Howard. “For example, a further £500 could give you two large plinth designs, which would be a great way to add impact to your venue and create a beautiful backdrop for your more formal photographs.”


Still balancing your books? It is also worth ploughing any leftover cash into keeping your guests happy during the quieter moments. “Remember photographs can take much longer than expected, so treating your guests to trays of delicious canapés or nibbles will really be appreciated during the drinks reception,” says Carmen. Something substantial like miniature versions of old-school dishes such as sausage and mash or roast beef and Yorkshire pudding always go down a storm – or you could even hire a mixologist to create a swanky bespoke cocktail!


If you have £250…

Not much left in the pot? Even a modest amount of money can make a lasting impression if spent correctly. “Personalised details will always get noticed, so you could spend the extra money on great stationery such as menus or bespoke name cards or even have your rings engraved, order personalised favours or design unique labels to stick to mini Champagne bottles for your toast,” says Carmen.

Donating the last of your funds to charity is another great way to add feel-good factor to your day, as real bride Sophie Greenhill agrees. “My amazing dad passed away from cancer last year, so donating to Macmillan was our way of remembering his incredible bravery and the fantastic support the charity gave us in our darker days,” says Sophie. “We gave the charity’s pin badges in little favour boxes, along with a note to say that we’d made a donation on our guests’ behalf sugared almonds! Movingly, many guests went on to make further donations to the charity, so not only was it the best day of our lives, to helped do some good, too.”


If you have £50…

Think fifty quid will only stretch to a fancy moisturiser or a scratchy garter? Think again! “An extra £50 can go a long way when it comes to the final touches,” says Carmen. “Why not spend it on some extra items for the top table, such as hiring or buying some stunning linen or extra props to really make it stand out?”

Having a little imagination will also help to maximise every penny you spend. “Whether you have five pounds or fifty left, creativity is key when it comes to maxing that last little bit of your budget,” says Laura Sack, Director of budgetbridecompany.co.uk. “Buy patterned Washi tape to liven up glass jars and display flowers or candles in them, or have a bespoke ink stamp made to use on place settings and invitations,” she suggests. “It is also worth searching charity shops and online for bargain bundles of old romance novels. Tied together with lace or ribbon they make great decorations, table centres or thoughtful favours.” Look out for the classics like Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights or raise eyebrows with cheeky piles of Mills & Boon or Jackie Collins novels!

Check out more great Wedding Budget and Finance articles here, or chat with other brides on our forum about what finishing touches they’ve chosen!