No matter how big your budget is, there always seems to be ways to go over it on your big day. Those extra touches and special upgrades on items such as food and flowers can soon push costs skyward. Here are some tips and tricks to try and lower the price of the essentials for your wedding.
- Package deals from your venue – Many hotels and venues that are often used for weddings now offer an all-in-one package deal so you can be clear on costs from the outset. These will often incorporate food and decorations as well as the cost of venue hire and can work out cheaper than hiring in outside caterers. The restriction of these type of deals is that you will need to keep to a certain number of guests, which can work out well if that is a figure you already had in mind.
- Venues can also be cheaper during the week, meaning the hire fee will be reduced and sometimes waived completely if you are paying for catering and bar services. However this can cause problems for your guests if you are inviting a lot of people, especially at short notice as it can be difficult to get time off from work. It can also mean more travelling expenses if it is not at the weekend.
- If you’re happy to go with a more simple style of wedding cake, choosing a high quality store bought cake and dressing it up with ribbon and matching flowers from your bouquet can be a great way to get a lovely cake that is a lot cheaper than a custom made design from a wedding baker. It has been noted that cakes from Marks and Spencer’s often taste much nicer than large expensive cakes from a wedding boutique. Having a cupcake stand rather than a multi-tiered cake can also give a modern twist to the traditional wedding style.
- Double up your centre pieces as favours. Individual vases with fresh flowers look great gathered in the middle of the table. You can also have different colours or types of flowers for each table as a theme. Creating this idea can be made cheaper buy bulk ordering the vases and getting fresh flowers from the local flower market at cost-prices. If you are happy with a mismatch style, sourcing your vases from charity shops and car boot sales can look unique and quirky. Teacups are especially popular for this.
- Consider having your main meal a little later on in the day. If you are getting married at 2pm, typically the meal will be around 4-5pm. Pushing it back an hour to 6pm means you won’t need a second meal later on and can simply provide a small selection of snacks to satisfy hungry guests later on at the reception. Don’t go overboard with catering orders as a lot may get wasted which simply results in the staff eating it rather than your guests!
- Disposable cameras may seem a good way to get some extra shots of your wedding but it seems you are more than likely to throw 70% of the photos away. Printing and developing costs can be very expensive for little return, as well as the original cost of buying the cameras. It can be a better idea to have a specific email address for guests to email photos to. There are also several photo sharing apps you could use and have projected during the reception. Bear in mind how good the phone signal at your reception is, which can be a problem in more rural areas.
- The main expense of your wedding is likely to be the food and drink for your guests, depending on how luxurious your standards are and the number of guests. If you don’t want an open bar but want to give your guests something, try offering two drink vouchers per person to be used at the bar. This way you know the upfront cost rather than being presented with an extortionate bill the day after.
- Creating your own programmes and invitations can cut an added expense. Enlist the help of a design-savvy friend or buy one of the lower cost invitation kits. Having them printed at your local print and copy shop can be cheaper than paying for a specific wedding invitation package from your planner.
- When shopping for bridesmaids’ dresses, go for upmarket high street options rather than heading straight for a wedding boutique. There are often a greater selection of colours and styles, as well as more modern, fashionable dresses if you are after something a little different than a classic style. If you are savvy enough and shop ahead, getting each bridesmaid’s size or measurements, you can then watch out for the items when there is a discount event or sale on.
- If you are looking to save money on the bride’s dress, choosing a second-hand dress can be a great way to get the dress you want at a much lower dress. Many people do not like the idea of having another bride’s dress, however it is a shame that they only get worn for one day and then never again. Also, many charity shops such as Oxfam have specialist bridal shops, meaning you will save money as well as donating to a good cause. Spending a small amount on getting a dress tailored to fit you will often still be much less than buying an expensive dress new.
“Sian is a keen freelance writer who has a passion for all things wedding related. Her favourite north east wedding band are Funk Conspiracy, who she has worked with on numerous occasions to make the happy couple’s day extra special.”