Here's our 10 top tips to help you save money on your wedding day!
Let's face it, with today's current financial climate, every penny saved is worthwhile. And with the cost of weddings taking up a fair chunk of a couples cash flow, smart hacks that save money are all worth considering.
1 Set a budget and stick to it!
This may sound like common sense, but it's easy to get carried away when planning one of the most important days of your life. There's so many decisions to be made about your special day that it's easy for the budget to get out of hand. Set up a spread sheet and allocate percentages of your total budget to each element, eg flowers, outfits, venue. Once you start to fill in your spread sheet, you'll quickly be able to see where you are saving money. You'll then be able to use that extra cash to spend on little extra's that you might have forgotten about. If you're anything like me, online spreadsheets sound super boring but there are lots of free online tools available to use. These make planning your budget, easy peasy. All you have to do is stick to it. Check out www.hitched.co.uk, www.wedinspire.com and www.whimsicalwedding.com for a few ideas.
2 Think about your wedding date.
Getting married out of what is considered 'peak season' can potentially save you money on both your venue and caterers. Most people choose to get married on a weekend when friends and family are available and don't have to work. If you plan well in advance, many of your guests should be able to book time off work and you get to save some money. You may also find that the top caterers have more availability so you get more choice!
3 Don't be afraid to shop around
Visit a variety of different venues. You may think you have your mind made up but asking friends and family, looking at wedding photographers websites and visiting different venues you see on line, might just change the direction you decide to head in. You can find some quirky places you've not considered before and this can often work out cheaper than you imagine. A friend of ours got married at Bolton Abbey, a functioning church nestled in beautiful Wharfedale. It's attached to the ruins of a 12th century Augustinian monastary known as Bolton Prior. The surroundings are breathtaking and make a fantastic back drop for wedding photographs.
4 Use the skills of friends and family
Why not enlist the help of friends and family to help you decorate your venue? This can be great fun, it makes your wedding truly unique and can save you some cash.
Liz and Phil had an outdoor wedding. They had the ingenious idea of decorating the woodland walkways with hearts that contained memories shared by their nearest and dearest. They invited their guests to write down their own special memories of Liz, Phil or the two of them. These were then printed out and laminated in heart shapes that were placed around the walkway to give guests something to read and entertain them as they made their way to the ceremony area. It was personal, fun and also relatively cheap to do!
5 Make your own wedding favours or ditch them completely!
Depending on how many guests you have at your wedding, favours can be a tad expensive. Try to think outside the box and you may be able to save a bit of cash. Consider using flower seeds, like Vicky and Paul. Their wedding had sunflowers as a theme and guests received sunflower seeds in little test tubes to take home and plant. The plan was that each year, guests would be reminded of the wedding. Alternatively Etsy do some lovely little wild flower seeds and they start at as little as 50 pence each. You might also ditch them completely. How many wedding favours actually make their way home?
6 Grow your own flowers for your button holes and table decorations
Personally I love fresh flowers and I think they look beautiful especially at weddings. The problem is that they can be very expensive! Now I know that the thought of making your own bouquet may sound a little bit frightening, but how would you feel about starting with something smaller like button holes or simple table decorations?
Lots of flowers used at weddings can be grown in your garden. If you don't have a garden you could always ask friends and family if they can help out. Once you know the date of your wedding, maybe think about looking at cut flowers that are available at that time of year and look for ideas and inspiration of simple arrangements that you might be happy to try yourself. I found lots on Pinterest. Here's a link to a floral crown that I loved! There's much easier projects to start with though :)
7 Download a Wedding Planner
Wedding planners are great tools and you can download them completely free from the internet! They outline every thing you need to think about when planning your wedding. They give you check lists of what you should be thinking about years and months before your special day. If you download them well in advance you can cross off all the things that aren't important to you and prioritise all the things that are. With your priorities in place, you know where you want to spend your money. Don't be swayed by the opinions of others. Stick to your guns and remember that the day is about the two of you and that's what matters most.
8 Consider Pre-Loved
This might not be something that you have thought about but it is something you should consider. There are many wedding products that can be bought online, some of which have never been used. Some brides often buy a wedding dress then change their minds and buy an alternative option without ever wearing their original choice. Below is a lovely photograph of Liz putting on her wedding gown. Liz had seen the dress she wanted and then sourced it online. It had never been worn and was a fraction of the price.
9 Choose a No Corkage Venue
A large percentage of wedding budgets can be spent on food and drink. However, there are ways that you can save some money without scrimping on the quality or quantity of food and drink served. One of the best money saving money tips I have come across is to hire a no corkage venue. This means that the venue will let you provide your own alcohol and not charge you any extra to serve it. You can buy alcohol in bulk and by shopping around, you can save a huge amount of money. You can have a lot of fun in the run up to your big day sampling the different wines and spirits you might want to offer your guests!
10 Be Creative with Your Wedding Venue
Whilst it might seem like a good idea to choose a wedding venue that has hosted many successful weddings, it can be very beneficial to think outside the box. Often non traditional venues can be much more cost effective and can also be very personal! You can have something quirky, romantic, rustic!!! I've known couples have wedding receptions in old cinemas (great for photography!), village halls, marquees and also outdoors in a forest! Write down a list of what you would like from your wedding reception and then do your research. You might be surprised at what you can find at a fraction of the cost.