There’s a reason why your wedding day is trumpeted as “the happiest day of your life”; getting all your friends and family together in celebration, dressing up fancy, and dancing the night away is the perfect start to married bliss!
The run up to the Big Day, however, can be a bumpy one, with lots of decisions – and compromises – to be made, and costs to keep from spiralling. We’ve put together an A-Z of wedding savings, which may just save you some £s, and some sleepless nights as well!
A- All Inclusive
When planning your honeymoon, opting for all inclusive can help save you costs and remove some of the stress of organising and saving for a holiday whilst paying for a wedding.
Depending on how many friends you give the honour to, bridesmaid dresses can really put a hole in your budget. Cut the cost of the dresses instead of your bridesmaids by shopping from the High Street. Asos, House of Fraser and even Amazon offer great alternatives to the traditional bridesmaid wears. Alternatively, why not look online and see if you can get second hand bridesmaid dresses? A few places to look are:
You can spend a small fortune on a multi-tiered masterpiece but how much do you really need to spend on something that’s going to be crumbs by the end of the evening?
Instead of going down the traditional fruitcake and marzipan route, why not plump for sponge and buttercream? Cheaper, prettier, and who really likes dried fruit anyway! You could even go for cupcakes over one big cake, so guests can pick as they please.
If you want to make wedding savings on your cake you can buy a cheap cake from a local food store or make your own. Making your own will also make your day more memorable as nobody else will have your cake, plus it’s extra time you get to spend together in the run up to your wedding!
Decorations can be easy to make and personalise, saving costs. Cash and carries/wholesalers can be used to buy items in bulk and remember you don’t have to be a business to use them. The following places give you good ideas on how to make your own decorations:
With the rise of Pinterest, DIY weddings are the style de rigueur, so gather a few of your most crafty friends and host a crafternoon! Not only will you save money by doing it yourself, but it’s nice to know your friends have had a hand in your big day. This enterprising bride did just that! Read more here.
Weddings are stressful and expensive. Eloping, aka getting married quietly, can solve your problems and can give you the wedding you want at a fraction of the cost. And if you go abroad, you can have a built-in honeymoon!
F- Fake It
Using real flowers in your bouquet can be more expensive than you think. Fake flowers can still have the same impact and are cheaper to produce. You could also keep your bouquet to remember your special day. For more bouquet ideas, check out the below:
Your wedding day should be about you and the person you’re marrying, not about keeping up appearances. If you’re stumping up the cost of a fancy meal for someone, make sure you really want them there! They can always come and help you celebrate in the evening for less.
If somebody offers you help, take it! You might have a friend who’s an amazing baker, or great at hair styling. They could lend you their skills in lieu of a wedding gift, and save you some money.
You don’t need butterflies fluttering out of your invitations to make an impression! Personalise your invitations by designing and printing your own online from Papier or Vista Print. Or even go paperless, with sites like Paperless Post offering some beautiful digital designs. Alternatively, make your own. Card and stencils can be bought in bulk at a low cost. Rope in some of your friends and family to create the invitations with a personal feel that are unique to you.
Jewellery doesn’t have to cost the earth, nor does it have to be new. You can borrow from friends and family and cross something borrowed off your list at the same time, or head to the High Street for modern pieces you’d wear again.
If you are looking for a way to provide entertainment at your wedding, why not have karaoke instead? All you need are some mics and a computer loaded up with your favourite floor-fillers!
Simple lists help you keep track with planning and make sure your budget doesn’t spiral out of control. Go digital and keep everything together at the touch of a button, and even invite other people to collaborate on your lists. Remember the Milk, Any.do, Todoist and Google Keep are handy apps that would can download on your phone.
Instead of hiring someone to do it, get your make up done at a department store by a professional for your big day. You’ll get the same professional finish at a lower cost, and often you get to keep some of the products. If you prefer to do your own, YouTube is a treasure trove of fantastic how-tos for wedding makeup.
N- Newspaper Announcement
Instead of paying to announce your engagement in a newspaper, make it more personal by spreading your big news on Facebook, and see the immediate reactions of family and friends!
Outlets can be a gold mine when it comes to finding wedding wares. Most finds will be in perfect quality and as long as you don’t care about being a season or two behind, there are some big savings to be made. Here’s a map of all the outlet shopping destinations in the UK.
If your wedding budget is tight, you could always ask people to contribute to things for the wedding such as decorations or flowers, in place of a present on the day. Or, ask people to add to your honeymoon funds so you don’t need to factor those costs into your savings budget.
Q- Quality Over Quantity
It’s natural to want your wedding day to be the biggest and best day possible, don’t feel pressured to stretch your budget too far. An open bar would be ideal but most guests would be happy with just a welcome drink. Do all your guests need a plus one? Will guests feel slighted if they don’t get a wedding favour they’ll ultimately just leave behind at the end of the night anyway? Probably not!
Make sure you do your research before you commit to anything. Know what you’re paying for inside out, so nothing comes as a surprise down the line. Don’t be afraid to haggle or to shop around for the best price.
There’s a reason why photographers are expensive: they don’t get a second chance at snapping your wedding day, so you need to make sure you’ve got a good one. Booking a photographer for your full wedding day can make quite a dent in your budget, so why not book them by the hour instead? More than likely, you’ll have a friend or two who are quite handy with their cameras – Instagram has made amateur photographers out of all of us! Ask all your friends to share their photos on social media or on Dropbox. You could even suggest a hashtag for all your friends to use!
Your wedding is all about you and your taste. If you want to have bacon butties instead of coq au vin, there is nothing stopping you. Cater to your needs and not to what you think is expected.
Your wedding should reflect your relationship. It is easy to get distracted by what other people are doing or what people think you should do but it’s your day. Stick to your guns and make your wedding all about you and the person you are marrying.
The venue is one of the most important pieces in your wedding jigsaw. More and more people are foregoing churches in favour of hotels, barns, registry offices, stately homes, village halls, community centres, or even for an outdoor wedding. Consider if having a multi-venue wedding would have added costs, and shop around for some good deals.
W- Wedding Rings
Don’t just head straight to your nearest jewellers for those all-important rings. Look online, at fairs and try antique shopping to find a ring that’s uniquely ‘you’.
X- X Factor
You can give your wedding the x-factor without spending a lot of money to do so. To make your day more unique, why not create your own routine for your first dance? It gives you time together in the run up to the wedding and some giggles along the way.
…not postpone your honeymoon, or go on a mini-moon? If finances are tight, go away for the weekend or have a staycation. That way you have something to look forward to after the wedding and you have chance to save for a bigger holiday.
Z- Zzzz! Make sure you are well rested before your big day! Are there any tips you have on saving money for your big day, or just any organisation ideas? Share them below!