Wedding Budget ideas
In one of my other sections, I briefly touched on the importance of setting a budget for your wedding day and the need to do your best to stick to it.
Here, I try to provide a few ideas to consider when trying to stay within your wedding budget.
I've photographed many weddings and I get to see what gets left behind, what works and maybe what doesn't.
Start planning your wedding as soon as you get that fabulous proposal. This will give your as much time as possible to save towards what can be an expensive day.
You may already be sure that you want a religious wedding, a Registry office or a civil ceremony. But if you are unsure, try to compare the costs of each: it might be that you can save a few hundred pounds
It is also worth considering that depending upon the time of year you want to get married, you might be able to get a deal when having a civil ceremony and reception at the same venue.
Will your venue cost less if you have your wedding on a weekday? Days of the week have become more popular recently, and with enough warning, most people can get a Friday from work off.
Why not think a little outside the box when choosing your wedding venue? Is there a museum that you both love that has a space you can rent? Does the Town Hall have a room that would suit you really well? Do you have a favourite restaurant that could fit you and all your guests in?
If you decide you want to get married in a church and you'd like to decorate it, try to pick arrangements that can be used to decorate your wedding reception venue as well. If you get married in the spring or summer, do you have a friend or relative who loves gardening and can grow you some flowers? Can you grow some flowers yourself - sunflowers are a fabulous large statement flower that are very easy to grow, so could you cut some costs by growing these for yourself. If you can't get anyone to grow some flowers for you, consider what flower might be in season when you get married - will flowers shipped from Holland be more expensive than those from a local UK grower? Whatever you choose, don't forget to get somebody to collect them before you head off to your reception.
It has become increasingly popular in recent years to send 'save the date' cards, but if you can get really organised and get your date booked with your chosen venues, why not save some money and send out your invitations early negating the need for save the date cards. If you do think that save the date cards are a must, then why not consider making them yourself and personalise them by putting a picture of yourselves on them: people are more likely to keep a picture of a good friend or family member, whereas a less personal card may well find itself in the bin after the date of your wedding has been noted. My sister sent out fridge magnets with her save the date notification on - a great idea, but then Covid happened and her date was moved, so I now have this fabulous fridge magnet that isn't even accurate for their wedding date!
Not comfortable with the idea of doing your own hair or make-up? Why not see if there is a local academy or similar where there are students doing courses in make-up or hairdressing? Contact them to see if a student will do your hair or make-up in return for some pictures for their portfolio? It might be that you need to pay them but it should be less than an established wedding make-up artist. It goes without saying that you'd need to trial a student first, but you would with anybody doing something so important for such an important day.
In this day and age where most of us are online, why not consider creating a free website where you can put all the details of your day, with links to your venue, or hotels to stay at that are close to your venue, your vendor details etc. Once you have your date and venue booked, you can update your website and send your web address to all your guests so they can log on and see how your plans are progressing. If you really don't want the expense of invitations, you can also create a wedding-only e-mail address for all those RSVP responses.
Favours - I don't quite know why we have them or why wedding couples get a little stressed at what to provide as a 'favour' for their guests. I can't tell you how many of these small gifts get left behind when the tables get cleared from the wedding breakfast for the evening event. I would suggest that you don't do favours at all, but
Instead of paying your venue to supply pudding as part of your wedding breakfast, why not ask your guests to take part in a fun 'bake off' and use their bakes for wedding breakfast pudding?
Do you have some very talented guests coming to your wedding who are unsure what to get you as a wedding gift? Why not ask the mate that you know is a really good baker to make your wedding cake or the mate that studied art to design your invitations or write your invitations?
Once your day is over, keep the things that mean something to you, but consider selling as much of what you know you won't use again so you can try to recoup a bit of the cost. You clearly won't get back as much as you paid for it, but better that you get something back than all your wedding decorations going into a box in the loft, only to be seen next time you move house.
If you are spending a lot of money on your wedding shoes, try to choose a style that you can wear again and wear them a little before your wedding day so you don't end up taking them off at the first opportunity.
Weddings can be an expensive event: even the 'inexpensive' ones can run into thousands. The best advice I could give anyone is to set a budget and stick to it and give yourself as much time as possible to save towards your wedding.