If you are planning a wedding you will know that it is a daunting, stressful and exciting time. So when you have all the planning and a strict budget to manage, it can be even harder.
But, don’t panic. There are so many ways you can save money on your big day, and it doesn’t mean your wedding is going to be any less amazing if your budget isn’t quite what you may have hoped for. You just have to get super savvy and take advantage of all the tips and tricks.
If you ask me – the wedding obsessed loser – then the dress is obviously THE most important thing about the whole day. But as you will have quickly found out, they ain’t cheap! Don’t panic, there are plenty of ways to save money and still have a stunning dress. Lots of well-known charities will have stores dedicated to secondhand and vintage bridal wear, which will have some very well looked after dresses that you can save a ton of money on. You will likely also find all sorts of designers in those stores and some bridal stores will donate sample dresses, which means they have never even been owned by another Bride.
Another way to save some money on a dress is to consider a high street wedding dress. Brands such as Missguided and ASOS all sell stunning dresses that can be worn with such elegance. And the best bit is that you will only need for fork out a couple of hundred quid to get one.
The Bridal Party
This is an easy one, ask the Bridesmaids and Ushers to fund their own outfits. I know it isn’t ideal but most of your closest friends and families will understand and still want to be part of your big day. I made a pact with my best friends that we would be each other’s Bridesmaids, but we would buy our own dresses. They all picked their own dress, looked stunning and can wear them again.
Get crafty! So many Brides and Grooms spend time making some of the decorations for the wedding and this can save huge amounts in the budget. Think about creating your own wedding favours, jam, seeds, or something edible. The personal touch will also add to the romance of the day. And if you are short of inspiration, just pop over to Pinterest.
If you are going to go down the florist route then make sure you do your research and pick flowers that will be in season during your wedding month. This will keep the cost down and also ensure the florist can get the flowers you have requested. One better, think about doing the flowers yourself or grow the flowers at home. I recently went to a wedding where they had pots of flowers they had grown in a nursery as centre pieces, it was a lovely touch and added to the rustic feel of the day.
Another option is faux flowers, I recently did a Q&A with The Bloom Room who offer faux flowers for weddings, they even do an absolutely stunning flower wall. A fraction of the cost and you get to keep the flowers!
Corkage can be a right burden on your budget if you are wanting to provide your own alcohol on the day. Corkage is where the venue charges you a penalty per bottle of wine you want to bring to the venue yourself. For us it wasn’t worth it as the corkage fee was the same as the house wine, but for other couples, this can be a game changer. Try looking for a venue that has a low corkage cost or zero corkage, that way you can save hundreds of pounds on table wine and champagne. Also, one big money saver for us was swapping champagne for prosecco!
Ok, so the ideal here is to have someone make it for free, but we know that isn’t always possible. There are however plenty of other options for cake cost cutting. Try “building” one yourself. Places like M&S will sell plain white cakes which you can then tier and add decoration too. That way you don’t have the faff of making the cake, but it will still be a fraction of the cost. It is also worth thinking about serving the wedding cake as the dessert on the day, this may save you hundreds in catering costs.
If you already live together and know that you don’t need any more salad servers, then why not think about asking for contributions to your honeymoon? We used a site called “buy our honeymoon” slightly awkward name but luckily you can change the URL of your own website. You can choose everything you add to it and the money just goes straight into a PayPal account. That way you can either book your honeymoon in advance and counter some of the costs with the contributions, or you can wait and book your honeymoon after the wedding.
Call in favours
This is absolutely the most important one, if you have friends or family that have skills you can use, then definitely take advantage of that. We had a friend who did all of our printing for free, my husband and sister in law designed all of our invitations, my Dad has a classic car which we used as a wedding car, my sister’s best friends did our hair and my Mum made some of our flowers. We called in favours here, there and everywhere and it made our day so special. It also allows other people feel part of the day, and they want you to have a perfect day as much as you do.
I hope all these tips and tricks help you plan a perfect day, and if you have any others do comment on the bottom so you can help other Brides out there!
Photos by Paul Mockford – mockford.co.uk