Friday, 12 June 2015

20 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding Day

Budget-savvy brides know it's possible to have the wedding of their dreams, without paying the price. It's all about the three C's - being clever, cautious and creative. Plan ahead, don't rush into anything without doing your research, and where possible, DIY or call on the creative skills of friends and family. Here are my top 50 ways to save money on your wedding day - share it on Twitter and send it to your friends!



1. Look to smaller designers for affordable wedding dresses. There's lots of boutiques on Etsy, I'm a big fan of BHLDN, and the British high street is amazing - particularly Monsoon. A few famous wedding dress designers have diffusion lines, including Jenny Packham at Debenhams.

2. Designer wedding dresses don't always break the bank. I've written several articles on how to get your designer dress for less - take a look. Sample sales and buying second hand are just two simple solutions. Alternatively look in the sales for white designer dresses, that will work as wedding gowns.

3. Bridesmaids very rarely wear their gowns again, so it's not worth splashing the cash on something that's just going to sit in their wardrobes. Although I love specialist shops like Maids to Measure and Dessy, save your pennies by buying bridesmaids dresses on the high street. Monsoon is brilliant, as are Phase 8 and Coast. You could even go shopping in the sales, and save even more!

4. Unless you're wearing a short, or mid-length dress, don't worry about your shoes. No one's going to see them. Wear a well-loved pair - they'll fit better, and you'll be more comfortable on your wedding.


Photography

5. Ask your photographer whether they do shorter packages. Most wedding photographers come for the whole day, taking pictures of the bride and groom getting ready, the ceremony, the portraits and all they way through to the first dance. But if you meet your photographer at the ceremony, and cut your cake before dinner, then you might only need them for three-four hours. Be warned, good photographers won't do this on a Saturday in summer, because they could get an all-day booking - for a solution, check out Money-Saving Tip No. x

6. Don't pay for your photographer to print your photographs or create your albums. They'll do an amazing job, but you can do it yourself for a fraction of the price on iPhotoBlurb, or even Boots.

Venue

7. Host your wedding on a Friday, or even a Thursday. Venue prices can fall by half if you avoid the weekend. Equally, winter weddings tend to be cheaper than summer. If all else fails, and you really want a weekend, see if Sunday is more reasonable, or book more than a year in advance.

8. Always ask for a discount. Every. Single. Time. You never know, and if you don't ask, you don't get.

9. Think about timings. The longer your guests attend your wedding, the bigger your budget will need to be. Consider a candle-lit evening ceremony - it's super-romantic, and you could cut out a costly drinks reception and move straight to dinner.


Food

10. Don't have a sit-down dinner. They cost a fortune to staff. Instead get creative with your wedding reception. How about a BBQ or a picnic? Fashion-forward brides are choosing food trucks.

11. I loved the wedding cake at the Duchess of Cornwall's wedding, but I bet it cost a fortune. Now you can have Kate's cake for a fraction of the price. The Royal wedding cake designer, Fiona Cairns has a range at Waitrose - with prices starting at £295 for a beautiful three-tier cake. If you're not keen on her range, then check out M&S's wedding cakes - they're stunning!

12. Cocktails cost less than straight champagne, and you can get creative and invent your own signature drinks, with exotic names.....Love Punch anyone?

13. Serve wedding cake instead of pudding. Who has room for three courses plus cake?


Flowers

14. If you keep it simple, your friends could do your wedding flowers for you. The big problem with wedding flowers is that they really need to be done on the morning of your wedding, which clashes with you getting ready for your big day. If your friend and family are happy to help, provide them with pictures of what you want, and buy your blooms wholesale. Google your closest flower market. In London, it's the New Covent Garden Flower Market - and they deliver.

15. Professional looking bridal bouquets and buttonholes are harder to create, but you can save your pennies by buying them from M&S - yes really! Packages start at £125 for one bridal bouquet, two bridesmaids' bunches and four buttonholes.

16. You could always have no flowers at all. I've seen brides walking up the aisle holding balloons, or bouquets of paper flowers. Get creative with table decorations - pinecones look great at a winter wedding, piles of vintage books suit a geeky couple, or you could even use decorative vegetables. Take a look at my list of Quirky Wedding Table Decorations.

Decorations & Favours

17. Make your own decorations. It's amazing what you can do with a pack of tissue paper and some wire. Create peony-like pompoms for pennies {tutorial here}, or cut up crepe paper to DIY streamers. There's even a trend for retro decorations like paper chains. Lace wrapped around jamjars makes for great vases, or glue on a doily. Take a look at my list of easy wedding DIYs.

18. Don't buy anything from the shops. I bought all my wedding supplies online - looking on Amazon and eBay to find the best price. I saw giant white balloons for sale for £8 each on one website. I eventually bought them for 60p! My pashmina wedding favours only cost £2 each, thanks to a job-lot sale on eBay.

19. Colourful tablecloths and napkins reduce the need for table decorations. I love sequinned table cloths for a touch {okay, a lot} of sparkle.

20. Design and DIY your own wedding stationery. Or if you're not creative, buy a wedding invitation package on Etsy, and print your own. Postage can cost a fortune, so if you really want to save your pennies, send your wedding invitation by email. One of my friends recently filmed a wedding invitation video - a genius idea and completely personal to them.

{Photo Credit} All images by Jose Villa

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