Priorities certainly change when you have children. My Father always instilled in me to live within your means, he never had a credit card as he believed, that if you couldn’t afford to buy it you shouldn’t have it. My partner lives by a similar code, they say you marry your Father right?
We didn’t have 10k put aside in the wedding pot, equally we didn’t have anyone to pay for our wedding either. Although we didn’t set a specific budget, we just kept costs to a minimum wherever possible. Here are some of our hints and tips to help you reign in your wedding costs;
- The Dress. It is very easy to spend a fortune on a wedding dress and there are so many beautiful bridal boutiques out there, you can easily be trying on dresses worth thousands. My tip to save money is to look for discount dresses from bridal boutiques. Some sell discontinued, sample or cancelled high street order dresses. All new, quality designer gowns with up to 50% off the RRP. Alternatively, many high street stores now do affordable wedding dresses which will set you back just a few hundred pounds. Try: Debenhams, Phase Eight, Monsoon and even Topshop.
- Flowers. My bridal bouquet and buttonholes were from my favourites florist and I was happy to pay a little extra for what I wanted. We saved a small fortune on our Church flowers as the local flower team who decorate the church did them for us and we just paid cost price for the flowers. The venue was decorated with jam jar posies, made up with a big bunch of gypsophilia from my florist and teamed with supermarket flowers, put together by myself and my family the night before.
- Food. Instead of a sit down 3 or 5 course meal we had a hot food buffet, which was a lot cheaper and less formal like we wanted. It went down brilliantly with our guests, we had curry and chips!
- Entertainment. We opted for a disco instead of a live band, saving hundreds and used some of that money to hire a magician for the evening, which was money well spent. I can highly recommend Malcolm The Magician who covers Somerset & The South West.
- Transport. We were lucky that the church was opposite our wedding reception so we had no transport costs. The groom and best man arrived on a vintage tractor & trailer, a favour from a friend.
- Venue. The reception itself can be pricey, we used the function room of our local and paid only for the food and welcome drinks (ask about corkage as this is another money saving area!) We had free reign on the venue and could decorate however we wanted, knowing that the staff were always on hand if needed.
- Cake. Ask around, chances are someone would love to make your wedding cake if you don’t fancy doing it yourself. A good friend offered to make our cake as our wedding present, a no brainier really and I love that personal touch.
- Guest List. Reduce your numbers to shave off some pounds. I’ve said it before, don’t invite anyone that you don’t actually socialise with. You may feel pressure to invite that second cousin, but if you never see them, why bother?
Lastly, do it yourself! I made lots of items myself including, the confetti cones, wedding signs, order of the day board and put together my own sweet table. With the help of places like eBay, Tiger, The Works and Hobbycraft I was able to decorate our reception very reasonably. Also I love that homemade, personalised touch and felt great pride in my creations. Pinterest is a great starting point to gather inspiration on how you want things to look and source ideas.
It’s amazing how many offers of help and lending of items that people are happy to give when they know you are getting married, my advice is – make the most of it!
Love Mrs B x
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