Weddings- Working on a budget…

Article written by Hannah Rogers

Article written by Hannah Rogers

The Budget Bride…

Today we hand over the reins to our lovely intern Hannah (currently pursing her dream of becoming a Wedding Planning/Stylist,)  who is getting married next July 2016. If you’re working on a tight budget for your wedding, you may be worried about how to make your day stand out with limited cash flow. Here Hannah gives you some tips on how to make it work for you…

Hannah…

Today I’m talking about something that is the forefront of many couples’ minds – saving money!

As a budget bride-to-be myself, I know how frustrating and constricting it can be to work to a tight and strict budget, especially with so many awesome and talented suppliers out there! We’ve had a long engagement (we got engaged in Sep 2011 and get married in July next year), so we’ve had lots of time to plan and research.

Planning your wedding should be an exciting and enjoyable time, but all too often you just feel like pulling your hair out and eloping (been there, got the t-shirt!). I wanted to share some tips with you today to hopefully relieve some of that stress, and make sure you have a fab wedding whether you’re spending £2,000 or £15,000.

Prioritise…

This is something I wish we’d done from the very start, that will really make you think about what is important to you as a couple. Take a blank piece of paper each and make a list of things that you 100% want and a list of things you’re not so bothered about, and compare (this may take a bit of compromise!). For example, music and food were the most important for us, and as a result were the things we are spending the most money on. From this we also decided to ditch the favours and chair covers, as it they were things we couldn’t justify spending money on.

This exercise really puts things in perspective, by not concentrating on the cost, or what you SHOULD have, but how much it is personally worth to you.

Be open minded…

The biggest chunk of the budget is usually on the venue and the food – but they don’t have to be! Consider doing the legal part at a local registry office, then look for somewhere that isn’t necessarily advertised as a wedding venue, such as a village hall, your local pub, church hall or sports club.

We have booked our reception at a memorial hall in a local village for under £400! Another bonus with venues like these is the majority of them let you bring in your own catering and alcohol without a corkage charge, which leaves you room to shop around and be creative. Just bear in mind that there won’t be staff to wait on you, move tables around, or tidy up and they can sometimes need a fair bit of decorating to make them look wedding-y.

DIY… Michelle & Jason Bedford Wedding alexa Loy_0046

With a budget of just £4k, DIY is a must for us. Not only does it save you money but it also adds a personal touch to your day. One thing I would say is, don’t fool yourself into thinking you can make EVERYTHING. It’s easy to think ‘oh we have loads of time!’ but life tends to get in a way and sometime you really just can’t be bothered – but that’s okay!

We are making the bouquets, buttonholes and table flowers out of origami flowers, cross stitching the table plan, back stitching place cards, glittering up some jam jars, making chalkboard signs, paper pom poms…the list goes on, but I have no doubt we’ll be roping in friends and family to help as the day gets closer and we’re surrounded by paper, thread and glitter!

Ask for help…

Following on from asking family and friends for help with DIY, take advantage of any talented friends or family members such as bakers, musicians/DJ’s, photographers or someone with some super cool cars. Usually they are happy to help out as a wedding present or at a reduced price.

My Auntie is making our wedding cake, as well as helping out with the dessert table, and we have some family friends who have two awesome campervans. Just these two things have saved us hundreds of pounds, so don’t be afraid to ask!

Shop around…

Don’t book the first supplier you talk to. You’ll end up kicking yourself when you find someone else doing the same thing £100 cheaper. Suppliers are usually prepared for people to barter with them, so if you think it’s reasonable, try it. Be polite and firm, but also be willing to walk away, and don’t take the mick – remember these businesses are trying to make a living from selling their services.

Another great place to go for discounts are wedding fairs. Most suppliers will offer you a discount on the spot just to get your business. Although only a small saving, I booked a post box at a recent wedding fair with 25% off. I think I only saved about £8, but every penny counts, right!?

Bargain dress shopping…

A lot of bridal boutiques often do sample sales and offer up to 70% off the retail price – I’ve got a Ronald Joyce dress, retailing at £1,200 for just £650!! Just bear in mind they are usually sold as seen so check for any stains/rips and factor in the cost of any repairs, dry cleaning etc.

Another option is to look for second hand dresses. As well as sites like sellmyweddingdress.co.uk and stillwhite.co.uk, Facebook has a load of local ‘wedding items for sale’ pages where Bride’s are selling on their dresses after their big day (you can also pick up lots of other bargains on these too!). Oxfam also has a number of shops dedicated to bridal wear, as well as an online shop.

If you want to go cheap but not second hand, BHS, Debenhams, TK Maxx and Monsoon are all bringing out their own bridal lines at fantastic prices.

Most importantly, remember that everything is optional. If you don’t want to spend money on flowers and cakes, then don’t! People sometimes tend to think they have a say in your wedding, but if they’re not paying for then ignore them and remember it’s YOUR wedding, not theirs! As long as you can say you’re married at the end of the day and celebrated with your nearest and dearest, that’s all that matters.

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