We’re all feeling the pinch to our pockets and unless your parents are very rich and very traditional, the chances are you’ll be fronting the cash for your wedding yourself. Plus with the average wedding costing somewhere in the region of £14,000-£17,000 it certainly isn’t cheap. But that doesn’t mean that you should miss out on this great day dedicated to you and your partner. Don’t let the bank beat you! Here are some great ways to save a little money while still getting all the trim.
1. Revise Your Wedding Guest List
For every person you put on your wedding guest list you’re adding a substantial amount to your budget. You may think it’s just the catering cost and so what, ‘what’s an extra £20-30 between friends?’ but firstly, are they really friends or have you just invited everyone you once met on a cookery class? Do you want your wedding to be filled with guest that all have three or four prefixes to their name, i.e. great aunt Bessie’s second cousin twice removed? Secondly, there’s invites, centre pieces, rentals, extra space for the dance floor, more money behind the bar and so on. Does you’re single friend need a date? Do you have to invite the children of work colleagues; do you even need to invite work colleagues? Cut your guest list back and spend the money somewhere else.
2. Help the environment and your pocket by cutting out all the paper.
When inviting people to your wedding you may well be finding that their invite envelope is quickly filling with bits of paper; replay slips, reply envelopes, gift lists, dress code guides etc Save yourself the postage (because that amount of stuff won’t be covered by a standard first class stamp) and save some trees and instead get guests to e-mail replies, phone for more information or, if you’ve got the technical savvy for it, set up a website were people can check out details of the wedding. Less postage, less packaging, less random paper all adds up to more money.
3. Shop around for your frock
There are lots of places to find wedding dresses. Don’t limit yourself to bridal shops. Brides pay a premium for the privilege of getting married in a white dress, so look around and see what’s on offer. It might be cheaper to have a dress made, by one second hand, buy one from an unwed bride (would help your pocket and hers) check out eBay, and charity shops or mosey round sample sales if you’re lucky enough to be a size 6-10. If all else fails you can always rent.
4. Change the day of your wedding
As there’s less demand (and less demand means the price will be negotiable) move your wedding date from a weekend to a weeknight or Sunday evening.
5. Save Money on Decorations – use the seasons instead
If you plan your wedding around a festive time of year (Christmas, Easter, harvest) you can save money on decorations by using the one’s provided. Alternatively simplify your décor to something modest and romantic, candles or fairy lights for example.
6. Pool your resources and swap gifts for donations
If you really don’t want three toasters and a couple of juicers why not ask your guests to contribute to the wedding cost instead of getting gifts? Pool the resources naturally found in your friends; do you know musicians, cake makers, florist, printers or dress makers; they could all be useful. Got a friend with a sports car – perhaps he could provide transport? Crafty people can help make the table arrangements and great chefs can help put together a buffet (much cheaper then a sit down meal!)
7. Tailor the food and drink
Food is obviously a good way to save money. Tell wedding services and caterers how much you honestly have to spend and they’ll tailor make a menu for you. Cut a sit down dinner’s courses to just three (or even two and make wedding cake the dessert instead!) or opt for a buffet which is always cheaper. Bring your own wine to the venue and check the corkage cost, you can save a bundle.