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14th August 2017
Let’s not beat around the bush here. Weddings can be pricey. It’s not helped by the fact that glossy magazines, Pinterest and Instagram have inflated our expectations for the ‘Happiest Day of our Lives’ to new heights. It’s also true that as soon as anything is labelled ‘wedding’, the price doubles - at least! Even the most laid-back couple can be transformed into nervous wrecks trying to juggle the budget for even a relatively-modest wedding.
But, believe it or not, it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to spend a million dollars to have the wedding of your dreams! We share some of our money-saving wedding hacks to help keep the costs of the big day down, without compromising on the fairytale.
The first thing that probably springs to mind when considering your wedding budget is the venue. A church or hotel reception is the most common choice but why not get a bit more creative? If you’re both outdoorsy, a beautiful park or secret spot in the woods could be a more budget-friendly (and equally beautiful!) place to tie the knot. If you live near the sea, how about a beach wedding? If you fancy something a bit more intimate, consider using yours or a family member’s house or garden as a venue. Not only will you save money, people will be more likely to remember such a unique experience.
Wedding dresses don’t have to be expensive. Many high-street stores and websites like Monsoon and ASOS now offer very affordable bridal options. Even if you want to splash out on your own dress, even just buying bridesmaids dresses from the high street or ‘off the peg’ can really help to keep costs down.
Skip the DJ. Why not create your own playlist instead? That way, you’re guaranteed to dance the night away to all your favourite songs and it’s the perfect opportunity to inject some of your personality into the day. Plus, DJs and live bands can cost thousands!
Pinterest can be both your enemy and your friend in the lead-up to your wedding. It can give you the impression that you need to meet an impossibly high standard (think celebrity-style weddings in the Maldives), but it’s also jam-packed with tips for the thrifty bride.
You can save significant amounts of money by getting crafty. It also adds a charming and beautiful personal touch to your wedding. Instead of forking out for expensive wedding invitations, party favours and place holders, scour Pinterest for some inspiration and make them yourself. Invite your friends over, open a bottle of wine and it could even double-up as a thrifty hen-do!
Economising on your flowers can really scale back costs. Instead of shelling out a fortune on a bouquet that will die out in a few days, why not go minimal and give your bridesmaids a single flower to hold? You could make it really personal by asking them each to pick a favourite flower, or you could tie it in with the rest of your colour scheme. To get even more bang for your buck, ask your bridesmaids to place their flowers in vases on the centre of each dinner table after the ceremony. If you’re particularly green-fingered, consider making your own bouquet. Alternatively, artificial flowers can be pretty convincing these days. They’ll look great in the photos and it’s likely that nobody will even notice they’re not the real deal.
Keep an eye on your wedding guest list. There can be a lot of pressure deciding who you ‘should’ be inviting to your wedding which means that guest lists can soon get out of hand. Make sure you keep your guest list down to only the people you really care about. You don’t have to invite your husband-to-be’s entire Saturday football team or your hairdresser or your mum’s best friend’s dog. Keep it personal. The more people you invite, the more people you have to spend money to feed and the more guilty you’ll feel if you don’t get time to go round and say hello to everyone on the day.
Keep it Yours
Most importantly on your wedding day, do what you want to do. Don’t wear the dress your mum wore if you hate it, don’t invite people you wouldn’t think twice about if you didn’t hear from them in a year, don’t spend unnecessary money trying to impress people. Chances are, on the day, the only thing they’ll really notice is how happy you are.