So we managed to do our complete wedding on around £5000 but it didn’t feel like a budget wedding at all. So I’m going to share some of the ways in which I saved money on our big day.
1. Look around for venue deals. We actually found our venue on Groupon and it ended up saving us as a fortune. The venue itself can be ridiculously expensive and in my opinion, it’s the thing I cared least about. Once you’ve decorated it, it can look as special as you make it. Our venue cost us £1500 which was cheaper for having it on a week day.
2. Find an amateur or semi professional photographer. When we looked around a photographers, we didn’t think we’d be able to afford one. They can often command crazy prices tipping well in to the thousands so we found someone who was at the beginning of their photography career. I genuinely feel like they’re a million times more passionate too as they’re really trying to improve their skills. They also want to get the photos right so they can use them for promotional material.
3. Make things yourself. I collected old jam and pasta jars and decorated them using twine and buttons. They were very time consuming but saved so much money. They also looked amazing and everyone appreciated things so much more when you’d made stuff yourself. I even made a welcome board from a pallet that I asked a builder for!!
4. Advertise on local selling groups for services such as cake making. Rather than looking on businesses websites, I asked for cake making recommendations on Facebay and was able to find a cake maker that baked in her spare time. It looked beautiful and cost around the third of a price of a cake maker. I also bought a few things second hand off gumtree.
5. Drive a hard sell on your wedding dress. My dress was priced up for £950 and I originally went in looking for a sale dress. I tried not to act ‘too keen’ and said unfortunately my budget was only £500. The shop owner amazingly said she’d take £500 if I bought it cash there and then! Deal! It was literally the most amazing perfect dress so I couldn’t have been happier. However, remember to add alterations on top of that. I forgot this and because my dress had a thousand layers to it cost me a small fortune! To be honest though, if you feel like a bloody princess then that’s money well spent. It’s always worth haggling because if you don’t ask, you don’t get. I also think the worst they can say is no!
6. Only invite your nearest and dearest. We wanted a more intimate wedding and didn’t want to invite people that we hardly knew. I stuck with the rule of no plus-ones unless a guest didn’t know anyone else. In that case, we invited their partners so they weren’t left feeling uncomfortable.
7. You’ll be amazed how everyone comes together. We had so much support from family chipping in to buy things and gave us more than we could have hoped for. It’s good to not budget for this and allows for added touches to make the day more special. We had a pic’n’mix sweet cart and a photo booth. Both really added to the day. Especially the photobooth, never did I think my 86 year old grandad would be in there in a purple wig and Elton glasses!!!
8. Use people! Friends and family will be more than happy to help if you ask for it. We saved money using a friend who designed our wedding invites, my auntie that did the bridesmaid hair and I did the make up for my mum and two bridesmaids. It’s also a good tip to keep bridesmaid numbers down. Easier said than done but things don’t come cheap when you weigh in their dress, hair, makeup and a small gift. I kept it to my sister and best friend and they were simply perfect!
9. Set a budget and stick to it! I used a little notebook to record down what money I had already spent or when that money needed to be spent. It’s also important for you and your other half to talk about the priority areas you both have as these are where you want to invest the money into. If there’s something neither you or your partner are too fussed about then cut it out. It’s easy to get caught up in planning a wedding you think people will like but it really is just your day!
10. Finally, I’m talking wedding transport! Get married all in one venue then you don’t need to hire any transport. Not only is it easier for older relatives to be there but it saves an absolute fortune! If you do need to hire transport, ask around your family and friends to see if anyone has a fancy car you can use for a crate of beer!!!
So those are my top money saving tips for planning a wedding. We really did ours on a strict budget but allowing enough time to shop around and wait for deals, meant that I could source different suppliers at cheaper rates.
Now, can i do it all again please?!