It’s not always possible to drop tens of thousands of pounds on a wedding, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the wedding of your dreams. Mass transport and the internet means wedding research and budget-friendly options are more within your reach than ever. This anything-goes blog will help you skimp and save for the ultimate wedding on a budget.
Food and Drink
Catering can quickly rack up the costs, especially if you’re opting for expensive set meals and fancy plating. If you have relatives who are talented amateur chefs, or even professionals who are willing to offer you a discount, then get in touch and see if they can help you cater for your guests. Flattery will get you everywhere, so ask them if you can taste their food and suggest that it’s good enough for a couple of hundred people!
Instead of a three-tier wedding cake, consider a quirkier, easy-to-produce option like stacks of fairy cakes or a full table of smaller puddings. Buffet-style food is cheaper than set meals and leaves more room for entertainment and merriment. If you’re putting money behind the bar this will give you more room in the budget for drinks, which does wonders for guest’s perception of your big day.
Flowers are often a shockingly expensive expenditure, so taking a bit of time during your wedding planning to tour the local country for wildflowers and seasonal growth means you can collect beautiful decorations from nature herself – at no cost other than your time. Single flowers can double as table decorations and personal accouterments for your guests, adding splashes of colour at no extra cost. Decorating the venue yourself rather than hiring a professional or billing the venue means you get extra creative control and a stricter management of your budget – balloons aren’t nearly as expensive if you’re not paying somebody else to blow them up!
Summer weddings are a dream come true – you’re (almost) guaranteed beautiful weather, potential guests often have more free time and they’re far from national holidays and the Christmas period. June, July, and August are however the most expensive months for everything wedding-related, particularly venues and entertainment. Christmas weddings can be had at bargain prices, and well-prepared winter weddings are a fairy-tale all of their own, particularly if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere snowy. If you’re after some sun but you’re not too fussed on a huge guest list then hopping abroad for a beachfront wedding with your closest friends and family will save you money, and you get to double up on the honeymoon!
Check Your Costs
Hidden or unexpected costs are the bane of a budget-conscious wedding planner’s existence. VAT costs are always to be checked, and venues will often contain hidden costs around every corner. When you book a venue, make sure to ask them about cloakroom fees, headcount limits, crockery and linen costs, staff costs, and corkage costs. Do the same for your caterers and entertainment; itemised bills are your best friend as a wedding-planner!
When buying for your wedding, remember that it’s your money being spent; don’t be afraid to haggle and negotiate!