32 Ways To Save Money & Get More Value When Planning Your Wedding.
Hi there, all the time I hear the pains and challenges of Brides & Grooms to be… about how to keep to their wedding budget and get as much value for their money as possible… This lead me to creating this check list, I’ve spent quite some time curating information from the net to put it in one place to help out.
I hope you find it of use and there’s also a great free addition to this article!! I’ve created a Wedding Budget Automator in which you can tally up all your wedding costs and financial help from parents etc. to keep you on track.
I’ve had some great feedback about this free resource, all you have to do is put your first name and email in the form below and I’ll send it straight away along with some other cool and interesting stuff to keep you informed about what else you may want to consider when planning your wedding.
So here goes…..
- Off-Peak Bargains – Choose Your Wedding Date Wisely
Most venues offer great deals for mid-week weddings, as well as off-season dates (Off-peak wedding times, especially November, early December (not Christmas time though!), January and February can offer great value). Contact any possible venue choices and ask about their different options.
- Pick A Venue That Reflects Your Style
Think ahead, and save yourself money and pinterest heartache, by picking a venue with interesting décor you love and that suits the kind of wedding you would like. The less you have to do to “decorate”, the more you will save on the little bits and pieces. A chic restaurant is a great option for this.
- Cut the Guest List
Not the most politically fun thing to do, but if you’re serious about saving the number one thing you can do is to cut the number of guests you’re having. The reception (venue, food, drink) is going to be about 50% of your budget so if you want to cut costs, cut the head count. You can always invite people to a get-together in the pub, or the afters if you would like to include them. And these days, people are more understanding than years ago – going to a wedding costs the guests a lot too, remember that!
- Scribe Your Own
Go full old-school and get out your prettiest pens. Self-scribed stationery is an easy way to cut several hundreds of pounds off your bill, and can be really cute and personal.
- Email The Invitations
A controversial one, especially with parents and older guests, but if you’re on a tight budget, you have to look for simple savings and cutting down on design, printing and postage will save you a few pounds. Opt for one of the printable designs online and email it on from a specific email address (free from Hotmail, Gmail or yahoo)
- Ditch the RSVP Cards
Adding RSVP cards and stamped envelopes to the wedding invitations is adding extra cost, and if you just include a phone number and email address, no one will even notice the difference.
- Pick & Choose Your DIY Projects Wisely
Don’t get overwhelmed in jam jars and bunting and take on DIY if you’re not creative. Instead, pick one area of your wedding that you can DIY – whether it be your favours, ceremony programs, or escort cards – and focus on doing that well. Check eBay and Amazon for potential materials.
- Don’t Get Carried Away With The Little Extras
Don’t get carried away with extras – prioritize, do you really need a sweet table, dessert bar, photo booth, individual place cards, etc? More often than not it’s only you and your partner who will notice the little extras.
- Dump the Wedding Favours (if you’re not into them)
Another one that surprises the more traditional parents, but wedding favours are very much an “extra” these days, and at a minimum of £1.50 a pop (even the homemade ones) for 100 guests that’s a couple of hundred pounds you could spend elsewhere. Also, they often get left behind and if you’re made them by hand, you (or Mum’s) feelings might be hurt…
- Think of Decor as an Investment
When buying wedding décor, consider whether you will want it as a permanent fixture in your home or is it going to end up being dumped in the garden shed, or put up on eBay? If it’s something you’re going to treasure then it’s a good idea, if it’s just clutter, then consider hiring or borrowing, which leads me to…
- Ask Your Florist for Decor
Ask your florist what decor they have hidden away that you might hire or borrow, they always have a shed-load of decorative items from lanterns and vases, to bottles and bowls, and you never know what secret treasure might be hiding away.
- Reuse & Recycle
Don’t be afraid to multi-task your flowers from the ceremony space right through to your reception, those pew ends or lanterns can be brought with the groomsmen (or a good friend) and reinstalled on the tables or in the entrance hall.
- Stick with One Flower
Flowers are sold in bulk, and the more types you have the more the cost goes up. So opt for a bouquet and arrangements made with just one type of flower – you’ve seen the arrangements of bunches of hydrangea or lots of lavender, it’s simple, chic, and will save you a fortune compared to elaborate arrangements with 12 different blooms.
- Pick Flowers That Are In Season
Every flower has a “proper” season when they should be in bloom, but nowadays many are available all year round, that is they’re being grown on the other side of the world, which makes them…. expensive! Every florist will be able to advise the best time of year for your favourite florals. Staying within season for your bouquets will save both hassle and money.
- Opt For A Single Tiered Wedding Cake
Go for quality over quantity and have a stylish and delicious single tiered wedding cake.
- Fake The Wedding Cake
If a tall traditional work of art is your idea of a wedding cake but you don’t have the budget, then a really easy trick for creating the illusion on a smaller budget is to include some fake layers (made of Styrofoam decorated as normal) to make it more impressive. You could even have a complete fake cake, and serve slices of simple iced cake instead. Talk to your wedding cake baker – they know this trick well!
- Or Do it Yourself (sorta)
Unless you’re a professional, we don’t really encourage baking your own wedding cake, you’ve too much to do! But if a good friend or family member is a pro, and wants to contribute then making your own cake can save substantially.
- Store-bought – Nice & Simple
If wedding cake isn’t a priority, then there are great options available to buy in shops. Good old Marks & Spencer’s often have a tasty selection and was the choice for real wedding couples Dan and Carolyn and Georgie and Ben.
- Stick with Seasonal
Applying the same principle as with flowers – stick with food choices that are in season and don’t go looking for massive air mile stuff. This will save you time and money, and local and seasonal will taste better. Lamb in winter should be a no go; similarly fresh berries for your desserts would work much better in summer.
- You Don’t Have to Have a Sit Down Meal
If you’re having a more relaxed wedding day, then why not opt for a buffet style meal, a bbq or a picnic? Informal dining is really popular now, and the options have become a lot more sophisticated, less courses means less cost.
- Grab a Bargain at a Sample Sale
Sample sales really are a (very glamorous) bargain hunters dream with savings of up to 70% on designer dresses. Lots of lovely brides we know with upcoming nuptials will be rocking designer sample sale beauties. Keep up to date with the latest sales over on our event calendar, and save yourself hundreds.
- Find a Wedding Dress on the High Street
High street is another great choice – just look at stunning real wedding bride Sarah in Ted Baker. Luckily for brides this season white is bang on trend, so get looking ladies, and keep an eye out for our upcoming post on the best places to shop.
- Loved by Another… Second Hand Wedding Dresses
Specialist charity shops and pre-loved boutiques are another great budget wedding option, helping you find your dream dress for as little as £80. Also check out the Wedding Items For Sale group on Face Book.
- Accessorize With Family Heirlooms
Like lots of our Real Wedding brides you can bring a borrowed element into your bridal look. Parents or grandparent’s jewellery and accessories can be beautiful and you can be sure nobody else has the same and that will save you a few (hundred) pounds on jazzing up the dress.
- Hit the High Street for Shoes
Let’s face it; you’re going to wear a long gown. Your guests won’t even see your shoes, they’ll be looking at the dress, and if it’s outside they’re going to get wrecked. Pick a high street pair (Naoise paid £29 for hers), and you’ll save loads. If you are set on designer, don’t choose white satin, pick a pair you can wear again, and again, and again…
- Limit Your Numbers
Do you really need a team of bridesmaids? Limit the number in your bridal party to make buying bridesmaid dresses and makeup more manageable – a simple way to keep numbers low is to stick to your family.
- DIY Music
Professional music not top of your list? Use an ipod or spotify playlist for your reception music, but make sure to enlist a friend to monitor it for the evening to eliminate any fighting over how much “I hate that song”
- Go Social with the Photo booth
A photo booth is great fun, but can be costly. For a DIY version head to a party supplies store to pick up some props and masks (Tiger on Nassau Street usually have a good selection). Then just invite your guests to take their own snaps – you could create your own Instagram hash tag to collect the photos, or use one of the handy Apps we . (Hidden Cost Alert – if you’re opting for a Polaroid camera be warned the camera film can be pricey.)
- Be Careful With Your Drinks
Instead of offering a drink for a toast (a specific order for each guest) just keep the wine flowing – people won’t notice the difference at the time, as long as they’ve a drink in their hands, and you will definitely notice the difference on the bar bill!
- Travel in Style (as a Wedding Gift)
Transport can often be a forgotten expense, if having a particular car isn’t important to you ask a friend or family member with a fancy car to help you out on the day, you’ll save money, they’ll provide a unique wedding gift, everybody wins.
- Honeymoon At Home
You don’t have to spend a fortune on a luxurious honeymoon away; honeymoons in Ireland or the UK are much more popular nowadays and can be just as romantic. For a list of some of our favourite spots have a look at our Honeymoon’s In Ireland post and our 15 Favourite Romantic Hideaways in Ireland.
- Delayed Gratification
You don’t have to have the honeymoon straightaway. If you have your heart set on a tropical getaway, enjoy your wedding, save a little and get a better deal at a different time of year. That way you also have something amazing to look forward to down the line.
I know there’s a lot to take in on this blog post and that you found it of interest… Don’t forget if you’d like the Wedding Budget Automator just pop your name and email into the form below and I’ll send it straight over…
I know there’s a lot to take in on this blog post and that you found it of interest… Don’t forget if you’d like the excel spreadsheet wedding planner pop your name and email into the form below and I’ll send it straight over…