Planning your Wedding on a Budget

clairemn By clairemn, 27th Apr 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Weddings

How to have the wedding day of your dreams without spending a fortune!

Set a Realistic Budget and Prioritise

When planning your wedding, the first thing you need to know is how much money you can spend. Depending on where you will be getting the money from, you can then set an approximate date. If your relatives will be giving money towards the wedding, or if you will be borrowing the money, you may be able to get married relatively soon, however, remember that you will still need a lot of time to plan everything. If you are borrowing any money make sure to check that the interest rate of the loan, credit card, or overdraft is as low as possible, if not 0%. If you are saving the money yourselves, you may need to have a slightly longer engagement.

Once you have set a budget, discuss what aspects of the day are most important to you. If you have always dreamed about walking down the aisle in a beautiful designer gown, you can allocate more of your budget to 'The Dress'. On the other hand, if you would like your guests to enjoy a sit-down three course meal, you can use up a lot of your budget on this, while some other couples may decide on a cheaper option such as a buffet.

Get Planning!

OK, so you now know what your budget is, and when you want to get married. By now, you and your partner will have no doubt discussed the type of day you want. So the next step is to figure out the approximate number of guests you will have, and you can then start thinking about venues. The biggest expense of a typical wedding is by far the catering and venue costs. Decide on whether you would like a religious or civil ceremony, and start to research local venues. Think about the location of the venue as this can add to your costs- if it is remote, you may need to put on a coach for guests. If your ceremony is close to, or in the same place as, the reception venue, you may be able to save on, or even forgo, wedding cars.

Many hotels offer package deals and this can be a stress-free way to save money. Winter weddings and weddings held on a weekday or Sunday are also cheaper than weddings in summer or on a Saturday. If you're considering getting married on a Sunday but are worried that some people might not come if they have to work the next day, it is worth checking the calendar for a Bank Holiday weekend.

Another way to save on the reception venue could be to hire a function room and arrange the catering and decoration yourself. The advantages to this are that you can find function rooms in quirky, beautiful and unusual locations and as you would be organising everything yourself, you would certainly be able to put your personal stamp on the day. However, the planning of a wedding like this may be more time-consuming and stressful.

Get Creative!

You can save on many aspects of your wedding by making the most of your own, or of your friends' or family's, creative skills. You can search for DIY invitation templates and blank invitations online and buy supplies to customise them on sites like ebay and hobbycraft. Why not go the whole hog and make your own place cards, thank you cards, and menus too. If you can bake or know a good baker you can make your own cake rather than buying it. If you don't fancy making a traditional tiered cake, you could make a tower of beautifully iced cupcakes. You could also consider making your own canapés, if your venue allows, and they could be something as simple as strawberries dipped in chocolate. For favours, you might want to think about making tablet or fudge. To save on the cost of flowers, you could make your own bouquets from either fresh flowers bought at a supermarket, arranged prettily with ribbon, or from high quality artificial flowers. Some brides even choose to make their bouquet from items like buttons and brooches, which could allow you to include cherished personal items as a part of your day. Again, you can search the web for ideas and inspiration. Depending on the extent of your creativity, you may even be able to make your own gifts for the bridal party.

More Ways to Save

Other big wedding expenses include outfits, music, photography, transport, and hair and make up. To save on the cost of outfits you could hire or buy second-hand where possible. Hiring is definitely a viable option for the groom and groomsmen. If you don't fancy wearing a wedding dress that has already been worn by another bride, you could look into buying your dress online. There are sites in China that will even custom-make wedding dresses to your personal measurements. If you'd rather not sacrifice on your wedding dress, you could consider buying some accessories second hand. If you search for 'tiara' or 'veil' on ebay under 'used' you will find some excellent bargains in perfect condition- after all, such items have usually only been worn once.

To save on the music for your wedding day, you might consider hiring a DJ rather than having a live band. Alternatively, some venues might have the option of hooking up an iPod or mp3 player to their sound system- this way you would not only save money but you would be able to choose all of the songs that would be played too.

If you are lucky enough to have a friend with a fancy car, you can save on transport to the ceremony if they are willing to drive you there. You can still decorate the car with ribbon and have lovely pictures. Alternatively, you could contact local taxi companies and see if you would be able to to use one of their taxi services on the day, and perhaps even decorate the taxi with ribbon. A traditional London style cab that is white in colour would look great.

For photography, and hair and make up, as with all aspects of your wedding, it's imperative to shop around for the best deal. College students of photography, beauty therapy, or hairdressing, who have not yet fully qualified, may be willing to offer their services at a discounted price. See if you can put a notice up at your local college, or check gumtree, as sometimes students will advertise online.

To conclude, I hope some of these tips have been useful, and best of luck with planning your big day!


Budget, Wedding, Wedding Accessories, Wedding Flowers, Wedding Invitations, Wedding Tips

Meet the author

author avatar clairemn
I am a 26 year old Scottish female, and my fiancé and I have a beautiful baby daughter, and are excited about getting married in a couple of months! My writing will focus on being a new mother, wedding planning, and my hobbies which include writing a...(more)

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author avatar Rose*
9th Jun 2014 (#)

The biggest expense is the brides dress - so getting something antique (perhaps customising your mother's weddding dress) certainly saves on cost

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