Save money with these great ideas!
At the Wedding Directory we’ve seen every kind of wedding: big, small, winter, summer, minimal and totally over the top. One thing that we know is always welcome is money-saving tips! Here’s a round up of 14 of our favourite ways to have a wonderful wedding without spending a fortune.
1. Plan for an off peak wedding
If you can opt for a mid-week wedding, you can halve the cost of your venue. Off peak wedding times are also much cheaper: November and the first half of December, the second half of January and the second half of February (after the Valentine’s Day rush) are all very cost effective.
2. Choose a venue that comes with decor
If you can identify a venue that matches your style and has an interesting interior design, you will need to spend much less on decorating the space. Many manor houses have a stunning interior and need only a few flowers to finish the look, while more rustic settings like barns often come largely pre-decorated with bunting etc.
3. Pick a tiny venue
If you really want to reduce costs, choosing a small venue means having a very limited guest list, which is one of the easiest ways to save money. Of course it does mean that you have to be ruthless about who comes along, but it’s much easier to explain to people that you literally can’t fit them in than to explain that you can’t afford to invite them!
4. Write your own wedding invitations
A few sessions of online calligraphy or a one-to-one session with a calligrapher is all that it takes for most of us to get good enough to write elegant and highly personal wedding invitations. If you don’t feel confident in that, consider printing your invites yourself the old school way with a printing press, or even screen printing. If your guests are young and/or your wedding is informal you could even consider emailing them.
5. Buy a previously loved dress
One way to save a fortune is to buy a second-hand wedding dress, to look at prom retailers (they often have white dresses for half the price of wedding shops), to find a relative to make your dress for you as a gift. Or buy a white bridesmaid’s dress (often much cheaper than a bridal gown) and upscale it with sequins, pearls, silk flowers or whatever else suits your look.
6. Cinderella your shoes
If you’re wearing a long dress, your shoes will hardly be seen, so hit the High Street to see if you can get a bargain, rather than buying shoes with your dress. Alternatively, if you must have ‘statement’ shoes, decorate satin shoes yourself with diamante and crystals or dye them a fun colour after your wedding so you can keep wearing them to parties for years.
7. Decorate your wedding for the long term
When planning your wedding decor, choose things you’ll want to use in your new life, eg lanterns that you can repurpose in your garden, vases that you will use at home, and table runners that can double as Christmas decor or be used for family parties. That way, while you’re spending money, it’s a long term investment not a one-off splurge.
8. Or hire and return
Many florists have stacks of ‘stuff’ that they’ve acquired over the years which they will happily rent out or even let you borrow at nominal cost. Family and friends also tend to have loads of gorgeous things that you could borrow for your special day, meaning that you don’t have to lash out loads on wedding decor.
9. Work with your florist
Understanding how floral decor works can both save you a fortune and create an outstanding and unforgettable display. For example, seasonal flowers are considerably cheaper than out of season ones, which means you can either save money or make much more of a show by choosing those that are in season. Choosing just one or two flowers can also create a much more structured appearance and because your florist can buy in bulk, he or she will tend to get a much better deal.
10. Plant a meadow
If you’re planning your wedding for a year or more ahead and you’re a spring or summer bride, consider planting your own floral meadow or cutting garden with easy-to-grow and showy flowers like daffodils or ranunculus which you can lay in baskets, plunge into vases or simply strew on tables. This gives you whole armfuls of flowers for the cost of a couple of packets of seeds.
11. Pick your extra
It’s really easy to feel pressurised into having a cocktail bar, a photo-booth, table games etc. Instead of choosing a hotchpotch of extras, pick one significant item or activity and build it up in your wedding planning. There did used to be a time when we didn’t have ‘extras’ at weddings and we still had a good time, so perhaps consider whether you need those expensive doughnut walls or street food stalls and just concentrate instead on enjoying your special day.
12. Eat seasonally
The fresher the food, the better it tastes. But also, the cheaper it tends to be! Choosing seasonal ingredients doesn’t just guarantee a wonderful menu, it also means you get great food at a bargain price.
13. Fake your cake
We all agree there’s nothing more impressive than a multi-tiered wedding cake, but given the dietary requirements of so many of us these days, actually paying for a tiered cake might be pointless. Bakers know how to create some fake tiers out of plaster or styrofoam, to support your single tier ‘real’ cake. This is much cheaper than paying for a three tier cake that will largely go to waste.
14. Spotify your reception
DJs and live bands cost money. An iPod or Spotify playlist costs nothing and can be great fun to make. You can put it together chronologically including music from the beginning of your relationship, through all your significant moments to your first dance, or thematically, starting with “We Found Love” or your favourite equivalent and finishing with “Wedding Song” or something similar.