You don’t have to break your bank to have a gorgeous, beautiful wedding day. I have come up with a guide to a budget wedding without your guests enjoyment and your experience being affected.
Firstly, and most importantly, remember that you only truly need three things to have a successful wedding day: a bride, a groom, and an official/registrar. Everything else is optional day filling, cynical but true. Please remember this as it will help you make the tough financial decisions (and you will need to make them trust me) during the planning process.
So here we go:
The guest list
The best and easiest way to slash your budget is by culling your guest list. This is so hard. Your wedding is a celebration, but it is also a very intimate moment. It is a ceremony in which you and your ‘husband to be’ are pledging your lives to each other joining two families together.
When budgeting is a concern, try and keep your guest list to immediate family and the closest of friends. Not only will this save you tonnes of cash, but you will enjoy spending this meaningful day with the people you value the most. Not people you have ‘befriended’ on Facebook that you have never met.
This is a biggie. Many women spend a good proportion of their lives dreaming of the beautiful frock they will wear on their wedding day. It doesn’t have to be expensive. There are lots of alternative options to get a beautiful gown, even a designer gown at a far lower price than at a bridal salon. eBay, Gum Tree and secondhand stores all have beautiful designer gowns at a fraction of the cost.
Many bridesmaid dresses are available in white or ivory and cost a fraction of that of bridal gowns. Shop around, look from prom dresses on the internet.
Have your wedding on a Friday or Sunday, it will be loads cheaper. Hold anything but a dinner party (too expensive). Have a brunch, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, dessert/champagne and cake, even a lunch garden picnic will all save you tons of cash over a full dinner.
Use an iPod or iPhone? ‘Playlist’ weddings have become increasingly popular because couples can preecisely choose the music they want to hear, no matter how obscure or alternative it may be.
Organise your playlists for each portion of your wedding: pre-ceremony, ceremony, cocktail hour, special dances, dinner, dancing, etc. Ask a member of your wedding party to act as MC for special announcements. Much cheaper than a DJ. Makes for a more unique wedding experience, bespoked for you.
Wedding flowers can easily run you in the thousands. To cut costs, make sure you order only blooms that are in-season. Order loose stems and make the arrangements yourself or ask guests to help. This is not nearly as difficult as it sounds!
Also try ordering flowers without mentioning they’re for a wedding, because sometimes the simple mention of matrimony can bump the price up a couple notches. Just say you’re buying flowers for a party, worth a try.
Safe to skip…
Most guests throw wedding favours away anyway. If you really want to leave something, bake yummy treats yourself, or make a small donation to a favourite charity, place a card at each setting explaining the gift.
Save the date cards are an unnecessary expense, unless you’re having a wedding abroad, requiring people to make travel arrangements well in advance. Announce the date on Social Media if that is an option, it is free!
Don’t skimp on…
A great photographer is one of the most important investments you can make. Remember, you are asking them to record a piece of family history, one that will last for generations to come. Hire the best photographer you can, you will be looking through these pictures for many years to come and you want to make sure you have quality pictures.
To save money, offer only beer and wine, a signature cocktail or champagne punch. There is no need to provide an entire liquor store. Also be sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages available.