Top 10 tips for squeezing the absolute most out of your wedding budget!
Pretty Thrifty has been asked to write an insightful money saving post for HELLO! Online’s new wedding community, the Wedding Hub, and I’ve decided to focus on value for money rather than cheapest possible, so here’s my top 10 tips for squeezing the absolute most out of your budget…
1) The Venue: choose one that includes accommodation and split the cost
There are some fab venues out there that do a whole weekend package including accommodation for all your guests, this could be anything from camping to holiday cottages to exclusive use of a Highland Castle! Guests expect to have to pay for accommodation (and are happy to) and often these sorts of venues do an ‘all in’ package. One such venue is Knockerdown Farm in Derbyshire which has a whole site deal for £10,000 which gives you the ceremony venue, reception venue and sleeps 90 people in lots of lovely holiday cottages, plus a pool and a spa, it’s like having your own private village for your wedding!
If you split that straight down the line then your guests are looking at paying £111 each for 3 nights accommodation which is pretty darn good, and as a happy little by product you get an AMAZING wedding venue for absolutely FREE!
2) The Food: canapes as starters & a cake competition for desert
Everyone likes a 3 course dinner but paying for a whole wedding party to enjoy one can be a very expensive endeavour! If you’re thinking of also having canapes, which guests are often gagging for right after the ceremony, why not let these be your starters and just up the quantities a little. Another excellent way to trim your catering costs is to ditch the desert for a pudding competition, incorporate the idea into your invites and encourage lots of you culinary gifted friends and family to bring their entries down and drop them off before the ceremony. This can save you upto £5 per head which is a LOT of money!
3) The Dress: sell it afterwards
It’s beautiful, it fits like a glove, it cost you a fortune. You will never wear it again. Ok so you might, but I doubt it, maybe for a post wedding photo shoot but for what other occasion would you honestly wear it again? Sell it! And fast, don’t hang about, especially if you’ve bought a new designer dress, generally the new seasons gowns will be released by designers in January and some of the current years designs may well come to the end of the line. There are some great sites out there for selling your gown as well as good old e-bay, and if you get it up there quickly you may well make back around 2 thirds of the price you paid
4) The Marquee buy one and sell on again afterwards
Seriously, this is an option that you might not have considered but it really is a genuine possibility. If you have a bit of capital it’s well worth doing as marquees hold their value. If you want a marquee wedding then check out Curlew the best place to pick up 2nd hand marquees. You can get hold of a tent big enough for your average wedding reception for a few thousand pounds and it will sell on again at the same price or slightly less, so if you’re planning a reception on land you own or in a private garden this could be a great way for you to get hold of a marquee for next to nothing!
5) The Suits: buy don’t rent
Unlike a wedding dress a good suit will be worn again and again so it’s always worth the groom investing in a nice piece of tailoring. Rented suits never fit in the same way and there really isn’t any need for all your men to match. If you a fan of the matchy matchy look then ties are a LOT cheaper than multiple morning suits!
6)The Flowers: Grow your own
So you might not have a garden or be a very green fingered type but odds are one of your friends or relatives will be. With enough warning and planting time it’s possible to grow your own wedding flowers. Alternatively have living plants as centrepieces that could be replanted afterwards or at the right time of year, June/July, you could even pick wild flowers. If you’re not confident about your arranging skills book yourself on a floristry workshop, they’re super popular at the moment and lots of florists are offering them, plus they’re lots of fun!
7) The Photographer
Lots of photographers offer a kind of ceremony only package as well as a full day coverage option. This tends to be quite a bit cheaper and you’ll usually get then to cover your ceremony plus some lovely portraits and a few mingly shots as all your friends and relatives congratulate you. Many only offer this at non peak times ie not on Saturdays as they can easily fill those dates with full bookings and from a business point of view that wouldn’t be a very good idea. If you are getting wed during the week talk to photographers and see if they can offer a shorter amount of coverage for a cheaper price, even if it’s not advertised on their website it’s always worth asking if your budget is tight.
8) The Booze: BYOB
For any other social occasion this is totally acceptable but for some reason it’s rarely done at weddings. If you’ve got a venue that will allow it; most hotel types definitely won’t or anywhere with a working bar, but relaxed venues like village halls youth hostels and holiday cottage venues often will. Slap a BYOB on your invite and your guests will be pleasantly surprised and generally pleased, no overpriced pints and they get to choose exactly what they want to drink. WIN!
9) Favors: Don’t bother
How many times have you actually remembered to take home that bag of sweets/ tiny pot of jam/ mini spoon/ cute little badge… favours can really add up and people won’t notice or care if there aren’t any. If you want to make a nice gesture choose some charity favours, make a donation and leave a little note at everyone’s places.
10) Invites: DIY
You are capable of this, I promise, you don’t need to spend a fortune for a fancy invitation, check out my top tips for awesome cheap and cheerful wedding invitations here.