Image courtesy of Photocity Wedding Photography
One thing I quickly found out when I started planning my wedding, was that it wasn’t going to be cheap! Like a lot of young couples these days, my then fiancee and I had just purchased our first home a few months before we got engaged, and all of our money was going towards paying off our mortgage and the cost of everyday living. Very early on in the piece we decided that our wedding was to be on a very “strict” budget. It can still however be a let down when you suddenly realise that all of your ideas for your perfect wedding need to be thrown out the window because you simply can’t afford it. If you are reading this and feeling overwhelmed by the cost of your upcoming nuptials, just breathe! Before you throw all those ideas and dreams out the window, have a read of my 7 tips that will help you create your dream wedding, without declaring bankruptcy!
1. Determine a budget and stick to it – Before you spend a cent, sit down with your partner and come to an agreement on an affordable budget. Set a suitable date for your wedding, taking into consideration how long it will take you to save the cash. An easy way to keep track of your spending is to keep your receipts and add them to a simple spreadsheet.
2. Buy in bulk – I know this may sound silly, but you can save a bit of extra cash by buying a little more than you really need. I needed about 70 organza bags for our wedding. It was cheaper for me to purchase them in bundles of 50 rather than buying packs of 5 from my local sewing shop. If you can sell the left overs, you can even make a bit of extra cash back!
3. Don’t be afraid to DIY – I am not by any means a “crafty” person but by doing whatever you can by yourself, you can save a pocket full of cash. Yes, it may take a little bit more time, but it is most definitely worth it. Invite your maids/girlfriends over, set up a production line, crack open a couple of bottles of bubbly and get moving!
4. Wedding Expos – Wedding Expos can be so much fun! Not only do you come out with a brain packed full of ideas and inspiration, they often offer discounts only available to expo attendees. It means you can be armed with all your information and pricing for when you get home, and can make some informed decisions about the offers and savings.
5. Guest list – Every guest at your wedding adds to your bottom line. The cost per head for the guests at your wedding is no doubt your biggest expense. The easiest way to do this, is to eliminate the +1’s. Just because your second cousin Judy has a boyfriend, doesn’t mean they should be automatically added to the guest list by default! Remember, it is YOUR wedding day. Ensure you are surrounded by those people who you are closest to, and most importantly, that they want to be there to share in your special day.
6. Off- Peak – By choosing to have your wedding on a weekday or a Sunday you can save hundreds of dollars. Keep in mind the time of the year as well. Off peak months really depend on the climate you live in. If you enquire with your wedding venue before booking they will be able to advise on the quiet months.
7. Let there be food – Choosing to have your reception earlier in the day can actually prove to be cost effective. Breakfast, lunch or even canapes can prove to be much cheaper than a sit down dinner. Having your reception earlier in the day, will also mean that the amount of alcohol that guests will consume will be less. If you do choose to have a dinner, think about a buffet. You could also consider dropping the dessert menu, instead, serving your wedding cake.
Now you are probably thinking this stuff isn’t rocket science and you’re totally right!! With a little bit of planning and savvy thinking, having your dream wedding without the need to take out a second mortgage can happen.
Ms Gingham says: Some great advice here. Let me add though, that some things are worth saving money on and for some things you get what you pay for. Make sure you do your research before deciding to go the cheaper option so as not to be let down on the day. Of course, for some fantastic DIY ideas, check out Polka Dot Made too!
Sarah describes herself as: “A Newly Wed who loves to blog about weddings and food! Loved everything about planning my wedding and honeymoon, and absolutely devastated that it is all over now. 🙁 Have the most amazing husband who I love with all my heart, and am so looking forward to the journey life will take us on together now that we are married!”
Read about Sarah’s honeymoon here!