If you have been involved in planning a wedding you are probably very aware of the fact that "money symbols" seem to appear in some peoples eyes at the mere mention of the word "wedding".
This is unfortunate to say the least as it can make planning what is supposed to be the happiest day of your life, not only expensive, but also very stressful. If at all possible, try not to mention that what you are looking for is actually for a Wedding, obviously this is not always possible as for items such as stationery and the wedding Dress itself it is pretty obvious what you are buying for. However, you could ask for a quote for what you require and use a general reference to begin with that way you should have a better idea before you go on to state that it is actually for a wedding.
There are several tricks you can use to make your purchases that bit cheaper, such as buying through a cashback website or by using a cashback credit card to pay for items (combine the two and you win twice over!) You may even want to consider having your wedding insured.
Budget Weddings NOT Cheap Weddings
Celebrity weddings are in the press almost every week, it seems, but, not only do they have lots of money to go at, many of them actually get money for their wedding photos, so they win where we simply can't. The first thing to do is to discuss with your partner and family (or whoever is helping to pay) exactly what type of wedding you want. This is YOUR big day, and as long as you have YOUR perfect weddingm thats all that matters. If you do want a big traditional wedding, then all well and good, but without a celebrity bank account, we have some good tips and advice on how to save what could amount to thousands of pounds.
Wedding Ceremony and Wedding Reception Venues
This is very dependent on the bride and grooms beliefs, but many places do have licences for Civil Ceremonies. Venues know that attracting weddings is a major income for them, and as such, rooms have been carefully and tastefully decorated, and can be altered to suit your needs, something you just can't do with a church! Having a Civil Ceremony can also reduce costs as cars are not usually needed for as much time and you do not have to provide flowers for the church. Whichever option is the one for you, we should be able to help as we have tips for both:-
Read More on Budget Wedding Receptions
Cheap Wedding Flowers
The traditional option is to go to a florist and order your flowers, this can prove to be very expensive especially if you have to provide flowers for the church.
For ideas on ways to save on your flowers, click on Cheap Wedding Flowers
Budget Wedding Car Hire
If any of your friends or family have classy cars and are willing to lend them to you for the day, then you can buy your own ribbons:-
Read more about Budget Wedding Car Hire
Affordable Wedding Dresses
Look out for sales and check the internet. Once you have your measurements there are some amazing dresses which can be ordered from overseas at a fraction of the price of those in the UK, in fact often the designer dresses we have in the UK shops can be found at a much lower cost online too.
Much more information on how to Save Money on Bridal Purchases
Weddings can get out of hand and it is easy to get carried away, but try and keep your feet firmly on the ground as there are often cheaper options out there you just have to look and use your imagination.
Men are not usually quite as complicated as women, at least where clothes are concerned.
Budget Wedding Suits
Most men would choose to hire their suit as a Morning Suit is not something you are going to get a lot of wear out of. This doesn't mean that you should settle for the first hire shop you find, again go to a few and try on the suits, see what colour options they have available and what their terms are on pick up and drop off the suits. Look for companies with special offers, such as hire 2 get 3rd free etc. Also, make decisions about exactly who needs a suit. Of course, the Groom, Best Man and Father of the Bride will need one, but does anyone else? Ushers would look just as good in their best suits. They may even offer to hire the outfits themselves.
When you have decided on the hire shop, get all the boys together and pop down for fitting, better to reserve early than find out that they have not got enough suits, waistcoats or cravats for your party. If you have younger members of the grooms party, such as children or teenagers, then take them along to the first booking, but insist on having them re-measured 4 weeks before the wedding, as they grow so quickly. You don't want to get the suits and find they don't fit.
Mens Wedding Shoes
Check all your party have the right colour shoes for the suits and make sure that they are all comfortable as it can be a long day in the same pair of shoes. You can always hire shoes so that they all match but this is personal choice and may result in extra cost and sore feet
Prepare your speech as early on a possible and put it in a safe place, it isn't easy to write speeches unless you are used to that kind of thing and so some research may need to be done. There are numerous websites dedicated to giving ideas on speech writing so check them out.
Advice for the Best Man
The groom will probably have the suits organised, but offer to help and check out the suit hire shops with him.
Also take over organising everyone for their fittings as the groom will usually have enough on his mind. This would be a great help along with looking up some speech writing sites with the Groom as this can will also help with the writing of the Best Mans Speech, which often a big affair meaning the heat is on!
Read on for information on The Best Mans Duties and Responsibilities.
Cheap Bridesmaids Dresses and Accessories
Bridesmaids outfits can in some cases be as expensive as the brides, though if you look at high street shops such as Next or Debenhams, and look on line you can get some fabulous dresses at a reasonable price which can be used again.
Like the Brides dress, you can order bridesmaid dresses from overseas (particularly the USA) at a fraction of the cost in bridal shops. However, this can be a slight risk as you won't get a sample and they are made to measure. If you are going to shop online, leave plenty of time for the dresses to arrive and make absolutely sure you have the correct measurements for all your bridesmaids; you could consider going to a dressmaker and getting them measured for a minimal cost so that the measurements are absolutely right. If you are going to go down this route then follow these top tips:
1. Find a local stockists that have the dresses you want and go along for a look to check the style and colour are what you want.
2. Most websites allow you to purchase some extra material by the metre - a great idea in case they need altering.
3. Get bridesmaids measured professionally so that you have the right sizes.
4. After the wedding, take the dresses to a dress agency, or put them on Ebay, to recoup some of your expenditure.
Read more about Budget Wedding Party Clothing.
Budget Wedding Rings
Be very clear as to what you want. If it is only a plain band you are looking for then these can be picked up at very little cost. You can even get a plain band made for less than £100. If you want White Gold or Platinum but feel this is out of your price range consider silver for now as no one but you would know. At a later date when you have a bit more spare cash you could always upgrade your rings, as an anniversary treat perhaps?
If you are having a church wedding and would like an organist, ask to hear them first as they may not be up to scratch and there is nothing worse than an out of tune organist. If you listen to them and don't like them ask what alternatives are available. Don't feel pushed into having an organ player who is not good.
Read more information on Budget Wedding Music.
Budget Wedding Catering
Wedding Meals are probably the most expensive part of the day, and some venues won't bend when it comes to the catering. If you are happy to cut out the formal sit down meal, look for a venue that will do you a buffet or even a barbecue. Getting married later in the day means you can cut out the sit down formal meal and go straight to an evening style reception.
Read more ways to reduce Wedding Catering Costs.
Budget Wedding Stationery
If you are creative or good on a computer this is something that you can design yourselves. This would work out much cheaper as you would only have the cost of the card, envelopes, postage and ink. You could also decide to print the invites and then add your own touch once printed as there is a lot of choice at most hobby craft shops these days and it doesn't have to be expensive. Furthermore, how nice it is to work together on your invitations, place cards, service cards etc etc etc in the lead up to your big day.
Read more advice on finding or making Cheap Wedding Stationery.
Low Cost Wedding Photographers
You may have a friend with a good camera and decide to ask them to take the pictures on the day, or you might decide that you would prefer a professional as they may have a better finish and more size and style options.
Many professional photographers now offer a wide range of options, rather than the one (large) price fits all. Some will even offer a low price option of letting you have all photos taken on a CD Rom for you to print your own and create your own album.
Read more about Budget Wedding Video's and Photography.
Budget Wedding Cakes
If you are creative look at making your own as this will be a great money saver as cakes can be very expensive indeed. Even if you can't make a fruit cake, but feel that you could decorate one, buy the cakes ready made with the marzipan and plain icing already completed. You can purchase the cakes from stores such as Marks and Spencer's or Tesco’s. Then pop to a cake decorating shop and get the ribbon, horse shoes, food colouring and any other extras you might want to add, they also usually provide stand hire which is much easier than using posts to balance your cake.
Many brides nowadays only want a plain wedding cake. As mentioned, plain iced cakes can be bought from lots of supermarkets, and it so easy, and effective to simply wrap a ribbon round each layer, fasten it with a beautiful diamante brooch and place a single rose or lilly on the top - beautiful, simple and very effective.
If you think that this is way out of your capabilities then an idea which is becoming more popular is to hire a cake stand and purchase cake boards and wrap the edges with ribbon to match your wedding colour scheme, then buy lots of cup cakes and place these onto the cake stand, then you could drape over some silk flowers or even just dust with icing sugar. The kids in your wedding party will love this idea and it will be a quirky talking point.
Budget Wedding Party Gifts
This is a tradition but isn't an absolute must, I am sure your wedding party would not be offended if you didn't get them a gift, however if you still wanted to get them a gift but watch the cost then how about a sweet mix up or a thank you card with a lottery ticket inside?
Low Cost Honeymoons
A honeymoon, although expensive, is a must for some newlyweds, and often they dream of far off and exotic locations. Ask yourself whether this is a necessary expense or whether it is more about spending a week together? You could commit to going to that extra special place for a first or fifth wedding anniversary, giving you more time to save up, and for a time when you haven't got the massive outlay of a wedding, and scale down your expectations for your honeymoon. For example, at the time of writing, 7 nights all inclusive in the Dominic Republic for the 8th May, 2010 was £647 per person, whereas an all inclusive week in Lanzarote was £259 per person!!,
If the honeymoon is an absolute must for you, consider this when booking the time of year for your wedding. Holidays in June, July and August are expensive whereas booking in April, May or September can save you up to 50%. Avoid school holidays and you will get a holiday much cheaper. Also, try and book your honeymoon as far in advance as possible, as you will be able to take advantage of travel agents special offers and low deposits.
If you just can't afford the luxury then look at what you can do to make any time off you have after the wedding as special as possible.
You could choose:-
1) A romantic meal at home or at a restaurant.
2) Tell everyone that you will be away for a couple of days and spend this time relaxing as newlyweds with no interruptions.
3) If you have children, see if they can stay over for a night or two with a family member or friend to give you some quality time together.
4) Plan a picnic and take along some champagne which you are bound to have received as a gift.
5) Book just one night in a classy hotel.
Extra Budget Wedding Tips
* Set your budget and don't exceed it, you set your budget at that amount for a reason.
* Get everything booked as soon as you can making the run up to your wedding day as relaxing as possible.
* Do as much as you can yourselves and don't be afraid to have a go at being creative, you might surprise yourself.
* Don't care what anyone else thinks it is not their wedding day it is yours, don't lose sight of this as it could make for a miserable day. If people look down their noses at you then they aren't real friends anyway so save yourself some money in the future and scrub them off your Christmas list.
* Where your wedding breakfast in concerned, set an amount which you are willing to spend and structure your invites around this. Don't feel pressured to increase the list to keep other people happy it isn't them who have to pay for it.
* Ask your friends and family to help with some of your preparations such as the flowers and name cards, you could be really surprised how much they want to be involved.
* And probably the most important tip, on the day of your wedding relax and enjoy yourselves. There is no point in worrying what you might have forgotten as if you have there is no point worrying now as there is nothing you can do about it. Anything else that crops up let the best man deal with it and make sure you take regular stops to look around and take the day in as it will fly by, and before you realise it will be over.
What is the cost of a Budget Wedding
Budget Wedding Bridal Shoes
Around £20 from a high street store.
For the Bride, Bridesmaids and button holes around £70.
Budget Wedding Cars
Petrol to and from the venue £20 and flowers for the back seat, £10, Ribbons for the front £2.00 each.
Much more information on the Cost of a Budget Wedding