Wednesday, 21 January 2015

How To... Plan A Wedding On A Budget.

I LOVED our wedding. All of it. Not just the actual day, but the planning too. It's such a lovely feeling to look back and feel all happy and glowy inside at the memory of it.

But let's be honest, it can get expensive! It's hard to gauge the average wedding cost, with answers ranging from £11,000 to £21,000. But if you don't have that kind of money, does that mean your wedding can't be as special? Absolutely not! It's your day, and you will make it special with your own ideas and creative twists. And sometimes, the cheap ideas can be the best ones.

Do you have any budget-friendly wedding advice? Please leave your tips for others in the comments!

So let's get down to business. Here are my (hopefully helpful) tips to help you plan your big day on a budget:

1) Use your skills. If you're anything like me, you'll currently be panicking as all you can think of is that crayon picture you drew when you were five. Stop. Think about it. Is there anything you enjoy as a hobby that you could put into practice? Take a few examples; I had previous training as a florist so I 'bit the bullet' and did all my own flowers. It was scary, let me tell you! But looking back I'm so happy I did. My flowers were unique to me and I would have regretted not doing them myself. But not everything was that "big" as you might consider it. My mum and I made the table settings. My hubby-to-be and I made our invitations. Don't get me wrong, there were times when we wished we had just paid someone else to do it! However once it was done, I loved all the little bits that we'd made ourselves. It made it feel like the wedding was truly ours.

 This tip will help you not only to save on the pennies but you'll have the satisfaction of knowing your wedding truly had something with your own creative stamp on it.

(Incase you're interested, here is my wedding bouquet. Not perfect by any means, but perfect for me!)

My Bouquet 

2) Use someone else's skills! This can be a tricky one as we don't always like asking people to do things for us. I don't, anyway. However, do you know what I discovered? People actually want to help! I love helping at other people's weddings, be it some flowers for the top table or helping to set up the day before. I helped one couple do their table plan. I really appreciated having friends and family who wanted to help. My mum made us an amazing chocolate wedding cake. My sister even did my wedding favours for the tables and they looked stunning.

 A little word of caution on this one, if you are using someone's time and resources, or it is how they make a living, always offer to pay them for it. They may choose to give you a discount, or as I often would with the flowers, I would just charge for the actual cost of buying the flowers and not for petrol/ time/ extra bits and pieces. Or other times I would do it completely free as a wedding present. But I think we can all agree it's best not to expect people to do things for free. If they offer and they genuinely want to, that's fine. Be sure to give them a thank you present after!

3) Be shop savvy. A short one, this. Shop around! I bought many of my decorations off ebay! It takes time to shop around but it is worth it.

4) Choose a less popular time of year. If you can, try choosing a date that will mean venues are cheaper. Check their websites to see what difference it can make. We got married in April and it made a difference, not only to the actual day but also for booking anniversary holidays afterwards! So this is a tip that will last you all your married life. If you're looking to get married in the middle of the school summer holidays it might be worth keeping this one in mind.
TIP: I didn't try this one myself, but some bride and grooms choose to get married on a Friday to ensure a cheaper venue price in comparison with the popular Saturday's. Just make sure your bridal party can get the day off work!

5) Free photo location? Now don't skimp on this one. If you know there is somewhere you've always dreamed of having your photos done at, and you know you'll regret it if you don't, then go there even if you have to pay. But if you are on a budget and you have time, take a couple of weekends to look around at local attractions or sites. We had our wedding photos done at a ruined castle sight on top of a hill. Yes, I had to change in and out of wellies to walk across the grass and yes, I had to hoist my dress up out of the mud, but you don't see any of that on the photos! Just dramatic castle ruins and a beautiful view. And I couldn't have been more pleased with the pictures. And it was free to use!
TIP: If you're having photos outside and it is anything but a hot summer's day, take a coat or wrap to pop on in-between shots. At home all you can think of is how you want to show your dress off at every available moment, but believe me, once you're outside for more than ten minutes that coat is all you can think about!

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