Hey lovelies, I hope you’re all warm and well!
As you all probably know by now, I’m a married lady! Me and Shane tied the knot on 06/05/18 (you can read more on that here.) A few people asked me to create some more wedding based content so I thought I’d put together some Wedding planning tips and tricks to help create your perfect day. Getting married soon or know anyone who is? Hopefully this will help them out. Wedding planning on a budget doesn’t have to be stressful and doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go without things, it just takes some careful planning and a lot of research.
Pretty much as soon as you get engaged, you’re mind will go into overdrive about every little detail you want included in your big day. You’ll have all the girls asking you a thousand questions at a time and it can become a little overwhelming. Remember that there is absolutely no rush, go at your own speed and take your time.
Getting married on a weekend will almost double the venue costs, especially in peak wedding season. It isn’t always ideal to have a weekday wedding but it costs a damn sight less. If that works for you then happy days, if not there are so many other ways to save costs on wedding venues. Consider having your ceremony and reception in the same place. This way you’ll save on travel expenses and you’ll probably be able to get a better deal.
Most venues offer wedding packages that could save money, but always weigh up your options. Think about if you actually need everything they’re offering. Usually, you can negotiate on prices too!
The wedding dress.
I always knew what kind of dress I wanted to get married in. Something big, sparkly with all the princess vibes. When looking into designers, boutiques and online stores, I found the dress of my dreams, but the price tag was just unrealistic. I’m a sucker for a good dupe so I looked into it and I found my dream dress in an outlet store. It was almost identical to the dress I first found but was literally 3 times cheaper! A lot of brides sell their dresses online second hand after their wedding so it’s worth having a look around at those. Remember if you’re buying an off the peg gown, you’ll probably need alterations so factor that into your wedding budget too (they usually charge per layer).
A lot of stores have end of line sales, if you have your heart set on a designer gown, wait until the new season starts and you might be able to get a decent discount. Similarly, stores obviously have display gowns, if you’re drawn to one in a shop window, ask to try it on. You’ll be able to negotiate on price as it’s ex display.
It’s obvious that the more bridesmaids you have, the more money it’s going to cost you. Looking for bridesmaid dresses can be challenging but they always seem more affordable in your favourite high street stores. Shops like New look and H&M have some stunning dresses that will cost a lot less than ones from the bridal boutique. Also worth looking at online discounts and offers too. If you found a dress in New look, have a nose around the internet, there’s always codes about for 20% off. If you’re giving your bridesmaid freedom to chose their dresses, it might be wise to ask them to contribute a percentage too.
Kitting out your venue with decorations all adds up. There are so many idea’s on Pinterest on DIY wedding crafts. Get the girls round one night and make some lovely bits for your wedding. It will give your day a more personal touch too. My mum made our table decorations with some diamonte candle holders and fairy lights. So simple but so effective. You can really get creative and have fun with it too. Also worth asking around in local Facebook groups to see if there is any unused decorations for sale cheap.
Feeding your guests can cost an absolute bomb. Most places offer a sit down meal but that usually equates to around £40- £50 per person (sometimes more). This does usually include 3 courses, wine on the table and perhaps some canapes. Depending on your group size it might be cheaper to have a buffet option. You can call a few favours from friends to help out and cut costs even more. It’s also easier to accommodate peoples food preferences as there’s a variety of options. Discus with your venue possible options and packages on food and drink, see what they offer but don’t feel like you need to book through them.
Another huge cost when planning for a wedding. We all want those gorgeous, romantic photo’s to show off but hiring a good photographer can cost a pretty penny. Consider hiring a newly graduated photographer or someone who is starting to build up their portfolio. These guys are usually great because their knowledge is fresh and they’ll want to get the best shots possible to add to their profiles. Also, if you know someone with a good quality camera and a decent eye for photo’s this is a great option. You’ll have a more personal relationship with them and it can save you a lot of cash. If that isn’t your thing, pick a ceremony only package and ask your guests to take pictures throughout the day, there’s bound to be some great ones.
In true Meghan Markle style, hand picking your own fresh flowers is such a cute personal touch to your day. If you’re a keen gardener, plant some flowers well ahead of time that you can use for your wedding, you’ll save a few hundred quid and you know they’ll be unique to you. If gardening isn’t your thing, artificial flowers are a lot more affordable than fresh flowers and obviously they last a lot longer too! Some fake flowers can look so beautiful and you can add little detailing like diamonte. It’s also easier to get them to match your wedding colour scheme too, not to mention if the flowers you really wanted aren’t in bloom during the time of your wedding.
A little something to say thank you to all of your guests for coming out. Depending on your guest numbers, this could turn out quite pricey! I know a lot of brides that make their own which I think it a lovely idea. Personally, I didn’t do favours for my wedding because I was restricted to how much weight I could carry in my case and there were more important things. If I had have done favours, I’d have made little grow bags, filled with seeds for my guests to grow. A really affordable option and it gives people a chance to grow a good memory! Again, Pinterest is rammed with cute idea’s, just search DIY wedding favours, or Wedding favours on a budget.
The most expensive cake you’ll probably ever buy! But it doesn’t have to be that way. Some supermarkets sell undecorated cakes which is a great option for those of you who are nifty with an icing pipe. Alternatively, you can add fresh flowers that match your theme and bouquets. Even adding just a cake topper can make a difference. Your wedding cake doesn’t have to be luxury and lavish. Most guest won’t even eat it so save some coin there!
Hair and makeup
Luckily for me, my mum is a hair dresser. I sent her a few styles that I liked and we had a good few practice runs before the wedding. I loved how my hair looked, and I didn’t have to factor it into a budget. I’m sure you’ll know someone that is good with hair who might be able to give you a helping hand on the big day, even if it’s mates rates. Much cheaper than going to a salon! Similarly, wedding makeup can come at a high cost. If you know what products work for your face, and you’ve got the confidence to do your own makeup, then go for it! I done my own wedding makeup. Although I would have loved a pamper on the day, I wasn’t prepared to spend the cash. I felt the pressure but I think it turned out well!
So there we have it, 10 easy ways for Wedding planning on a budget. Try and enjoy the planning. Take one thing at a time. Allocate tasks to your bridal party (that’s what they’re there for). Communicate idea’s with your partner and remember to be realistic in terms of your budget. Whatever you choose to do, your day will be magic!
Happy wedding planning
Kisses and Love