The Wedding of your Dreams on a Nightmare Budget

We all dream of having the perfect day, from the venue down to the beading on ‘the dress’. Unfortunately we can’t all spend our ideal budget on the day, so you have to strategize and plan, which will ensure you save where you can but don’t cut corners on quality. Here are recommended top tips from the wedding community that will help you maximize your budget to its best uses.

Avoid the ‘W’ Word 

Many vendors have higher price rates for wedding parties so don’t say ‘wedding’ until you’ve agreed the price. Instead, when you’re in talks, come at it from the angle that you’re having an ‘event’. You’ll still be able to talk through your food requirements, etc. but without having to mention that it’s a wedding – the details can come later.

Image: Masson via Shutterstock
Image: Masson via Shutterstock

Get Married Off-Season (November to March)

Winter weddings can be just as beautiful, if not more so than summer ones. Off-season weddings in November to march can be cheaper, so it’s worth considering, even if this is the only thing you want to reduce your budget on. Venues are likely to be freer as well, so you may even have a greater choice of the venues to choose from.

For inspiration check out our 7 Wedding Decor Items that Instatly Make a Fall WeddingFall Bridal Shoes and Perfectly Autumnal Bouquets.

Get Married on a Weekday

Weekday weddings aren’t as commonplace as weekend ones, so venues aren’t in such high demand and therefore, their prices are lower. So long as you give your guests plenty of warning in advance, they’ll more than likely be able to make it. You can always have it on a Friday and give them the weekend to travel home/recover.

Think Digital

Online invitations are becoming more commonplace these days. There are lots of benefits to doing it this way. Firstly, there are plenty of free online tools with customizable templates – there are also one-stop wedding portals like Zankyou, that can help you send your digital wedding invitations as well as set up your wedding website (for free!) and wedding registry.

Even the ones which you do have to pay for can be excellent value for you money when you compare them to the expected costs of having hard copies made. Plus, there’s the ‘time factor’; you only need to get peoples’ email addresses, rather than spending the manual hours calling people and typing addresses. All that saved time can go in to other wedding activities!

Image: Nina Hintringer
Image: Nina Hintringer

For those that Adore Paper Invitations

If you really can’t resist having professional invites made, do plenty of research and negotiate with all vendors before deciding which to go for. You can have the invite company just write and print the text; you can buy the mounting card and envelopes and do the rest. Putting them all together yourself will save you paying the vendor to do it.

For truly gorgeous hand-pressed wedding invitations, check out Alissa Bell Press.

You’ve got a Friend in Me

It’s likely that one or several of your friends know a great baker or florist, etc. who they could get you a good deal with. They’ll also have a range of skills that may be incredibly helpful for a variety of wedding tasks, and what’s more, they will probably love to help. If you have friends who are great a crafts then they can help and advise you on making your decorations, and if you have a friend who’s very organized, she can help you with planning.

Supply the Wine Yourself

Venues can supply drinks but the costs can be a bit pricey. If you do some research and head to a wholesalers or online cash and carry you can pick up alcohol in bulk for a lower cost. Be sure to use an online alcohol calculator first – it will ensure you only get the amount needed need, which will save a few pennies.

Image: Alina Stepushina
Image: Alina Stepushina

Flowers

Be sure to only order flowers that are in bloom during the season you’re getting married. It can mean you have to alter your ideas slightly but there are beautiful flowers in each season, so you may end up finding something a bit different that makes a better bouquet flower, like the beautiful Luculia. Greenery isn’t as costly as flowers so if you have more of it than flowers you can really save money.

Lower Cost Dresses

The wedding dress shopping experience is not to be missed but you don’t need to settle for the one you see in the store. Trying on different shapes and styles will help you find exactly what you want and then you can look for the same or similar one elsewhere. Try eBay, second-hand stores and even Craigslist for phenomenal gowns at a fraction of the price. If you do go for one form the store, remember to negotiate! You can also save on the veil as well – the fabric doesn’t always cost very much per yard but they are priced higher in bridal stores. Look to make your own or find a dressmaker to whip you one up for a cheaper rate.

Image: wavebreakmedia via Shutterstock
Image: wavebreakmedia via Shutterstock

Be your own DJ

Creating a playlist on something like Spotify or your iPod will mean you don’t have to pay for a DJ. Playlists also mean you get the songs you want in their original forms as well. If you sign up for a cheeky Spotify free premium trial you won’t have any adverts either. Just remember to cancel the membership after the wedding! Also, if you want a band for part of the evening then the money you were going to put to a DJ can go to them instead.

Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate!

Last but certainly not least… Put your ‘bartering’ head on and negotiate on all prices. It can seem a little daunting at first, especially if it’s with your dream venue for example, but it’s commonplace that vendors will agree to negotiated fees. So make sure you ask for a lower rate and then if they don’t accept, meet them in the middle. Before signing a contract with anyone, get quotes from a variety of companies, then compare and re-negotiate with your top picks.

Image via Shutterstock: Couple lying down at the parkAngry bride with knife in hand about to smash piggy banAttractive bride using laptop while sitting on grass in garden.

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