Scout Out Decorations At Craft Stores
Look for wedding decorations especially light-up decor in places such as craft stores. They have more than glue guns and glitter, says Sharon Naylor, author of dozens of wedding books, including 1,001 Ways to Save Money and Still Have a Dazzling Wedding. The Dollar Store is also a great place to score low-cost wedding decor.
Do Your Research And Explore All The Options
When shopping for literally anything, its so important to do your research and shop around. Gather all the relevant info, options, and quotes and youll be much more likely to find the best value. Also be sure to check for wedding deals and discounts on *everything* you buy for your big day.
Contact The Local University
If youre looking for live music for the ceremony or want a professional photographer, one approach to consider is to contact the local university. There may be music students or budding photographers who would love an opportunity to get started in the field and may charge a very reasonable price as they dont yet have a large resume to lean on. Often, new people in a field are excited to prove themselves, so theyll not only charge a reasonable price, but theyll go the extra mile to perform well and build a reputation. Simply trimming even 20% off of the average wedding musician cost and the average wedding photographer cost adds up. Theres a risk, of course, when using a new person, but theyre also going to be very focused on the task at hand, as this is an opportunity for them.
Strategy: Contact the local university to find budding photographers or musicians who may want the opportunity Savings: $800
Buy A Basic Cake And Decorate It Yourself
The cake is one of the easiest places to save a stash of cash, as wedding specialists can charge an arm and a leg for these. By this stage most guests will be too stuffed to put away much cake anyway.
Here are a few tips to cut the cost of a cake.
My mum and I baked 120 cupcakes for my sister’s wedding the week before, but didn’t have enough freezer space to store them. So we called the local Iceland supermarket. It kindly agreed to lend us one of its industrial freezers free of charge. – Former MSE Debs
Don’t Be Embarrassed To Ask For Cash
Most people are happy to give cash as a wedding gift if asked many even prefer it to the hassle of picking a gift. Of the 21,000 who voted in our poll, 55% would prefer to give hard cash, while a further 34% would give it if requested .
Wedding gifts aren’t just a pleasant way of wishing a new couple a great life together. Historically, they’re there as a form of social banking.
So before you decide what to ask for on the big day, here’s what Martin has to say:
It’s worth understanding the function this ceremonial gift exchange performs.
Far too many think of wedding gifts as an added extra, yet financially it needs to play a core part in your plans. You’re likely to be shelling out a serious sum of cash for your wedding, but lots of people are willing to effectively pay you back in return for going to the ceremony.
Of course, etiquette rightly suggests no one should ‘ask for gifts’. So what we’re really talking about here is whether you can express a preference for cash over presents for those who want to give.
Gift giving is a form of social banking
Older generations would give gifts or money to younger ones to help them start off in life before they’d had time to build their own finances.
Then once that couple grew older they effectively gave back to the same community when they attended weddings of younger couples by giving them gifts. Thus the money moves in a circular way and is targeted at those who need it most.
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If Youre Getting Married In A Church Ask The Auxiliary For Help
If youre getting married in a church or in the hall of a civic organization, ask if the auxiliary club associated with that venue has suggestions or ideas. While they might not be able to directly provide a lot of savings, they may be able to offer ideas and small services that can save a little, and they sometimes can point you to something unexpected that can be a huge savings.
Strategy: Ask the auxiliary club associated with the church or other organization where your wedding is being held for help Savings: Small, but potentially big
Pick & Choose Your Diy Projects Wisely
Dont get overwhelmed in jam jars and bunting and take on DIY if youre not creative. Instead, pick one area of your wedding that you can DIY whether it be your favours, ceremony programs, escort cards, or cake and focus on doing that well. You will save on cash, stress and paper cuts, trust us! If you do decide to go DIY you’ll need to hit up our top 10 DIY Stores.
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Accessorise With Family Heirlooms
Like lots of our real wedding brides, you can bring a borrowed element into your bridal look. Parents’ or grandparents’ jewellery and accessories can be beautiful and you can be sure nobody else has the same piece. Your ‘something borrowed’ will save you a few euro on jazzing up the dress.
Substitute Less Expensive Flowers
Choose flowers that are in season, and pick locally grown flowers rather than blooms that need to be flown in from afar to reduce costs. For example, if you exchange Black Magic roses for more reasonably priced, deeply colored dahlias in all your bouquets and table arrangements, you’ll save about $4 a stem. If you were planning on having five roses per bouquet and 10 per centerpiece, and have a wedding party of five ladies and a guest list of 150 people, you could save $700.
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Use Decorations That Pull Double Duty
Make the most of what you have. Utilize decor items that can be moved and reused from your ceremony to reception. A prime example: your wedding party bouquets! They can be repurposed at your wedding reception as centerpeices. Double-duty genius!
You Can Skimp On Some Stuff And Splurge On Other Stuff
Much of the stuff you have on the wedding day will be forgotten about. But what will remain are your own memories. If your memories are of arguing over money or getting decision-fatigue, that isnt fun to look back on!
The more stuff you have, the more stress it tends to cause. One of the best ways to cut wedding costs also doubles as a happiness hack for life in general: do less. Have less.
Woah, that got deep.
But seriously, if you spend on all this other stuff, you may not be able to invest in the photographer you really want. The one who can create compelling, beautiful photographs that take you vividly back to the moment.
Because guess what, not all photographers can do that.
Cheap out on the photography and there may be little to actually take away from the wedding day. The only tangible thing that will remain are photos.
So, save money on your wedding budget by asking yourself what you prioritize. There is no right or wrong way to trim your wedding costs there is simply the process of knowing yourselves as a couple.
A lot of that means tapping into and articulating your shared values.
The wedding budget hacks Im going to share here presuppose that you are in the process of knowing your priorities.
An off-season and/ or weekday wedding can save a ton of money! | Photography by Zoe Larkin Photography
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% Percent: Venue Catering And Rental Costs
The biggest part of your wedding budget will go toward the big ticket items, which covers the cost of renting out your venue space, hiring caterers for food, alcohol and rentals, such as tables, chairs and dinnerware. Some couples also include the price of their cake in this 50% chunk of their budget.
Think Of Decor As An Investment
When buying wedding décor, consider whether you will want it as a permanent fixture in your home or is it going to end up being dumped in the garden shed, or put up on eBay? If it’s something you’re going to treasure, then it’s a good idea, if it’s just clutter, then consider hiring or borrowing, which leads me to…
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Host The Ceremony Or Reception At Home Or Outside
The venue eats up the largest chunknearly half!of the wedding budget. Why not cut back by using your home, a parents home, or a public park as the backdrop? An outdoor ceremony and reception in a place with personal meaning eliminates the need for an elaborate, over-the-top venue.
If you do decide on an outdoor event, make sure you have a good backup plan. Rain or even extreme heat can put a damper on your day, so just make sure you have plan B handy.
How Can I Keep Costs Down
The good news is that it is absolutely possible to spend significantly less and still have an unforgettable day. Think about all the aspects that are important to you and those that arent.
1. Modernisation is key
- Many wedding traditions are, lets be honest, quite tacky and totally unnecessary.
- For instance, you do not need six bridesmaid dresses in identical shades of salmon-coloured silk. Let them choose for their own outfits they are your closest friends, they will understand. Such decisions can significantly lower the cost of a wedding.
2. Do bridesmaids need bouquets?
Flowers for weddings are expensive for your special day, so think carefully about whether theyre really needed and the amount you want to spend on them.
3. Trim the guest list
- If you aim to spend quality time with friends and family members, think about how many people you invite.
- The higher the number of guests, the more stressful it gets and the less time you get enjoying the day.
4. Think about plus-ones
- Do you really have to feed and water a stranger, just because your good friend met a really nice man on Tinder?
- You can either implement the increasingly popular no-ring, no-bring policy, which will obviously save money and lower the cost of a wedding.
- Or you could divide your guests into an inner and outer circle: the former receives all-access invites to the ceremony and gets a sit-down meal plus evening party. The latter attends the evening party only.
5. Buy your own
6. Friends with benefits
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Get Creative With Catering
Just because every wedding youve ever been to consisted of a three-course wedding breakfast followed by wedding cake and tea and coffee and then an evening buffet, you dont have to do the same. Consider marrying later in the day and serve a big buffet for the day and evening guests. Think about cheaper meal options too serve fun food like a BBQ or pizzas from a wood-fired van for the main and give your guests wedding cake for dessert. Skip tea/coffee and petit fours and thats even more money.
Weve got a big list of alternative food and drink ideas, from Pieminster pies to big vats of paella. Its delicious and much cheaper than a sit-down do.
Simplify Your Drink Options
An open bar stocked with liquor, mixers, beer and wine can be pricey. Consider sticking to beer and wine to save money while still keeping your guests, um, hydrated. Scaling back options will also help scale back the costs.
Want something more fun? Pick a signature drink to serve just during cocktail hour. You can even ask the bartender to serve them in smaller glasses.
Most people will go and try the signature drink, take a sip, put it down and go back to their regular drink, Naylor says.
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Ask For Wedding Favours
If you have a family member with a flair for photography or the next Jamie Oliver as an uncle you could negotiate their skills for your wedding day rather than them buying you a traditional wedding gift.
As well as saving you money, it will also make the service more personal from someone you know and trust.
Roles that could be given to suitable members of your wedding party could include:
Master of ceremonies
Buy The Wedding Dress Off The Rack And On Sale Or Borrow And Modify
The Knot reports that the average wedding dress costs $1,600, which is a tremendous cost for an item youll likely wear once. A much better idea? See if anyone in your family or among your close friends has their old dress and, if possible, see if you can borrow it. It may need some modifications to make it work well, but spending $200 on adjustments is better than $1,600 on a dress. If this isnt an option, look for a used dress and modify it similarly this will still be cheaper than buying a new one.
Strategy: Borrow or buy a wedding dress Savings: $600-$1,400
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Watch Out For Delivery Charges
Delivery charges can add up, so if youre planning to do lots of smaller purchases from one place, it could be worth buying an annual delivery subscription. For example, ASOS Premier Delivery is £9.95 a year vs £4 for each standard delivery , so if you get your bridesmaid a dress, order shoes, a honeymoon outfit, and bits and bobs for the groomsmen all separately, it could cost.
is also a fantastic investment. It costs £79 a year and theres a 30 day free trial but you can share your free, next-day shipping with up to four family members who live at the same address. This is ideal if someone you know has Prime as you can use their free delivery. Prime has lots of other benefits too like free movies and music!
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