Many brides-to-be worry about the wedding costs: the service, the reception and the honeymoon. Here are secrets to make it memorable and affordable.
Image by Brownstone Gardens via Flickr
It’s daunting! The price of an average wedding today is a shocking £20,000. While some brides operate on a sky’s the limit attitude, claiming it’s something they’ve dreamed of their entire lives, many others have genuine concerns regarding their budget. Thankfully, there are options to traditionally pricey wedding “must-haves.”
Day Of The Week
As you might expect, Saturday nights are the most expensive to book. Choosing an alternative day can save you up to 30% (or more). Consider:
- Friday Night
- Sunday Morning
- Sunday Afternoon
- Thursday Night (pitch it to guests as a three-day weekend)
Opt for a different month – choose one between December through March. An off month can save you 25% say experts.
The No. 1 cost-cutting move? Cut down your guest list! The average cost per guest is £137. Consider the simplest time line: save the date notice, invitation, meal, cake, and champagne.
A “rookie” mistake is investing in elaborate centrepieces for each table. Work closely with your florist – he or she may be able to take the most affordable flowers (roses and carnations) and turn them into something to rival the sought-after “antique hydrangeas” which retail for £16 each. Flower displays can still look elegant with the addition of fillers. Forget Baby’s Breath, and go for Bear Grass if it’s available in your area. Centrepieces with height may be “the thing,” but reducing taller pieces can cut costs 60%; candlelight adds cosy elegance. You can also choose non-floral centrepieces.
Consider this: a sit-down formal dinner, complete with wait staff is the priciest, buffet-style saves up to 30%. If you opt for the Sunday morning wedding, a brunch can look sumptuous and beautiful and there are many savings on the alcohol bill (serve only, for example, Mimosas – for which you do not need fancy champagne). Speaking of spirits, top-shelf liquors cost more than 15% than house booze. If you must have a hosted bar/reception, work with the wedding reception venues and negotiate a “per-head,” rather than “per-drink” rate.
Who doesn’t love wedding cake? (Reluctant admission – it’s our favourite part of a wedding, even more so than “the kiss!”) Experts will tell you that order cake for only 75% of guests – invariably, there will be guests who do not eat cake or leave before it is cut. An experienced cake designer can create the illusion of a bigger cake. Forget about exotic fillings and icings; going with the standard flavours can save you £1 per slice.
Hair and Makeup
Your hair and makeup are a big part of your wedding day. The way they are done can effect how you feel (and you don’t want to feel bad on your wedding day do you?). There are many people and companies out there that can make you look like a princess on your big day but they’ll ask for a lot of money to do it. Opting for someone like Sarah Meredith Bridal Makeup Cheshire will allow you to get your hair and makeup perfectly preened at a great price. She can even do your Bridesmaids too.
If you really would like to cut costs, there are wedding planners who suggest a well-planned timeline, with the photographer leaving after shooting the cake-cutting and bouquet-toss (and schedule this earlier in the reception, again, a cost-saver). Opt for one photographer, rather than two or three, too.
Image by Joey Houle via Flickr
It Has A Beat
A full band for your wedding reception venues can cost up to 60% more than a DJ. With a DJ, you can also provide your own customized playlist. That said, you could also
- Ask the venue to stream in music from an iPod
- Ask a musician friend or family to perform for part of the reception
- A combination of the two (either way would still cut costs)
- Look for up-and-coming musicians or groups who may pay for a reduced rate. Consider going to a local university’s music department. Don’t forget to do a quick audition before hiring.
You can also find really well price function bands in leeds which are a great alternative to a DJ.
If you have even the most minor skills, you can take on tasks yourself. For example, start with printing out your own save-the-date notices and invitations. Giveaways, and bridesmaids’ and groomsman’s gifts – all can be handmade or found on Etsy. Did you know that many places offer a class in wedding planning?
However you choose, you can have a beautiful, memorable wedding for a reduced rate. Don’t stress to the point of illness, as many brides have! Remind yourself of the reason for the party (and, really, that’s what it is, a three- to four-hour party). The money you spend on your wedding may make a nice event, but that is it – be forward thinking and consider the life you want to have with your partner, because that’s the most import aspect to consider.