This article isn’t about weddings on a budget and how to get everything cheap. However, every couple has a certain amount of money to spend on their special day. What this article does give you is ideas on how to prioritise your wedding budget the right things for you and still get the wedding that you hoped for.
What do you prioritise?
Simply, prioritise what’s important to YOU.
Always keep in mind that you don’t need to stick to convention or have everything you’re told you need. Other people’s enthusiasm and input can sometimes bring with it some awkwardness. They mean well and you don’t have to do everything they say.
Here are some tips on how to prioritise what’s important and knowing where to cut corners.
Pick an unusual day or off-peak season and save up to 50%. Also less obvious venues can cost a fraction of big hotels. However, you may have had your heart set on having a certain venue that will eat into your funds. There is a way around this.
Sometimes, having a marquee at your desired location, can be cheaper than hiring the venue itself. Don’t forget to factor in in toilet hire and heating, bar hire, furniture hire, and catering though as these can add up.
One thing to mention that’s slightly off plan but definitely worth mentioning, is to consider the bar prices. If you have an exclusive venue that has drinks at an exclusively high price, you could end up with a room full of sober and slightly resentful guests. I’m not suggesting a free bar by any means, but having reasonable prices will make your guests feel warm and welcome and they’ll soon get into a relaxed party mood. Win!
Having it at the same venue as the reception can very often be a cheaper option for so many reasons and logistically can make your day so much simpler. If having your ceremony in a church means a lot to you, then of course go with that and cut corners some where else.
There are several alternative ideas out there including the brooch bouquet if you don’t want to invest a chunk of your budget on the wedding flowers. These can look fab and are a fraction of the price.
Candles and vases filled with various decorative items, on the tables are a great alternative to flower arrangements.
Chat to your married friends for advice on this too as their opinions may differ, but I bet most of them will agree with me. Your dress is an impractical item to keep as a keepsake. Your photographs can serve as the memory (I’ll get onto photography later) of your beautiful dress instead of keeping it to rot in the loft. Brides spend a massive amount on their dresses to own them outright for them to decay and be a cumbersome burden. Seriously consider buying one second hand (locally so you can try before you buy) or hire one as I did. Honestly you will save a massive amount of money that you can put towards other really important stuff and at the same time, still have a beautiful dress.
Buy second-hand rings. This is a great way of saving money, and one that I really wish I had thought to do myself. Go to a reputable second hand jeweller and it’ll look as good as new and you’ll also have the reassurance that you’re not being ripped off.
Guests: How many?
Think very carefully about how many guests you invite. The numbers do soon add up: 70 sounds a lot, but it’s only 15 members of each person’s family, then 10 friends each with partners. Try to narrow down your guest list sticking to close friends and family. If you want to invite more, do it to the evening.
This is a really important area where you really should’t cut corners. Don’t go for a mate who’s got a half decent camera. They may document the day, but that’s all they’ll be. I’d really invest in this part of your wedding as these will be the images that you’ll have for the rest of your lives.
One way to save on the up-sell, is to go for a photographer whose work you love and who offers you the rights to the images, then get the albums printed yourself. This way you get the amazing images and you can print them how you wish. A great way to save.
Don’t have disposable cameras on the tables. People forget to use the flash and they end up being a total waste of money. Instead, put this money towards your photographer and bump up your package to accommodate taking pictures of your guests during dinner/evening if that’s what you want.
People remember your day. They don’t necessarily remember what they ate, what flowers you had or even the beautiful detail on your dress. They remember whether they had a good time, good food, that you were happy and if they had a great night.
Prioritising your budget to make sure that your guests have a great time, it so important.
If you’re thinking of having a live band, make sure you have enough budget to have a good professional band that has experience and can tailor to you and your guests. Don’t stretch your budget without considering this. Rather than go for a cheap inexperienced band that can’t tailor to your needs, you’d be better to go for a really good DJ for the same amount (or maybe less) who’ll be really experienced and have pro equipment.
I hope you’ve found my advice helpful. However you decide to prioritise your wedding funds, I sincerely hope you have an amazing day and I wish you all the best for your future.