Despite all the big decisions, little moments of stress and those long nights of trying to piece together the puzzle that is your big day, planning a wedding is one of the most exhilarating adventures you can ever experience and a huuuge part of that is trying to pinch some pennies wherever you can.
The reason for this is simpler than a game of hopscotch: planning a wedding is expensive. All those little costs for this and that can quickly start to add up and before you know it Pop! you’ve burst your budget. That’s why every single couple loves looking for ways to save money on their celebrations. The challenge is finding a way to do this without your guests being able to tell where you’ve been the most savvy. That’s when it becomes super-fun.
To help you with this, we’ve pulled together a few tips and tricks that could see you save big without sacrificing any of your big-day style:
1. Invite Guests Your Way
Chances are, you’re not a graduate of the University of Graphic Design. But that doesn’t matter. There are so many online places you can pop to that offer free wedding invitation templates for you to peruse, customise and then send out with a heart-filled of pride and a face filled with a beaming smile. From Save The Dates to entire invitation suites, the design of your dreams could be just a few clicks away. You could then have your guests reply on your wedding website and save a small fortune on stamps and paper too.
(Of course, if you do know someone that went to the University of Graphic Design, it could be time you called in a favour, if you know what we mean.)
2. Standing Ceremonies
It doesn’t matter whether you’re tying the knot inside or getting married outdoors, a great way to save a chunk of change is to do away with any formal seating and enjoy the excitement that is a standing ceremony. So long as you keep it brief (and you have a few chairs dotted about for your more elderly guests), you’ll find there is something inexplicably fun about having your nearest and dearest stood around you instead of sat looking up at you. Not to mention, they’ll be on their feet singing hymns most of the time anyway, which begs the question: what’s the point of chairs anyway?
3. Upcycle Everyday Things
Nothing will add a more personal touch to your most memorable day than upcycled tidbits from around your home that you’ve turned into pieces of creative wedding decor. Trust us, you’ll be amazed at just how beautiful these treasures can look when you’ve given them a little TLC. All it takes is a little bit of spray paint, some embellishment here and there and a lovely length of twine and, voila, you’ve totally transformed those glass jars and tin cans you usually throw away every day (and with very little effort too). It’s the makeover magic from heaven.
4. Beauty Schools Are Best
When it comes to saving money on your hair and makeup, the best thing you can do is approach a respected beauty school and ask if they would recommend any students that might like to make you - and your bridal party - look a million dollars. Not only will they charge a fraction of a professional stylist, you’ll find they go the extra mile to build up a great portfolio and client base. Of course, if the prospect of handing over your beauty needs to a complete novice makes you feel slightly queasy, then ask them for a trial run. That way you can be absolutely sure you love their work first.
5. Wine All You Want
One of the most celebrated ways of cutting the costs of a wedding is to cut down on the booze you offer at the bar. Yup. We’re talking about having a bar stocked with nothing but good old beer and fine wine. But that’s not all you can do. To really shave some pennies off, you should consider buying the tastiest and least-expensive wine you can find and then disguise it by creating your own custom-made wine bottle labels. How amazing would that look? You could add your wedding monogram, name it ‘Passion Has Red Lips’ and make it fifty-shades as personal. By doing this, you’ll add the kind of extra special detail to your big day that guests absolutely fawn over and you’ll do so without anyone batting an eyelid at the wine you opted for.
6. Hit The High Street
If your budget won’t quite stretch to designer dresses for each of your bridesmaids, don’t despair. The high street is absolutely packed full of gorgeous dresses, the kind that are both cheap and chic and will absolutely blow your onlookers away from their very first glance. What’s more, there is so much to choose from in the way of colours, looks and shapes, meaning you won’t have to sacrifice on style one little bit. To point you in the right direction, we are absolutely loving Needle & Thread, Chi Chi London, Lipsy, Ted Baker, Asos and Monsoon, and that’s because they’re all fast becoming favourites for wedding attire. If, however, none of these tickles your fancy, then take a road trip to Bicester Village and enjoy what is the mecca of bargains.
7. Borrowing Is The Secret
Of all the old wedding traditions out there, the one that will never slip away into the sands of times is the need for, “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue". Well, who says your something borrowed has to be an item of clothing you wear on your big day? Exactly. That’s why you should sit down one evening and think of any friends and family that might have something that could serve you on your wedding day. Fancy drinks dispensers, old mason jars, pretty cake stands, champagne flutes - anything you can think of. Not only will you save some money on these non-essential moments, you’ll also create a more personal display of bits n’ bobs and that’s what makes a gorgeous wedding.
8. Blooming Frugal
Nothing makes a ceremony more beautiful than fresh blooms dotted here, there and everywhere. The issue is, well, the most popular wedding flowers can cost so much your budget starts to wilt. That’s why you should opt for more inexpensive blooms to play the role of filler flowers, blooms like baby’s breath, carnations and even foliage, all of which will add that extra pinch of lush fullness. The trick is to then make these arrangements look ethereal and elegant, which is easily done by keeping your arrangements on the simpler side of things and keeping to an all-white theme. You’ll be amazed at just how staggering these cheaper flowers can look.
9. Ba-Bye Bridesmaid Bouquets
Bouquets are where things can really start to get expensive, especially if you have four, five or six bridesmaids walking down the aisle in front of you. That’s where lanterns become a truly gorgeous alternative. Simply pop along to that nice little store you always head to for your home sprucing needs, buy each of your bridesmaids a £5 lantern to carry with them and then upcycle each one to match your wedding colours. Our favourite lantern-look is spraying them all copper and then wrapping a cream ribbon around the handles. Trust us, no one is going to look at these spectacular additions and think, “where are the bouquets?” They’ll be far too busy oooh-ing and awww-ing.
10. Entertainment That Wows
Every one of your guests will be desperate to celebrate your day of all days in the only way they know possible; let their feet tap to the music as they dance the day away. It doesn’t matter whether your wedding is a moment in the morning, an afternoon affair or an evening event - every guest wants to have fun. Luckily, you don’t need to spend lots to bag yourself some memory-making entertainment. You might stumble across a local band playing at an open mic night, or spot an uncovered talent busking outside your favourite shop, or hear about a tribute band that knows how to get the party started or even have a group of friends that will blow people away with their talents. The options are endless. You could even ask your guests for a song recommendation on your invite and then make a playlist from the suggestions. Whichever road you go down, there will be an ocean of smiling faces at the end of it.
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