When we got married, I was literally nine months pregnant. I hasten to add, not that it matters, that we’d booked the wedding and other bits, before finding out I was pregnant. This meant, that we were keen to save as much money as possible. Although to be fair, even before finding out I was pregnant, we were planning a very small wedding, on a tiny budget.
Our wedding day was absolutely perfect. I know people that have set themselves budgets and still ended up getting carried away with it all and spending a fortune. Yet, it isn’t these expensive touches they remember afterwards. It’s often things like “I was so busy all day I didn’t stop to enjoy it” or “I didn’t spend any time with my husband/wife, there was so much to do”. Our goal was to spend the whole day together. We aren’t traditional at all, so we slept together the night before and had a chilled morning. We didn’t leave each other’s side all day. To me, that was the best part.
My wedding won’t be perfect for everyone. It wasn’t very…weddingy. But, it was exactly what we wanted and whatever you want, I hope you will find these tips helpful.
Have a good look at your options before committing to anything. A lot of deals and places may seem cheap. Until you realise what is, and isn’t, included. Package deals often don’t include the cost of the ceremony or registrar to start with, which is an added cost and some locations insist on you using their caterers. So, while the venue may be cheap, the food could be extortionate.
Avoid Weekends and July
We got married on a Monday in October. Much cheaper. I had worried that people couldn’t come because of work. But, you are probably giving them enough notice to book it off. And, at the end of the day, it doesn’t hugely matter as long as you are there!
Cut the Guest List
Food is often what costs the most. Inviting a family of 4 means buying them 4 meals. Ask yourself, would I normally buy them a meal? If not, don’t invite them and definitely don’t invite anyone using the “well I invited her, so I have to invite him” train of thought. No, you don’t!
You are buying them dinner. You don’t also need to buy them a little present they will probably leave on the table anyway.
Set a strict budget. Honestly, I know people that have gone over by 10k, because they got excited and spent £1000 on chair covers…do you really care what the chairs look like?
If the chairs mean a lot to you, do it. Save elsewhere. Don’t read all the “what you need for your wedding” lists and think you’ve got to have it all. This is your day. What do you really want?
I’m not a very girly girl. So, instead of spending a fortune on hair and makeup, I bought myself some nice makeup, watched YouTube videos and practised for months to do it myself on the day.
We don’t like talky DJs, so we found one on Gumtree who didn’t do weddings normally because he didn’t do talking. We paid £100, he was great, my friend used him too.
I didn’t care about flowers either. So, we just had some fake ones for the tables and that was it. I bought a nice clutch bag from Accessorize so I had something to do with my hands!
Get Married Late in the Day
If you get married early, you have to feed everyone twice. For that family of 4 you only really like one of, that’s 8 meals.
We got married at 3 pm. Once we’d took all the photos and what not, it was after 5. (This also meant people that had to work could still come for food in the evening) We didn’t have a first dance or speeches, so went straight to food at around 6:30-7. We had a hot buffet of pie and peas which cost a grand total of £700, including a glass of prosecco for everyone and a selection of cakes later on.
Use Who You Know
I got my friend Mel to do the photography and my friends to decorate the room for us. People are happy to help. Think about who you could ask to do things for you. We didn’t have bridesmaids and things like that, but if we had id have said “you can wear whatever you want if you buy it” and given them a colour.
My mum made our cake too. Which was perfect and exactly what we wanted.
I made our decorations. I bought cheap invites off Amazon, but I know a few people that made these too. Hobbycraft and The Range do lots of wedding crafts you can use.
Also, if you know anyone getting married first, ask if they want to keep everything. We had my step sister’s bunting. It’s not huge, but it was something we didn’t need to buy.
Don’t Say “Wedding”
Venues and caterers charge a fortune for weddings. Because they can. The ceremony venue need to know, but does everyone else? Certainly, not before you book and pay for it. Tell them it’s a “party” don’t use the W word unless you absolutely have to.
Think Outside the Box
Don’t think of wedding venues. We got married in the town hall and had our reception at a local café that closed at 5, so we had the place to ourselves. They had a large room upstairs they used for meetings and things but didn’t normally do weddings. This meant they didn’t have a wedding price list so didn’t charge us for room hire as long as we paid for food. They offered to do a buffet version on anything on their normal menu and quoted us between £5 and £10 a head. I think our pie was £6.50 a head and there was enough for everyone to have seconds.
In many ways, it was easier for us, as we didn’t ever want a huge event of a wedding. It’s not me, I found the idea quite uncomfortable, but some of these tips will probably help even if you do. Does anyone else have any great money saving tips for weddings? I’d love to hear them!