- The months of October – March (with the exception of Christmas, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day) are the cheaper months with regards to venue hire charges. Along with that, Mondays – Thursdays are the days which offer the best value. So a Monday in March could save you thousands compared to a Saturday in July.
- Many hotels offer amazing deals based on a specific number of guests and dates. They typically include the hire fee, catering, drinks and a DJ.
- Choosing a venue which is nicely decorated and with attractive banqueting chairs could save you between £££’s on chair covers and venue draping
- Gain as many quotes and as much information as possible if you’re considering a reception in your garden. It’s not as simple or cheap as you’d think!
|Venue: Aylesbury Waterside Theatre ~ Transport: Turner Carriages ~ Photography Credit: Gentle Visions Photography|
Save Money on Food:
- A popular choice for the meal at the moment is to opt for a two course menu. Skip the starter and opt for meats which are in season and perhaps an English classic such as Toad in the Hole, Bangers and Mash or Cottage Pie to ensure your guests remember your menu weeks after!
- Use your wedding cake as your dessert. Most venues and caterers are very happy to supply ice cream, cream and mixed berries to accompany this and it ensures that the money you’ve spend on your lovely cake hasn’t gone to waste when everyone’s too full from a three course banquet.
Save Money on Drinks:
- Changing from champagne to sparkling wine will save you hundreds of pounds. A crisp Prosecco will do the job very well, at half the price. During your drinks reception, you could put a set amount of money behind the bar for soft drinks, beer or house wine rather than paying for a set drink such as champagne or Pimms which may not appeal to everyone, and therefore may be wasted.
- Always ask for jugs of tap water to be on the tables during the meal. They can look lovely with slices of lemon or lime and costs absolutely nothing, compared with an average of £3 – £4 a bottle.
|Photography Credit: Gentle Visions Photography|
Save Money on Flowers:
- Choose flowers which are going to be in season around the month of your wedding. Larger statement blooms may be more expensive, but you’ll need fewer to fill a vase so it’s worth considering peonies and sunflowers among others.
- Another alternative is to enrol on a flower arranging course with the mums or bridesmaids which will give you time together and the ability to purchase flowers from local flower markets.
- Bridesmaid bouquets can also double up as centrepieces – just pop a vase with water on the table and put the bouquets in when you sit down to your meal.
- If flowers aren’t your thing, or your budget doesn’t stretch to them then there are all sorts of centrepiece ideas to consider. Pine cones, candles, mirrors, baubles, lanterns and birdcages are all excellent alternatives and make lovely features in your home after the big day.
|Flowers: Signature Flowers by Emma Newman ~ Photography Credit: Gentle Visions Photography|
Save Money on Your Dress:
- Dresses can be very expensive, but they don’t need to be. Most bridal shops offer ‘off the peg’ sales in the year, where you can purchase the actual dress you try on in the shop, sometimes at less than half the usual price.
- The high street also offer amazing designs and Monsoon, BHS, Debenhams and TK Maxx are some of our favourites.
Save Money on Your Cake:
- If your budget can quite accommodate a 4 tiered extravaganza of a cake, fear not. Why not order a two tiered cake along with some cutting cakes which can be given to your venue or caterer. When you have cut your cake and it is taken away to be portioned up, the cutting cakes will make up the difference. Waitrose and M&S have amazing cake lines at a fraction of the cost, and they can be jazzed up with ribbon and flowers.
- Alternatively you could ask your chosen cake maker to create a ‘dummy’ tier which will look like it’s part of the cake but actually be made of polystyrene making your cake look bigger without the cost of extra layer of cake.
|Cakes: Sweetness & Delight Wedding Cakes ~ Photography Credit: Gentle Visions Photography|
Save Money on Entertainment:
- An iPod could be used for parts of your day such as the ceremony, or as background music during your meal. DJ services are generally less expensive than bands but it depends on your personal preference.
Save Money on Your Evening Photography:
- Guests can share all their photos of your wedding day if you consider providing them with discs and they can download their images on to it when they get home. This may save money if your professional photographer is charging more to stay into the evening.
Save Money on Your Stationery:
- Your stationery should reflect the theme for the day and your personalities, but the items don’t all need to match one another. Hobbycraft offer items to make your own invitations or table plans at reasonable prices and you can then book a professional stationer to provide your on-the-day items (place cards, menus and table plan) so they match. YouTube has fantastic ‘How To’ videos on making your own stationery.
|Table Plan: BellyButtonBoo ~ Photography Credit: Gentle Visions Photography|
Save Money on Your Honeymoon:
- Most couples these days are already living together when they tie the knot and so it’s becoming more acceptable to ask for money as a wedding gift. Honeymoons can equate to up to a quarter of the budget so it’s fantastic that travel companies have come to the rescue. Trailfinders, for example, offer bespoke honeymoons along with a gift service so your guests can call or go online and donate money towards the honeymoon of your dreams. You pay for the trip yourselves in full prior to the wedding, and then when the gift service closes 3-4 weeks before the wedding, Trailfinders reimburse you with the funds your guests have gifted.
Save Money when Planning:
- Consider hiring a wedding planner. With supplier contacts, industry knowledge and insider tips, we can save you more money. Seber Events offer a pay-as-you-go system meaning you only pay for our time when you need us.
You really don’t want to be paying off your wedding for years afterwards so if you do decide to borrow money, only borrow what you can afford to pay back within a year. That way, you’ll start married life in the best possible way!”
Thank you Kate for some very honest and insightful budget planning advice. We’d love to know which areas are your splurge and which areas of your wedding you are prepared to cut back on so please leave a comment at the end of the blog.