As soon as I got engaged, I rushed out and purchased a folder ready for creating our wedding planner. I printed off a whole bunch of guides and to-do lists, so I know the overwhelming feeling of not knowing where to begin. One of the first things we set out was our budget, and being completely honest, it’s sufficiently lower than most weddings. These days couples seem to spend thousands on their wedding day, but some people just can’t do that. For those who are on a budget wedding, it can be difficult negotiating what to remove from your list and how to do things cheaper.
Over the past year of wedding planning, here are a few money-saving tips I’ve come across, that I hope can help you with your budgeting.
To DIY, or Not-to-DIY?
Believe it or not, DIY isn’t always the best (or cheapest!) way of doing your wedding. In some ways, doing everything yourself can work out at the same cost or sometimes significantly more expensive, due to all the added extras you need to hire. When planning your wedding, keep an open mind and be willing to do a mixture of hiring people, doing tasks you’d rather not and getting creative with making things.
Choosing a Venue
You don’t have to get married in a typical wedding venue to make your day special, and by being open minded and choosing a venue that isn’t often used for weddings can save you a lot of pennies! A family friend of mine held their wedding reception in a football club function room and the room was completely plain, with a bar attached. Perfect! After they decorated the room, it was exactly what they had in mind. The best bit? The function room was only £40 and the bar staff came at no additional cost.
I’m lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful places in the UK. In Suffolk, we have tons of outdoor and indoor venues such as parks, hotels, open spaces, woodland etc. that aren’t typically used for weddings and, therefore, cheaper.
During our search for our perfect venue we even stumbled across function rooms that are hired out for free, which makes it perfect for those on a budget. While some of these places weren’t the prettiest, some were surprisingly nice! With some decorating you can make the venue completely your own. We even found a barn with a pub attached which came at just £20 for each full day, which was an amazing discovery!
Why not think outside of the box and look at other venues. You may be pleasantly surprised with what your area has on offer, and for what prices. In most cases, the ‘wedding’ label comes with a huge price tag.
There are three choices when it comes to feeding your guests: hire someone to do it all for you, do it all yourself, or a mixture of the two. When doing the catering yourself, there’s a lot to think about. Where will the food be kept fresh? Do I need to hire fridges? When will the food get cooked? What about the dirty places? Can I do a sit-down meal, if so, who will serve it?
The simplest option is hiring someone to take care of it all for you, but with that you are likely to get landed with an expensive bill. But what you can do is discuss with them whether they can tailor something with you. Ask if you can supply your own bulk-buy cutlery and crockery, or buy the food yourself and hire them to do the rest. By cutting out some tasks, they will be able to lower the price. But be careful and only do what will actually save you money.
Entertaining your guests throughout the evening is important and music is something you will definitely want at your wedding, right? But why hire a DJ when you can do it yourself!? Would your guests really notice if you plugged in your own device and played your own playlist that you created for the day? Some venues come with lighting and all the equipment you need, so take advantage of it and be your own DJ. Additionally, a lot of venues also come with a toastmaster – so no need to worry about who’s going to introduce you. The best part, it’s completely free!
Choosing a Photographer
To be honest with you, I’m very picky about what photographer I want at our wedding. Capturing the day is one of the most important parts of getting married and having stunning photos to look back on is vital. But with professional photographers comes a hefty price tag and I can’t help but think is it REALLY worth it?
If booking a professional photographer is what you have your heart set on, then think carefully about the package you are going to buy. Don’t just go for the fancy package because it seems lovely, think about how long you actually need them for and what you want from it. Hire them for just a few hours to capture the important parts, because is a photo of you in your dressing gown really a key, memorable moment?
Why not look into other options available to you? Look at the possibility of hiring out photography students or photographers who are starting out, as they will be considerably cheaper and will have the essential skills and equipment.
Or, for those on an even tighter budget, most people tend to have at least one friend or family member who owns a decent camera. Why not find someone who can use it well?
Did you manage to get married on a budget? What are some of your top tips?