June, 2006 Wedding budget survey with confetti Veil/headdress £175 Attendants outfits £500 Grooms outfit/hire £200 Bride's shoes/accessories £125 Bride's going away outfit £150 Skincare, make‐up and hair £350 Lingerie and…
Written by Agnes Los Last updated: February 24, 2012
Planning your wedding on a tight budget doesn’t have to mean settling for second best. With a few clever ideas you can have the wedding of your dreams for less – without compromising on style.
Image Credit: Kevin Morris Photography
Don’t knock the local church hall or community centre! Don’t be snobby about your venue if you’re looking to cut costs. Use your imagination and visualise the plainest of venues transformed into a wedding haven with great lighting and attractive table decorations.
There’s always a tendency to keep adding to the guest list with work colleagues from the past and even vague acquaintances, so all of a sudden you’ve created the need for an evening party with buffet – a huge added expense. Instead, cut the list down, scrap the evening invites and have an inexpensive party in a local pub or bar with all those guests after your honeymoon.
Saturday weddings in the summer will always be popular and more expensive, so be fashionably different. Think winter wedding, candlelight, red wine and evening dress. Even opt for a Friday or Sunday wedding if you think your guests won’t mind taking a day off work, but avoid Christmas and special days, such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, when prices will be steep.
Three heavy courses followed by a slab of rich fruit cake is all too much. Why not cut your cake before you sit down to eat (as many couple do) and serve it as pudding? A chocolate cake is particularly successful here, especially if you put ice-cream, fruit coulis and chocolate sauce in the centre of each table.
A beautifully cooked yet simple menu is significantly better than a poor quality attempt at something fancy. Spend your budget on delicious sausages and mash, even fish and chips or cottage pie instead of a poor cut of steak. Or, if you’re looking to reduce the cost of waiting staff, opt for a buffet where guests can largely help themselves.
If your friend’s brother plays in a band or your aunt makes great cakes, this is the time to call in the favours. You can also save money by approaching local colleges. Catering students could provide a great wedding breakfast, but do make sure you ask for samples first.
Before you set your heart on a beautiful flower, check to see whether it’s in season when you’re getting married. Peonies, for example, are only widely available in May and June. Flowers available out of season will have been imported or grown in a greenhouse, and will be significantly more expensive and probably poorer quality.
Shop around and look at designer collections in department stores for your dress, or even opt for a non-bridal gown. Keep an eye out for sample sales or reductions on favours and other table decorations.
Make use of the advice and planning expertise available. Confetti offers free Planning Tools for everything from a ‘to do’ list, wedding budget planner and personal web page, to a table planner, address book and guest list. Sign up at the link above to see all the options!
Find more great advice on our Wedding Planning pages!