Getting married can be an expensive business. Here’s how to stick to that all-important budget by cutting a few corners…
Find out when and where your nearest wedding fair or exhibition is, and go along to bag some bargains. To find out when the next one is on, check Confetti’s Wedding Events page, visit nearby bridal shops, check the local newspaper, or ask at nearby hotels, as this is often where they tend to be held. For an off-the-peg wedding dress at a fraction of the price of a designer dress, look at high street department store bridal collections as they’re often reasonably priced. For designer bridal gowns at low prices look out for designer dress sample sales where you could save hundreds on a top designer dress.
The groom’s and best man’s outfits can be hired to cut down costs – look in our supplier directory for a company near you. Look for bridesmaid’s dresses, shoes and accessories on the high street, particularly around summertime, and instead of buying expensive wedding shoes, look for something that can be worn again.
Have your hair cut and styled at a salon’s ‘model night’. If you decide to do your make-up yourself, go for a make-up trial at a local department store, and wait until there is an offer to buy your chosen cosmetics.
Use a professional photographer, but only for a few crucial hours – treat yourself to a good digital camera and ask someone you really trust to be your photographer once all the important group shots are taken by the professional. That way, you get your wedding photos at a price you can afford, and you can keep the camera for future memories.
Book a special vintage car or limo just for you and your groom, and then ask a friend who has a great car to drive the bridesmaids and your mum to the ceremony. Alternatively, if you live close to the church (and you’re getting married in the summer)… walk!
When booking your ceremony and reception venues, remember it’s cheaper to:
- book in advance,
- book it for a weekday, or
- book out of season in the autumn or winter
Consider having your reception in a village hall and decorate the walls and ceiling with marquee lining.
Be ruthless and keep the numbers down to save hundreds. If you want to invite a lot of people to your wedding, invite more to the evening do after the meal, this way you won’t have to spend so much on food. Alternatively, have a small wedding and throw a big party when you get back from honeymoon for friends who you weren’t able to invite.
Stick to a simple menu using seasonal produce and serve your wedding cake for pudding. Have a buffet or a barbeque instead of a sit down meal as you’re likely to need fewer waiting staff which should cut down on costs.
For wine, buy wholesale or in bulk and look out for deals in supermarkets as you could save a fortune, but do remember that your venue may charge corkage.
If you can’t afford a traditional three-tiered wedding cake with all the decorations, order a simple sponge from a cake maker or buy a pre-iced cake from the high street and have a go at decorating it yourself with a cute cake topper, or ask your florist to decorate with fresh flowers.
Instead of using flowers as decoration, consider using balloons to brighten up the reception, or invest in silk flowers that can be kept forever as a keepsake of your day, or even sold after the wedding to make some money back. If you really want flowers, make sure they’re in season. Ask a friend to make your bouquet, use simple arrangements and consider reusing floral pew-ends as table centres which you could ask your ushers to move from the ceremony to your reception. Ornate arrangements that require wiring the flowers will always be more expensive.
Find out if there are other weddings taking place at your ceremony and reception venues and see if you can share any flowers. Often churches and register offices will have their own flowers which you could use, but check beforehand if this is this case with your chosen venue.
Make your own wedding invitations. Give yourself plenty of time to make them and enlist the help of your bridesmaids for some creative evenings! You can add unique personal touches and they will be even more special because you will have made them yourself.
Make your own favours or try budget alternatives like:
- Love Heart sweets in a favour box
- A bowl of sweets in the centre of the table
- A personalised chocolate placed on each napkin
- Individual candles
- Mini crackers
- A heart-shaped sparkler on each guest’s napkin
- A simple favour box or bag filled with Jelly Bean sweets.
Make your own place cards. Get some large pebbles from the beach or a garden centre, wash them and use glass paint to write on them. They’ll look lovely and your guests can take them home as paper weights! Or you could try tying a luggage tag to the stem of each person’s wine glass. Decorate plain place cards with trims or feathers..
Find more great advice on our Wedding Planning pages!