Shopping for your dream wedding can be one of the most stressful things you have to do, and knowing where to start is one of the first obstacles you have to overcome. Here are some tips and advice to help you – from wedding dresses to table favours we’ve got it covered!
One of the biggest decisions you will face is choosing the perfect wedding dress. Shopping for a wedding dress can be a fabulous adventure, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming, particularly because a bride-to-be often starts shopping for her gown before many other details are determined. You might have had a clear mental picture of the perfect wedding dress ever since you were five years old, or you may have no idea what you are going to wear or feel strange about the idea of wearing white. The important thing is to relax, and remember that there are as many different kinds of dresses out there as there are brides. Give yourself ample time to shop around. Generally the rule of thumb is that you need to order your gown at least six months before your wedding, so you should ideally start shopping for your gown nine months or more before your wedding. Do not try on dresses that you cannot afford. By doing this you run the risk of falling in love with that bespoke dress that is three times your budget, and end up feeling like you’ve settled for second best in a dress that you can afford. Remember – your budget will also include the finer details such as the veil, headpiece and alterations, so bear this in mind when checking those price tags.
Take a camera
If you can’t decide between the cherry crush colour scheme or the crimson promise, then don’t buy anything on your first outing. Take a camera with you to snap any potential items for your wedding. When you get back home, print them off and put together a mood board to see which parts work best together. Remember that there are colours which are hard to shop for – dusky pink, turquoise, and teal for example. They are lovely, but come in many different shades, and you may find it hard to find items that match precisely.
Keep it seasonal
Flowers that are not in season or aren’t locally grown will push your floral budget through the roof. Choose locally sourced seasonal bouquets, as these will be the flowers that will look the most fresh and will be the least expensive, allowing you room to expand your budget in other areas. Visit your local flower market, where you can get blooms for a much lower price than a florist.
Have your cake and eat it
Do not be afraid to ask for a tasting of potential cakes – you will be surprised how delicious the less expensive options may be! The last thing you want is your guests looking sour-faced struggling to finish that £600 hand crafted three-tiered fruit cake after they’ve just had a huge buffet meal – there are many stories of the cake being left virtually untouched! There are also fantastic alternative options to traditional cake – cupcakes, muffins, donuts, or cakes made of cheese.
Do I really need that?
When shopping for your wedding, use common sense. There are lots of gorgeous items to tempt you, but ask yourself if they are all necessary, or search for a less expensive alternatives. Engraved cake cutters, napkins with your face printed on them, gold-leaf confetti – the list goes on. These may be lovely for around half an hour on your wedding day, but do you really need them? No. Keep costs down, and think sensibly.
Try to think outside the box when it comes to favours and think of something useful, such as heart-shaped cookie cutters, seeds for the garden, or even a lottery ticket for that night’s draw! Alternatively, a sweet buffet is always a big hit with the guests, very easy on the budget as you can purchase the candy in bulk, and a perfect replacement for individual favours!
All under one roof
Wedding fairs are the ultimate destination for inspiration and ideas. From bridal and menswear to venues, photographers and those extra special details including cakes, flowers, jewellery and décor, there will be everything a bride desires all under one roof. The Wedding Fair at Glow, Bluewater is a great place to start looking!
Get more great budget advice on our Wedding Planning pages!