More of an ideas thread, been looking at my wedding plans and so far we're under budget. So here's my money saving list...
-flowers done by a family friend, and not having masses of them. Just a few key pieces, bouquet and buttonholes etc. Still costs, but reduced price.
-entertainment done by friends. Acoustic act, dj, plus equipment hire. All free.
-invites and other stationery made by a friend. Free.
-hair and makeup done by a friend (my usual hairdresser). Free again.
-dresses for bridal party and my dress bought online. Good quality, and much less expensive than buying from a shop.
-package deal for suit hire for both fathers, ushers, groom and best man. Also hire, not buy, it's not like they don't own suits, no point buying new ones just for one day.
-winter wedding, slightly cheaper than summer.
-table centerpieces made by me and a couple of friends. Silly artsy stuff, materials bought from charity shops and online. More personal than flowers.
Due to not using the venue entertainment (didn't want a naff wedding dj) we got them to put those costs onto a bar tab.
Most things we got just by asking, and the main response was "I'd be honoured!" People's time and various costs (hairdresser, equipment hire, stationary printing) have been given/written off as wedding presents.
Any other ideas for cutting costs? What did you do at your wedding? Planning to do? General advice for planning? Hoping this thread will be useful for brides-to-be!
I am, so far, having the ultimate budget wedding. For starters we aren't getting married on a Saturday. My outfit is costing me £120 and DP already has the suit he is wearing which was bought for a wedding a few months ago.
My photographs will be done by a friend (also a professional photographer like me) who refuses to charge me anything (despite his usual wedding fees starting at £1500) and we are eating in a delightful local pub at approximately £15 per head. The evening do is intended to be convivial and informal with no limits on numbers but no formal catering either.
Cakes are being made by friends and my ddil and I'm not bothering with favours, chair covers, magicians, chocolate fountains, caricaturists or any other unnecessary items that are so beloved by the wedding industry.
That's really cheap pandemonia! Where are you having the evening do? We're going to borrow a family field for the evening reception, which means people can camp if they want to. Then we've got a friend who can get us some big speakers and lights for a disco and we're doing a playlist ourselves.
The biggest cost is looking to be marquee hire, which DP is insisting on in case it rains, and then he wants it to look nice and "not like a random field party" and then catering and a mobile bar, which is cheaper than buying drinks for everyone.
We're actually holding it in a pub - admittedly quite a large (although attractive) pub and one that has plenty of outdoors so that there's some "spreading room". I suspect we'll put a few hundred behind the bar so that everyone can have a first drink on us.
I really like the idea of a field party though, YoniBotts and agree that a marquee or at least some sort of covered shelter is a good idea.
I would have loved a reception in a field, but by the time I'd costed a marquee, some toilets and generators it wasn't feasible. :-( Our wedding isn't budget by many standards, as we've chosen a licensed venue for ceremony and reception (the registrars come in at over £500 including giving notice plus the cost of the venue for the day) and we're getting married on a Saturday in August, but we're having a lovely day with live music and two meals for 150 people for about £3K over the venue fee by doing as much as possible thriftilly: my dress for example is coming in at under £60 by buying a lovely but ultra cheap one off ebay and customising it. I have five bridesmaids (daughters and steps) and all their dresses will come to less than £150 and then I'm crocheting boleros to bring everything together. I'm growing flowers in the garden for bouquets, ceremony table and buttonholes. I am baking my own cake and cakepops. We have a flag company locally who are letting me have all their cast-off nylon and I am making loads of bunting to decorate the whole venue. Lunch is a barbecue and chip van with an icecream van coming to give out dessert, and evening meal is our cake of cheese with bread, fruit and our wedding cake. No table centres, no favours, no fluff, but a ceilidh band and then the house DJ, and lots of friends who play (including our kids) who will jam in the afternoon to give a festival bar vibe. The only thing I've really not been able to cut back on is a photographer as we don't know any, and neither do we want to ask friends to do this, otherwise we could bring it in for less than 2.5K on top of the venue hire. Much more than I wanted to spend before I started budgetting but overall I'm pleased, especially as I we still have another year to save and we haven't cut back anything that was important to either of us.
I just bought my wedding dress for £30. It was from Monsoon at Clarks Village in Somerset, originally £240, marked down to £59. It had a red lipstick mark on it so I asked if I could pay half for it and they agreed. Dry cleaning cost me £25 so the whole thing cost £55 and the mark came out beautifully. I'm trying to lose a bit of weight as I had a baby 6 months ago so I bought one that fits now and the £30 one next size down. I can just about get it done up but I think I can get into it comfortably by September. Either way, I'll have one new dress to sell and the other one worn once. Total cost £114.
Get married on a week day, cheaper than a Saturday.
Re favours, we gave out tickets for 3 free drinks up to £4 each drink. We put them in little envelopes which were also the place names (we made the tickets at vista print, they were business card sized). You mentioned you were putting money behind the bar, maybe do that and that way at least people get a drink aside from table wine. Everyone loves a free drink! We've got friends that would've drunk the tab dry before some people got a look in had we just had a tab! Better than a favour
I bought my wedding dress of the net. It was from an online wedding dress place and a one off reduced from £699 to £150!! It's beautiful. It was to small across my back as it was a zip, but I lost a stone and it became just right. I was going to change it to lace up otherwise.