Money saving ideas(16 Posts)
What are your top money saving tips for a DIY wedding?
Decide what the five most important things for your wedding have to be and stick to them.
Don't bother with hiring expensive cars for the day, totally pointless.
In fact, lots of things that the market make you think you need for a wedding are totally unnecessary.
Keep the decor simple and achievable. Want lots of flowers? Collect jars or tin cans and wrap ribbon around them and then buy your flowers from flower markets at the end of the day (there is a big wholesale flower market in London where you can pick up cheap flowers by the end of the market day, which is still in the morning).
Ask guests to bring a bottle or a cake and don't waste money on a 'wedding cake'.
You can also make your own bouquet, there are loads of tutorials on youtube.
There are loads of other ideas but it's hard to write them down without knowing what kind of feel you want for your wedding.
Don't bother with favours.
Also, buy big old bedsheets from charity shops to act as tablecloths instead of buygin or renting them. Or find a cheap fabric shop and buy fabric for the tablecloths. Fabricland sell fabric for under £3 per metre!
I did a pretty low key wedding.
I had a proper dress, and a proper cake. Everything else was very very modest
Afternoon into evening reception with a buffet - no wedding breakfast
Free photographer - found a newbie on the Hitched forums who wanted weddings for his portfolio
Did my own makeup
Did my own flowers - had roses and peonies from Sainsburys and Morrisons
Pimms as a welcome drink, not champagne that no one drinks anyway.
Free DJ via friend of a friend
Didn't bother with favours.
Didn't have cars.
Decide what you can do without. We didn't bother with favours, chair covers or cars (my dad drove me and then popped the car back later so he could have a drink in the evening). We had a reasonably small wedding and so didn't bother with bridesmaids, best man or ushers, so we didn't have to fund outfits for them. I did my own make up (that was mainly because the trial made me look like a clown hooker).
We did care about good food and drink, nice (but not over the top) outfits for us (those photos are going to be around a long time) and nice photographs (I am usually the family photographer so I wanted someone I could trust to give me good photo memories). So we put most of our budget into those things.
We married midday, midweek. No formal evening thing just a big lunch time meal.
Meal in a nice hotel was very reasonable around £10/ head. We didn't book as a wedding. They had a deal on wine at £5/ bottle and we paid corkage for champagne which my sister brought us as our wedding present.
They provided table linen we decorated with potted orchids wrapped in hessian with a big ribbon bow - made days in advance and didn't need watering etc.
They put them out for us and put the place names etc out.
Let your bridesmaids buy their own dresses-just tell them a colour/length and let them have at it.
Keep decor simple-if you have a nice venue, work with what's already there.
Only get in-season flowers. Price difference is HUGE.
Or, non-floral centrepieces are lovely. A friend of mine found some old vintage books and stacked them in the centre of the tables on a nice plated mirror with votive candles around it.
If something seems silly, don't bother with it. Bouquet toss, garter toss, kissing games etc. No one will really care.
Wedding invitation kits will save you a fortune. Just print them at home.
I'm sure there's more. I'll be back!
Or don't even bother with bridesmaids. You don't have to have them, and if you do, they don't have to all be dressed the same.
you don't need to sort out the best man's outfit either, if you are having a best man he can just wear whatever suit he has.
I agree with buying in season flowers. Also, you don't have to have centre pieces on every table, and if you do, they don't have to be flowers. I went to a wedding where there was a plate of lovely grapes in the middle of each table, that went down very well indeed and they were all eaten.
Another wedding I went to had olives, humous and lovely bead on the centre of each table, which was then the starter.
I am making my own invitations and save the date cards, already designed then on photoshop, just need to print them out. Buying the card on ebay for £10 and then the ink will cost a max of £20 so pretty good really. will see if staples is cheaper for the printing though. Worth a look.
Marks & Spencer's cakes and get someone to/you do them up nicely and hire a cake stand from a cake shop.
These two things could save you thousands
Oh and if you're not already on it get onto Pinterest ;) I've been married 5 years and still trawl the wedding boards ;)
A friend of mine recently got married and all her bridesmaids wrote different colours, her bouquet was multicolored to and it looked really nice.
I made my own invitations, works out so much cheaper and I could then make matching thank you cards
Call in any favours from friends and family, my uncle was going to drive me to the church in his posh new car, (he borrowed his friends vintage car as a surprise on the day!), others pitched in decorating the Church and making the centre pieces.
Also if you have a big department store or boots near you go, the make up counters often do free make overs, and can show you tricks and give you ideas so you can do your own make up on the day.
M & S wedding cake - white chocolate ribbon cake is gorgeous and cheaper than a bespoke version
Late afternoon ceremony followed by one reception only saves you on double catering costs.
Register with a wholesalers like Costco to buy drinks & food in large catering packs. Very useful if you are catering yourself.
Wholesale flower market like the New Coventry Garden Flower market
Vista print for invites
Serve a good selection of posh soft drinks & canapés on arrival & serve alcohol with the meal & speeches only. You will keep costs down & bad behaviour to a minimum. Have a pay bar in the evening, it will prevent excessive drinking & people throwing up all over the place like they do when there is a free bar.
Cross generational entertainment like a magician to keep everyone occupied during the gaps before dinner.
Limit the number of speeches or do away with it altogether as they bore everybody stupid.
Wednesday wedding then only nearest & dearest will make the effort to come. Very handy if you are obliged to invite loads but can't afford to, this way you won't offend anybody by leaving them out of invite list. It will also be much cheaper than a Friday, Sat or Sunday wedding.
Make your poor sister do all the table flower arrangements even though she's never arranged so much as a single red rose before.
There ar some grat ideas here, thank you. I particularly like pimms instead of champagne and fabric instead of hiring table cloths.
Flowers will cost a packet of seeds as I will be growing them.
This isn't for me, incidentally. My friends are having their wedding in my back yard!
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