Top tips for a budget wedding?(25 Posts)
Hi, so I am recently engaged and we are in the very beginning stages of planning our wedding. Is it cheaper to go for a package or a DIY venue? We would like to get married in a church so need to save money else where. Any one have any top tips for saving money? We are on a tight budget
In my job ( florist) I deal with weddings on a weekly basis. I've also been to my fair share over the years.
What I would say as reassurance ( this might not actually sound like it though!) is that I can promise you 100% that the majority of your guests will not remember many details from your wedding, so don't lose sleep or money on anything OTT. They come to see you get married and celebrate that, they really don't care about table favours and whether the best man's cravat matches the napkins.
Flowers can be bought wholesale and put in jamjars. Have a Hog roast or a buffet. Go on a booze run to France or just load up at Majestic. Get some gazebos in a back garden. Buy your dress second hand. Don't have loads of bridesmaids.
It's entirely possible to have a wedding that doesn't cost a fortune, but there isn't a magic bullet that will reduce costs without some compromise, unfortunately.
Use the church hall for the reception. They're much cheaper than venues, and you can choose a caterer you can afford (possibly doing some bits yourself?)
Don't bother with huge amounts of decorations, no-one really remembers or even notices. No-one care much about favours or posh stationery either.
Get married late afternoon (guests will find their own lunch). Feed your guests at ordinary dinner time (reducing expectation of food before our after that). Get reasonably nice fizz (and non-alcoholic alternative) for toasts, but don't worry if you can't afford alcohol beyond that.
Does your DM still have her wedding dress? Would it fit you?
The only flowers we had were my bouquet. I made a few from fabric for the bridesmaids/men's jackets that were beautiful
if I do say so myself and saved me a small fortune .
Got the cake for £250 from M&S. Everywhere else was at least double that and the cake we had was bloody gorgeous.
Bridesmaid dresses were sale items from debenhams that I found and then timed right for the right price.
I'll post again if I think of anything else!
Don't spend loads on invites, you could even just send an email - look on canva.com and design your own & email out/print for any elderly relatives not on email
Buy a dress second hand, there's tonnes on eBay that go for a fraction of the price, or get one on the high street - mine was from House of Fraser
If you have bridesmaids see if they've got dresses they can already wear, same with best mans suit - matchy matchy is a bit dated anyway!
See the reception in the same way you'd see a birthday party - it's just a celebration after all and loads of 'wedding' stuff is totally unnessessary
Oh, don't bother with wedding cars, if you want a posh car does anyone you know have a classic car? Or just book smart taxis if needed
We hadn't been to any weddings as adults when we got married, so there was loads of stuff we didn;t know about, so we didn;t do it:
No flowers - too much hayefever in the family
No balloons - autistic nephew hates them
I did my own hair and make up - I don't usually "do" hair and make up and the trials I had horrified me.
We walked from the register office to reception
We got married in a registry office (Bakewell Town Hall is very nice)
Best man wore his own suit
DH wore his own suit
Best woman wore her own dress - no other bridesmaids
Local printer did invitations - about £15 for 50 of something daft, and we sent them out with our Christmas cards 3 months earlier
Local jeweller made our rings
MIL made the cake (FIL says he's never driven so carefully since DH was born)
Had a band for 45 mins x 2 in the evening, they were from a local college doing Music BTEC.
Cava instead of champagne
No favours, no decorations
Evening gown (not white) rather than wedding dress
2 course buffet rather than 3 course sit down meal
Look at venues that aren't traditionally wedding venues. We had our reception at the football stadium social club. They couldn't do enough to help us and it wasn'the wedding prices.
Call in favours from friends - everyone wanted to do something to help so a friend made the cake, my sister's band played in the evening, another friend did my hair etc.
I also made fabric flowers for the bouquets and button holes.
Yy to nontraditional venues.
If you do go the traditional venue route, consider Friday night weddings. Less cost per hour and cheaper deals as its a weekday.
And yes, wholesale flowers and arrange yourself.
We did wholesale flowers, second hand dress, bridesmaid dresses from high street sales, own hair/makeup, no fancy transport, made own cake, no canapes before dinner. It was glorious and these things just made it more personal. Splurges were photos and live band!
We also had a very small wedding budget. We did:
DIY invitations, orders of service etc
MIL's friend did the flowers.
Friend's talented sister did the photos.
Rented a room in a local conference centre for the reception; told them it was for a party and didn't specify that it was a wedding party.
Local butcher did a hog roast, and we put together a buffet of "fancy" salads, then friends' mums did a buffet of puddings. Hired local teenagers to help with setting up the meal, topping up drinks, clearing up etc.
All the women did their own hair and makeup.
Bridesmaids wore dresses they already had.
DH, best man etc got suits from M&S substantially marked down in the January sales (probably a bit late for that now).
Second-hand dress (I did have to buy and return a couple from ebay before I found one that fit really well so it depends how much you're willing to deal with that slight hassle).
Used our own car.
Agree with PP that people are usually more than happy to help. We did give the girls who'd done the flowers and photos monetary thank you gifts, and paid the teenagers who helped at the meal of course, but it was a fraction of what you'd pay for professionals.
I've also been to a winter wedding where the dinner was jacket potatoes with "fancy" fillings and salads - I know it's not very traditional but it was just what people wanted on a cold winter evening. Another friend had her mum's (or grandmother's or something) wedding dress altered by a seamstress into something a bit more modern.
Remember that people are there to celebrate with you, not to be waited on hand and foot whilst secretly judging. Or, most people, anyway. Haters gonna hate!
Perfect thank you for all the ideas! We already have a friend making the cake (she is a professional and so we are just paying for ingredients), another friend doing hair and makeup as she has recently trained and offered as a wedding present. MIL is paying for the flowers. Also have another family friend who has offered to be Master of Ceremonies as he used to do this professionally. So it's the venue, dresses etc, food, decorations, invitations etc we need to sort I am planning on doing lots of the decorations, table bits etc myself. We have a venue in mind but it's just a barn and only have to pay for electricity and then we do everything else. Do you think this will work out more expensive than just doing a package?
The only thing that I would really want is a classic car for as a treat for my Dad. It would have a lot of meaning for both of us!
It's so hard knowing where to start with it all!
The guest list is the hardest and knowing who's in and who's out! X
We once went to a wedding where the bride had grown herbs in lots of little terracotta pots. They served as table decorations, place names (with names chalked on) and favours.
Wedding shops on eBay are really good for bits and pieces.
You sound like you're nearly fixed before you start.
See if you can find a local classic car club on Facebook - I'm sure someone would love to show off their car.
I would have thought you'd be paying more for a package, but just set up a spreadsheet and cost it out.
We did a lot of things ourselves to make it cheaper. I bought my dress online and it was beautiful! I made bridesmaids pay for their own dresses and shoes and bought their jewellery as a thank you for being my bridesmaid. I also found fake flowers were way cheaper than real ones.
Kelj2 how did this go down with the bridesmaids? Did they mind? X
Get married as late in the day as you can so you can cut out the whole daytime expense.
babykanga when I was a bridesmaid once I did mind tbh though I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it
We're having our wedding on a budget, it's not without compromise but can definitely be done!
A few things I've found helpful:
Don't look for typical 'wedding' venues and 'wedding' decor, think outside the box a bit and you will save money plus end up with something more personal.
Get married later in the day so you don't have to provide as much food.
We're having a jukebox rather than a live band etc.
Have a smaller guest list (I know this wouldn't work for everyone).
Don't go too overboard on the decor, we've got most of our stuff of ebay/amazon, bunting is a cheap way of making a venue look fab I think!
I was also going to say don't spend loads on flowers and a wedding cake but I see you've got that sorted which is great, sounds like you're well on your way!
And in my experience doing it yourself is much cheaper than getting a package, and more personal too!
Speak to your bridesmaids, if you're not worried about everything matching completely then they might be happy to buy their own to wear again, or even wear something they already have.
Think of a couple of things that really mean something, eg the classic car and go for it, but then be willing to compromise on other things.
Oh, and don't get sucked in by wedding fayres, they can be fun but they will make you think you need a £3000 ice sculpture when you really, really don't lol.
There's lots of paraphernalia that become "necessary" at weddings that really isn't. You don't need balloons, wedding favours, table decorations, fancy cars etc etc. You really can't ask bridesmaids to buy their own dress if you expect to choose it though. Have fewer bridesmaids if you can't afford them.
My top tip would be to avoid anything marketed at weddings. E.g use evening dresses, not bridesmaids dresses. Use a pub, not a wedding venue.
Best wedding I went to the bride's side brought the mains and the groom's the desserts in lieu of present. BYOB too. Family have to come and get on with it anyway, good friends will support you anyway and anyone who doesn't like it doesn't have to come. It was a great atmosphere as everyone was actively supporting them.
Don't scrimp on the photos though. That will be the main thing that you have left years later. We prioritised clothes and photos although were lucky to find a cheap good venue with good food.
Kelj2 how did this go down with the bridesmaids? Did they mind
I have had to buy my own dress before.
I did think it was a bit off
bit didn't say anything
I wouldn't bother with favours, mot people leave them behind anyway.
I also wouldn't go ott on flowers.
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