Summertime is the most popular time of the year for a wedding, so naturally, the season is in full swing.
With the average cost of a wedding, these days coming in at over £15,000 this magical event requires precision planning to keep within or near your set budget.
Having arranged my own wedding on a shoestring here are some great cost-cutting suggestions as a guide for your memorable day. for additional tips visit the wedding saving guide here.
Select a suitable date
As mentioned a wedding generally does coincide with the warmer weather; therefore avoid the busiest season, which is generally between the months of June – September. This will allow you to book your plans including your honeymoon out of the peak times, which in turn can help reduce the cost of your overall costs.
The most popular days are a Friday and Saturday; so choose an alternative day of the week to open up your options regarding your choice of venue and wedding suppliers, as they will not be so busy out of peak times.
Is traditional dress necessary for your wedding day? Unless it was your ultimate dream there are some amazing outfits just as fitting to grace your walk down the aisle, breaking away from the traditional wedding dress style and the price tag to go with it. You can purchase stunning attire off the peg these days and if you have your eye on the ball, with some thoughtful planning you may be able to pick something up in the sale season. Alternatively, look at the shopping outlets as they could have just what you are looking for with a designer label too.
If the traditional style is for you, there are plenty of hire shops and quality second-hand outlets like eBay, Gumtree and Shpock to find your dream dress.
Choose a unique venue
There are some truly inspirational venues to seal your special day leaving your own personal mark for you and your guests. Only a quarter of couples get married in religious buildings these days, opening up a great selection of venue ideas allowing you to conduct a ceremony wherever you have permission. However, you must bear in mind that you are required to organize a separate legal ceremony beforehand at a registry office, which in its own right can be minimal to keep costs down, with just two witnesses required.
I recently attended a truly memorable wedding party in the bride and grooms neighbours garden. This was a stunning venue and it was exciting to get locals and friends involved in the build-up to the party.
If you have the time, homemade bunting and streamers always add colour and a celebratory feel. Balloons, handpicked foliage and multicoloured flowers add to great décor especially if you have a specific colour or theme to your event.
Twinkling nightlights, solar lights, candles, fireworks all add to a memorable occasion and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Table place names can be fun to create, as can the invitations if you have a creative eye. Go online as there are many companies who can help with printing services. To save on the cost of sending out your invites send them online, ask people face to face or use Facebook events.
If you were hoping for a three-course dinner, there are plenty of food caterers to choose from. Don’t be afraid to haggle with the price. Working together will help you achieve your required budget.
Alternatively, get your friends and families involved and work together in producing the perfect buffet or ask your guests to all bring a dish. This makes everyone feel part of your day.
It is not completely necessary to have a traditional hand made, tiered cake. You can be creative with a mountain of cupcakes or doughnuts instead. Buy from the supermarket or ask a friend to make one for you.
Many of us can take great pictures on our phones with technology as advanced as it is. Natural, action images can be just as memorable as a family line up.
Leaving disposable cameras on tables can be a nice touch; even the younger members of the wedding party can get involved in this way.
The wedding car
Yes, it’s nice to arrive in a fancy Rolls Royce or horse-drawn carriage; however, your journey can be just as appealing in a black cab, minibus or friends car.
Hair and makeup– it is not always necessary to have your hair and makeup done by a professional, yes, a luxury but if you are trying to cut costs, you can take some tips from the internet and YouTube will have some tutorials to guide and help you with a specific look.
Wedding favours– although a lovely tradition for your guests as a thank you, perhaps an area you can forego. An origami animal was a nice touch at a recent wedding I attended and had more meaning than a bag of sugared almonds.