To help you get more for your money, we’re passing on our 25 wedding saving hacks, top tips and tricks for a chic wedding that won’t cost the earth!
Sequins and metallics are bang on trend, they suit all seasons and add some serious glam to your big day. The good news is that a little sparkle goes a long way, and even better, it’s totally affordable! For glitter galore, why not kit out your bridesmaids in sequined numbers? Or adorn a fuss-free wedding dress with a sequined bolero or clutch to add serious style without the price tag.
Bridal separates are the affordable answer for every bride who has searched high and low for their perfect gown (only to pass out upon sight of the price tag). Mix and match options allow brides to create the look they want for less. Splash out on a vintage style full skirt and pair with a simpler plain top to create the look you want for less.
If you already wear make-up and are fairly confident with it, then consider a make-up tutorial ahead of your wedding. The cost of hiring a make-up artist on the day can be extremely pricey, but make-up brands like MAC offer tutorials for a set fee. They will create a look on one half of your face and teach you to mirror the application on the opposite side. No one knows your face like you do so learning the skills to create the perfect look for your big day can be truly priceless!
Cut costs by thinking outside the box when it comes to kitting out your bridal squad. Rather than traditional bridesmaid dresses, your girls could buy their own designs that they feel comfortable in – this way you get the mix and match trendy look for your bridal party without spending a penny!
Car boot sales and second hand shops have an un-mined wealth of pretty and handy wedding decor. From rustic ladders for table plan props, to vintage crockery, brooches, vases and table displays. Your wallet will thank you and you won’t compromise on style!
When it comes to wedding costs the devil is often in the detail, with small flourishes like bridal accessories and reception touches mounting up. People forget that friends and family who are also emotionally invested in the big day are not only willing, but usually honoured to contribute. Whether it’s borrowing a sentimental piece of family jewellery, a sister’s veil or taking up the best man’s offer of playing DJ – you will not only save money but also gain a more personal feel to your big day.
Limit your alcohol options
If you’re taking the hit of providing a free bar, don’t feel pressured to provide everything under the sun. Agree with the venue on one white wine option, one red wine, a beer and a spirit – this is more than enough to please your guests’ palates and will keep costs from going through the roof.
Often brides overwhelm themselves trying to do everything. While hand stitching every guest’s wedding favour may be more trouble than it’s worth, there are some small things you can do that have big money-saving potential. Table displays made from empty wine bottles with fairy lights inside, making your own decorative bunting or putting together a playlist are all manageable and worthwhile to take on.
Forget the stamp
It may seem like a negligible cost, but if you’re inviting upward of 100 people to your wedding, full stationery and a pre-stamped RSVP for each guest can really add up. Instead, opt for a postcard-style invite, which helps to cut down on paper, and include an email address for replies. Or to save even more, take the eco-friendly route of sending e-invites!
The fun of the fair
Bridal fairs are not just a fun way to get inspiration for your big day, they can also offer huge money-saving potential. Keep your eyes peeled for bridal boutiques offering deals and discounts in exchange for appointment bookings. This is a great way to get money off dresses and accessories!
Hit the sales
Sample sales are a great way of finding your dream gown for less. If you’re lucky and you’re in the right place at the right time, you could bag a designer dress for an absolute steal. Designer days and trunk show events also often offer discounts on orders for specific designers.
It’s not for everyone, but if you’re not too concerned with buying accessories, you could ask your family members if they have any heirlooms you could wear on the day instead. Not only cost-free but sentimental, too.
Raise A Toast
You don’t have to serve champagne for your reception drinks or for your wedding toast. Instead, why not opt for a crowd-pleasing cocktail? This can be easily made in bulk by your caterers or venue, and served in pretty glassware with a garnish looks seriously luxurious!
Let’s make music!
If live music is your thing but you can’t justify the price tag then think outside the box. Do you have a favourite busker or a friend of a friend with a start-up band? Steer clear of the regulars and your bank balance will look much more cheerful!
If you want to make a statement with coloured shoes, you could save money as they’re often cheaper than traditional ivory designs. How about having them as your something blue?
Hair accessories can be vital to completing your look, but bejewelled adornments can set you back quite the sum. Consider accenting your ‘do with clever alternatives. A collection of pretty brooches can make a great replacement for ornate hair brocades or even consider using flowers from your bouquet or decor for a pretty and natural touch.
Summer may have long been considered the best season to wed, hence the increased prices, but the other seasons have so much to offer, too, and they’re more affordable! Spring often has better weather than summer in unpredictable Blighty, without being sweltering. Autumn has beautiful scenery of crunchy leaves and winter is oh-so magical, especially if you’re lucky enough to get snow.
Source your own caterers
Opting for a venue that allows you to choose your own caterers can make a huge difference in terms of cost. Many venues have contracts with suppliers, which means you are tied into using specific caterers with set fees, so sometimes you have to spend more than you might have liked. Having the freedom to shop around means you can spend what you want and also allows you to be more creative with your menu.
Feed your guests with sharer-style food rather than a traditional plated three-course wedding breakfast. This will shave down the often extremely expensive ‘per head’ costs and your guests will be more than happy to tuck into pasta, meat, curry and rice dishes. Win-win!
There still seems to be some small stigma attached to the midweek wedding, but opting out of a Saturday wedding can save you a small fortune. Couples worry about asking friends and family to travel and take time off work, but the harsh reality is that this is actually a good way of culling your guest list, too. The people that want to be there will make sure they turn up no matter where or when you decide to get hitched.
Luckily for brides, green florals are bang on trend. With perfect rosebud posies on the out and more sporadic wild-looking bouquets and arrangements in, bouquets and decor full of affordable foliage is a no-brainer.
Who doesn’t love a photobooth? Consider setting up your own using a Polaroid camera, fancy dress props and a picture frame with multiple ‘washing lines’ going horizontally across the frame. Your guests can then get snap happy and peg their pictures into the frame and you’ll be left with a treasured souvenir!
It’s the finishing touch to any bride’s look, but we know only too well that even the call out fee for a hairdresser can be expensive. Get savvy and scout out the colleges and universities local to you that run hair and beauty courses – they will need to do trials in order to qualify.
Staying in favour
It may seem like an obvious one, but making your own favours can save some serious cash. The key to successful favour-making is to keep it simple – you don’t want to be losing sleep and tearing your hair out a week before the big day! Miniature bottles of home brew, candles with added extras (dried flowers, ribbons, and buttons) are all achievable and cost-effective.
Instead of putting a super sweet dessert in front of guests who may already be full, try serving afternoon tea or dessert buffets for them to share and pick and choose as they wish. You’ll waste less food, it looks really sophisticated, and of course, you’ll save a bundle!