One question I am continually asked by Nu Bride readers is “Why are weddings so expensive”
Well, let’s get straight to the point, it’s because we pay for them.
When I first got engaged I remembered launching myself like a ninja into a newsagent as and purchasing 3 bridal magazines, at just under £5 each. That’s pretty much £15 in one day on magazines! It seems the excitement and euphoria of being engaged and planning a wedding can sometimes eradicate all signs of logic and rationale when it comes to expenditure.
The truth is, there is nothing stopping any of us from having a wedding under £800 (and some do), by simply paying for a religious or secular ceremony, completing the necessary legalities, wearing a stylish recycled frock and going back home for an intimate dinner with friends and family. However, the reality is, most of us want much, much more than this and rightly so, we deserve it don’t we?
But more costs money.
Can a wedding be done on a budget without compromising on quality? Absolutely, yes.
I have put together a few tried and tested money saving tips to help you on your wedding planning way.
TIME OF YEAR
The time of year you choose to get married can either add or save you thousands.
If you consider having your wedding out of peak season, you are more likely to be able to negotiate deals with suppliers and / or take advantage of off-peak prices and packages.
This is simply because this is a quiet time of year for wedding suppliers and venues, who will welcome the business. Flights for honeymoons for example, will also be cheaper outside of holiday periods and you are less likely to be fighting for popular dates. (Off peak wedding season is typically January – April, October and November).
This is by far the biggest way to save money on your wedding day.
It’s quite simple – the more guests you have, the more your wedding will cost. Choose your guest list carefully. Of course it’s tradition and a significant part of some cultures to host large weddings. Some having to invite second cousins, third cousins and their neighbour, neighbours friend and the dog. I am not suggesting that you have a wedding party of 2 (!) but be strict with your guest list from the off-set. It is tough, I know, but if you don’t have a never ending pit of money, then you have to be firm and be strict about plus ones, children and extended families. Consider: Are they really in your life or are they ‘just’ colleagues or acquaintances? Is that family member you haven’t spoken to since you were 8, being invited out of obligation?
Just because a product or service is featured in a shiny brochure or magazine with a set price attached to it, does not necessarily mean that there isn’t a little bit of room for negotiation. If you don’t ask you don’t get and the worst a supplier can do is say no… viagra est d. and that’s ok. ;o)
Ps. Be realistic with your expectations. Don’t try to negotiate the price of a Ford Fiesta for a Rolls Royce wedding car, that won’t work, suppliers need to earn a living too. Lol!
The world is your oyster with a laptop by your side. Take advantage of the internet. Always shop around and obtain at least 3 like-for-like quotes on a service / product. This enables you to make informed decisions when booking a service and it also makes you aware of what things should and should NOT cost!
Inform yourself of what the average cost of wedding services and products in your area are. This will help you if you want to negotiate deals.
If you have friends or family with exceptional skills e.g. baking, entertainment, handmade stationery…now is the time to ask friends and family for favours! We made huge savings by making use of talented friends and family who were only too pleased to help or share their talent for free. Get ready to write some I.O.U’s
Keep an eye out for wedding dress sample sales. Sample sales happen a handful of times a year, when designers are selling their end of line dresses at a fraction of the full price. Make sure you do your online research of how to shop in a sample sale first, as sizes are usually limited and they will not include alterations or dry cleaning costs. This way of shopping will not suit everyone.
Lots of high street stores are frequently offering in-store sales to entice customers off of their laptops and back into shops. At times, the high street can be more cost effective if you are looking for something less traditional.
Start following your favourite wedding blogs. Professional wedding bloggers work very closely with credible and talented suppliers and can make great recommendations. They often run competitions, giveaways and exclusive discounts throughout the year. A good way of keeping up to date with offers is to have all your favourite wedding blogs under one roof by joining free resource: www.bloglovin.com
Most venues / catering companies offer food and drink packages based on price per head. If you notice there are elements of the package that you don’t want or could do without, ask them to take them out in exchange for a reduction in cost. For example – if you are not a champagne drinker, can you have sparkling wine instead? Not a red wine drinker – can you have white wine on the table and substitute the red wine for a fruit juice or fizzy drink? There is always scope to tweak packages to suit your needs.
E.g: If you are having a buffet, the more variety of food available, the more your buffet will cost. Ask for less variation and more quantities. This will save you buckets.
BE REALISTIC AND COMPROMISE
I think the golden rule is to remember to be realistic with your expectations and budget. If you have set aside a £50 budget to hire Dynamo the magician to entertain your guests, there is no point in trying to negotiate the cost – you will have to accept that you will have to settle for plan B – re: a pack of cards on each table instead and there is nothing wrong with that. J
Planning a wedding can be exciting and can also be overwhelming. It is so easy to carried away with wedding planning pretty and to want more than we can afford. But set your budget from the start and be firm with it. If you start to feel swept away, remember the real reason and the importance of your wedding day and the fact that you have been lucky enough to find someone out of all the billions of people in the world to share your life with. That is a gift.
Best of luck with your wedding planning!
Editor. Nu Bride
Nu Bride is an award nominated modern wedding blog: with a splash of diversity