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Weddings on a Budget – Ways to Save Some Money Without Compromise

How many couples are stil paying for their wedding on their 5 year wedding anniversary? Is it worth going into massive debt for your wedding day? When you get married, there is no good reason to get married to your overdraft as well. I’m going to show you ways and means of saving money on planning your wedding, and still having the day you want – without compromise. We’ve taken the stress out of finding the best hens night venues Melbourne with our range of classy girls night packages that cater to any taste and budget.

I got married in April 2007 – total cost of wedding, just under £8000. What did we get for that?

  • Exclusive use of a 17th century castle with 19 bedrooms, including accommodation and full English Breakfast for the guests (50% discount – getting married on a Sunday) – £2500
  • A converted barn with additional 10 bedrooms (reserved the whole barn, and got a discount) – £600
  • Wedding gown, tiara, veil, shoes and 3 bridesmaids dresses plus jewellery (10% discount on wedding dress, 50% sale items bridesmaids dress, jewellery bought at a home party) – £1100
  • Bridal hair and make-up (used local suppliers) – £150
  • 3-course wedding breakfast (50% discount for a Sunday) – £1800
  • Unlimited pre-wedding breakfast drinks, and champagne toast – £350
  • Classical string quartet (3 hours) – £350
  • DJ evening – £200
  • Flowers for bride, bridesmaids , buttonholes and guests tables (re-used altar flowers for top table) – £220
  • Photographer – Leather bound wedding album and 200 photographs (negotiated discounted price for all photos taken). – £650

Wow – you must be thinking. And that’s what I thought too. But with a lttle bit of research and work, it can be posible for everyone.

The Money side of things

If you have to borrow any money to get married, then take a look at 0% interest credit cards. (yes, they still exist – I have just signed up for one that has given me £6000 interest free credit until September 2009). You can then budget and pay off your card over a period of time – without incurring any interest charges. Check out the best bank loans with the lowest interest charges.

The Venue

If you decide not to get married on a Saturday, there can be considerable savings. Getting married on a weekday, or bridging the weekend by marrying on Friday or Sunday reduces the cost of your venue. We got married on a Sunday, and saved 50% on the overall cost of our reception – venue hire and meal. If you live in an expensive area – why not get married where it is less expensive and have your guests travel to the venue of your choice – that’s what we did.

Bridal Wear

You don’t have to wear new! There is a big second hand, nearly new bridal market. Oxfam has numerous bridal shops devoted to the second hand bridal wear market. Check-out the internet for specialist second hand , nearly new bridal wear directories. You can save upto 75% off the cost of a new dress. Look out for end of season sales for wedding dresses, every bridal shop has them to make room for next year’s stock. Check out high street shops for your bridesmaids dresses – especially at sale time. We saved 50% on the bridesmaids dresses because they were in the pre-Xmas sale.

Visit craft fairs for wedding jewellery – there are many crafters who make the most amazing wedding jewellery at a fraction of the price of a retail shop.

Wedding Stationery

Card craft shops can sell you everything you need to make your own wedding invitations. I personaly made all of mine. total cost £25.00 for 40 invitiations. Not only that – they are fun to make. Print your own Save the Date cards by buying some pretty paper postcards (specialist stationery shops sell them).

If you are having wedding favours on the tables, then these can also act as your place name cards by tying a label on with the guests name.

Wedding favours – checkout the internet for favour bags – fill with your choice. We chose miniature spirits for the men, and loose lavendar for the ladies.

The Flowers

Buttonholes – if using a single flower such as a rose, this can be very stylish and elegant – and with a herb sprig is easy to make yourself.

Try clever tricks with candles and lighting before filling every space in your venue with flowers. If you are marrying in a registry office, reuse the flowers on the altar table to place on the top table. Place empty vases on the top table which can then hold the brides and bridesmaids flowers. Mirrors under vases on guests tables can create a dazzling effect without using lots of flowers.

If you are marrying in a church, you can decorate the pews with ribbon rather than flowers – considerably cheaper. Think about using lots of greenery in your floral displays instead of flowers.

Feeding your guests

Difficult one, as the guests will expect a meal. If you get married late in the day then the wedding breakfast alone should be sufficient. If you are having extra guests in the evening, then only cater for 60% otherwise the food (and your money) will be wasted. Barbeques can be cost effective, buffet style. Hire a hog roast and have a few salads. If you are thinking of self-catering, then rally around your friends and relatives and with some helpers and a small wedding, lay on a finger buffet.

The Drink

Some venues will let you supply your own drinks without penalty. A trip to France can save you loads. Be careful though, as some venues will charge you corkage, which can then cost more than having the venue supply the wine.

Ask the venue to quote you for a package that includes drinks – welcome drink, wine during the meal, and champagne toast. Most guests these days expect to pay for their drinks outside of the wedding breakfast – so you can set up a paid bar.

Happy Snaps

Don’t be tempted to buy disposable cameras for the guests tables and have those as your wedding photos. They are usually of poor quality, and not pictures of what you want. If you have some friends who are interested in photography, then appoint them to be your official photographers. Digital cameras are great – they can download the photos onto a smart stick, and there are numerous internet sites that will create a wedding album for you.

We could have saved even more on costs, by not paying for guest accommodation, or not having unlimited wine before the meal – but that was our choice. I hope this gives you some ideas on having the wedding you want without breaking the bank, and for some great suppliers to the wedding industry, click here.

Find out more about how to plan a wedding in the UK by visiting Advice, ideas and suppliers all in one click.

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