Here is the thing that everybody really wants to know, how to save money on your wedding without doing anything crazy like getting up at three in the morning to go to the flower market on the day of your wedding. I do believe time is money so hopefully these tips will help you de-stress and save time as well. My top money saving tips
1. Have your wedding off season and not on a weekend.
This can make a huge difference to the price of venues. Go for a wedding in May or September and have it on a Thursday. For some reason Fridays tend to be just as expensive as the weekend. Yes some people will have to take time off work, but at lot of people work on Saturdays too.
2. Cut down the number of guests
Less guests means less food, less booze, smaller venue, less invites, less postage etc etc. I personally think it’s nicer to have an amazing wedding with 50 guests than really struggle to provide for 300 guests.
3. Only pay for what you use
Find a venue that suits that size of wedding so you’re not paying for space you won’t use. Also if you’re having an afternoon wedding pay for the exact hours you will be there, not the whole day. The same thing applies with photography, you can ask for a half day, not a whole day of photography. Some drinks suppliers will allow you to return unopened bottles of wine so you only pay for what you’ve drunk.
4. Use your skills
Utilise your own skills and the skills of your friends and family, but do be realistic about expectations. I designed all my own stationery because it’s what I do professionally and my husband organised a band and dj set because he is a professional musician. A friend made a keg of amazing craft beer for the wedding, and my husband’s brother-in-law made his wedding ring for him. I really enjoy baking but as I didn’t want to be stressed in the days before the wedding I left it to the professionals.
People often buy things for their wedding that they never use again, like yards of bunting or hundreds of jam jars. If your friend has recently got married why not ask to borrow a few things, they will be glad to see them being used and to get them out of the garage.
Borrowing from family members also makes things extra special. I wore the veil my mum got married in. It’s beautiful veil and I’m really glad I’m wore it. It also saved me a few £100 for an item I would have never have worn again. My wedding ring was once my great grandmother’s, and it means so much to wear a family heirloom. If you just ask your family what items you might be able to borrow for the wedding you could be surprised by the results!
You don’t have to do things just because they are a traditional wedding thing to do. Do the things that meaningful to you and edit out the things that aren’t. We didn’t bother doing wedding favours since they seemed like a waste of time and money and they really weren’t missed (I do love the idea of creative wedding favours! I’m just a lazy bride). I also didn’t pay for professional hair and make up because it wasn’t a priority for me. My priorities were that everybody had an amazing time, there are beautiful flowers everywhere and then we had an incredible photographer. Make a list of your priorities and then edit out the things it don’t matter to you.
By being smart with your money you can have your dream wedding at a fraction of the usual cost. By having a wedding on a Thursday not a weekend, by borrowing items, using gift vouchers, working with friends and family who gave us mates rates* we saved approximately £3600. This doesn’t even take into account all of the bespoke illustration and hand lettering I created for the wedding. We could’ve paid £3600 more and had the exact same wedding, it just would’ve been on a Saturday, and it would have been less special because it wouldn’t have involved so many friends and family. It’s really kind of crazy.
*We didn’t ask for discounts, our friends offered us a discounted rate as a wedding gift to us, and my husband and I have offered our creative services at our friend’s weddings in return. Asking vendors for discounts without offering a compromise on your part isn’t cool.
I hope I’ve inspired you to get creative with your wedding planning and think outside the box a bit when it comes to saving money. If you have any questions please do let me know!
All photography by Emily Quinton.