24 Sep Guest Blog: Wedding budget woes
We’re thrilled that the lovely Rachel from Love By Design Weddings has agreed to be a guest blogger for The Wedding Jar and will be sharing her wedding wisdom with us once a month. Here’s Rachel’s latest post with some great ideas on how to keep your wedding budget under control. Over to you, Rachel…
Written by Rachel Pertee from Love by Design Weddings
I know how it is. You agree a wedding budget, and before you’ve even recovered from the excitement of setting a date, it can feel like it’s running away with you.
Everyone wants a dream wedding day but there’s often a hefty price tag to achieve that. But do not despair! There’s plenty that you can do to get the wedding you have always wanted without running up huge debts.
- Use a credit card.
You may be thinking that it’s a contradiction for me to say use a credit card but don’t get into debt! Well, it’s actually a very sensible option. When I was planning my wedding, I took out a credit card that had an 18-month interest free period and also earned me rewards as I spent. I used this for all the large payments, such as the venue, my dress and our honeymoon. When you pay with a credit card, you are protected. So, if your travel company goes bust, you can get your money back. Using a debit card does not offer this protection. And as long as you keep on top of the repayments over the interest free period, and ensure the outstanding balance is cleared by the end, you can make some very good savings!
- Book in advance.
Every year, prices go up. If you can afford to book your suppliers early, you will often get this year’s rates rather than those in the year of your wedding. Also, by booking ahead, some suppliers (such as myself) will offer you the option of a payment plan, where you can pay in instalments – which saves you the worry of having to pay everyone 4 weeks before your big day.
- Hit the sales!
End of summer sales, January sales, Black Friday… there are money saving opportunities popping up all year round, so be sure to take advantage. January is a great time to pick up Christmas decorations that can be used around your venue, particularly things like wooden hearts, candles and strings of lights.
- Use Nature’s own wedding decorations.
Many couples forget that Mother Nature offers some of the best decorations, for free! Getting married in Autumn? Pine cones, conkers, leaves and acorns can all look stunning when arranged in glass jars or scattered on tables or down an aisle. Winter wedding? Why not collect holly and ivy while out walking in the forest and use this around your venue? Pine cones look great when spray painted in silver. Beach themed wedding? Go beachcombing for beautiful shells, driftwood and pebbles which you could paint and use as place name holders.
- Ask your friends to help.
Your friends and family are there to support you on your big day as well as in the build up to it. Want to make some decorations yourself? Get your girls round for an evening and over a glass of wine get creative together! Having bridesmaids? Don’t feel embarrassed or bad about asking them to contribute towards their dresses, or give them a colour and let them choose their own – not only will this look modern and quirky, they will probably be happy to pay for something they feel comfortable in and can wear again after the wedding.
- Marry mid-week or out of season.
The savings you could make by simply booking your wedding on a Wednesday rather than a Saturday can be massive! You will receive exactly the same service as you would on any other day of the week, but for a lot less money. The same applies for weddings over winter. Forget about gambling on the British summer weather and focus on creating a magical winter wonderland wedding instead.
- Think about alternatives!
Think about what you want and then how you could get this for free. Want a videographer but are finding that they are just too expensive? How about asking a friend to capture your friends leaving you messages on their phone, and then compile them for you? Can’t afford a photo booth? Make your own from an old picture frame, which you can decorate to match your colour scheme, and use props which can be obtained cheaply online.
- Make small changes in your life.
Who wants to have to scrimp on the things they want for their wedding? Why not cut back in your day to day life instead? Cook instead of getting a takeaway. Try a local beauty college near you for discounted treatments. Are you making full use of a gym membership or could you save money by taking up running? Save the money in a terramundi pot which you can smash open when it’s full!
- Be ruthless with your guest list.
Cutting back on your numbers shouldn’t fill you with guilt. Want a no children wedding? Then do it. Those friends and family who really want to be there will make childcare arrangements. You don’t have to invite single friends to bring a ‘plus one’ – just make sure they sit with people they know. Split your guest list into day guests and evening guests, as it’s the daytime element of your wedding that is the most expensive. Also, consider how many bridesmaids, best men, ushers, page boys and flower girls you really need, as by cutting back here to only your nearest and dearest you will save a fortune on flowers, dresses and suit hire!
- Hire, don’t buy.
It is so easy, in the excitement of getting engaged, to rush head first into buying everything wedding related! But this isn’t always the most cost effective option, and often some of what you buy early on may not be suitable as your theme and colour scheme evolve. Think about the space you have at home. Do you have a spare room that can hold a huge box of 100 chair covers, a box of sashes, boxes of table runners, centrepieces, a post box, bunting, fairy lights, chalkboards and so on?
As a venue decorator, I have filled my entire loft with stock! I see so many posts on Facebook from people trying to sell on their used wedding items. Do you have the time to sit and create those posts, answer all the messages and hang around at home for people to turn up? Have you thought about whether you want to pack up after the best day of your life or if you would rather leave that to someone else?
Also, it is ALWAYS cheaper to hire items and props from me than it is to buy! When you book my full wedding venue decoration service, you will have access to the full range of items I stock and I will work out a bespoke wedding package that is tailored to your needs. I will set everything up for you on the day, take it all down again, pack it away and take it home to store it back in my loft! Surely that’s worth saving up for!!
My final advice…..
Above all else, remember whose day this actually is. You CANNOT please everyone! So don’t feel obliged to provide wedding favours – after all, being invited to a wedding for the whole day is a favour in itself – and don’t feel you need to rush down Primark and buy them out of flip flops – a simple line on your invites stating “bring your dancing shoes” is more than enough. Most ladies end up barefoot on the dancefloor anyway – I sure did!
Happy wedding planning!
Rachel also has her own online Etsy shop where you can take a look at some of her bespoke handmade items.