Beg, steal or borrow
Beg, steal or borrow – how to keep the cost of your big day down
We all know how expensive weddings can be, but if you are on a limited budget or rather handy with sticky tape and have a creative mind, why not look at upcycling to save some pennies?
These are some of my favourite ideas, which not only look uber cool but make your day very individual and keep the cost down.
1. Seeds – a firm favourite with me. Give out seed packets to all your guests and write a little message on the front. You can bulk buy the packs and seeds, all you need to do is individualise the packets.
2. Jars – jam jars or anything of a decent size. Put these on your tables with tea-lights and ribbons around, they make a great centre piece, you can even put wild flowers in them. You can also use these to light the entrance and room (please use the fake tea-lights if near to anything even remotely flammable).
3. Beer is big! It is making a come back and why not offer your guests some home-grown? If feeling adventurous try making your own wine too!
4. Entertainment – if you cannot afford professional musicians or DJ, how about using your ipod and loading all of your favourite songs, provide your own evening entertainment. If you are worried about having nothing visual, make a slide-show, something personal from childhood through to your wedding, include family and friend pictures and have this playing in the background on a screen. Or if you are really tech savvy, get your friends to take snaps during the day and stream straight onto the screen, a real-time show!
5. Outfits – another considerable budget item is the dress, shoes, etc and the suits. Please avoid copy ebay dresses at all costs, but keep an eye out for sample sales from reputable boutiques. For suits look at what high street stores have offers on, you can pick up a stylish suit which you can wear again and again.
6. The main item that will take up your hard earned cash will be your venue, with the catering and drinkies. So if you are planning on doing number 3, look at alternative venues, ones you can hire and bring in your own catering team. Venue décor is only limited by your imagination, so if you are planning well in advance and know your theme, you can scour charity shops for the items you need.
7. Shoes – Watch for the sales, or if you do come across a genuine pair of designer shoes second hand, snap them up! I bought my Jimmy Choos for £40!!!
8. Photography – this is the one area where I advise couples never to compromise on – yes Uncle Bob maybe great at taking family snaps but in years to come you will have your memories of the day, your jewellery and your pictures. Please do not engage with the facebook £350 package offers, you will seriously regret doing so. The budget is tight, so find a photographer who is reputable who you like, and if happy to, engage their services for the main pictures – your ceremony and groups and shots during welcome drinks, early reception etc. If you are upfront and honest with your photographer about a limited budget, they will work with you and help. The more relaxed reception pictures everyone will be snapping on their iphones – or what I sometimes suggest (and have done this on more than one occasion) is to recruit a photographer who is at college studying to come and do your evening red carpet shots! Or use one of the many apps now available for guests to shoot and upload to your unique album. BUT make sure you have a bonafide photographer there for the key shots!!!
9. Cake – I am not a fan of supermarket cakes as an alternative so see if any of your friends are experienced in this area, and I do mean experienced! I have the latest Peggy Porchen book and now think I am a master baker – my family will tell you I am not! This is another essential item where if you cannot afford a professional then think outside of the box. Is your Aunt a cupcake queen? Or how about buying macaroons?
10. Transport – another hefty budget item so again think outside of the box. Do you work for a company where there is still a fleet for upper management? Make them lots of coffee and be nice, see if they will do the obligatory ceremony/reception run for fuel. I did this! The chauffeur to our company director had a classic Ford circa 1930s and he gladly took me from my parents to church and then to reception – if you dont ask you dont get! Another favourite of mine is tractors! Yes a little bizarre I know, my daughter has already said when she gets married she wants a tractor which is towing with hay bales and she and her wedding party will comfortably fit in the back – she is not worried about the hay or the speed, other brides might!
The whole thing about weddings is this, you are marrying the love of your life, you are embarking on a journey together. How you get married is entirely up to you!
If you have a big budget then spend it with glee, if you have a small budget get creative. Marriage is about commitment, remember that, the rest is just frosting.