WRITTEN BY DEBBIE SMITH
It’s no secret that weddings cost a lot, with the average in the UK now costing £27,000 (yes, really). When my best friend asked me to marry him, I couldn’t wait to get planning our special day. But if you’re like us: on a budget and dreading the thought of a two year engagement then there are plenty of options out there to explore. Let’s face it, wouldn’t it be better to save some of that cash for a gorgeous honeymoon or perhaps a deposit on your first home? Here are some tips from an Athena bride to be on how to plan a beautiful wedding, without the hefty price tag!
There are a ton of cute, free wedding invite templates online that you can download, edit and print off to send to your guests. Just pick up some lovely craft paper and voila, a beautiful invite that costs next to nothing! Wedding Chicks is a fab website full of free printables for all you budget conscious brides-to-be and they have hundreds to choose from.
Did you know that you can get married anywhere in Scotland? You can tie the knot up a remote, scenic hill in the highlands, or even in your neighbour’s huge garden! All that’s required is your marriage notice, fees and hiring a celebrant. The basic cost for a ceremony is only £125. Other options are registry offices, they are cheap and often in beautiful old buildings which will look great in the photographs!
It’s worth looking into your local town hall as often they are free (or very cheap) to hire and come as a blank canvas for you to decorate how you choose. Get on eBay and buy some bunting, lanterns and table covers for a small price and you’ll have the place looking beaut in no time! Some bar/restaurants have large function rooms for hire for a small fee or sometimes they’re even “free” if they work on a minimum spend at the bar.
Now we’ve all heard from a friend how much they’ve spent on a wedding dress and thought “that’s more than my rent!” but if you’re savvy and have a look online, the web is bursting with budget bridal boutiques and second hand bargains on eBay. ASOS do a fabulous bridal range and have some gorgeous suits for the groom all at reasonable prices.
If you’re having a small wedding and only require a few bouquets, some florists will do a deal for around £100-£150. If you like a challenge and fancy having a keep-sake from your special day, look into brooch bouquets on Pinterest. You can buy one ready made or get creative and make your own! Baby’s breath (or gysophilia) is a beautiful and cheap flower to use for a cool, bohemian look.
Music & Entertainment
Hiring a band or DJ can soon ramp up the cost of your big day. Why not have an evening in with your other half, open some wine and get on Spotify to make a playlist bespoke to your day. That’s what we did and we also included song request slips in our invites for our guests, to make the day more personal. Photo booths are all the rage these days, but can cost a lot. Get on eBay and you’ll find props for under £10! Throw in a Polaroid or a camera on a tripod and you’ve got yourself a make-shift photo booth your guests will love – and you’ll love looking through the photos as your keepsakes of the day!
Photographs & Cake
Wedding photographs can cost upwards of £1000 but, whilst they are special, there are ways around the large sum! Check with friends and family, you may have a budding or qualified photographer in there who would take your photos for you at mates rates! Get on to local universities and check for students looking to build a portfolio, they’d be happy to help. As for wedding cake? Have a go at making your own! You can get as creative as you like and there are tons of cute cake toppers online to pop on top of your creation ready for the big day. Failing that, get on to the friends and family, there’s surely a keen baker in there somewhere!
Food & Drink
Whilst I’m sure we’d all love to treat our guests to a lavish three course meal, but it can really add to the bill. Opt for a buffet instead, most venues will offer deals on a substantial buffet or may even let you bring your own. Get all the family round to help make the sandwiches and whatnot and you can save a fortune! Drinks packages also drive the cost up so try negotiating a corkage fee with your venue and BYOB. Most of the popular supermarkets do bottles of Prosecco for £5-£6 each, so you can save a pretty penny on your bubbles for the toasts!
So there you have it, some simple ways to keep the cost of your big day down. With some careful planning and personal touches, you can make the wedding of your dreams on any budget!
Have you planned a wedding on a budget? Share your top tips with us in the comments!