Over the past 8 years I have written about lots of ways to save money when you are planning your wedding. Trends have changed, dresses have really changed and more often than not you can save money by going down the crafty and diy route.
But there are also lots of ways to save money by going with professional wedding suppliers, in some cases you will spend more money trying to do it yourself.
The cost of wedding invitations is a classic example. If you are planning on saving money by making them yourself, really make sure you have costed out all of the craft pieces and the practice pieces.
You will need a few spares as well, just encase some don’t go according to plan!
One of the cheapest ways to buy your invites, if you need a lot of them is to go to an online printer and quite often the sites will have example invites that you will be able to customize yourself.
Another saving on your invites if you want them professionally printed or created by a wedding stationer is to add the twiddly bits yourself! Things like ribbons, feathers and sparkles. But again check that this will save you money – as you may be able to get a deal which will save you money or at least cost the same as you creating it. Plus it will save you a whole load of time.
It really does amaze me how many couples plan on catering for their wedding themselves.
If you are clever with your food choices you can still get a great budget meal catered for your wedding without having to lift a finger.
True, one of the cheapest diy catering ideas is to have a pot luck reception but not everyone wants to do this. Although the weddings I have been to that had a pot luck buffet have been some of the most fun. There is a different atmosphere and is so much friendlier with everyone chatting and helping out. Plus all the food is very yummy as no one wants to be the person that brings the food that is left!
To have a cheap and yummy caterer you will need to think outside the box. Realistically you need to realize that you are not going to be able to have a full, sit down, served, three-course meal with all the trimmings on a budget.
Check out new and up and coming catering companies in your area and inquire if they would be able to provide the food for your wedding. They may be able to provide the food but you may need to find and provide the ways to serve it.
This is the time to call in any favors and ask friends and family to maybe help set up the room and to even get behind the buffet to serve the food. If you don’t want your guests helping out on the day, you could enquire at the local catering colleges if they could provide the staff. They may even be able to cook the food too!
Photo by Alexis Lamster
Don’t just presume you will save money by creating your own flowers.
Creating your own bouquets requires skill and you may feel you will need to go on a one day wedding florist course at your local college. The cost of the course will need to be added in. If you are lucky and have a friend who is great with flowers then you could quite possibly save money.
Then there is the cost of the practice flowers – you really don’t want to be doing this for the first time just before your wedding.
Plus you have the cost of the wedding day flowers too. When you have added up all of these costs you can quite often find that if you had just gone with a professional you would have saved yourself money and time. Flowers do take a lot of time.
Photo by Bill Lancaster
Wedding photographer savings. I felt I had to add photography into the list mainly because it is a very emotive wedding budget subject. A number of wedding professionals will say you have to have a good photographer.
Hiring an amazing wedding photographer can be expensive, but they are great at what they do and you will have a lasting memory of your wedding day. They will be able to take photos that your friends and family will probably never be able to capture.
If you are measuring cost in monetary terms then yes you can have your friends and family take the photos and you will save money.
17 years ago when I was married we didn’t have a wedding photographer, instead I asked for copies of everyone’s photos. Everyone knew that they were capturing our day for us and we had loads of photos taken. I don’t regret not having a photographer as the photos we have are fun and are our memory of the day. But I am aware this is not for everyone.
If you do decide to ask friends or family to take the photos, it is probably best not to just have one person, ask lots to make sure you have lots of photos to choose from.
And if you do decide to go with a professional then make sure you have checked out their previous work and that you are happy with what they do.
My final wedding professional savings are wedding decorations. And I am not saying that hiring a team of professionals to decorate your room will be cheaper than doing it yourself, that is obviously never going to be true.
By wedding decorations I mean buying your wedding decorations rather than making everything yourself.
The sad fact is that craft items cost money, as do buying; vases, candelabras, bowls, mirrors and lanterns to name a few popular items.
So, rather than buying everything you need talk to local hire companies to see their prices for hiring items for your wedding day. And even before that check with your venue that they don’t already have items that you can borrow.
Balloon decorations are a classic example when it is cheaper to have someone come and create displays rather than hire a gas canister and buy the balloons, ribbons and weights yourself.
My main piece of advice is cost everything out in detail that you want for your wedding and check it against prices for paying someone to do it for you. You may be pleasantly surprised.
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