The average wedding now costs somewhere in the region of £18,000 – which is enough to turn any blushing bride a little white with shock. Yes, it’s supposed to be the biggest and best day of your life, but does it really warrant blowing so much cash in what is effectively 24 hours?
If you’re a bride or a groom who’s looking to save money on your impending nuptials, check out these great suggestions. Not only will they help you save the pennies, they could also make for a truly unique day.
Creative Wedding Catering
For most weddings, the single biggest expense is feeding your guests. Many brides and grooms feel they need to stick with tradition in offering guests a sit down three-course meal – which is when costs really start mounting up. If you’re on a tight budget, however, you should consider the different ways you might feed your guests.
Perhaps try an afternoon tea, with easy-to-prepare, cold foods such as sandwiches and cake. You could even organise a wedding picnic where every guest is asked to bring a dish. Also, think about swapping fancy dining for ‘bowl food’ such as curry, stew or shepherds pie – it may not look as posh but it’s hearty and cost effective.
A serve yourself buffet or BBQ can also keep the costs down on waiting staff. You might even approach a local café or take-away (like your local fish and chip shop) who may be happy to cater for smaller parties at a very reasonable price.
Bring your own Drinks
Drink is another large cost – especially when it comes to expensive per head drinks packages in hotels. Look for venues that allow you to ‘bring your own booze.’ That way, you can provide all the alcohol and soft drinks needed for your party at a price that’s right for your budget. Many people opt to hop across the channel for cheap wine and champagne in France. There are also some great supermarket deals to be had on wine and beer here in the UK.
If you’re using a catering company, they’ll probably charge a corkage fee – to cover the costs involved in serving the drinks (normally charged per bottle opened). Even with this fee, it will still normally work out much cheaper to provide your own. You could even invite each guest to bring a bottle of bubbly in place of a gift!
Playlist vs. Live Reception Band
Live bands and DJs can demand large fees for playing at weddings (as well as a hot meal in some cases). However, you can create a great atmosphere and lively dance floor simply using a laptop/I-pod playlist. You will probably have to hire speakers and lights, but it could work our much cheaper than hiring a live act.
If you’re still keen on a band – check out local bands on MySpace or go to local gigs for inspiration. Approaching a local band directly could help save on agency fees and travel costs for your live act.
Second Hand or Vintage Wedding Attire
Clothing for a wedding can end up costing a small fortune, especially if you’re footing the bill for bridesmaid dresses too. There are some great second-hand deals out there on wedding attire – particularly for wedding dresses.
If you have your eye on a designer frock, check out preloved.co.uk, to see if you can pick it up second hand for half the cost. Most of the dresses advertised will have had a professional clean included in the cost.
Beautifully designed ‘save the date’ cards and invites may look delightful, but they can be a rather unnecessary cost. As most people are online these days, you could consider an email invite/save the date. You can still make the email look attractive – but you’ll save on all the design, printing and sending costs.
A wedding website might also prove a good idea, so all the details of the day can be easily accessed online. Theknot.com is an American website that helps you to create your own wedding webpage – and what’s more, it’s absolutely free!
Protect the Wedding Plans
And finally, make sure any plans you do make are covered with adequate wedding insurance. If you’re on a tight budget, you may feel that insurance is another added cost you don’t need – but it could actually save you money if things don’t run to plan.
For example, if venues or suppliers let you down last minute – your insurance could help cover the costs involved. It might even protect you from the impact of bad weather. Take a look at the wedding insurance packages on offer and decide whether the protection is right for you.
This guest article was provided by insurance specialist Policy Expert.
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