Someone I've noticed more than once in the media (Grazia magazine, Daily Mail) lately is Nicola Ray - author and owner of www.cheap-wedding-success.co.uk. Nicola and I exchanged emails a little while ago and now are exchanging articles. Mine on DIY Stationery Kits is on her website, and here is hers now on our www.weddingdiy.co.uk website on essential tips for a cheap wedding. At a time when a recession has begun, but the price of weddings in the UK has risen to £19,000 on average, not to mention Wayne and Coleen are spending £5million, you know these kind of tips just make sense!
Essential Tips For A Cheap Wedding
By Nicola Ray
With weddings costing an arm and leg these days, there’s no surprise that brides are looking for cheap wedding solutions. From favours to flowers, there are ways to save and with a little creative thinking you can easily knock thousands off your budget. Here are my best tips for a cheap wedding:
1. Create a budget and stick to it Consider doing as much yourself as possible. You can easily make your own favours, invitations, decorations, centrepieces and wedding cake. Put together, you could easily shave thousands off your costs. It’ll also be rewarding and make your wedding more personal and unique.
The only way to keep track of what you’re spending is to use a budget. Ideally use a spreadsheet, so you can see where your money is going and how much you’ve got left. Update it regularly and no cheating – you’ve got be honest with yourself!
2. Always shop around for better prices
Whether you’re buying pretty little table decorations or considering full-on caterers, search around and get three quotes. You'll be surprised at the difference in the prices you find for the same, or very similar, products or services.
3. Get creative and do it yourself
1. Create a budget and stick to it
Consider doing as much yourself as possible. You can easily make your own favours, invitations, decorations, centrepieces and wedding cake. Put together, you could easily shave thousands off your costs. It’ll also be rewarding and make your wedding more personal and unique.
4. Ask for help from friends and family
If you can’t manage it all yourself, then look around for the hidden talents of friends. We’ve all got friends who love to DJ, those that are a dab hand in the kitchen, an aunt who likes flower arranging and a friend with a fancy car. They could donate their services as a wedding gift or they may just do it out of love!
5. Think differently about your venue For cost effective venues, try village halls, local authority buildings, National Trust spaces and even pretty country pubs. If you’re still dead set on a country house or hotel, then go for a mid-week wedding or choose a date out of season.
5. Think differently about your venue
For cost effective venues, try village halls, local authority buildings, National Trust spaces and even pretty country pubs. If you’re still dead set on a country house or hotel, then go for a mid-week wedding or choose a date out of season.
6. Avoid 'wedding' products
We all know the word ‘wedding’ invites a premium price, so choose non-‘wedding’ items when shopping for shoes, accessories or cakes. With suppliers for larger items such as venues, caterers, florists and photographers, get them to cater to your needs and not your occasion.
7. Go online for all the little things
You’ll usually find the cheapest prices online, so shop around. Ebay is great for cheap decorations, accessories, invites, favours etc. It's especially good for cheap wedding veils and made-to-measure wedding dresses (for under £100).
8. Do your own catering
If you can, try to cater yourselves, you’ll knock thousands off your catering budget. If DIY catering is too much to consider, then think about serving something different such as afternoon tea, a sit down buffet, BBQ or simply serving up canapés.
9. Buy your wedding cake from the supermarkets
You can pick up ‘celebration’ cakes from Asda and Tesco for little more than £30 for three tiers. If you fancy something a little more posh, then Marks and Spencer and Waitrose also do fully decorated ‘celebration’ cakes too for under £200 – it’s still cheaper than a special ‘wedding cake’ from a cake shop and they look amazing too!
10. Keep your perspective
It's easy to get carried away with your wedding and go over the top with all those ‘little things that make the difference’. Don’t forget your wedding day is about you, your partner and your union together – nothing is more important that that.
Biography: Nicola Ray is the editor of Cheap Wedding Success, a website dedicated to planning and creating the perfect cheap wedding. With lots of advice, tips and ideas to lower the cost of your wedding, Cheap Wedding Success is the perfect place to start.