Top tips to save money on your wedding.
Weddings are expensive – I know, I got married in 2012 and not much has changed! Everyone has a budget to work to and it’s important to work that out from the start and stick to it.
My top advice is work out what the 4 or 5 most important things are to you. It might be the venue, the dress, the food, the entertainment, or the photographs to remember the day by. Once you’ve worked that out you can budget accordingly.
When we got married we decided the most important things were the venue, the photographer, the dress, and creating a fun day for our guests. We saved a lot of money by keeping other things simple. My mum (an amazing baker) made our cake – it was perfect and tasted amazing. We made our own invites, kept decorations to a minimum (when you’ve got a pretty venue you don’t need to go over the top). By cutting out a lot of the extras – no chocolate fountains or donut walls – we saved a lot of money.
- Consider some of the trends – do you actually need them? Donut walls often go untouched and baskets full of flip flops often remain full.
- Make your own sweet table by finding vintage jars from charity shops or buying new from Ikea.
- Save money on a cake by getting one from M&S.
- Make your own table decorations and fill with tealights or wildflowers.
- Ask your bridesmaids to do their own make up and wear their own shoes or jewelry.
- Get married midweek or out of season – many vendors and venues offer midweek discounts (I offer 20% off mon-fri weddings)
- Buy a secondhand dress – often you can find top designer dresses unworn or worn once for a couple hundred pounds. Or keep a close eye out of sample sales – I often see stunning gowns selling for a fraction of the price at wedding fayres because they are samples or last season’s designs.
- Don’t buy disposable cameras – the photos are rarely useable!
- Call in some favours – if you know someone with a nice car ask them to drive you to the venue.
- Consider corsages for your bridesmaids rather than full bouquets, or make flower hoops
- Get wedding insurance. If tradgedy happens (it’s rare, but it happens) and for example your venue has a fire or goes bust, that £50 insurance could save your wedding.
Whatever you do, don’t scrimp on your wedding photographer. When the last dance has been danced, and all the cake has been eaten the one thing you are left with is the photographs. Invest in a good photographer, make sure you see at least 3 albums of their work – full albums not an album of the best shots from multiple weddings.
Choosing the right Photographer.
A lot of my friends got married just before me, just before I started doing weddings professionally. I’ve lost count of the number of friends whose biggest regret was not getting a more experienced photographer. Too many people I know “had a friend who takes nice photos” have ended up with very few or no photographs because the one camera broke or they actually had no idea how to handle low light situations (I did event photography for 7 years before I ever shot a wedding on my own, I already knew a lot of the challenges). One friend ended up with no photos at all because their friend’s camera broke on the day. In fact, one of my earliest wedding photography experiences was filling in when a friend photographer didn’t turn up on time.
You can’t recreate the wedding day so make sure you invest in someone with experience and the right kit (and multiple backup kit) to capture your memories. Someone who knows how to work in the background to capture your day without a fuss, help you plan your day, help you with all the little extras you hadn’t thought of (I’ve got a bag Mary Poppins would be proud of). Book someone who will work with you to get the shots you want, who can manage a crowd of 150 people into decent groups, who can work in any light or weather situation. Someone who will tell your story for you for you to look back on in years to come. Book someone who has taken the time training under more experienced and established photographers to learn the ropes and learn to avoid the mistakes!
If the above sounds good to you get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!