While getting married is undoubtedly going to be one of the most expensive things you’re going to do in your life, few of us would argue that it’s not worth it in the end. To spend the most important day of our lives in beautiful surroundings with the people we care about is what we all desire, but for those of us who are a little tighter-fisted than the rest, there are ways to avoid breaking the bank in the run up to the ceremony.
Firstly, whilst a wedding is a luxury and many will question the need for the whole process itself, if you want to go ahead and get married make sure you ask yourself three questions before you buy anything wedding related:
- Do we need it?
- Will we use it?
- Can we find it cheaper elsewhere?
If any of these questions makes you hesitate over your purchase, consider that as your signal not to buy. There are so many avoidable costs that are often swallowed up in the excitement of the planning process, but this needn’t be the case. If you take the time to think through every purchase, you will find that your budget will stretch much further and, as a result, you will have a much more enjoyable day – as well as a less stressful start to married life.
Do It Yourself Wherever Possible
The biggest costs when it comes to weddings, aside from the venues, are racked up by paying people to do things that we could do ourselves. Whether this is through laziness, delusions of financial grandeur or simply wanting someone else to do the work for our big day nobody knows, but what’s for sure is that by cutting out the middle man and taking on some more responsibility yourself, you can save thousands. Here are just a couple of ways to be a great DIY wedding couple:
- E-mail Invitations – Get with the times! Wedding invitations that you pay hundreds of pounds to print and then deliver are out of fashion. In this technological age, e-mail is the way forward for wedding invitations in the 21st century. Ditch that envelope-licking and press ‘Send’ on an e-mail during your lunch break instead – it’s quicker and much cheaper.
- 4am Visit to the Flower Market – This is probably the trickiest task to do yourself, but it’s possible to create brilliant looking wedding flower displays without stepping foot near a florist. Head down to any flower market (they usually open around 3am, so it’s an early start) and pick up all your wedding flowers for less than half the price – now that’s real money-saving!
Keeping costs down doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your wedding to the full. Instead, keep things simple to ensure that the financial implications of your big day don’t spiral out of control. Decorate the venue with your own wedding lights and bunting, resist buying every wedding magazine you see and use the skills your friends or family possess to good effect and you won’t need to worry about your overdraft while you’re sunning yourself on your honeymoon.
Feeding the Five Thousand
There are only so many corners you can cut and the meal is critical because there are so many traditions associated with the celebration after the wedding. You would really be compromising your wedding if you had to skip the meal, but seriously think about skipping the starter if you really want to save and instead of giving people cake to go home with, serve the wedding cake as desert instead of spashing out on extra courses.
Pauline Harper is a retired mother of three and is far from living a frugal life, but she appreciates the value of a pound and insists people should save money on things like unwanted food and expensive wedding lights when they can be so much cheaper.