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Cost saving tips for a DIY wedding in the UK

Cost saving tips for a DIY wedding in the UK

Your wedding day is going to be one of the most enjoyable experiences you’re ever likely to have, but unfortunately, as more and more details emerge during the planning phase, it’s going to turn out to be one of the most stressful (and expensive) things to do as well.

When making plans it’s all too easy to get over-excited in creating the most fantastical wedding imaginable, but the reality of it is, unless you’re super rich, you’re going to want to keep the cost down as much as possible.

So first things first, you need to establish a set budget and stick to it. Don’t fall into the trap of not doing this straight away, as the costs can quickly get away from you.

A few money-saving tips

Avoid relying on dedicated wedding suppliers for goods and services – they tend to know that they have a captive market, and as such they will push prices way up. At the end of the day there’s a lot that you can do yourself for half the cost.

There’s plenty you can do to DIY your wedding day, but it’s also important to be realistic about what you can and can’t achieve. However good it feels to do things yourself, the time spent sourcing everything and making things will soon add up.

A good idea to begin with is to trim down your guest list; this can help you save money on absolutely everything. If you’re just catering for your nearest and dearest, you’ll also have a much more intimate occasion, and one where you’ll actually have time to talk to as well as thank everyone for being there.

Try and keep your eyes peeled for some value for money solutions to your wedding favours. You can buy little boxes in bulk on popular web auction sites, and bespoke labels can be bought separately to add a personal touch. What you put in them is up to you, but it could be something as simple as your favourite chocolate or teabag.

The time and place

If you’re looking to save money, do not get married on a Saturday, this is a prime day for most venues, which will charge accordingly. Also, look to get married towards the end of the peak season of spring and summer, or even off-season entirely. Besides, a winter wedding has it’s own unique charm.

A long engagement means that you can book a venue long in advance. This is perfect because the cost will always increase as venues look to fill competitive dates. While you’re at it, think about having the ceremony and reception at the same place – this cuts down on travel time for any vendors you might use.

In terms of the venue itself, maybe look for those who don’t require you to use all of their own services. Hotels are notoriously bad for this, as they usually insist that all food and drink goes through them, which is typically quite expensive.

Choosing a venue that has it’s own beautiful features won’t need much decorating, and if you were to choose having your wedding in December then it may already look beautiful with all the festive decorations.

In terms of the venue itself, maybe look for those who don’t require you to use all of their own services. Hotels are notoriously bad for this, as they usually insist that all food and drink goes through them, which is typically quite expensive.

Decorating needn’t be expensive. Try using greenery and shrubs instead of traditional flowers, swap out costly bouquets for less expensive ones and stick to just one or two types of flower (it helps if they are in season as well). You could also simply opt for non-florals such as lanterns.

The dress

As much as we all dream of that fairy-tale dress, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Plenty of high street stores sell their own wedding dresses at a fraction of the cost of dedicated dressmakers – Monsoon for example have a lovely range for under £200. Another option is to look at charity shops, such as Oxfam, who often sell second-hand dresses that have only been worn once.

You can always keep an eye on the sales as well to pick up a bargain. Find out the dates of sample and designer sales; you could make savings of up to 70% on dresses, veils, shoes and headpieces.

Food and drink

To save money on the food, you could choose to not have a sit-down meal, and instead look at alternatives such as hog roasts and barbeques or a baked potato bar with all the trimmings. You could even incorporate it in to an overall theme for a ‘country-chic’ wedding.

Don’t feel like you have to have a wedding cake either. This is often an overly expensive option that has room for inventive alternatives such as mini pies, a cookie and milk station, and muffins or cupcakes.

The same goes for the booze. You don’t have to offer endless alcohol options. Beer and wine is fine, and if you buy in bulk, it helps to lessen the cost.

Enlist your friends and loved ones to help

You don’t have to go it alone in the quest for keeping things as cheap as possible, everyone you know will be more than happy to lend a hand when they can. Maybe you could ask you dad to drive you to the wedding for old time’s sake? And there’s bound to be someone you know who would be willing to whip up a cake? Perhaps you could get people together who could help to make the decorations? Not only does this all save money, but it also gets those close to you more involved in the big day, making it that little bit more personal as well.

While you’re at it, is there anybody you know who would be happy to be the DJ for the night?

Similarly, there must be a budding photographer out there who would be happy to do their share of the photos for the day. If not, you can save money by supplying tables with disposable cameras to get some fun candid shots, or you could get everyone to upload their own photos of the day onto a social media site, or get them to email them to you.

Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to ask others for help – most people will be flattered that you want them involved in your big day.

Posted in: Weddings

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