Now it’s not our normal reading, but we couldn’t resist Saturday’s Daily Mail which promised to show us how you could get your wedding in on a budget of under £1,000. They costed it out at £993.83 – only problem is they completely forgot to get their couple married. There was no transport (which is fair enough, brides can usually find a friend or a relative with a nice car to get them to the ceremony), but there was also no suit for the best man, no photographer, no honeymoon, no entertainment and the catering consisted of a glass of bubbly and fewer than four canapés for each of the 50 guests.
Perhaps more importantly, there was no budget for the actual ceremony: according to the Church of England, if you marry in your own parish, the cost is set at £456 (that’s almost half of your £1,000 budget gone at a stroke). Of course, if you have a short 15-minute ceremony with no frills at the register office, you can get away with just under £100, but that’s still 10 per cent of your spend.
Now, we’re not denying you can get married on a budget and the most beautiful weddings can be the least expensive ones, but here are our top tips for the budget-conscious bride:
First – and most important – DECIDE HOW MUCH YOU CAN AFFORD TO SPEND AND STICK TO IT! That doesn’t mean you can’t have the fairytale dress you always dreamed of, it just mean you have to spend less on another aspect of the wedding that’s less important to you.
GO FOR A MID-WEEK DATE: The most expensive part of the wedding is likely to be the reception and opting for a Monday to Thursday celebration will always attract a huge discount. If that is likely to prove difficult for guests, then Fridays and Sundays can also attract substantial savings. You may well also find that other wedding suppliers, like photographers will offer cheaper rates as well for exactly the same service they offer on Saturdays.
GO OFF-SEASON: The same applies to weddings outside the main May to September wedding season – November to February weddings in particular. And the weather won’t take you by surprise, either!
KEEP YOUR GUEST LIST TIGHT: This is never as easy as it sounds, but if you limit your wedding breakfast invitations and invite the majority of your friends to the evening reception only, you’ll be working along the right lines.
GET HELP FROM FRIENDS: If you have friends with special talents, ask for their help instead of a wedding present. You may know someone with a beautiful car, which would provide perfect transport, or use your own or a family friend’s garden for the reception and lay on a picnic or a hog roast and ice cream. A crafty mate might help you make wedding stationery or a group of your besties could turn out the day before to decorate the village hall.
NEGOTIATE WITH YOUR SUPPLIERS: Even if you can’t get the price down, you may well be able to persuade them to add a little extra to the package. if you don’t ask, you won’t get, so give it a go.
REMEMBER, LESS IS OFTEN MORE: It’s often more satisfying to treat a few friends lavishly, than a crowd badly. Ask advice from your suppliers, who are experts in wedding budgeting. They will be aware of all the little ways in which you can trim your budget – and you’ll be surprised how much cash that can amount to.
Oh, and by the way, we see today the Mail Online has a story about a £1.2 million wedding dress (it’s embellished with real Tiffany diamonds). Now there’s a mixed message if ever we heard one.
Oh… and if you want to see what a £1.2 million dress looks like, here you go…
…and if you need the designer, it’s by New York designer Reem Acra – and we couldn’t resist showing you a couple of other creations from her latest Tiffany-inspired collection.
The Audrey Hepburn Breakfast at Tiffany’s dress below can, of course, be ordered in white…but doesn’t it look dramatic in black? Luckily it doesn’t cost anything to look…