Planning on tying the knot sometime soon, but concerned about the expense? Although experts estimate that the average wedding costs more than £30,000, small changes to your big day can make all the difference.
The most important thing to consider when trying to keep costs in check is to first set yourselves a budget. There’s no point making a list of everything you want and then realising it’s costing more than you can realistically afford. Work out what each of you is willing to pay for and what can be compromised – do you want a designer dress, or is a luxurious honeymoon more important? Can you sacrifice the wedding videographer for the DJ the groom has been dreaming of? And of course, keep track of what you are spending. Whether you use a spreadsheet or one of the many tools available online, keeping tabs on how much you’ve already spent will keep you on track to meet your budget, and prevent any nasty surprises.
To begin with, getting the news of the big day out to all of your guests can be pricey, with printed invitations often being costly. Alternatives such as e-invites and wedding invite websites such as Squarespace can be a great cost saver for this, and can give you an opportunity to give your guests more information with all the space you have available. Or perhaps get crafty by trying your hand (or a creative friend’s) at making your own invitations. And remember to be selective with who you’re sending the invites to – the more guests, the higher the cost. Consider inviting those who aren’t as close to you to just the evening to cut catering costs.
Next comes the outfits, and if you’re willing to sacrifice the designer wedding dress or suit, there are plenty of options to keep the cost down. From rentals to second hand dresses, there is more than likely a dress out there that will be perfect for you, even if it has been worn before – for example, sellmyweddingdress.com sells gowns that you know have only been worn once. High street chains also offer some beautiful wedding gowns and suits which won’t break the bank, with a great range available. It also goes without saying that the bigger the bridal party, the bigger the cost – therefore be careful who you ask to be part of your big day, or perhaps ask them to contribute towards the cost of their own outfit.
When it comes to food on your special day, there are plenty of changes you can make to keep costs down, from simply choosing a different option to the traditional three course wedding breakfast. Fine Food Catering offer some wonderful alternatives, from a Prosecco afternoon tea to a Sussex pig roast. You could also save money on catering by offering your wedding cake as dessert, with a small charge for it to be served with our delicious alcoholic ice creams. You can even save money on the cake itself by asking a talented friend or family member to make you one. When it comes to the bar, consider keeping tabs on what drinks you provide to prevent the surprise of an extortionate bill when you come to pay it, perhaps by agreeing a drinks package with your venue throughout the day and offering a cash bar during the evening.
A great way of cutting costs on your wedding day is to keep décor simple – whether this is by simply having less, buying second-hand decorations or even making your own, there are plenty of ways to do this. Ebay and Facebook have great marketplaces where you can purchase pre-owned wedding pieces, and sites such as Pinterest feature a wide range of tutorials which can help you with some wedding DIY. The best part about a barn wedding at a venue like Blackstock is that DIY décor just adds to the rustic charm!
Wedding flowers can also cost a fortune, so consider how important these are to your big day. You could buy or make non-floral centrepieces and decorations, or a great idea is to perhaps try decorating with empty mason jars, which the bridal party can place their bouquets into after the initial ceremony – a very creative use of recycling!
When it comes to entertainment, why not hire an amateur musician or band? This could be a great cost-saver, rather than paying for a big name, while also giving an unknown a brilliant opportunity to get some exposure. Make use of an iPod or Spotify playlist when you can.
And of course, choose a venue with cost-friendly wedding packages! Here at Blackstock we have some excellent offers available, including weekday weddings (and who doesn’t like an extra day off work?). To find out more about how we can help you have the wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank, email us via our contact form or give us a call on 01323 848006.