Great 'How to Have a MoneySaving Wedding' Hunt

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  • My husband and I have been married for almost 4 weeks now! As other people have rightly pointed out, there are some obvious ways to save cash and not compensate on the things you want.

    1. Look online for a photographer who will JUST take the pictures on the day, then send you the disc so you can make your own album...this saved us hundreds of pounds and the photographer and photos were fabulous! This cost us £125 (I have seen others who charge roughly £50 per hour), then a further £35 for printing the pics we wanted (my mum-in-law bought our album as a gift).

    2. Utilise Ebay as much as possible!

    3. Look in the sales for things: My tiara cost £5 from BHS in the sale, and my adult bridesmaid dresses were £31 each from Littlewoods in their sale.

    4. Instead of paying out hundreds for a posh wedding breakfast, try to find a nice local pub which serves food, maybe with a function room, or separate private area. We had our meal on the mezzanine floor of a pub opposite the registry office and had meals on a 2 for £6.50 offer. They were more than willing to set out the tables with placecards etc and even let us bring our own champagne (also on offer from the Co-op, half price at £3.50 per bottle).

    5. China is fab for stunning wedding dresses...mine was £130 made to measure from peridress.co.uk (I'd tried on the same dress in a department store at £675!) My friend also used lightinthebox.com for her wedding dress and that cost her £145 (both prices include post and pack).

    6. Try your local hairdressers to see what their prices are like for 'up-do's' etc...mine charged £11 for putting hair up, and £7 for a blow dry.

    7. Check out online whether it would be cheaper to hire suits from somewhere who will deliver them to the door, or if your local suit hire place has any offers on (we got groom and best man in morning suits including everything, complete with shoes and hankies for £152 including insurance waiver from Youngs hire as they had an offer on Navy blue at the time we booked). Or if your party is larger, most offer 5th suit free.

    Good luck and I hope your day is as wonderful as mine was :o)
  • coxy07
    coxy07 Posts: 327 Forumite
    My daughter got married Christmas week. They saved because the hotel was already decorated for Christmas. They agreed to have the same menu as another very large Christmas "do" at the hotel on the same night and got that cheaper. They had bacon butties and chips at night instead of an evening buffet which went down VERY well.They booked recently qualified up and coming photographers at a bargain price who are now very expensive london photographers. I made all their invites, thank you cards etc.
  • My son & his fiance are getting married in October we have been told not to order tea & coffee when ordering the meal at the reception let everyone order their own and charge to your room on average it saves you over half the cost as not everyone wants tea or coffee especially the younger ones.

    The hotel where my son is getting married do not sell the champagne that we want on their wedding list but do sell it over the main bar and for us to have them serve this particular drink it will cost £60 per bottle and we need 20!! We have asked about corkage and they said they would charge £18 per bottle and we found the same champagne in Asda for £30 and even cheaper on the internet in the end we saved £20 per bottle just by buying it ourselves, with free delivery and corkage in all we saved £400 just on champagne. It is worth asking about corkage and finding the wine elsewhere.
  • We got married earlier this year and as we were intending to move house this year as well we didn't want to spend all of our savings on the wedding. These are my tips.
    1. Get family or friends to provide things rather than give you a present. One of my friends made button holes and another made our favours - all 200 home-made chocolates for us.
    2. Don't pay for cars, use family or friends with nice cars. We were lucky we had a soon to be brother-in-law with a nice BMW and my father-in-law has a mercedes.
    3. Use venues that aren't usually used for weddings. We had a boat that isn't normally used for weddings, although it has been in the past. The added advantage was that we could have any day we wanted!
    4. Negotiate on the price of everything - I think I got tips on doing this from this website.
    5. Don't pay for extra flowers in the church, they usually have flowers anyway, except during lent.
    6. Use family/friends for entertainment. We had a cousin play the saxophone during the signing of hte register.
    7. My Mum made the cake.
    8. Borrow anything you can - a cake stand from a friend, my sisters veil.
    9. Check out Bhs' wedding range. They are cheaprer than almost anywhere else for shoes and veils.
    10. Ask for discount. I got 10% off my wedding dress just for asking if I could have the discount they advertised if you bought your dress on the first visit even though I didn't. They said yes!
    11. Check out this website for any hotel deals for the accommodation on the first night of your wedding. Or any others that could be used in booking your honeymoon.
    12. Use tesco vouchers. We got £800 off our Virgin honeymoon with our tesco vouchers. They could also be used for the accommodation on your wedding night.
    13. Check out special offers we got our sparkling wine (prosecco) for half price from Tesco when they had a special offer.
    14. Buy your own champagne/sparkling wine and pay corkage it is usually cheaper.
    15. Provide your own table centre pieces. I picked sweet peas from work, luckily I work in a garden
    16. Make your own invitations, order of services and menus. I bought materials from hobbycraft -not the cheapest.
    17. Don't use a professional photographer. My parents asked around and finally we got someone who had taken photos for a friends wedding and showed his work to us.
    18. Ask for things in advance for birthday/christmas presents. I had my wedding day jewellery bought for my birthday a few months before the day.
    19. The groom wore a pair of shoes he already had.
    20. Decorate the venue yourself.
    21. Buy your wedding rings in the sales (or anything come to that). I bought mine in January.
    22. Have your wedding late afternoon (3.30pm) then you only need a wedding breakfast (7pm) and not a buffet as well.
    23. Last, but by no means least - KEEP THE NUMBERS DOWN!
    Enjoy your special day
  • musicals
    musicals Posts: 155 Forumite
    Family and friends for entertainment? My only moneysaving no-no... I didn't want to have to smile and wince at the same time as my brother-in-law hit the wrong note yet again.
  • We got married a year ago and I had 10 months to plan. I found this gave me a chance to look around and compare prices etc.

    1. I would have liked to have made the stationary myself but am in no way arty so we got the invites, name cards, thank you cards and cake boxes from Studio 24 in the sale. For approx 100 of each we paid about £75. They were fairly plain but pretty and personalised with mine and hubby's name on the front. We also got engraved gifts from the same place in the sale, ie compact mirrors for my bridesmaids for £6.50 each.

    2. We got our wedding rings from the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham in about Jan/Feb time when there were sales on. There are lots of independent jewellers in a small area so competition is high and you can negotiate further discounts. I got a ring that wasn't in the "standard" wedding ring tray and had six diamonds added onto it for £130!

    3. The flowers at the church were done by the volunteers there. We paid £75 but my husband got chatting to some of the ladies and they made a few of the decorations longer and bigger so that we could take them to the reception venue and place them on the top table. The bouquets were made from fake flowers and I got them off of ebay - although if I had asked the ladies at the church would have made fresh bouquets too at a fraction of the price of a florist.

    4. The cake was from M&S. We had an extra large vanilla sponge which I decorated with some ribbon and flower petals then we had a chocolate sponge and a fruit cake cutting bar which were kept in the kitchen and served with the rest - great value at something like £8 per bar.

    5. Champagne for the top table and sparkling wine for the rest of the guests.

    6. Bridesmaids dresses were tea length dresses that could be worn again from the Additions Direct website in the January sale - I paid £13.50 per dress!! I ordered dresses in my 4 bridesmaids sizes and also a size up and down of each so that they got a good fit then sent back the ones that weren't used - free returns and only one lot of postage incase normal size didn't fit. One dress needed some alterations which cost about £15 with a local dressmaker, but all added together a bargain.

    7. I scoured shops like Wilkinsons in the Christmas sale for candles and ribbon in metallic colours for my table decorations - most were 75% off.

    8. As others have said we chose a photographer who gave us all of the photos on disc for us to do what we want with. I then went onto Photobox.com and instead of printing the photos out and putting them in a traditional album I made wedding photo books. If you keep an eye out they have offers on around celebration times such Valentines and Christmas for buy one get one free on photobooks. I added lots of extra pages as I had 350 photos and paid about £40 per book including postage, and ordered 4 on buy 1 get 1 free so that we had one to keep and our parents had albums too. We also then used the photos at Christmas time for presents such as personalised calendars for parents and notebooks for my bridesmaids which were a great momento of the day - again these were bought on buy 1 get 1 free offers.
  • Sami_Bee
    Sami_Bee Posts: 14,555 Forumite
    edited 5 December 2010 at 2:24AM
    We got married in the registry office
    had the reception at my M&F IL's
    decorated our own car which my Dad drove me in
    made my own favours (gift bag with bubbles, personalised love hearts and good old sugared almonds)
    no honeymoon
    MIL got a buffet from M&S (which I got discounted because a friend works there) plus MIL made a big Chili and Rice
    We bought a Gazebo (to use after also) and borrowed a 'party tent' from friend
    Only had 25 people (including OH and I and all children)
    A friend did the photos - she's done courses in photography etc so they are good quality
    No bridesmaids/bestman/ushers
    got ribbons, balloons etc from a cash n carry my Mum has membership of
    OH's ring was a family heirloom that IL got altered while on her jollys in Dubai for a fraction of what UK jewelers quoted (they paid)

    The run down was roughly
    Give notice - £43.50
    Ceremony - £60
    My outfit inc shoes & accs- £150 (dress was £30ish from bhs thanks to code I found on here plus an admin error where they refunded me the other dresses I'd ordered in full :shhh:)shoes were 'normal' ivory heels by red herring not specifically wedding shoes.
    My hair, make up and spray tan - £50 (my hair is a bob so just had a blow dry at my hairdresser, make up by virgin vie rep friend)
    OH suit - £115 (suit n shoes Tesco, shirt n waistcoat etc wedding suppliers)
    DS's suit & shoes - £50 (suit bhs, shoes converse:cool:, shirt n tie H&M)
    Flowers - £70
    Favours - £80
    Food - £150
    Cake - £50
    drinks, gazebo, mini bus for guests etc - £200
    That all came to about £990 ;) I probably could have got it cheaper but being a complete nutter I planned the whole thing in less than 6weeks because I HAD to get married on my Gt Gma's birthday and before we tried for baby #2:D
    I haven't included my ring at £250 as Hubby bought that out of 'his' money not the wedding budget

    It wasn't a rock n roll party affair (we were in bed for 11pm :p) but it was a great day and I enjoyed it loads!

    If I had planned it over a longer period of time I probably would have tried to get my ring from Goldsmiths with Tesco deals so it felt free
    The very best is sometimes what nature gives us for free.
    3onitsway wrote: »
    I think Sami is right, as always!
  • I am getting married in 3 weeks on my 24th Birthday :) Here are some of the things I have done... mainly Ebay!!

    Wedding dress RRP £1000 - £155 second hand off Ebay and used my Tesco Vouchers to get it dry cleaned.
    Adult bridesmaid dresses were also off Ebay, as were the kids bridesmaids dresses which retail for £65 each in BHS - cost me £30 for both and they are just like new. Two paigeboy outfits also from Ebay which we just under £40 for the pair.
    My wedding shoes were £3 in Next Clearance, little Bridesmaids were also £3 each after using discount codes with Littlewoods. Paigeboy shoes were from the Next sale costing £10 each and can be used again as school shoes. Adult bridesmaid shoes were again from Ebay which cost £8 each and we already professionaly dyed which matches their dresses.
    My tiara came from Ebay and cost £15 rather than £75 brand new from H Samuel. Adult bridesmaids was £7 delivered for the pair and the kids have alicebands with rosebud flowers matching our colour scheme which cost £2.49 each from Ebay.
    My cake was from.. you guessed it Ebay. A lovely lady on their called Patricia Burgess has hundreds of designs for sale which are very reasonably priced as she does it more for a hobby than a job. I was lucky when searching for mine as she had made one which was no longer needed so was on an auction starting at £70 - I was the only bidder. This was last year and when she found out that my wedding wasn't until nearly a year later she re-listed the cake and providing that it sold she made me a new one closer to the time - which I have just received and looks amazing!!
    For favours I bought 100 organza bags (with a pull string top which you can tie into a bow) from an Ebay seller in Hong Kong for under £5 delivered. Found some scented tea light candles in Tesco's reduced to 75p for a pack of 12!! Voila - cheap favours!!
    My husband to be's Auntie is doing all the flowers for us as her gift. The disco has cost us nothing as Uncle is a professional DJ.
    We are getting married on a Friday so the venue offered us 10% discount on everything. Also getting married at 3pm so no awkward waiting around for a few hours!! 3 course wedding breakfast is costing £20 per head which also includes the evening buffet for that person too. Additional evening guests are £8.50 per head for the buffet.
    Bringing our own wine/champagne for a corkage charge of £5 per bottle.
    Made the table plan myself using materials from Hobbycraft.
    Personalised place cards came from Ebay costing about £10 for 75.
    Adult bridesmaid thank you presents are necklaces from the Argos sale which were reduced to less than half price and also used Nectar points to reduce the cost further!! These will be given in the morning to wear throughout the day and then they will be presented with the empty box - nicely decorated after the speeches!
    We have asked a local balloon company to make our arch if we provide the helium - that halved the cost!!
    Wedding and reception at the same venue to save travelling expenses.
    Hopefully - weather permitting my partner & best man are going to arrive in his boss's Monster Truck!! Me and my bridal party (8 people) are arriving in a Limo which we got for £50 - the venue is about 10 miles from home, but more than a taxi but like to arrive in stlye lol.
    I could go on... but I hope this helps someone xXx
  • Hi

    We got married 10 days ago and the best thing we found was an 'all you can eat' ice cream man on an old fashioned bicycle. We got to choose eight different flavours and they served us for 4 hours.

    We got them to arrive at 5pm for a 5:30pm start. We saved money by not having a dessert course (the venue wanted to charge us £5 a head dessert, and even £1.50 plate charge for us to use our wedding cake as the dessert). So the guests got to eat as much ice cream as they wanted after the wedding breakfast, and then throughout the evening until 9:30pm.

    Total cost was £250 and we had about 50 guests during the day and loads more during the evening.

    Everyone commented on what a great idea it was and far less messy than a chocolate fountain. They even decorated the 'icycle' in ribbons to match our colour scheme.

    They were totally brill and I would recommend them to anyone.
    £2008 for 2008 club member 336
  • Here are our tips from our wedding for 200 guests
    • we had a church wedding, which is cheaper than a hotel wedding & meant we could fit in all our guests, plus the church fund did well out of the collection
    • as stated elsewhere we borrowed cars off friends
    • had a marquee in my parents' garden - it only just fitted but it's worth measuring up
    • we did all our own catering for the buffet (including the cake) except for the lettuce which had to be done on the day. The wedding was in July & we started preparing in about May - freezing portions of the dishes with all our friends and collecting them the day before the wedding. The sight of one of our ushers wearing goggles to slice all the onions is a fond memory
    • a water butt full of Pimms provided the refreshing drink
    • many supermarkets - we used Waitrose, hire out glasses for free - we got wine, champagne & long glasses. You just need to book them early enough in advance as each branch has only limited stock
    • everyone had sparkling wine rather than champagne
    • we used the teenage kids of my parents friends as waiters & waitresses. They had to turn up in white shirts & black bottoms and clear the tables. Then they were allowed to drink as much as they liked once the disco kicked off
    • my wedding dress & the grown up bridesmaids dresses were made by a dressmaker - lots cheaper than a 'wedding shop' and used cheap acetate satin, rather than the expensive fabric options
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