Great 'How to Have a MoneySaving Wedding' Hunt



  • :confused: Soz but I'm finding a problem with all of this. Without meaning to sound like a kill joy, it's all about wanting to spend the rest of your life with someone isn't it? None of the faffing about is important even if it is on the cheap. Just get married, make your vows (and mean them) to your partner and if anyone else wants to be there, fine.
    32 years on we're still together. :j
    A fancy video etc etc only intrudes on the occasion and detracts from what the day is all about anyway
  • If you'rew looking for bridal accesories take a look at i got my tiara and loads of other stuff there for a fraction of the price of everywhere else. I had a fabulous day but spent hardly anything by doin it all myself!!!
  • Having got married ourselves 3 years ago on a budget of £2000 for absolutely everything ,invites, reply cards, order of service, favours(sweet pea seeds from aldi 20pin home made viole pouches with scented candle and a poem we wrote ourselves), food for 100 guests (all locally sourced and we had so much left over we gave to everyone to take home), clothes for us (monsoon & ebay) and 3 flower girls(monsoon & ebay), rings (ebay) , venue(relatives), ceremony(registry office for the legal bit), celebrants(alternative celebrants for our pagan wedding in the field) , honeymoon (mongolian yurt in dorset , then b& b in devon and cornwall) , cars(a friends bmw) , entertainment (football nets and balls , cricket , croquet all aquired from freecycle) .Also having just organized someone elses wedding for under £1000 for venue , (decor- tablecloths,ribbons bows flowers candles fairy lights), toasting fizz (pink cava) for 100, hot and cold buffet for 100 , finger buffet for 200, Two tier fruit cake and 200 fairy cakes / muffins , and a candy buffet , I would say it can be done , but be prepared for a lot of hard work!
    Biggest tips -
    Decide on a budget and do not be tempted to overspend.

    Remember why you are getting married - because you love each other ! not because you want to spend a years wages on 1 day!

    Decide on a theme and colour scheme and stick to it! do not be sidetracked by the plethora of other things you will see along the way.

    Decide what is important to you , spend your budget on those things and cut back or do away with the things you do not regard to be important.

    We saved a lot of money by getting married at 12noon and providing lunch and afternoon entertainment , putting 7pm finish on the invites . No evening "do" was the best decision we made .
    Other ways to save ... get married at 3pm and have afternoon tea with scones etc for your reception....get married late afternoon and have one early evening reception for everyone......or cocktails and canapes reception

    Learn to make florists bows (google it) , they are fab for decorating venues and a roll of florists ribbon cost about £3 for 100metres (makes about 30 big bows) stick them to the arm or back of a chair (or a pew end)with a piece of ivy and you have an effective budget concious decoration.

    Buy £1 per metre white fabric and iron on hemming and make your own tablecloths . Or buy single white flat sheets from supermarkets .

    The posibilities are endless ...... :rolleyes:
    Started my own business and loving being my own boss
    march gc 144/230
  • I got married in July this year and my whole wedding cost about £700. My auntie made my dress for me (£50 for materials and some flowers for her labour), I went to the venue (registry office - £48 on a Wednesday) in my dad's car with a ribbon on the front, we went out for a quick hot chocolate after the ceremony before heading to our local football club (where we frequent on a regular basis for football matches anyway) for the reception (£30 to hire the room), we did all our own food (about £50), had old style sweets and made little fairy cakes plus our own football pitch for our wedding cake with little models of us on top, then we honeymooned in New Forest and Dorset. I made all the invitations and thank you cards myself (and everyone commented on how lovely they were) and it was the best day of my life!

    A DIY wedding is the way forward and I would highly recommend it to anyone, don't be afraid, I think we saved the most money doing the food ourself, it wasn't as much hassle or stress as you might think, in fact it was pretty fun.

    Good luck!:j
  • hjdx
    hjdx Posts: 19 Forumite
    We had a major budget wedding, and it was fantastic! Married in 2005 for under £1500 INCLUDING the honeymoon.

    1. Be realistic about what you actually want. Do you need gold dusted live doves to fly from a diamond encrusted crate? Really?! Or are you mainly concerned with marrying your beloved and having a nice party? Deciding on your priorities always helps, so we prioritised the reception buffet and drinks, and saved on everything else.

    2. Make your own invites. With so many online templates, or even templates in Word it really is so so easy to do, just buy your card and off you go. Or even make paper inserts into other cards and decorate the outside. You're paying someone else for their time to do it for you, so, if you have time then use it!

    3. Get help. We had friends doing all sorts of things for our wedding, from making my dress, to contributing to the buffet. It made the day have a lovely community feel and was fantastic value!

    4. Simple can equal cheaper. Instead of a bouquet the bridesmaids and I had single rose stems. MUCH MUCH cheaper. Why have flowers in the church when everyone's actually looking at you?!?! and so on...

    5. Get a friend to drive you, or as someone else has cleverly suggested, ask to borrow a nice car. Lots of people love weddings and are much more willing to help you than you may think.

    6. Drive a hard bargain. Shop about and then haggle once you've done your research, in today's climate lots of people are glad to be working and will lower their prices.

    7. Think of alternative venues for the reception. Hotels who have tried and tested ways of doing weddings also have tried and tested prices. Try church halls, school halls, conference centres.

    8. Don't take on doing anything last minute other than getting yourself ready - I wouldn't advocate making your own cake or buffet food, but there's nothing stopping you asking a friend to do it for you!

    9. Check ebay and online before you buy anything!

    10. We hired our glasses from Tesco, and they were very reasonable.

    11. BORROW things. Do you really need to buy some bridal white shoes when your sister/friend just got married and has a pair you can wear?

    12. You can learn to do many things online, eg making button hole flower arrangements. Making your own saves an enormous amount of money (flowers, florist tape, safety pins, easy)

    13. Remember, this is only one day of your married life. Yes it is the first one, and yes you want to celebrate, but think, do I really want to pay off my wedding for years into my marriage?
  • Mummy_Giraffe
    Mummy_Giraffe Posts: 1 Newbie
    edited 5 September 2009 at 9:40PM
    As many others have said, do it yourself. We literally made our stationary from card and a paper punch, far more personal if you can make the time. we also got lots of friends involved and hired everything from the hall to the teaspoons, bought our own alcohol and used a laptop for the disco. The photos of the reception are amazing, it looks just as good as my cousins wedding which was at a really expensive hotel. What's more because a friend did a hot buffet everyone got a choice for their dinner instead of trying to get a best fit set menu!

    We also got a friend who used to be a professional dancer to teach us a dance in secret, which had real wow factor when people were expecting us just to do the usual shuffle round!
  • musicals wrote: »
    If you are having musical entertainment, choose a versatile group of musicians who can play for your ceremony, drinks and wedding breakfast, such as celebratewithmusic (who we went for), or a band that includes a DJ who spins the discs between sets. With music the cheapest is not necessarily the best, so get as much as you can out of the musicians you hire.

    We are doing just that. If you are wanting Singing Waiters for your wedding breakfast, we will do one of our tribute shows for absolutely free for the wedding reception (and we can provide good background music to either listen to or boogie to in between).

    We can also learn the first dance song for you as long as it is commercially available and in our range.

    See our website at w w w. singingwaitersx2. com (sorry for the spaces but as a new poster it wont let me post links)


  • Hi, I got married in June this year and had an amazing wedding in a stunning venue that looked better than ones I have seen on tv shows like 4 weddings and don't tell the bride that have a budget four times mine. My tips are:
    1. Compare prices and do your research don't just go for the first one you see of anything. When you have compared, negotiate with your favourite suppliers, choose your favourite two or three rather than choosing one and see which will offer your the best value deal. Be up front tell them that another supplier is offering x and ask them to match it. This worked on nearly everything at our wedding including the dress, rings, venue and photographer.

    2. Don't forget that cheapest and best value aren't the same. Compare the quality of what you get and the total package. Don't be afraid to ask your supplier to tailor make a package to suit you. We go the price of our photography down by telling him what we wanted and what we didn't and getting him to reduce it to reflect all the things we didn't want! Sometimes you may have to pay a bit more to get quality, don't be afraid to do this if you can afford to. It is a false economy to save an extra £100 on your photographer and end up with photos you aren't entirely happy with.
    3. Don't book too long in advance, if you have two years to plan a wedding your will have lots of time to spend on extras, I did mine in six months with no problem. This also puts you in a stronger negotiating position as many suppliers will recognise that at this late stage they risk having no work that day and so may accept a lower price.
    4. Don't believe all the rubbish peddled in wedding magazines, expensive favours, free bars, magicians, extravagent hen parties etc aren't compulsory.
    5. Get your rings in the jewellery quarter, cheaper than the highstreet or online, and you can haggle! Often better quality and better service too.
    6. Look at high street shops not just specialist wedding shops, my bridesmaids head dresses were 90p from primark rather than £50 in a wedding dress shop and looked great. BUT don't assume the high street will be cheaper, my friend bought monsoon knee length dresses as bridesmaid dresses as she "couldn't afford proper bridesmaid dresses" and they cost more than my made to measure full length gowns.
    7. Visit You and Your Wedding online for lots of tips and recommendations on the forums.
    8. Make use of the skills of all your friends and family, can they make the cake, do the flowers, lend you their car, make invitations? I had my graphic designer husband and artistic friend do all our stationary, table plan, place names etc, my chef sister and keen cook mum make the cake and decorate it.
    9. Consider having the whole wedding under one roof, you will save the cost of cars, and the hassle and lost time of moving your guests around.
    10. Don't bother with disposable cameras. Nearly everyone has a camera or a camera on their phone, just ask them to bring them and upload the photos to a web album or facebook after. Ask a reliable friend to use your camera too. We got great pictures this way.
    11. Don't worry about favours, they aren't really expected and most people are happy with a chocolate in a pretty box or sugared almonds, our were less than £1 per head.
    12. Don't clutter your table with loads of decorations, one nice table centre, place names and favours is plenty any more is overkill and will just get in the way.
    13. Check out the chairs at your venue before you book, if they are nice you will save money on chair covers so it might be worth spending more on the venue.
    14. Check with your venue what sort of decorations they have as standard, many venues have "house flowers" anyway so you may not need as many as you think. They may also have non-floral decorations that can be used free or for a nominal sum.
    15. Rather than an MC or toastmaster ask a friend or family member to do the jobs you require. This could be a great way to involve a friend of the groom who isn't best man too.
    16. Do get wedding insurance, it costs very little and could be very important if you have to cancel. BUT shop around and check the small print. The cheapest is no good if it doesn't cover you. I found that the cheapest wouldn't cover us if we were injured during our favourite hobby (a reasonably likely prospect) but one for just £2 more would.
    17. Buy a dress with full corsetting and you won't need expensive wedding lingerie just a pretty pair of knickers.
    18. You will need a something old and a something borrowed. Think about borrowing something that you would otherwise have to buy like a veil or tiara, and utilising a hand me down or charity shop bought item like a veil, tiara, jewellery as your something old too. I wore vintage shoes that cost me £0 as they were a relatives.
    19. Buy your bridesmaids jewellery to wear on the day as their gift to kill two birds with one stone.
    20. Check out local craftspeople, the tailor who made my mums outfit had an amazing sideline is bespoke jewellery and hair accessories, and it was loads cheaper than the wedding shops or even the highstreet.

    Hope that all helps, if i think of anymore I'll post.
  • We are doing just that. If you are wanting Singing Waiters for your wedding breakfast, we will do one of our tribute shows for absolutely free for the wedding reception (and we can provide good background music to either listen to or boogie to in between).

    We can also learn the first dance song for you as long as it is commercially available and in our range.

    See our website at w w w. singingwaitersx2. com (sorry for the spaces but as a new poster it wont let me post links)



    Consider using recorded music for some or all of your wedding though. We used a CD for entrance and exit music as our room was too small for any more than a solo musician. We had a friend play during signing or the register. We also had a CD for the meal and only had a DJ for the evening.

    Also rather than booking a wedding DJ at £200+ ask DJs at your local pubs and clubs, we got one who had just been laid off from his regular pub job and did it for half what wedding djs charged with half the cheese!
  • Oh and make your own buttonholes, we had one for every male guest to the ceremony and it cost about £10 to get the roses from tesco, we used ivy from the garden and my mum made them up (after just one practice attempt a week before) in around 2 hours the night before.
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