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Great 'What I wish I’d known before my wedding' Hunt

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Great 'What I wish I’d known before my wedding' Hunt

edited 28 May 2013 at 12:28PM in Weddings & Anniversaries
91 replies 112.1K views
Former_MSE_DebsFormer_MSE_Debs
890 posts
edited 28 May 2013 at 12:28PM in Weddings & Anniversaries
Great 'What I wish I’d known before my wedding' Hunt

We want MoneySaving couples' pointers for a money-saving wedding. Is there something you learned you wish you'd known earlier? Whether haggling with venues, bagging second-hand frocks or just realising most expensive doesn't equal most special.


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  • I'm halfway through planning my wedding for August next year but I wish I'd realised at the start that with a little knowledge and confidence you can haggle the price of anything! Since realising this, I haven't paid the advertised price for anything from my dress to the photographer to the rings. Wish I'd had the sense to haggle the price of the venue and the food!
  • RainbowDropsRainbowDrops Forumite
    4.7K posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
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    When haggling prices of food / drink / venue hire etc, make sure you get the exact details of the deal (including potential anual increases) in writing placed into the contract.

    Prosecco and Cava make a great MSE alternative to champagne, and can be just as tasty, if not more so.

    Try not to get carried away with themes - buying bits and pieces to fit with a theme can end up costing you quite a bit. If you need a theme, try to make a plan of what's essential, and avoid browsing for more stuff!

    When paying for clothing etc for the bridal party, don't feel you have to pay for everything. Obviously if you want them in a specific outfit, pay for that, but if you're not bothered about accessories (shoes, jewellery, make-up, hair) then let them use their own stuff.

    Free bars can be expensive, and guests are sometimes more likely to leave drinks unfinnished before getting more, drink doubles instead of singles etc. You can still offer one if you like, but limit it to a small selection of wine & beer, and anything elese the guest can pay for themselves.
  • Birdie85Birdie85 Forumite
    9.3K posts
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    Don't spend a fortune on favours; unless it's edible or small enough to fit in a ladies clutch bag or a jacket pocket it'll probably just get left behind by most guests as they'll leave it on the table and forget to collect it on the way out.

    Don't feel the need to have loads of expensive flowers on the tables. Think outside the box and do something interesting without them (loads of ideas online) or do your own arrangements using bunches from supermarkets/the market. Most people won't remember the small details of the day, more the overall effect so don't worry too much about the little things. :)
    Overcome the notion that you must be ordinary. It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary!
    Goal Weight 140lb Starting Weight: 160lb Current Weight 145lb
  • Toni_TaxToni_Tax Forumite
    89 posts
    That I wouldn't be able to sell my wedding dress which cost a fortune to clean. There are so many great second hand wedding dresses around for next to nothing, I wish I'd looked and not insisted on new.

    Also the disposable camera idea on the tables. Although it did keep the kids entertained I've never bothered to get them developed and neither did my friend who had them at her wedding.
    The 'Toni' is as in Collette not Swiss :p

    NEW to DFW
  • emideeemidee Forumite
    71 posts
    I didn't - I relied on a proficient friend to take the photos.

    His camera broke at the ceremony (though he didn't know this until afterward, & carried on taking photos). This left us with just the snaps that others had taken of our day, & no decent visual record of our day at all. Of course the friend felt incredibly awkward about it, but there was nothing anybody could do about it, the moment had already passed.

    I know it seems like the sort of thing you can save a few hundred quid on, but please don't - you don't want to regret it like I do. :(
  • gawa75gawa75 Forumite
    193 posts
    Got married last summer. There was also a wedding on in the same function room the day before my wedding. To have the hotels 'special' drapes and lights would have cost, normally, an extra £1000 which I wasn't going to pay. Bearing in mind they were already up I offered £300 and called their bluff. The hotel refused and I said no its ok take them down. 5 mins later the hotel accepted my offer!
  • luxor4tluxor4t Forumite
    11.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
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    Another wish we'd not wasted money on disposable cameras - most only had a few photos on and they were expensive to process.

    We should have offered the food left on the evening buffet to people as they left - it had all been thrown out next morning, along with the cut wedding cake tier.

    We bought a few balloon bunches to decorate the cake table and the present table, but they got lost in the big room.

    Speaking as the mother of the bride, I wish I'd not bought a suit and a dress for the evening party - a dress and jacket would have done. I've not worn either since. (They were from the sales though).

    We didn't go with chair covers - nobody ran screaming from the room.
    I can cook and sew, make flowers grow.
  • Ms_ChocaholicMs_Chocaholic Forumite
    11.1K posts
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    emidee wrote: »
    I didn't - I relied on a proficient friend to take the photos.

    His camera broke at the ceremony (though he didn't know this until afterward, & carried on taking photos). This left us with just the snaps that others had taken of our day, & no decent visual record of our day at all. Of course the friend felt incredibly awkward about it, but there was nothing anybody could do about it, the moment had already passed.

    I know it seems like the sort of thing you can save a few hundred quid on, but please don't - you don't want to regret it like I do. :(


    The very same thing happened to my mum .... in 1954
    :j Thrifty Till 50 Then Spend Till The End :j

    You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time
  • pixieGpixieG Forumite
    3 posts
    As a recent newlywed, I found loads of good tips for my wedding.

    Firstly, disposable cameras are so outdated and inconvenient in this technological age. You can't share the pics on Facebook! Instead, we used Trycapsule which is a free site that you can invite your guests to. As they are taking photos on their phones (as most people do), they can be automatically uploaded to your site where friends and family can view during the day. This was particularly useful for our guests who couldn't attend or who were only able to attend the evening reception. Everyone can now see the bride's preparation, the ceremony and the speeches if they weren't there! Plus, digital camera users can also upload their pics when they get back to their computers (or put their memory cards in someone's phone to upload the pictures). All our guests photos were kept all together and shared with people that I invited!

    Secondly, my Mam made invitations, place cards and favour bags using things from a cheap art and supply shop. You don't have to be super creative, and it can be a good hen party activity for the morning to get everyone involved in making their place cards!

    Next, the sweet table. A company we saw at a wedding fair was going to charge us £300 for a sweet cart, jars, sweets, scoops and bags. After a quick look on Ebay and a trip to Costco and Makro, we did our own sweet table for £50! Don't be sucked into the idea that you have to pay companies to make your day special. There are lots of ways to do things yourself, and family members are always keen to get involved...("hey mother....fancy making a goodie bag for the kids?!").
    :rotfl:
  • I think the most important rule is that the longer you have to plan a wedding the more you end up spending!

    For my wedding I'm glad I didn't:
    • hire a car (friend's Fiesta with pink tape was a lovely and thoughtful surprise)
    • spend money on seat covers as it's a waste of money (and the chairs themselves were nice)
    • pay full price for my wedding dress (sample sales can be good if you're an average size)
    • invite the people we were 'expected' to invite (it was our day and our money so we invited the people we wanted to share our day with)
    • have a free bar (neither of us drink really, so we weren't going to spend our money on getting everyone drunk)
    • have a disco (it was our day, we don't like discos but we weren't going to conform to the 'typical' wedding formula)

    We got married on Easter Monday. I wouldn't advise picking this day to get married on from a flower perspective as flower shops won't have fresh flowers. We went to Vauxhall flower market on the Saturday, but they were left overs from Thursday. Making the bouquet and pin holes were fun, but making 20 pins holes was tough going, you'd need an army to make more.

    My advise would be to have the wedding you want, and not the wedding everyone expects you to have (but to do this you need to pay for it yourselves). And never start married life off in debt, paying off a wedding - being married matters more than getting married.
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