The Great Hunt: Your wastes of wedding cash - what should newlyweds avoid?

13

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  • atmclg
    atmclg Posts: 6 Forumite
    When we started planning our wedding, the first thing we did was to separately write a list of things that were important to us about the wedding, ranking them in order of preference. It meant that right from the start we could agree on what things we were happy to spend money on (e.g. lots of family and friends, good food and drink), and what things we didn't really care about (e.g. cars to transport us).

    Keeping the list also helped as the day got closer and we had to decide on the details. That helped us avoid spending money on the things that didn't matter to us, for example "chair decorations" (bows for the backs of chairs at the reception, apparently).
  • I got married on Friday 13th 2013 and loved every second of my wedding day. I've seen a lot of comments adding videographer to their list of don't bothers but I couldn't disagree more! We've watched our wedding video back several times already, often a particular section of it that we loved or had been talking about - its magical being transported back, remembering the nerves and the excitement... photos just don't do the same

    But more than that, we had two camera's filming our day and after the honeymoon when we watched it back we saw things that we'd missed on the day. Your so busy being the centre of attention that you forget to sit back and just enjoy the day unfolding around you... they caught interactions between all our friends, funny little moments, people caught off guard and relaxed!
  • EBAY! Always check there first for bits, table decorations etc.
    Shop around and barter, I got married at the beginning of may, we managed to find a venue with a package including chair covers, table flowers, balloons, meals, evening buffet, welcome drinks, wine with meal and drinks to toast, canap!s, DJ, all at a very very good price.
    I made the decorations myself - paper poms poms, decorated jam jars, used up vintage china as tealight holders, iuse your imagination, the cake was made by a bridesmaid mother in law so saved a fortune as it was a gift, We bought suits rather than hired as the cost was the same, the bridesmaid dresses were from eBay with shoes and cardigans from d.perkins with use of a 30% discount offer, my wedding dress was less than £300 from an online, made to measure shop.



    Save on things like sweet carts - we made our own with a trip to makro, decorated sweet jars I found in the bhs sale and ordered personlised sweet bags from eBay. Spent £100 max for 75 guests and I'm still eating left over sweets! Most companies I looked at wanted £250+ for the hire and sweets.
  • Your wastes of wedding cash - what should newlyweds avoid?

    I agree with everyone who said ditch the disposable cameras, ask your guests to take photos on their phones and email you the results in batches, saves a lot of money, and you can put your favourites on cds to give out later. Or download a montage to youtube, leave it unlisted, then email the link to all the guests and those family and friends who couldn't make it. The youtube link is more likely to be looked at than the CD, and it's free..

    Avoid expensive floral pieces - make your own table centrepieces with blocks of oasis / florist foam covered in giftwrap, top with a candle, surround with just a few blossoms, if poss from someone's garden or cheaply from Morrissons or Lidl, and fill in the gaps with trailing greenery like ivy or honeysuckle. They'll look beautiful, be original and cost a fraction of professional ones.

    Ditto button holes and bridesmaids' posies, make your own with a bit of ribbon and foil or cellophane - Lidl often does pretty cellophane @£1 per roll. Use the flowers sparingly but use lots of greenery, very effective.

    And don't think that everything has to be new and / or expensive - check out freecycle, I often see ads for left-over wedding and shower things or party goodies. Also look at ebay and gumtree for bargains. When we got married, lots of people offered to help so instead of wedding presents, I accepted their help with everything from make up to the wedding car - my friend who doesn't drink put a ribbon on his car and was the official chauffeur - to decorating the community hall we hired for the reception.

    It was a lovely day and a great party, best of all we didn't rack up a huge debt and everyone said it was one of the most relaxed and enjoyable weddings they'd been to.

    Very best wishes to everyone getting married soon!
  • There have been some really interesting things on here - I love how savvy people can be! I got married almost two years ago and the things that I didn't bother with are:

    1) paying for the photographer to create an album. We specifically chose the "disc only" option and then used photobox to create our own album using his photos afterwards (you buy the copyright to the images so are allowed to do this). I wouldn't say that he was the most dedicated photographer, as he obviously wasn't making the most money out of us that he could, so we probably got 10 out of 120 photos that were stunners. But I really didn't need any more than 10!

    2) fancy invitations. As another poster mentioned, we used vistaprint to do ours. I got 120 invitations for £12 with a groupon. They were the colour I wanted and completely personalised. Also, we only sent them out using second hand stamps.

    3) an expensive, tailored/designed for you dress. I got mine off the rack at a massive bridal sale held at a hotel in London. It was a Jenny Packham (which at the time, I did not know was a big deal!) and it cost me £450. Granted, to some that is still a lot, but I had a friend who spent £3000 on hers, so I was pretty smug!

    4) a free bar. We discussed this a lot and decided against putting money behind the bar. We had a huge number of people attend our wedding and talked about setting aside £1000 as this was all we could afford. However, it meant that each person would probably have got one free drink, and that seemed a little pointless. We got two glasses of champagne per person and half a bottle of wine on the table at the meal per person included in the price of the venue (which BTW can ALWAYS be haggled on!). Our favours were personalised shot glasses and we arranged for Baileys and Whiskey instead of coffee after the dinner. So people had already had a bit to drink :) We just made sure that where we held the reception was reasonably priced as didn't want people to remember an expensive pint or a bottle of wine as a low point.

    Things that others have said you can avoid that I would still recommend getting though are:

    Chair covers - they totally made our reception room because the chairs at the hotel were minging.

    Favours - as above. They can be really fun! Ours were, and people have now got "full sets" of the shot glasses in their homes, which I love.

    Sorry - I've really gone on there!
  • tain
    tain Posts: 710
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    Danlob69 wrote: »
    I got married on Friday 13th 2013 and loved every second of my wedding day. I've seen a lot of comments adding videographer to their list of don't bothers but I couldn't disagree more! We've watched our wedding video back several times already, often a particular section of it that we loved or had been talking about - its magical being transported back, remembering the nerves and the excitement... photos just don't do the same

    But more than that, we had two camera's filming our day and after the honeymoon when we watched it back we saw things that we'd missed on the day. Your so busy being the centre of attention that you forget to sit back and just enjoy the day unfolding around you... they caught interactions between all our friends, funny little moments, people caught off guard and relaxed!

    Horses for courses I guess. The videos that I've seen are very formal and to some extent really cringeworthy as trying to be sickly sweet. If that's your bag then that's a must thing to have.

    If you want laughs and people having fun, then there are apps that people can download where they can share all their photos and videos in to one central album for you to look at. I'd imagine them videos being far more amusing - and about £800 cheaper.

    And as to my original point - even if you get the video out 10 times and love it - that's £80-100 a viewing. There's no video that I value at that really, even for our wedding!
  • Ongelina wrote: »
    We bought suits rather than hired as the cost was the same, the bridesmaid dresses were from eBay with shoes and cardigans from d.perkins with use of a 30% discount offer, my wedding dress was less than £300 from an online, made to measure shop.

    Ongelina, did the eBay dresses come from one of the retailers in China? I've been looking at these but wasn't sure what the quality would be like?

    I'm trying to do our wedding on a budget, we're trying to find a venue that doesn't have caterers attached, so we can make the food ourselves and just have it heated and served on the day!
  • I'm trying to do our wedding on a budget, we're trying to find a venue that doesn't have caterers attached, so we can make the food ourselves and just have it heated and served on the day!

    Silver swan,

    check out local community halls - we had our reception in the community room at our local very small museum, the price was very reasonable, no requirement to use their caterers and it had a kitchen attached so we decorated it ourselves - they let us in the afternoon before, for free, on condition they could take photos of our decorated room to use for their room hire advertising - and bought all the food and drink in. I did get catering staff from the local College on the Silver Service hospitality course to serve the arrival drinks - Buck's Fizz, and Appletizer for non drinkers - and do the afternoon tea service with the cake-cutting and champagne toasts, and the evening we did everything ourselves, all the guests pitched in. The hospitality students were supervised by their tutor and were pretty good for the price.

    Try local museums, art galleries, colleges, they usually all have conference and meeting rooms for hire which can be easily converted for a wedding reception. Ours was set up for a meeting with whiteboards and desks, but some fabric £1 pm from the market, balloons, bunting and flowers and a bit of a furniture re-arrangement gave us a lovely venue. They also have the benefit of being more unusual venues, and the staff seemed happy to be part of our big day.

    Sorry, have also gone on a bit, but! This is such a huge subject and potential minefield but it should be a wonderful time for you. Good luck, would love an update on your and anyone else's wedding plans, brings back such lovely memories of a funny, frantic and amazingly wonderful time..
  • superflygal
    superflygal Posts: 1,122 Forumite
    Photographer. £700 and I didn't like any of his photos. I could have got same results myself. Waste of money.

    SFG x
  • SunsetZed
    SunsetZed Posts: 8 Forumite
    As others have said it's all personal preference but most improtantly it's your day, do what you want and don't do things for other people (other halves excluded!). What we did was come up with an amount that we wanted to spend on the day and then go through costing everything and understand what are must-have's, nice-to-haves etc. and took it from there.

    My personal advice would be:
    • Understand what the venue include in their quote, table centre pieces, chair covers, food etc.
    • Make sure that the photographer will let you have the rights to the original images so that you can print copies yourself. Also check the photographers work from their last few wedding shoots not just their best ever photos to see if you like their work.
    • We thought wedding videos were expensive and we wouldn't watch it so we saved here.
    • We did use chair covers as we both think it makes a big difference to the appearance of the room, ideally you want to see the room set out with and without chair covers to see if you think it's worthwhile expenditure.
    • No additional decorations in the church. For us the church looked pretty enough anyway without additional expense on decorations or flowers however we did think that the bells and choir made a difference.
    • We looked at the number of evening guests we had and it was very small so it actually worked out cheaper to invite them to the whole day and then only have nibbles in the evening rather than a large buffet.
    • Another vote for blank CD's instead of disposable cameras too, we would much rather have peoples photos from the entire day than a few less than sober snaps around the dinner table or in the evening.
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