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    Mrs Thrift
    Wedding Tips start here...
    • #1
    • 21st Aug 03, 7:57 PM
    Wedding Tips start here... 21st Aug 03 at 7:57 PM
    Hello All,

    As I've mentioned on another board somewhere, I'm just starting to plan my wedding for September 2004 and I'm attempting to do it in money saving style. !I thought I'd share some tips as I go along and (hopefully) learn. !So, here we go:

    Firstly, it seems there are a couple of ways of looking at a money saving wedding - either spending as little as possible or getting as much value for money as possible while not cutting back on much. !At the moment I don't know what our final available budget is going to be so I'm considering both ways.

    Tip No. 1 - If it doesn't cause too many problems with logistics, etc, holding the wedding on a Friday or Sunday can reduce the cost of the reception (and sometimes ceremony) venue by up to half. !Most other service providers offer discounts for non-Saturday weddings, too.

    Hope this will help some people out there. !Watch this space for more. !Any more tips (both money saving and stress reducing!) will be gratefully received. !

    Insert from Martin: Two quick things, first of all congrats to Ms. Thrift who started this wonderful discussion so long ago and is now Mrs Thrift.

    Second to say, this is such a good chat, and is now so long, I've compiled the info into a MoneySaving article here.

    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 03-01-2006 at 11:33 AM.
Page 1
    • Andrea
    • By Andrea 21st Aug 03, 8:20 PM
    • 362 Posts
    • 293 Thanks
    • #2
    • 21st Aug 03, 8:20 PM
    Re: Wedding Tips start here...
    • #2
    • 21st Aug 03, 8:20 PM
    Hi Ms Thrift,

    I saved quite a lot on my wedding dress by buying it off the rail in Debenhams. It means they only have one-offs so its a bit tough if you like a dress but they don't have your size (unless you know a good seamstress or use their tailoring service) but is fine if you find something you like.

    I'm not saying Debenhams is the cheapest and not particularly advising anyone to buy it there. However, if you do want to buy your dress there you could take advantage (if you're happy with having your credit checked) of the initial 10% discount you get by opening an account card. Just open the account, pay for everything with that (remembering to get nectar points at the same time), immediately pay the amount off or transfer it to a 0% credit card, and then close the account.

    When I applied for the account card I was turned down but the staff kindly took pity on me and let me have the 10% discount anyway . If you get turned down too you could always pay for it with a barclaycard (not the 0% one) to get the barclaycard nectar points too.

    Hope this helps a bit.

  • laminki
    • #3
    • 21st Aug 03, 8:45 PM
    Re: Wedding Tips start here...
    • #3
    • 21st Aug 03, 8:45 PM
    So It'll be Mrs Thrift soon!
  • SPL
    • #4
    • 21st Aug 03, 9:28 PM
    Re: Wedding Tips start here...
    • #4
    • 21st Aug 03, 9:28 PM
    Pretty obvious but really shop around for booking your honeymoon. We had our hearts set on Mauritius and were initially quoted £7,500. After a while of searching on t'internet we came across a website called ( and for exactly the same holiday they quoted us £3,700. We're off next Friday!! Their customer service was first class as well....
  • Lucyliu
    • #5
    • 21st Aug 03, 10:08 PM
    Re: Wedding Tips start here...
    • #5
    • 21st Aug 03, 10:08 PM
    When I was looking around for a cake I was quoted about £300 for a round three tier one.

    I eventually bought it from Marks & Spencer and decorated it myself for £90.

    The cake was gorgeous, we have 2 fruit and one sponge. I got some great stuff from my local cake decorating shop and it looked really professional.

    Good luck! Linda x
    • mini
    • By mini 21st Aug 03, 10:27 PM
    • 820 Posts
    • 1,426 Thanks
    • #6
    • 21st Aug 03, 10:27 PM
    Re: Wedding Tips start here...
    • #6
    • 21st Aug 03, 10:27 PM
    Hi Ms Thrift

    My tip for flowers is to agree a budget & brief idea of what you require for you & bridesmaids (if you have them) & how many button holes, I felt my florist was trying to con me when she said the price she quoted me was for a 5' 2 bride & she didn't realise I was so tall, the price of my bouquet went up £50! I challenged it & she stuck to the original price, when confirming the details I asked for the roses I wanted (sh ehad originally said they were too expensive) & got everything I had originally wanted for less than florist had previously said, I think they try to get you to agree to a larger budget but make sure you know how much they are charing per button hole etc, when it gets broken down the price seems to lower.

    I got married on a Tuesday (as a true money saver, also got a reduced price for the hotel as we were booking so many rooms for people to stay)

    I can vouch for Debenhams dresses too!

    I trust all money savers are invited (we don't bring presents though - just tips!)

    If I think of anything else I will return, I wish you the very best of luck with all your plans

    • Tim_L
    • By Tim_L 21st Aug 03, 11:03 PM
    • 3,399 Posts
    • 3,233 Thanks
    • #7
    • 21st Aug 03, 11:03 PM
    Re: Wedding Tips start here...
    • #7
    • 21st Aug 03, 11:03 PM
    Well here's what we did...

    We'd had 18 months of friends weddings, for which you travel large distances, attend the ceremony, have a reception meal of variable quality, speak to your friends for about 45 seconds, have a party, then drive all the way back. All good fun, but these dos did seem to be missing something, and they were certainly expensive (in fact we did know someone who was still paying off the cost of the wedding some years into their divorce!).

    So we decided to do things differently. We invited a couple of close friends down for the weekend without telling them anything (we let slip a day or two in advance so they could bring smart togs). We invited the parents, and explained what we were doing, and booked them into a 5 star hotel for the weekend. We booked the registry office, and a meal in a local restaurant, and all was set.

    Phase one (the day itself) it worked brilliantly - weddings always seem to. In the morning I went off to the restaurant to leave the cake (which was made by a friend who is a professional patissier) there, and was promptly dragged off the street for a consumer survey on various different kinds of whisky (hic). Everyone arrived on time, the wedding was relaxed and friendly, and when we got to the restaurant we found they had done out a room for us (having twigged what we were doing because of the cake) and could not have been more wonderful (including pouring some lethal liqueur down me at the end of the meal. I don't remember a lot after that.

    Total cost for the whole day couldn't have been more than £500 or so, but frankly I don't think it would have been better if we'd spent 20K.

    Phase 2 was then a sort of extended reception in which we went around other friends over a period of time and celebrated with them.

    Not for everyone, possibly, but I think it shows that by ignoring some of the conventions you can have a great time and not bankrupt yourself.

  • Galstonian
    • #8
    • 22nd Aug 03, 2:41 AM
    Re: Wedding Tips start here...
    • #8
    • 22nd Aug 03, 2:41 AM
    As you say, if you choose a day that is not so popular for weddings then you can find many of the things you need are readily available and possibly a lot cheaper. Friday thirteenth is not so popular for some reason. As many of my family were travelling to our wedding we needed to make it a Saturday so instead of Fri 13th we chose April 1st. No problems getting church, reception, hotel rooms, catering, band, cars etc.. It is still the best day out I've ever had so for my part I think we got excellent value for money.

  • archived user
    • #9
    • 22nd Aug 03, 10:20 PM
    Re: Wedding Tips start here...
    • #9
    • 22nd Aug 03, 10:20 PM
    oooooh blast.......... I lost my post...... oh well......... in abbreviated form...........

    Firstly - make sure you do what you want for your wedding, not what is expected of you - simply by doing that you'll most probably make a number of savings!

    Secondly - find out about corkage rates at your reception venue, compare to the price of the wines etc on offer there and consider a cheap day trip to France/Belgium where you can pick up cheap booze and may well save money in the long run (crossing included!) - I know we did!!!!!

    Thirdly - don't feel that you have to have brand new everything! The brides tiara for example..... you may find exactly what you are looking for in the free ads or somewhere similar for a fraction of that 'designer' original price. It'll only have been worn for a few hours.

    Fourthly - well there wasn't a fourth before, but it just came to me...... depending on your computer skills and quality of printer, why not print your own invitations, order of service, menus, place names, thank you cards etc. With the software etc available nowadays you can get really professional finishes at a fraction of the professional printers cost.

    Fifthly - the cake - how many people actually really like fruit cake? Why not bake or have baked a sponge (of your favourite flavour) and decorate accordingly.......... even if done by a patissier, sponge is going to be cheaper than fruit cake.

    Good luck with your planning Ms Thrift........... looking forward to keeping up to date with this thread and getting ideas for when my turn comes :
  • empoweredwoman
    Re: Wedding Tips start here...
    wedding tips:
    • borrow headress or put flowers in your hair
    • buy a set of 'arty' cards and print out your own insert
    • print out your own 'order of service'
    • get as many friends as possible to take video of the day and then spend some time (or find a willing volunteer!!) to edit it all together.
    • Get your make up done in large cosmetic department on day of wedding, only buy the lipstick to 'touch up' later on
    • buy each flowergirl a basket(instead of flowers) with a nice teddy in it with dress colour to match theirs, that then becomes their thank you gift.
    • Dresses for flowergirls bought from high street store are cheaper to buy than most companies hire charges.
    • Doing your own favours are a must and so much fun!!! Find small pretty envelopes, print out fancy stickers, stick a lottery ticket in each one.
    • Buy three white rectangular cakes from Asda, put them one on top of the other at different angles and wrap a large ribbon around them to mimic parcels. Put some fresh flowers at the base. Cost £30ish.
    • Lastly thank you cards. Find a really good photo of the two of you, have the negative reprinted as many times as necessary and handwrite on the back of it your personal thankyous. This also gives them a special memento of the day, and if they don't have it in a frame the next time you visit, ask them why!!!!!

    Hope that this helps........!!
  • archived user
    Re: Wedding Tips start here...
    Congrats to you!

    I got married last year and saved loadsa money on the the things people usually pay through the nose for!

    1. Wedding dress - Don't pay hundreds, go to Virgin brides (I went to Charing X in London) during their January sale, I got a £500 dress for £40 ;D They also do shoes and 'all the other stuff' on sale. Bridesmaids accessories came from BHS January sale and my tiara was bought from Littlewoods jewellery counter, yet another Jan. sale.

    2. Photos - Don't bother with a photographer, I bought 20 disposable cameras that included processing, (approx. £90) and guests that had these cameras gave them back to us at the end of the night. I also bought 40 almost out of date disposable cameras (£1 ea from charity shop) that gave you 2 copies for the price of 1 on each film developed. we asked guests who used these cameras to send the extra set to us. We ended up with over 500 pictures, I guarantee you will get a decent set of prints for the album and you will have plenty left to send to relatives who could not attend.

    3. Master of Ceremonies - Got him for less than half price as we only booked him 2 weeks before the wedding. We were not prepared to pay his outrageous charge, but he wanted the job - haggle, it works.

    4. Flowers - I bought 12 plain ceramic vases from Poundland sprayed them gold, bought lots of burgundy and white artificial flowers plus green sprays coloured some gold and the table decs were beautifully done.

    5. Honeymoon - Booked 2 days before on last, who knew? (Well you all do now!)

    Hope this helps a bit and have a wonderful fantastic day.
  • archived user
    Re: Wedding Tips start here...
    Hi there,
    We got married 5 weeks ago (tomorrow), my tips are aas follows, although some already posted....
    1. Wedding cake £55 for 3 tiers of sponge from M&S-all cake eaten, so this was a BARGAIN.
    2. My daughter(8) and I had wrist corsages instead of boquets, at around £8-10 this was far the cheapest option and we carried them all day. The florist can include pretty stuff that brings your colours together.
    3. We had our reception at home in a marquee, sounds expensive, but check out the unlined marquees and cost caterers- this can be a lot cheaper, more personal and you can then take advantage of all the cheap booze offers on around the shops throughout the next few months!!
    4. If buying booze from supermarket, arrange free glass hire.
    5. We had disposable cameras-results were brilliant and unique. Just allocate someone to take a few more serious shots!!
    6. Arrange for a London Style cab as a wedding car. My jouney cost £4 ew and was a tad cheaper than£180 for tarted up limo
    7.Honeymoon cruise booked at a discount of 40% because we booked early. Check out free upgrades and specials for honeymooners-always ask direct to company and not agent.
    I know I sound like a right tight git, but for a second wedding when money is scarce we had a laugh trying to get good deals. It seemed to us that a lack of dosh made the whole event less fraught and guilt free as there were no overdrafts to repay
    Have fun...
  • silverlady
    Re: Wedding Tips start here...
    I found my local Asda doesn't only sell the usual supermarket type flowers but it actually has a florist . It's not advertised anywhere in store but on several occasions I've had bouquets, baskets of flowers made up for presents and they have all been wonderful and a lot cheaper than in a florist shop.

    Good luck

  • Galstonian
    Re: Wedding Tips start here...
    Oh yeah, the biggest money saving tip for getting married is to make sure you stay that way. If weddings can be costly its all dwarfed by divorce.

    But you knew that anyway.
  • archived user
    Re: Wedding Tips start here...
    I got married three weeks ago today. It cost us including the honeymoon £3000.

    The way we saved so much was get all your friends/friends friends to help. We had a mate who did the food for free all we had to do was give him money for the actual food (cost about £150 fo 40 people). Another friend did the flowers free so that cost about £20. My mum friends own an apartment in the canairy Islands so we got that cheap, we shopped around for flights and saved £200. I would have loved to go somewhere really exotic but we couldn't afford it, and for what we actually did on honeymoon it would have been a waste to go some so nice because we didn't really leave the pool, instead why not save up for the following year and go.

    We had a marquet (two big party tents bought fo £50 each) Fully decorated like the pro's by my family, we used strawberry netting in the ceiling which was 30p a meter.

    For the cake we had three tiers the top was a thorntons chocolate cake whcih mum decorated which more chocolates, the other two tiers where covered in fairy cakes which mum cooked and the whole family decorated, which was ideal because as soon as we cut the cake people could help themselves to a cake as and when.

    The dress I want was £1500 and I got an exact copy made and two bridemaides dreess made for £600, could have done this a bit cheaper by getting girls dresses from Moonsoon factory shop, but because saved so much money elsewhere we could afford it.

    My headdress was from BHS for £10.

    Shoes I chose trainers so I can Still where them.

    If you can buy stuff you can use again.

    Good luck

  • Greenstuff
    Re: Wedding Tips start here...
    I got married in 2000, it was a brilliant day and no one knew how much we had cut corners.
    I'm trying to think of some of the things we did, my favourite was the buttonholes.
    The British heart foundation sell fake roses for £1 (a lot cheaper than the cheapest button hole) they are lovely and look real.
    They have a tiny tab that says British Heart Foundation on them which you leave on so your guests know and it really sets a good mood.
    They dont wilt or squash when people hug so look as good at the end of the day as the beginning, and I still see them on photo frames etc., where people have kept them.
    You can either go into a shop if you need a few or phone head office, they will send you a box full, you pick how many you want and send the rest back with a cheque.
    Other charities have other flowers so you can certainly find one that matches your scheme, or simply choose your favourite charity.
  • archived user
    Re: Wedding Tips start here...
    When we got married we saved money by not having an iced wedding cake, but having a large chocolate cake which we served as dessert. It looked much more impressive than an iced one, and by the time everyone's drunk and eaten their way through the meal how many people want a piece of fruit cake as well!
  • archived user
    Re: Wedding Tips start here...
    :Hi there,

    My wedding was 8yrs ago but cost a total of £650 exc. honeymoon. I had spent years going to big affairs where the couple hardly spend anytime enjoying themselves and seeing to everyone elses needs. We were inspired some friends and more or less copied them.

    I picked a pattern for my outfit & the bridesmaid and had them made up. Andy bought a suit in the Next Christmas sale. We booked a local 5 star hotel. We invited 25 relatives & friends inc. partners (my family is huge and Andy's tiny so this seemed the best way to do it). We had a late afternoon reg. office ceremony (one of the most beautiful offices in the country) with photos by a local photographer. We had an open bar at the hotel & people seemed to respect this & didn't go hell for leather with the booze! We had a beautiful 4 course dinner with wine in a Tudor room at one huge table. Everyone was able to talk as a group or amongst their immdiates. We finished about midnight and had our honeymoon suite paid for by all the cousins as a wedding gift.

    We went to Trailfinders and booked our whole honeymoon to Thailand through them (2 islands and the mainland). They were totally brilliant! Every flight was upgraded to business. All the hotel rooms were upgraded, champagne & flowers & fruit basket for free in all the hotels. We did it as a pick & mix and saved a lot of money & got exactly what we wanted. We had a month of first class holiday! The Thai's were also very hospitable and the staff in the hotel had been told it was our honeymoon.

    It was better than I could have imagined & all for a budget. There is no way I would want to do the big shindig.
  • tonyivb
    Re: Wedding Tips start here...
    I definately agree with the people who say go for any other day apart from Saturday... not only will it be much easier (& possibly cheaper) to find/book any hotels, halls, photographers etc.

    I got married in Guernsey on a Friday so most friends & family made it a long weekend holiday as well (the hotel gave them special rates). We decided on Guernsey as I being British and my wife Dutch it was a good 'in-between' location and it had an upside as it is a duty free territory so no VAT & lower booze prices

    Music - The ceremony was in a civic hall who had a list of local people who would play the piano/organ but they were all unavailable (it was August. We asked one of them (the music teacher from the school) if there were any talanted students and he put us in touch with someone who played the piano for us for a small fee. She did a great job and it was her first 'paying' performance so she was chuffed as well.

    Photos - I agree with the disposable camera idea but I would say do not rely on them. I would use a proffesional but try and agree that YOU are to keep the negatives, otherwise you are going to have to go back to them every time you want reprints. We eventually got our negatives and just popped down to Jessops and got them put on a CD so we can run copies off on the PC or e-mail them to people.

    Good luck with everything!

  • donkeyotay
    Re: Wedding Tips start here...
    We saved a fair bit of money by asking family & friends, w/ appropriate talents, for help instead of buying wedding presents.

    My sister made all the inivitations & place settings; a friend who is a professional cake maker, made the cake and the wedding car was provided by another friends father who loves showing his classic car off.

    The savings were several hundreds of pounds.

    Good luck.
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