First things first: your wedding is going to be a magical day no matter what. That really depends on the headspace you approach it with. It’s a natural law of the universe that something is going to go wrong. But if your train snags on the walk down the aisle and you fall on your face, your attitude to it will make all the difference between a day you never want to remember and a day you never want to forget.
So, with that in mind, if the prices you are quoted for every aspect of the wedding gives you cardiac arrest, perhaps it’s time to rethink your approach? Read our guide to find out ways you can save money on your wedding budget breakdown and still have it be the most magical day.
Think about your style
The problem with capitalism in general, is the rule of supply and demand. Especially with something steeped in tradition like weddings, all the most popular wedding trends are now considered classic, or traditional, meaning that everyone is looking for basically the same thing, with their own added touches of course.
How much of the added touches you go for is up to you. If you are someone who’s only rule is a white dress, you can then add personality on everything around it. Choose flowers made up of spider mums, fennel flowers and hosta flowers. Choose centerpieces that are made up of times from the charity shop. Choose anything that you think looks pretty and different. Unique often means cheaper.
Plus, there is a style that Marie Kondo herself pioneers that can turn out to be very inexpensive: minimalism. Less is more with this style. Just remember that the rules are high contrast colors and bold shapes. You can apply this to your bouquet, for example, with two large blooms and some leaves for a bold but affordable bouquet.
Then there is what your bridesmaids will wear. Groomsmen aren’t given too much wiggle room when it comes to what they are wearing, which can be a blessing and a curse. Your bridesmaids, on the other hand, will have to coordinate in some way – and usually that’s expensive. What it usually means is buying a number of dresses that are all the same, which usually means buying it from an occassionwear store, which automatically adds another zero to the price. Consider letting a few of those rules go and sticking to one.
Do you have a color pallet in mind for the wedding? Ask your bridesmaids to simply stick to that color pallet and coordinate their choices. For example, if you like jewel tones, each of your bridesmaids can show up in ruby red, emerald green, sapphire blue, etc. Or you can simply ask that they stick to one color and see them show up in different tones of blue, pink, etc. Another option is to outline a cut of a dress and tell them to choose a color. With the freedom to buy what they want within their own budget; they can buy it themselves and even use it again someday.
Take the DIY approach
If you, or any of your friends or family, are the crafty type, you need to enlist them. Every element of weddings has a DIY alternative. The obvious ones would be the dress or the music, but there are newer traditions that are becoming a staple of weddings.
For example, there is the photo booth. It doesn’t need to be a booth but is a good place for guests to take goofy photos of them having fun. As long as you have a decent backdrop and some props you are already there. This can be as simple as covering a piece of cardboard with wrapping paper and doodling shapes to stick to straws. Let’s face it, your friends don’t need too much help to look goofy.
A DIY element that can make a big difference to the budget is food. It’s not an idea for everyone, but an idea that is quickly gaining traction is the idea of a potluck wedding. Is it rude to ask people to cook for your wedding? That’s debatable, but when they try Grandma’s lasagna, they won’t complain.
In the meantime, recruit anyone with any useful skill. Got a baker in the family? There’s your wedding cake. Got a friend who takes the best holiday photos? There’s your photographer. Grab anyone who likes their arts and crafts to create centerpieces and write invitations. You can even forgo the expensive bouquet and create flowers out of cut up book pages. Unique and personal to you and your bridesmaids.
Revamp, reuse, recycle
There is so much that goes into a wedding reception, but when it comes down to it, it’s a big dinner with a dancefloor nearby. Keep that in mind when you are planning. Go around family members and borrow everything you can: silverware, wine glasses, plates, etc. You might even be reusing some forgotten wedding gifts of the past.
Embrace the mismatch nature of it. It can look very endearing. But if you’re still not sure, stick to white plates and silver cutlery and clear glass. These are staples that have never gone out of style. It will be pleasing to the eye to see different shaped plates that are all white and different shaped glasses. You can even borrow vases for centerpieces and table runners to pretty things up. Steal any white or gold Christmas lights and fill your venue with forgotten candles – every woman has a collection somewhere.
And, of course, there is the dress. The most obvious money saving tip is also the most heartwarming. Be it your mother, grandmother, etc. borrow a dress. If they have no qualms about you altering it, you (or a tailor friend) can bring it into the 21st century and fit it to your shape.
While you’re at it, why keep the tradition of proposing with a grandmother’s ring to just engagement rings?