Top Tips for a Budget-Friendly Wedding
There’s no doubt that a wedding can be extremely expensive, with the average cost in Ireland around €36,000. Whilst there’s absolutely nothing wrong with splashing out on your big day, after all it is a once in a lifetime event (hopefully), we also understand that some newly engaged couples can feel under a lot of financial pressure. That doesn’t mean you can’t afford to get married! Have a look at some of our top tips for having your wedding on a tighter budget and see what you could try. We recommend choosing what areas you absolutely don’t want to compromise on first, and then doing what you can to keep costs low everywhere else. You’d be surprised at the difference it will make to your total costs.
We know this probably seems like the most obvious suggestion, but it can’t be under-estimated how much being thrifty when you’re dress shopping can save you! Instead of heading to your local bridal shop and trying on every dress in sight, ask your stylist if there are any dresses in clearance that you can look at. Even a dress that’s too big or slightly damaged could be altered to look stunning. Make sure you are following a range of bridal shops, so that when sales are announced, you’re first to know. You might also consider a high street dress, with online retailers like ASOS creating beautiful wedding dresses from £100. This is also an option the groom or groomsmen. Or, if you already own a plain suit or tux, try updating the shirt, waistcoat or tie. It will give an older suit a totally new look.
Make sure to shop around when choosing your location, and ensure you get quotes from at least 5 possibilities. Ask what is included with the price per head, to ensure that you are getting the most possible for your money. It might also be a good idea to consider venues that tend to be cheaper, like your local pub. People are also opting for outdoor weddings, which can be held in gardens – if any of your friends and family have nice grounds and don’t mind hosting an event. Renting a large gazebo and decorating it to your taste can also be a good way to save on the venue, and you’d be surprised how beautiful this can turn out with some personal touches.
For a lot of people, cutting the price of the cake can be an excellent way to stay in budget (keeping in mind that it is usually not eaten anyways). Building your own can be very simple, just go to your local supermarket and choose different size cakes, in the same shape, that can be layered up. You could choose the same colour, or go for complementary tones. Then, just add a topper and some artificial flowers to decorate. And voila!
Smaller weddings tend to have a smaller price tag, so think carefully about how many people you intend on inviting. We recommend sitting down with your partner and making a list of the people you absolutely could not get married without, then seeing what number this will bring you to. Use this as your baseline when asking for quote, and then you can add as many others as you feel comfortable. Try and have final numbers of who is likely to attend when booking, as this will ensure you aren’t paying for 180 guests and only 130 turn up on the day.
In terms of bridesmaids, most people now tend to opt for high street dresses, but make sure to do so when you have a discount code! It could save you hundreds. If your budget is very tight, you might consider asking your bridesmaids to wear a dress they already own – it could be a certain colour or style. Either way, mismatched bridesmaids are very on-trend! Your girls might love this idea – after all, it’s not easy to get a dress that suits everyone anyways!
6. Food and Drink
Think of including a buffet-type meal instead of the traditional 3 course dinner. This tends to be drastically cheaper and can also be fun and more suited to your taste. This gives more flexibility to the reception, which is a huge bonus. In terms of drink, depending on your venue you may be able to use your own wine – but remember to ask about corkage charges. Some venues might also have the option of your guests bringing their own drink, which would be a huge expense saved.
One way of saving on flowers is to do them yourself! Go to the local supermarket in the couple of days before your wedding and choose lots of different bouquets. Mix and match these to your taste, and it will add a very boho, rustic feeling to your day. If you aren’t too sure of this, maybe focus the budget on just the bridal bouquet and go for cheaper alternatives for the bridesmaids.
You want your wedding to be entertaining and fun for all your guests, but a band or DJ playing the entire evening can take up a huge chunk of your budget. Instead, we recommend having a Spotify playlist. This can be a fun way of including your guests, by requesting they choose a couple of songs on their RSVP. You can also ensure songs that you love are played. If you have your heart set on live entertainment, then consider using your playlist most of the night and book the entertainment for just an hour or two. The savings will still be huge!
9. Hair and Make-Up
Bridal hair and make-up can be very expensive, especially considering trials and travel costs. Think about maybe doing your own make-up or asking a friend/family member if they feel confident to try. Watching YouTube videos in preparation is a great way to pick up on some tips. Treat yourself to some high-end products on the day which will still cost significantly less than booking a professional.
If your budget isn’t extending to photography, consider asking a student photographer if they would be interested. Their fees may be less, and it could be helpful for them to gain more experience. We also recommend utilizing the photos your guests take, with smart phone cameras now of very high quality. This can help capture some natural, authentic moments on the big day without affecting the budget. Set up a way of sharing photos after the wedding, and you also have the options of asking for them to be edited by a designer at this point for a more polished finish.
And that’s our top tips for making sure your wedding is budget friendly! These won’t appeal to everyone, but it’s just about finding areas that you don’t mind compromising on so that you can still have a beautiful day!