Given the present economic climate, many couples are finding it impossible to have a traditional wedding with all the trimmings without going seriously into debt – and that is no way to start married life. When you begin to plan your wedding, make a list of all the things you need and decide how much you can comfortably afford to spend. There are some costs that have to be covered – certain legal fees, for example, – but with other items you can be creative and break with tradition to help you keep within your budget.
The wedding venue is likely to be the most expensive item on your list, so this is where you can make a massive saving. Winter weddings cost a great deal less than summer weddings, for instance. The venues have fewer bookings then and so they encourage prospective customers by reducing their fees. The same applies to wedding suppliers. And, if you can pick an unpopular day for your wedding – say a Monday or Tuesday – there will be a further reduction in the price.
Instead of looking at large hotels and pubs, think about local church and village halls. Self-catering is another option if you want to keep costs to a minimum. Perhaps family and friends can be recruited to help with the food preparation and transport. You may even have a friend or relative with a big enough garden who is willing to host the event for you.
There are also compromises that can be made. Perhaps you want a traditional, new, and very expensive bridal gown, as well as a fabulous honeymoon abroad, but you know you can’t afford both. Instead, why not try a vintage or second-hand wedding outfit, or choose something romantic and floaty from the High Street? Then you can use the money saved to have a really memorable honeymoon.
Is it necessary to have a massive, many tiered wedding cake or be chauffeur-driven in a Rolls Royce? Are these things really important to you, or would you rather concentrate on the ceremony and reception because these are the moments that will provide you with the memories that last the longest?
You might discover there’s fun to be had in sticking within a budget because many of the things you want can be made rather than bought. You can design and make your own wedding invitations, favours and table decorations, for example, and this will contribute greatly to the unique character of your wedding, something you can later look back on with a feeling of pride and accomplishment.
Initially, it may seem daunting, if not disheartening, to think that a lack of funds prevents you from having the wedding of your dreams, but you could end up with special memories of a truly magical day, one in which you were personally and fully involved from start to finish. And, if you are lucky, you will also begin your new life together with a healthy bank balance into the bargain!