Of course, weddings are an income opportunity. There are a lot of suppliers out there who know that expense is often of (virtually) no concern when it comes to arranging a perfect wedding. Their integrity may not always be of the highest. You need to watch out.
Weddings can cost as much as £20,000, depending on what you have in mind.
If you use a wedding planner, they should let you know from the start what you will be getting for your money; you pay for the service, but you should get peace of mind. It’s often cheaper to do it yourself piecemeal, but then it’s rather harder to keep tabs.
Whatever you choose, it pays to keep your wits about you, and avoid being ‘done’.
Because, by its nature, a wedding is usually planned over months, deposits may have to be paid up front. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, do your homework on the supplier before parting with your cash. Do you have any evidence that they are trustworthy? It’s not unknown for companies to take the money and run. Testimonials, while not foolproof, may give you a pointer. Also, how long has the company been trading? If it’s well-established, it probably won’t drop you and run.
It does pay to read anything through before you sign (but how many of us do?!) If you’re dealing with a reputable trader, as suggested in the paragraph above, you probably won’t get ripped off. However, it’s no good claiming that you were “unaware” of deadlines, cancellation penalties etc. You must feel happy about the Ts & Cs BEFORE you sign. (If you really can’t handle it, get someone with some legal knowledge to help you be clear what you’re agreeing to.)
The wedding car
More of the same, really. You must look for a reputable company that deals with weddings as a matter of course. If you can get personal recommendations, then follow these. If not, it may pay to visit the limousine company before you make up your mind. At least, that way you’ll know they do exist and probably won’t leave you waiting at the kerb!
There are myriad sites on the internet which cater for brides-to-be (and their retinue). Will you be getting quality? Is that discounted dress actually going to look so good on the day? Again, you need to try and be sure that the company is reliable and bona fide. It may be worth dealing with known retailers (even though that peace of mind could work out quite expensive).
I have already dealt with this issue to some extent in other blogs, such as:
However, let me summarise: you are taking a risk if you get your best friend to take the photos – for such a big event, you want a professional. Before deciding, visit them and look at examples of their work and try and get testimonials for them.
Other ‘vital’ expenses
There are a host of other items that you might decide are worth paying for. Flowers, invitations, cake, decorations, entertainment etc. are all quite normal. Prices for these can be inflated, so it is often good to shop around and compare quotes.
Sometimes, a ‘wedding’ cake will cost much more than a grand alternative that will do every bit as well. Flowers may be cheaper if they are in season at the time. Arrange a wedding in winter. Catering a morning wedding may work out considerably cheaper too. Be creative!
Obviously, what I’m suggesting here may take time to research, so don’t leave your investigations too long. However, a bit of hard work like this may well pay dividends later. Not only could you save money, but, more important, you could ensure a perfect day.
Michael Gordon can help prepare and conduct a tailor-made civil ceremony in or around London or, indeed, in Europe.