It can be dangerous to cut corners when planning weddings. However, it is not always necessary to “go the whole hog”. You can make savings.
Clearly, there are going to be differences between a society wedding and one with a dozen guests. Then there are destination weddings and back garden affairs. I won’t attempt to cover all of these here!
What I am suggesting is some short cuts that, if administered judiciously, should be safe and convenient – and save you some money!
At one extreme, you can (as indicated) hold a ceremony in your back garden. However, everything – including health and safety aspects – is down to you. You certainly won’t get the peace of mind a hotel (say) should offer you.
If booking a venue, you may be able to barter a little, especially if you’re happy to go out of season with your event. Summer is likely to be most expensive. Arranging your do earlier in the day may work out cheaper.
If you’re having a small wedding (especially if you’re using a venue with its own event planner), you may not need a wedding planner as well. Otherwise, I would suggest you at least consider using one.
Planners have contacts across the industry and may actually be able to save you money on suppliers. They take the worry out of the planning and running of the day, which can be invaluable.
You can usually choose either to book a planner for the whole process or simply book one for the day.
With a small event, you may be able to get away with organising this aspect yourself. But bear in mind that you will have to consider buying in the food and drink, setting up the seating, providing crockery and cutlery etc., heating (if appropriate) and serving the food (safely). Then you may need to cater for those with special dietary requirements (vegans, gluten-free, children, and so on).What about the clearing up?
Having the event professionally catered will not necessarily cost much more than doing it yourself, but will be a weight off your mind (and feet!).
This is down to you! Do you want a disco (but will elderly guests?!)? Do you want a DJ or MC? What about photo booths? A magician, perhaps?
Or none of them?!
If you know someone who is a good public-speaker, could they take the service? You may be able to save some money that way. True, they may not be good at putting a memorable ceremony together, but they are a possibility, though not one I recommend.
However, a professional (like myself!) will put a lot of work in to ensure that the ceremony is unique and just what you want. Then, with their demeanour, professionalism and experience, they will virtually guarantee a truly memorable ceremony. You will be able to relax, confident in their ability, and that’s worth a lot.
Musicians and Florists
Live music is usually better for atmosphere, but may well cost more that a DJ.
In-season flowers will probably cost less than more exotic ones. You may choose to go easy on more expansive (and expensive) colour themes, if you want to cut a corner.
Not something I would skimp on. Those memories are irreplaceable. What if you got a friend to take the photos, and they made a mistake and couldn’t take any? Apart from the loss of tangible memories, would the relationship with that friend endure?
So splash out for these (although there are cheaper ones who are still very good).
I haven’t talked about rings, clothes or make-up artists, for example, which are probably de rigueur, as far as requirements go.
But there are other extras that you could avoid, if on a tight budget. Lovely as it was, having a barn owl deliver the ring for blessing, did not come cheap. Was it really necessary?
Well, it depends on your viewpoint and pockets.
For more advice, feel free to contact me, but I hope that this was a useful start.
Photo: Matt Penberthy