It would be stating the absolutely obvious to claim that weddings are expensive! No arguments there, surely!
What is less obvious is spotting where you can save some money.
For example, areas where you may not need to spend so much could include your venue, the florist, the dressmaker, the photographer or the celebrant. We’ll look at each of these in a moment.
Obviously, every ceremony is different and no two couples are likely to have the same needs and dreams. So my comments will be more appropriate to some of you than to others! However, I may just be able to set you thinking.
In my work, I understand the importance of friendly, professional service. I am not suggesting that you avoid professional suppliers (unless that is your choice). For example, you can save money if you do not hire a professional caterer. You can arrange it all yourself, but it is likely to be a huge headache for you, and I wouldn’t advise it.
Venues normally need to be booked at least a year in advance. I speak in other blogs about how you might go about choosing a suitable one, but here’s how you may be able to cut some costs.
Don’t go for a day that is likely to have high demand (Valentine’s Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, high Summer). Similarly, if you don’t have your wedding in the evening, you may have some bargaining power with the venue. And you may be able to hold the ceremony and reception in one room or hall (with some time allowed in between for setting up).
Go for flowers that are in season and local. That can save you a surprising amount.
Having your own dress may be very important, but it is possible to buy – or hire – some wonderful used dresses for nothing like the price of a new one.
A dangerous one, this. A friend might be able to do this job. But will their enjoyment of your wedding be compromised? What if their results disappoint? Might your friendship be sacrificed consequently?
A professional photographer is likely to have functioning equipment and know what to do and how to do it. (That’s partly what you’re paying for!)
I price my services based on my expertise, and the amount of time and work I anticipate I will need to put in. Like many suppliers, I have a certain amount of flexibility. For example, I usually offer a reduction, if someone books me at a Wedding Fayre. In the case of a ceremony that I particularly want to do or a couple I particularly want to work with, I may offer a one-off price.
I do need to live and try to charge a fair price – but it doesn’t hurt to ask!
I hope this gives you a few practical ideas for saving money (there are many others I could have included) and that your wedding will cost you less than you thought!