You’re getting married! That’s absolutely amazing news. Congratulations! You’ve made the most amazing promise there is; to spend your life making little love stories with your soulmate and to celebrate you’re going to kick things off by spending tens of thousands of bucks on a party so your friends can have a ruddy good time while raising a glass in your honour.
If we just took the shine off the excitement a little, we’re sorry. We didn’t mean to. Weddings really are as magical as anything in the world can ever be. It’s a big bang of love and happiness that marks your soul’s recognition of its counterpoint in another. It’s the adventure of a lifetime. It’s the universe working in its mysterious way to bring you and the love of your life together against all the odds. But they are also stupidly expensive.
We know this because we’ve seen The Knot’s annual wedding cost report. It stands at $32,641. That’s a big chunk of change for a happily ever after, especially given it doesn’t even include the honeymoon or factor in the rising cost of tying the knot in a big city ceremony (clue: don’t get married in NYC).
We’re not saying this to scare you, or have second thoughts, or press the panic button in the logical part of your brain or anything like this. We’re saying this to kick your butt into gear and get you to go bargain hunting so that you can shrink that almighty bill staring you in the face.
To help you achieve this, we’ve pulled together a list of price-slashing super tips that your guests won’t even notice, meaning you can have the wedding of your dreams for the price you’ve dreamed about. Hurrah.
The Pick Three
This is one of the wedding industry’s most secret and successful tips and it’s all to do with you picking the three parts of your wedding that really, really matter to you. That could be the venue, the dress, the music or food, blooms or booze. Once you’ve picked the three you care most about – and you’ll want to discuss this with your fiance, we think – you can start working out how to pinch some pennies on the other bits n’ bobs.
Find Unlikely Gems
All the wedding venues you have found so far have probably popped up on wedding planning websites, which means they have a big enough budget to afford some serious marketing expenditures. This must mean there are loads of other event spaces out there that don’t have the means to market themselves in quite the same way. These are the ones you want to seek out. Ask around, pop into your local chamber of commerce, anything. But don’t stop at the venues. Go to your local farmers’ market and see if you can find a florist that would be the perfect fit for you, or stop at that street fair and speak to that baker with the amazing breads. Finding unlikely gems is all about keeping your eyes open.
Dress Like A Bride
If you’ve been to a wedding before and taken a seat in the back two-thirds of the ceremony, then you will know how impossible it is to see any of the details on a gown from where you are. All you know is that the bride looks like a bride, which is because the gown was the right colour and silhouette. But even when you are stood chatting to the bride, you still have no idea if their gown cost £1200 or £12000. It’s impossible to guess that stuff. Use this to your advantage. Go and buy a $35 gown from a thrift shop or high street store and use the money you saved on the front end on getting the details, accessories and alterations you want to get a dress that is one-hundred-percent you.
Get Your DIY On
The thing that puts most couples off going down the DIY route is the fear of losing your mind. Sure, it all looks fine and dandy when you are scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram and all that stuff, but you know full well the results will be different when you try your hand at being all arts and crafty. That said, there are some things everyone can DIY without disastrous results. We’re talking DIY wedding invitations, DIY place cards, DIY welcome bags, party gifts, favors, non-traditional bouquets, decor, signage and photo albums. These are the little details that make up a wedding, all of which look better when they are a little more rustic and made with love. Trust us. And you’ll save yourself a bomb too.
Go For An Off-Season Wedding
If you want to save yourself an instant 27% then you need consider getting married in the off-season, which is winter minus Christmas and New Year. The reason it is instantly cheaper is that venues are less backed up with events, vendors aren’t as busy as they are in the spring and summer months and caterers are sat on their hands waiting to for the phone to ring. But that’s not all. You can also bag yourself a top-notch photographer and enjoy some of the most magical wedding photographs you will have ever set your eyes on. It’s a winner.
Embrace Local And Season Bits
This goes for most things, but it’s going to go the furthest on the flower front. Just think about it for a moment. If you are adamant you can’t have a wedding without lovely bouquets of sunflowers dotted about the place, but they have to be shipped from halfway around the world because they are out of season, then you can expect to pay a hefty premium. If this doesn’t sound worth it to you, try embracing seasonal blooms, and ones that can be picked up locally. These will be much easier for your florist to get your hands on and that is going to make them cheaper. Simple and stunning.