It’s your big day – maybe the biggest day of your life so far (apart from the day you met your partner, of course!). Weddings can be expensive, but there are some easy ways you can plan, budget and cut costs in the run up. Here are just a few…
- Create a realistic budget
It’s not the most fun part of planning your wedding, but it is an essential one. Like any major purchase in your life, you need to decide what you can afford to spend on your big day – and the honeymoon afterwards, if you’re going to have one.
List all the areas where you’re going to spend money, look at how much you have available to spend overall (or how much you will have, if you’re saving each month) and allocate a figure to each area.
The biggest costs are likely to be venue, food and drink, but other areas like wedding dress, suits, bridesmaids’ dresses, flowers, cake, photography and a band or DJ are going to quickly add up. And don’t forget the smaller items too, like favours, invitations, hair and make-up, gifts for bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents etc. List absolutely everything you can think of and be realistic about how much each will cost. Then you can work out where you can cut back if needed, or at least know how much you need to save up over the coming months.
- Call in favours
Now you’ve got your master list of what you want and your budget for each area, it’s time to work out how we can get those costs down!
First up, who do you know who could help out with any elements of your big day? Is your uncle a great baker? Do you have a friend who’s a budding photographer, or a colleague who loves flower arranging? Do any of your friends know anyone in a band? Wrack your brains and ask around; even recommendations to professionals from people you know can often end up with a discount.
As well as who you know, what elements of your big day could you do yourself? You don’t want to stress yourself out by taking on everything, but could you make your own invitations, or your table plan and place names?
You can find a whole world of inspiration to create easy, beautiful things for your wedding online. Get on Pinterest and start searching your wedding theme – tonnes of ideas will come up, which will undoubtedly include ‘how to’ guides of ways to make things yourself.
You could even have a wedding DIY party where you invite a group of friends over for nibbles and drinks one evening and you all get involved making bunting or pompoms, or sticking flowers on invitations!
- Keep an eye on the sales
Forget the New Year, it seems that shops on the high street are having sales all year these days.
You can get some great bridesmaids’ dresses and groomsmen’s suits from high street shops, as well as all manner of decorations, invitations and favours. Once you know your wedding theme and the kind of thing you’re looking for, keep an eye out for bargains in sales – especially when seasons change. No one is going to know (or care) that the dress a bridesmaid is wearing was from the Autumn/Winter 2017 range.
- Once you’ve bought something – STOP LOOKING!
When you’ve found your perfect wedding dress, invitations or favours then stop looking at others! It sounds obvious, but if you’re planning your wedding a year in advance, it can be tempting to carry on looking around and you can end up buying double if you find something you like more. If you like it enough to buy it, stick with it!
Alongside this, if you’re planning way in advance, keep a list of everything that you’ve bought. It’s easy to forget those lovely table decorations that you bought in the sale last January when you’re caught up in the excitement of your big day.
If you need any help saving for your wedding, pop along to the Nationwide stand (J61) at the NEC show and see how we can help. We’ll also have our poets on hand to create a personalised poem for you and your partner (which might help with a speech on the day!). We’d love to meet you.