The time has come to start planning one of the most important days of your life, and panic has set in. Everything is so expensive! You start wondering, how do people afford this? How will we be able to pull off the dream wedding on a budget?
Well, there are plenty of savvy little ways to cut down your expenses and still enjoy one of the most fabulous days of your life, here are a few ideas to consider:
# 1: Plan your time frame wisely
Having a short run up to the wedding will encourage you to make decisions more effectively and really assess what you want rather than what you think you should have. A shorter time frame may sound stressful, but it can also save you from being sucked into ‘Wedding World’, where let’s face it, the phrase ‘I’ll decide that later’ pops up rather frequently.
Time frames don’t necessarily need to be short though. The benefits of having a longer time frame can allow you time to scope out shops and wait for sales and special offers. It is you as a couple that has to decide what best suits you both.
Off peak periods are much cheaper, and the reason is pretty self-explanatory: supply and demand. Now, when off peak is all depends on where in the world you are getting married. Generally June-September, and December are the most expensive; this is due to weather and celebratory periods. However, specific to Dubai, June-September are some of the hottest months. So research the peak periods of where you want to get married, and decide accordingly.
Don’t choose a weekend. We know! Weekends are when everyone is off work and can make it, but it will significantly increase your price for venues and vendors. The people that really matter will make it whether it’s a weekend or not! Plus, a weekday wedding will make it cheaper for any overseas guests you may have attending, airfares and hotels cost less on weekdays.
# 3: The Venue
This is a big one…As gorgeous as the top hotel or country club is, there are plenty of cheaper options that are just as pretty. Parks, gardens, beaches, your own backyard! Restaurants are also brilliant options as they already have gorgeous tables and chairs, and the decor is often to die for.
# 4: The number of guests
We know this is a tough one, however be realistic! Every single person you invite has a cost per head…do you really need to invite your mum’s best friend’s sister and her whole family? No, probably not. Keep your numbers reasonable, it’ll reduce your stress too!
A quick tips for shaving your guest list: Omit children and coworkers.
Keep the numbers to a minimum for your wedding party as well: Fewer attendants means less money spent on bouquets, dresses, boutonnieres and transportation.
Save the dates and invites via email are a great way to save on expenses, I mean, who isn’t glued to their phone these days anyway?
It may not be the most traditional way to send out wedding invites, but we are in the 21st century, and all that paper will most likely end up in the bin in the near future. Don’t waste it! Use the World Wide Web.
Have a look online, there are plenty of DIY wedding invite sites such as wedinvite.com and www.greenvelope.com .
# 6: Food
It may be tempting to have a big sit down meal in the evening, however this will cause your prices to sky rocket. Sit down meals include different courses, chef fees, excessive amounts of staffing to accommodate the serving of dishes, and a huge chunk of the day/evening eating.
Consider a buffet or fun little canapés they are a great way to give your guests a good feed without the price tag.
# 7: What to wear and what not to wear
A great way to save money on a groom’s suit is to hire it. Hiring a suit does not mean ‘cheaping out’. There are plenty of wonderful shops that offer the choice of hiring, and understand that a wedding suit isn’t exactly top of the pile in your man’s wardrobe.
Ladies, we haven’t forgotten you! It’s easy to get caught up with fancy designer names and labels, however the prices can be heart breaking. Many high street stores in the malls, such as Debenhams, have a lovely range of wedding dresses for a fraction of the price.
Alternatively look online this seems like a daunting prospect, but if you order dresses far enough in advance, you can comfortably try them on and figure out any alterations.
# 8: Picture Perfect
Hiring photographers and videographers can be expensive work. Do your research! Work out what you really want; do you need them there from beginning to end? Or perhaps just a 2-3 hour period will suffice?
Alternatively you could consider a slightly quirkier way to capture the moment. A photo booth type area can add a young, fun vibe to your wedding day, oh and they are much less costly to hire!
# 9: Last night a DJ (or band) saved my life (or wedding)
Music! There are so many ways to cut costs here. DJ vs. Band? DJs are cheaper, and sometimes more versatile than a band. However, if you scope out a great little local band your night might feel more intimate, and you won’t panic over the price.
Use your iPod! Create a playlist and ask the venue to play it throughout cocktail hour and dinner. Leave the band or DJ until later when people will be dancing and making the most of what you’ve paid for.
# 10: Stick to your season
Choose only seasonal and, if possible, local flowers. This little change can save you a small fortune. Sticking to seasonal veggies and goods can help too so speak to your caterer about seasonal options.
Remember, keep your heart firmly in the right place and focus on which aspects of your wedding are most important to you. Which areas make your heart go pitter-patter. It is so easy to get carried away with having everything you possibly can on your wedding day. Just remember…it is your wedding day, and yours only!
Will an overly expensive dinner make the day any better? Will the day of the week make a difference to how you feel about marrying the person of your dreams? Doubtful.