You’d be forgiven for thinking that, due to the choices we made to have our wedding our way, we had a limited budget.
This wasn’t the case at all.
We were a few million pounds short of your typical wag’s wedding budget &, sure, we were engaged for three years before we tied the knot so we could save for the self-funded wedding of our dreams. But we still had everything we wanted for our big day without making sacrifices.
Money Can’t Buy Perfection
We spent less than £2500 on absolutely everything; venue, wedding planners, bridal suite, room service, registrar (including giving notice), rings, photography, food, drinks, decorations, two-tier cake, cake toppers, spa use, couples’ beauty treatments, dress, veil, shoes, hair & make up, flowers, three-piece suit, tie & pocket square, even the petrol to drive ourselves there was covered within that.
…And we weren’t just given freebies & discounts just because the suppliers were intimidated by Crater’s sheer size! Nor did we plan our wedding with the intention of it being budget-friendly.
We were able to live out our champagne wedding dreams on what was a lemonade budget, & there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same – no outlandish thrift hacks, just a bit of being patient & a lot of being good old fashioned nice.
Do Your Research:
For most of us, we go into this wedding planning thing blind. We have an idea how much we want to spend but we don’t know how much things will actually cost, & as such we don’t know a bridal bargain from daylight robbery when we see these prices.
Once you’ve found something you both want, don’t buy/order/hire/book it without researching the same thing from other suppliers first to make sure the price is right.
You might have your heart set on a classically trained wedding singer for your first dance but might find the local YouTube sensation can sing “your song” just as beautifully without such a hefty price tag.
Keep an Open Mind:
Of course we all have our perfect wedding scene running in our minds but, other than a white A-line dress with a birdcage veil, do the finer details stand out in that daydream or are they open to interpretation?
More often than not, we don’t know if said dress is lace or silk or has buttons or corset lacing or has sleeves or a sweetheart neckline or even what length it is. But what is important in that vision is that it’s a white A-line dress.
And keeping an open mind to these factors will help you find the perfect piece within your own stipulations but for your own budget.
For example, all I knew was that I wanted white lace with some sort of sleeve but was open to suggestions regarding the silhouette or length or neckline. So while I could’ve spent thousands on my wedding gown just because I demanded a very specific (& probably unnoticeable to everyone but you!) detail, I was able to grab my white lace beauty from Work Your Curves for way less than £100.
Don’t Settle for an Imperfect Package:
While package deals may seem to be the most convenient & cost effective wedding option, they more often than not include elements that you don’t need or even want. Meaning you’re paying for something you don’t need.
They might include a Master of Ceremonies but you might want your best man to introduce you. They might include a three course wedding breakfast but you want to serve your wedding cake for a dessert. They might include chair covers & sashes that you literally couldn’t care less about. The list goes on.
Any venue or wedding planner with any value for their brides will be more than happy to discuss a personalised, tailor made package for you or at the very least offer alternatives for any additions that you might want to switch up.
Silence Your Inner Bridezilla:
Or, to be frank, don’t be a bloody snob!
Charity shops & eBay can offer up some beautiful pieces for your big day with every bit as much beauty & individuality as bridal boutiques but at a fraction of the cost.
And they’re not always even second hand – British Heart Foundation have a whole range of brand new fascinators & hatinators that are utterly gorgeous.
I’m not too proud to say that my veil, his tie & pocket square & even our wedding rings were eBay buys, but would you have ever known that unless I’d told you?
Phone a Friend:
On the subject of swallowing your pride, don’t be afraid to pull in a favour from a friend.
In the whirlwind of wedding fayres & bridal boutiques, we can easily overlook the talent & generosity on our doorstep in the form of our nearest & dearest.
Don’t expect a freebie because their time & skills are just as valuable as any reputable business but if they’re able to offer a reduced cost suit alteration or handmade invitations (or in my case, a delicious two-tier wedding cake!), you’re a winner.
And the personal touch is irreplaceable!
They might even wish to gift the gesture to you in place of a wedding present.
If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get:
This might sound obvious but it really is as simple as if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Worst case scenario, they politely decline your approach for a discount/freebie/extra without prejudice (like you’re the first customer to ever ask them for that – puh-lease!) & you either still buy with them at full price or seek a more suitable alternative. No harm done to either party in either instance.
But if things were to work out for the best, you could get yourself a cheeky saving or an extra service that isn’t offered as standard, all because you were open enough to allow it to happen.
The biggest saving we made using this tip was from Alana Phoenix & Co. who gave us a discount in return for use of our wedding photos as promotional material for her handmade paper blooms.
Your wedding day is undoubtedly one of the best days of your lives but it’s the first day of the rest of your life together so don’t spend your savings on one celebration when you have all eternity to share.
Dani | Mrs Dani Crater x
( “Wedded Bliss: How To Have A Champagne Wedding On A Lemonade Budget” was first published by Mrs Dani Crater 88 on “The Unseasoned Wag” blog)