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Weddings on a Shoe String


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Weddings can cost an absolute fortune so to avoid starting married life in debt you should take a good look at how much you actually want to spend and set yourself a realistic budget. You can plan magnificent weddings on as little as £2,000, it just takes time and effort, and a bit of imagination, but it will be worth it if you can save yourself a few £100 or even £1,000 pounds.

Here is a brief checklist of what you can look at to keep your wedding budget down.

No.1 The Guest List

When you are planning a budget wedding you need to be ruthless with the guest list. The more guests you invite, the more the costs will rise. Invite close family members and close friends only, explain to those people who you haven’t invited that you are just having a small, intimate wedding. With fewer guests you will be able to book a smaller venue and the catering costs will be less.

No.2 The Ceremony

Civil ceremonies are generally cheaper, but if you request that the registrar comes to a venue you have chosen, they may charge you extra. Ask your registrar about this and how much they charge. If you choose to get married in the registrar’s official rooms this should keep ceremony costs down. They are usually well decorated and appropriate for smaller guest parties of up to 30 people.

No.3 The Reception Venue

Have a look at local hotels and village/town halls for your reception to cut down on how far you and your guests have to travel. The smaller, more intimate venues will be cheaper to hire out. This might also mean you could spend a bit more on decorations and flowers for the room. Arrange for a glass of bucks fizz on arrival for the first toast and then let people buy their own drinks from then on.

No.4 The Food

Buffets can be the cheapest and easiest way of feeding everyone but if you have used a local hotel and you have a small amount of guests they may be able to arrange a set menu at a reduced price, always ask what the best price they can do things for. They may even throw in a few bottles of wine, but if you don’t ask you don’t get. Remember people don’t need anything fancy, but they will expect tasty food.

No.5 The Outfits

Only buy the outfits for the bride and groom and then ask the best man and bridesmaids if they would be willing to pay for their own outfits or put money towards them so you don’t end up playing for the whole thing. Many high street shops now sell a good range off-the-rack wedding dresses for as little as £300, or even wedding shops sell dresses at reduced prices. Spend some time shopping around and you should find one that suits you. If you are happy buying second hand dresses, you can find some great bargains on eBay and other online auction sites. Choose your approximate size, and then seek the services of a dressmaker to make any necessary adjustments. For the groom, there are plenty of high street shops that sell suits, so you should be able to find something very smart and well fitted for around £100-£200.

No.6 The Cake

Cakes made by specialised wedding services can be very expensive, so ask your friends and relatives who can bake if they can make you a cake as a wedding present. A simple one tier cake, with white or coloured icing with a flower or small decoration top can look lovely. Make sure the cake is big enough to give everyone a piece or maybe even make two.

No 7 The Wedding Transport

Do any of your friends or relatives have a exceptionally nice car or unusual mode of transport? Ask if you could borrow their services for the day to drive you to the wedding instead of hiring a fancy car and chauffeur.

No 8 The Honeymoon

Honeymoons should be special, it’s a time to relax and enjoy your time away as a married couple. Try not to get yourself into debt by booking a honeymoon you can’t really afford. Look around travel agents, holiday websites and newspapers for deals, and don’t forget that holidays in the UK can sometimes be more expensive than popular destinations abroad. Don’t forget to budget spending money too, and some people find it better to book all-inclusive honeymoons, so they don’t have to worry about affording food and drink whilst they are away.

Image courtesy of Timeless Photography / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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