by Nicola Ray, guest author from Cheap Wedding Success in England. With weddings costing a fortune these days, there’s no surprise that couples are looking for cheap wedding solutions. From favors to flowers, there are ways to save in all areas of your wedding and with a little clever thought you easily reduce your budget by thousands. Here are my best tips for a budget wedding:
1. Set up a budget
The only way to keep track of what you’re spending is to use a budget. The best way to do this is to use a spreadsheet so you can easily see where your money is going and how more importantly, how much you have left to spend. Don't forget to update it often and don't cheat – you've got to be honest with yourself.
2. Shop around for the best price
The best way to save money is to search around and always get three quotes. Whether you're buying fancy wedding decorations or looking for a whole wedding package, make sure you get three like-for-like quotes. You'll be amazed at how different the price can be for the same or very similar product and services.
3. Consider DIY for your inexpensive wedding
Whether you're a crafty bride or a just great at organising a party, try and do as much as possible yourself. Every little helps and if you can make your own favors, invitations, decorations, centrepieces or wedding cake, you'll easily begin to save thousands – it'll also make your wedding much more personal and unique.
4. Get friends and family to lend a hand
When you're organising a big wedding, you simply can't manage to do everything yourself, so look for how your friends and family can help. This is one of the easiest ways towards a cheap and beautiful wedding. Perhaps you've got a friend with a talent for DJing, a relative could make the cake or do the flowers or a friend with a fancy car you can borrow. They'll be honoured to help out and would probably offer their services as a gift.
5. Get creative with your venue
For cost effective venues, try local halls, sports centers, community buildings or parks, however if you can't do without that country house or fancy hotel setting, then choose a date out of season or a mid-week date.
6. Don't mention it's for a wedding
More often than not the word 'wedding' doubles the price! Instead, choose non-wedding items when shopping and where possible, use the word 'party' when buying shoes, cakes or photography. With suppliers for larger budget items, such as venues, caterers, florists and photographers, get them to cater to your needs and not your occasion.
7. Shop online
The cheapest prices are usually online, so shop around. Ebay is great for cheap wedding decorations, accessories, invites, favors and even flowers. It's especially good for cheap wedding veils and made-to-measure wedding dresses (for under $100).
8. Try your hand at doing your own catering
One of the best ways to have a low cost wedding is to cater yourselves. It'll take organisation and lots of planning, but it's worth it! If DIY catering is too much, then think about doing something different such as afternoon tea, a sit-down buffet or simply serving up canapés.
9. Buy your wedding cake from the supermarkets
You don't have to spend a fortune on your wedding cake – you could rent it instead! Styrofoam cakes are great fake cakes allowing you serve cheap 'sheet' cake instead. Supermarkets also offer great cakes which you can then decorate yourself.
10. Keep your perspective
Your wedding is about you and your partner – not about all those fancy little things that supposed make up a 'wedding'. It's about your love, your partnership and your union, so keep your perspective on the ceremony rather than getting carried away with the party afterwards! Keeping this in mind will keep your cheap wedding on the right track.
Nicola Ray is the editor of Cheap Wedding Success, a website dedicated to planning and creating the perfect cheap wedding. With lots of advice, tips and ideas to lower the cost of your wedding, Cheap Wedding Success is the perfect place to start.
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