If you’re a long time reader you will no doubt know that last January I got married on a very tight budget. We had both been married before and didn’t have the money or inclination to have another big wedding, we just wanted to be married and of course I blogged along the way. So when Money Supermarket launched their Money Saving Marriage competition I knew I had to enter! Bear in mind that our wedding was very small so if you’re planning a lavish affair this might not suit but for me it comes down to basic priorities. Where do you want to spend that money? First of all lets start with my favourite DIY’s, they are after all the best way to save on your wedding day!
The cake! Now if I had my time again I would definitely have made cupcakes as they’re about 1000x easier and the stress that the top tier would collapse was a bit much. Another option of course would be buy a regular cake from a shop which would take away another job from you the day before the wedding and still be considerably cheaper than a traditional wedding cake. Mine was delicious, didn’t collapse and not too shabby for a first (and only) attempt I think!
the flowers! You can see the bouquets I made along with a step by step tutorial here, they were for me and my daughter and I didn’t want anything huge so I decided to have a bash myself with some of Asda’s finest! I used two different shades of pink roses and some tulips for my daughters bouquet. I used some florists wire and ribbon that I had lying around and the flowers themselves costs me only £8.50!!
All the bridal mags suggest you pamper yourself ahead of the big day so I gave myself a little Bridal Bootcamp in the week leading up to the big day, for more info you can read my post here. One thing to note here of course is not to try anything new or over stimulate your skin, you don’t want to breakout or suffer any nasty reaction so close to the wedding!
On that tack I also did my own hair and makeup for the day, I’m of the opinion that nobody can do it better than you can do it yourself as nobody know what you and your skin like like you do! If you want to see how I did it check out the video below..
I’d seen some cool decals you can get for the bottom of your wedding shoes online but with only a couple of days to go I had no time to wait for delivery so I bought some gem stone letters and numbers from Hobbycraft and made my own version. Just another cute little detail I loved on the day and I’ve worn the shoes several times since and the gems and still intact! Another note – These Kurt Geiger shoes ended up costing me about £5 as I took advantage of sales and various stackable discounts available at the time so don’t forget to always look for coupon codes before buying anything online!
Moving away from DIY and on to just general bargain hunting, my dress! Ultimately I spent a small fortune looking for a high street wedding dress so it was a bit of a false economy but I blame the baby weight for that one. I got married 8 weeks after giving birth and as you can imagine I struggled to find anything that I liked as proved from the gallery of outfit options below..
Anyone would think I was getting married at the height of summer looking at this but no, 28th of January and it was very chilly! Here’s what I eventually settled on..
A £30 Asos dress that flattered my temporarily fuller figure.. again I ended up with 20% off as I bought at the right time!
Finally let me leave you my top 10, there are definitely things worth spending on where your wedding day is concerned and once the day has ended it’s my opinion that you should spend on the items your left with rather than the day itself (I know that others will disagree as I did myself once) so here’s the order in which I would prioritise my spending!
1. The Rings – you wear them for the rest of your lives after all!
2. The Honeymoon – I know this is again a one off experience but I’d rather spend the money on a week of fun than a day of stress
3. The Photos – although we had our friends and family take ours, my Dad was a wedding photographer once upon a time
4. Shoes – Again you can keep these, I’d have been happy to splurge had I not found my bargainous pair
5. Outfits – I loathe spending money on something I’ll only wear once but ultimately how you look is immortalised in the photos you’ll look at forever so the outfits are important!
6. Food – We went to a restaurant and everybody paid for themselves but the ‘reception’ is where you’ll spend most of your time so it has to be nice food and drink
7. Hair & Makeup – The cosmetics and fragrance I bought then I still have now so it’s barely even a wedding expense when you consider cost per wear
8. Ceremony – We got married in our local register office for next to nothing, if we’d had the cash I might have had it in a hotel or somewhere nicer but it lasted 20 minutes and we were gone.. I don’t regret saving on it
9. Flowers & Cake – Essentials for any wedding but you can buy high street or better still DIY, it hurts me to think I once spent £80 on a bunch of flowers *sob*
10. I guess lastly I’d have to say ‘everything else’ ie: transport, venue etc etc as we didn’t have a conventional wedding but I hope that those of you that aren’t set on a huge affair with favours, place cards and chair covers can take some inspiration for our day.
For those who are doing the whole shebang I do have a few tips from my first wedding..
eBay! Make it your best friend! I bought bridesmaids shoes, paper to print my own invitations, place cards to write myself along with little paper roses to stick on them all, little personalised chocolate favours 9which were a total rip off but still cheaper than most alternatives) and even a second hand pair of designer shoes from the online auction site! I actually bought a lovely lace fishtail gown when I had a panic that I wanted a proper dress (not the Monsoon one I’d bought already) and sold it again for twice the price when I realised it wasn’t me so I cannot speak highly enough of eBay!
If you have any money saving tips to share with other brides to be leave a comment below! you can also catch up on all of my wedding plans at the Wedding tab at the top of the page or even on my Wedding blog where the posts are in their natural habitat 😉
Okay, Okay, one last thing.. my wedding video!
If you want to see my Bridal budget break down check out this post – the total (not including Honeymoon) was £899.49