Kevin and I have been married for almost 9 years. Back in 2006 when we got married, money was pretty tight. We had just had our first baby, not long bought our first house, and were both at the start of our careers. We scrimped, saved and budgeted and our wedding was everything we wanted it to be – but it certainly wasn’t easy. Here are my top tips for saving for a wedding.
- Shop around. Don’t be swayed by the first dress in the first shop. Spend as much time as possible researching online, be prepared to visit as many shops and traders as you can, and don’t be afraid to haggle. There is ALWAYS a bargain to be had somewhere.
- Compromise. Do you NEED a 3 tier cake, or will a 2 tier cake do the job just as well? Is it essential that you have a 3 course meal, or will you be perfectly happy with a buffet or a BBQ?
- Try homemade. Could a family member make the cake or the bridesmaids dresses? Make use of any talented friends and family.
- Look at alternatives. You don’t have to have the big church wedding and the huge reception. A summer wedding in the garden is beautiful, and very affordable. If you don’t want the big white wedding, agree on a select few guests and do it on the beach. Don’t try and please other people – do it the way you want to do it.
- Learn about investing. No matter how much you cut back, you are likely to need to save for a while. Know the basics about savings and investments, get some professional advice and make sure your money is working for you.
- Don’t be afraid of second hand. It doesn’t mean second best. Most wedding dresses are only worn once before being lovingly dry cleaned and stored. You can get some genuine bargains on auction sites and local selling pages.
- Move away from the ‘wedding’ tag. Try shops that don’t specifically cater for weddings. You can pick up some gorgeous invitations, table decorations and even suits from card shops and supermarkets – they are much cheaper if they are not sold in a bridal shop setting!
- Most importantly of all – enjoy it. If you get yourself into thousands of pounds worth of debt, you won’t enjoy the day – and it is just that. One day. Think about the long term – it’s the marriage that’s important, not the wedding.
* This is a collaborative post. *