If you’re reading this blog, you are probably already in the throws of wedding planning – exciting and EXPENSIVE in equal measure!
My name is Anna, I’m a Deputy Registrar for Cheshire East Registration Service so part of my role is having the honour of being part of a couples Big Day. In August 2022, after a COVID postponement, myself and my husband finally had our day and in this blog post I am going to share with you some of the ways we made every penny count whilst crafting the big day of our dreams.
- First things first, set a budget. Envisage your dream day – the rustic barn, the opulent manor house, the grand floral arch, the videographer capturing every moment of your love story. This will help focus your research. Have a look on websites such as Bridebook/Hitched, join online communities and have a look a local suppliers’ social media channels. This will give you an idea on how much things are going to cost.
- Sit down with your partner and prioritise your wish list. At the top of the list will be the elements you actually need to for your day (Venue, Registrar, rings, THE dress!). Then think about things that are important to you and your other half (for us, it was a live band in the evening and a videographer).
- Compromise: The wedding of your dreams may be in touching distance if you are prepared to compromise. Everything about your big day is flexible and full of choices. Instead of following the crowd for a summer Saturday, why not book a mid-week or winter wedding? There may be more availability with your chosen suppliers and venues, and you might even be lucky enough to grab a great package deal too.
- Shop around. Once you have set a date. Begin to shop around and research different suppliers. The price is just one element to consider when choosing a supplier, but you also need to remember you are entrusting someone with your big day – check out wedding fayres, read online reviews and chat to suppliers to get an idea of the services they offer, their experience and their cost.
- Make a spreadsheet. Amidst the chaos of wedding planning, my trusty spreadsheet was my saving grace. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t fancy but it was effective. It put everything in one place and allowed me to keep track of my budget. It made my life so much easier ,particularly keeping track of those final payments during the last 6 months.
- Saving those pennies! When we first got engaged, I would’ve had the wedding the following week if I could. But saving for your ideal day takes time. We looked at our monthly outgoings, figured out how much we could save each month (whilst still enjoying life) and put the money into separate account. It may also be worth looking to see if there are any savings accounts that benefit regular savers too!
- Reduce, reuse, recycle. Channelling your inner Eco-Warrior can be a great way of savings some money! One way we did this was looking at how we could reuse our wedding flowers during different parts of the day. For example, our bridesmaids’ bouquets (after all the photographs) were placed in a vase on the tables for the wedding breakfast and the fireplace arrangement we had during the ceremony was placed on the top table. Another way of saving some money (and do some good) is to scour the charity shops for venue decorations.
- I.Y. I love a D.I.Y and can sometimes be a great way of saving some pennies. However it can become a bit of a mammoth job! Think about how much time you would require at the venue to set up and whether this impact on stress levels and timings on the morning of the wedding. In the end we chose to only D.I.Y elements that could be made in advance and set up easily by our venue on the morning of the wedding.
Budget is naturally going to play a huge role in planning your Big Day, however remember that your day is all about you! Your guests will remember the day, not because of how much money you have spent but because they love you!