I know – it’s the most important day of your life thus far but please trust me…there is NO point in bankrupting yourself (or anyone else for that matter) for ONE day!! I do solemnly swear that there are ways to cut costs without being an erm… cheapskate. So here are a few ideas (this text is adapted from an article i wrote for Wedding Album Magazine a while ago) that might help you..
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Prepare a list of things that are important to you (from most to least) – from this you will be able to ascertain what you can do without (hand calligraphied invitations, five-course meal) and what is non negotiable (exquisite flower design, your favourite DJ, star chef). E-invites are on the increase (especially for engagement parties) and they save you dosh- try companies like Macaroon who can create a gorgeous one for you at an affordable price.
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Choose flowers that are in season- in South Africa we’ve got fynbos aplenty, succulents are well-priced and garden flowers like dahlias, poppies and ranunculas are a part and parcel of spring and summer weddings. Remember that flower prices rise dramatically around weekends that are near Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day and even if you’re going the DIY route, know that using a floral designer CAN save you money as they have access to wholesalers you might not necessarily be able to buy from plus they know how to work cleverly with different budgets. When it comes to containers – think smart. DIY gal? Collect tin cans and recover them (check out the free printable that Donna created here). Or you can always go for my favourite - Consol jars – they look great and you can keep them for your pantry afterwards.
pic found on this Pinterest board
Questions to ask and negotiate with your venue:
Does the price include table, linen and chair hire costs (yes, you want this).
Should you wish to bring in a different caterer, will they allow you to do so?
if you are wanting to get married on a Friday or Sunday, will they be able to give you a better price – often venues will give you better rates for these days. The same goes for morning weddings…
Cocktails save you cash. Why not order a margarita machine for late night shenanigans? Or save your Champagne for the toasts and serve minty mojitos at the start of the affair.
Is your venue negotiable on corkage fees? If so, think about buying your wine or bubbles in bulk from sites like Sale Wine where premium wines are offered at discount rates.
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When it comes to the food, think seasonal, seasonal. seasonal and know that rustic style menus will generally be better priced than more sophisticated multi-course ones. Consider country-style starter platters of crudité’s and chunky dips, homemade breads and paté’s for each table as a starter option and bear in mind that cold food (ideal for summer alfresco celebrations) will often be better priced than warm. I personally don’t have a major aversion to buffets but many people do and find the concept of having people queuing for their food a tricky one. How about a ‘family-style’ supper or lunch, where bowls are passed around the table or laid down the centre of the table for guests to help themselves?
pic from here
Want your besties around you but not quite sure how to solve the (often expensive) dress dilemma? Here’s the thing – who says they have to have something made? Personally i’m a fan of brands like Desray and Habits that have elegant and on-trend dresses available off-the-peg that can be dressed up beautifully and that won’t break the bank. This picture sums up WHY you don’t have to be matchy-matchy – you could create a sense of coherence by buying pretty fascinators from Accessorize or you could have a series of gorgeous wrist corsages made for your brideslaves/besties.
Hope these tips helped those of you who are planning your big day!