Be creative with your wedding cash.

 In Advice, Fair

So this is it! I finally left the day job after nearly 6 years service! And it feels strange… I often felt defined by a job I frequently found unpleasant. But it was good to feel needed. In demand. Useful. So I’m currently in no-mans-land and I’m wondering, how will I define myself now? Wedding blogger? Stylist? Self employed wedding inspirationer {is that even a word}? I hope and pray that my readers will come to need me, maybe even rely on me. Yes, you my lovely bridestobe, I hope to be defined by you! Wanting that inspiration, that idea, advice. Wanting want that wedding!

Be creative with your wedding cash

Only a few weeks ago, I had my first foray into the world of public speaking. I was invited to present a workshop at the Wedding Fair, Bluewater. It was an awesome couple of days, I met loads of eager brides, friendly wedding suppliers and conquered my fear of said public speaking! My workshop topic was be creative with your wedding cash and I styled my stand to reflect these money saving wedding tips and ideas. Today, I share these tips. Here’s to showing all you lovelies that you can be stylish and save money on your wedding day.

© Claire Graham Photography 2012Money saving wedding tips

Weddings can be ridiculously expensive right? So your dream wedding must surely be that, a dream? Nope, not necessarily true. With a few clever choices and a bit of creative thinking you can have the wedding of your dreams without blowing your budget.

A great starting point is knowing what is, and what isn’t important to you and your fiancee about your wedding day. Once you understand this, it will help you see where you can {now don’t be scared of this word ladies} COMPROMISE. I’m sure that word is not a word some brides want to hear, but I assure you, knowing where you can compromise means you’ll get your perfect day.

Let’s start looking at different areas…

Money saving wedding tips

The Wedding Venue

One of the most expensive costs of your wedding can be the venue itself. The most obvious way to save cash in this area is to invite fewer guests. In fact,  you’re more likely to save money in all areas of your wedding by inviting fewer guests. Controversial advice, but who is Uncle Bob anyway?

Have you been ruling out venues as they’re slightly out of your budget? Well don’t! Get in touch and find out what promotions they have… look for recently opened venues, they may have special offers and choose a day that has a lower rate, like a weekday. Being flexible with the time of year you choose to marry could also save you a fortune, oh and don’t worry about the weather, you’re as likely to get rain in August or sun in March as any other time of the year.

On another note, if you choose to have your ceremony and reception under the same roof you’ll also eliminate the need for wedding transport too. Brucey Bonus!

Money saving wedding tips

The Wedding Dress

Is your dress one of the most important aspects of your day? The average price of a wedding dress is around £1,200 and this can run into £1,000’s for a designer dress.

When planning my wedding I fell in love with Jenny Packham designs and just had to wear one of her beautiful dresses. After trying the same dress in 3 different boutiques I managed to negotiate a ‘loan’ of accessories. How did I do this? Simply by agreeing to purchase my dress from their bridal boutique rather than somewhere else. So when you find ‘the one’ visit different boutiques to see if there’s anything they might negotiate on.

Further tips for saving money on your wedding dress include purchasing a pre-loved dress, there’s absolutely no shame there ladies! Check out websites like, you could pick up a stunner for half the price. Keep an eye out for sample sales too! Sure, you may need dry clean the dress but you’ll have bagged a bargain. My last wedding dress tip is to buy a dress you’ll then sell after the big day. For example, purchase a dress for £2,000 and then sell it after the day for £1,000. Voila! You wore your dream dress for half the price.

Money saving wedding tips

Wedding Photography

Who thinks wedding photography is a big deal? Damn straight! I’m a big believer in what you pay is what you get. There are however talented photographers who are starting out in the wedding industry so their prices can  often be lower. Do your research and find out who these new photographers are. Wedding fairs, wedding blogs and social networking sites are a great way to find out who’s who.

Don’t forget to check out their previous work and ask friends and families for recommendations. Speak to your chosen photographers about any offers, they may be able to discount for extras like engagement shoots. Be sure to check out exactly what you’re paying for though. My hubs and I paid more for our photography as we purchased the print rights to all our images. Some photographers charge for a number of images; you then need to purchase any extra images on top.

Food and Drink

Good food and drink makes for a great party doesn’t it? And, there’s no reason why you can’t save money on your food and drink budget either. Just be smarter with your choices. It’s becoming increasingly popular to marry later in the day and the later you marry the later you’ll eat. This could eliminate the need for a second costly meal. For dessert serve your wedding cake, remember to ask your cake maker to make extra cutting cakes. This means you can also have a smaller wedding cake too, which will of course cost less money. Cupcakes, cake pops and pie pops are super-duper cute and can often work out cheaper than the more traditional options. 

My hubs and I made a big saving on our reception drinks by choosing prosecco over champagne.

Money saving wedding tips

Wedding Flowers

Who doesn’t love flowers? They’re an incredibly beautiful way to decorate your venue, get carried away however and the cost can soar!

Speak with your florist about seasonal flowers, these can often work out cheaper; ask them to save all the loose petals from making up your bouquet and displays, this makes for  very pretty throwing confetti  Ask your florist to move the flowers from the ceremony to the reception room too, this will also save you unnecessary costs.

Want to save loads of money on your wedding flowers? Source and make your own flower arrangements. Start collecting vases / jam jars / tin cans and then purchase your flowers from a flower market or flower farm the day before. The DIY rustic look is a big trend in wedding décor right now so choose pretty, wild flowers and keep it simple.

Also to keep in mind, there are plenty of alternatives to wedding flowers! Paper bouquets are really cute and again there are loads of creative tutorials on various blogs. So start getting crafty. Here you can see these simple flower containers I made using tin cans, metallic spray and material.

Money saving wedding tips

Hair & Makeup

How important is it to you to look amazing on your big day? Yep, its right up there isn’t it? One way to save money is to find someone who can style both your hair and apply your make-up.  A braver option though is to style your own wedding hair and makeup. Now don’t panic, there really are some awesome beauty tutorials on the Internet that are super easy to replicate and very pretty too.

My favourite site for hair and makeup tutorials is The Beauty Department. Start practising their tutorials and you’ll have perfected your look in plenty of time for your wedding day, surprising yourself with your own creativity and saving money too.Money saving wedding tips

DIY Weddings

DIY weddings are huge right now and there are a zillion and one things you can do to liven up a dull reception space without going crazy with your cash. Pretty backdrops, creative wedding décor, ambient lighting and cute wedding favours will give your wedding personality and uniqueness.

The key to perfecting a DIY look is to mix handmade items with cleverly sourced purchases. Check out, notonthehighstreet and etsy.  Scour ebay for cute bargains and remember to check items that don’t have much time left at auction.

For alternative centrepieces collect pretty bottles, vintage crockery, props and books. As previously mentioned collect jars and cans. These can easily be turned into flower containers or candle holders. Decorate with metallic sprays, paint, pretty ribbons and cute embellishments.

Friends & Relatives Talents

Gifted friends and relatives could help save you cash on your cake, decor, stationery, entertainment, the list goes on.. So wouldn’t it be lovely to really get them involved in your day? My talented hubby designed our gorgeous wedding invites and a relative made our beautiful art deco wedding cake, saving us 100’s of pounds.

Money saving wedding tips

The Internet & Social Media

The Internet & Social Media are brilliant resources for planning your wedding.  Start following your favourite wedding blogs, most are updated frequently and advise on the latest wedding trends, offer advice and beautiful inspiration; most importantly though they can help you source those savings.

Twitter and facebook are fantastic ways to stay in touch with wedding blogs and suppliers whilst opening up a whole wedding world where you can enter competitions, be the first to know about supplier discounts and be part of a growing community whilst keeping your fingers well and truly on the wedding pulse.


Please feel free to leave your money saving tips and advice in the comments box for other bridestobe.

And finally… Wedding DIY Ribbons for chairs / flower vases

I can’t resist sharing my ‘unprofessional’ images too. You can see close ups of some DIY items.

Wedding DIY ribbons for flower vases / containers

Thank you to the wedding fair at bluewater for giving me the opportunity to challenge myself, the borrowed blue boutique for loaning me gorgeous wedding props and the ribbon girl for supplying all the pretty ribbons, buttons and embellishments.


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  • Marcy Lamont

    Congratulations Sonia! You’re living my dream! :) x

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