We got chatting with amazing Laura Phillips recently, who is the beauty and brains behind rapidly growing wedding blog Bride on a Budget. In this issue, Laura shares her top tips on maximising wow-factor and minimizing cost of your wedding planning. You’re welcome! Xx
Thinking outside the square with Bride on a Budget.
So you’re recently engaged? Congratulations! This is one of the most exciting times of your life, so make sure you take the time to enjoy it (and drink lots of champagne!)
It’s always a bit daunting when you first start thinking about planning your wedding – where do you even start? Well BOAB is here to help with the top ten tips to think about when considering the venue & style of your wedding! These decisions will be the most important for your budget, but once you get these decisions locked in, you’ll find that everything else will begin to fall into place.
It really depends on what your dream of the perfect wedding has always been, and how much you are prepared to compromise. If your dream has always been to have the traditional large white wedding, then you need to accept that it will come at a cost. If you are willing to consider alternative options, then there are loads of cost effective ideas to consider!
LOCATION: Where would you like to hold your wedding? Beach, city, country? Have a think about your close friends, and consider if you know anyone with a farm or holiday house you could borrow. Whilst it takes more organisation & coordination, you can make a substantial saving on venue hire cost & give your guests a unique night to remember.
HOME OR AWAY? : Would you consider a destination wedding? If you plan a wedding overseas, often it will be too expensive or logistically difficult for guests to attend, and your numbers will decrease as a result. On the other hand though, sometimes a destination wedding can have the opposite effect! You need to be prepared that everyone you invite might actually make the trip, so you need to be able to cover the cost if they do!
SIZE: Do you really need a large wedding, or would you consider inviting 20 of your closest friends to a destination? You can actually find large, stunning houses for rent on AirBnb or Stayz, that provides accommodation for all of your friends and it really makes a holiday of it! I would recommend telling the owners that you are organising a large dinner party, so there are no surprises when the caterers begin setting up.
SURPRISE: Have you ever been to an engagement party that turns into a surprise wedding? So much fun! You will give your guests a night to remember, have a huge party, and save money on all the associated wedding costs! You can still wear a wedding dress, have speeches etc, but you would definitely save a lot of money on flowers, wedding favours, and the sit down dinner costs.
VENUE: Would you consider an alternative wedding venue? There are loads of great warehouses that you can hire at a far lower cost, and you can take full control of the styling & layout. This is pretty fun for the creative brides, but just beware that it takes a lot of time and effort!
If you have your heart set on holding your wedding at a formal wedding venue, then the next five tips should help.
GUESTLIST: How many people can the venue hold? You need to have an idea of your number before you begin searching, as a large numbers of guests will often rule out lots of venue options. Easy solution? Keep your numbers lower & you will be able to keep your budget lower as a result.
PEAK vs. OFFPEAK: Does the venue offer lower prices for weekdays or winter? Often venues will drop their prices for less popular times of the year, so it’s worth considering a beautiful winter wedding!
BRING YOUR OWN: Does the venue allow you to BYO? When buying large quantities of alcohol, often the stockist will encourage you to over order and bring it back if it’s not consumed. It’s important to keep the bottles looking new, but it can be a nice way to get a little bonus back after the wedding!
TWO FOR ONE: Could you hold the ceremony & the reception at the same location? This means your guests get to chill out and relax for a few hours, and you save on the costs of transport. Simple but smart!
UP OR DOWN?: Would you consider a cocktail party, rather than sit down dinner? The cost per head for a canapé wedding is substantially less, and it can work really well if you want it to be more of a party than a formal dinner. Just encourage your guests to wear flat shoes!
Hopefully these tips get you thinking – my advice would be to try and decide this with your partner first, because you’ll find when you begin discussing options, your friends and family are more than happy to weigh in with opinions. Try to decide what you are both comfortable with, and everyone else will need to fall in to line with your wishes. It’s easier said than done, but your wedding is just one day, and you have the rest of your lives to think about! Making smart decisions now will set you up for a great start to your future together.
Good luck & happy planning!