Morning folks. I *may* have been out on a school night last night and I *may* have a teeny, tiny niggling hangover with a belly full of morning after tapas. Sexy.
This mornings subject is weddings (obvs, because it’s all I wanna chat about ATM. Like the bride emoji is the most used in my list RN). And whether it is possible, in any way shape or form, to do it on a budget.
For a long time now, long before Max popped that very important question (when I was ‘pre-engaged Jade’) I’ve had this whimsical ideal in my head that I want this super chilled wedding; flowers in my hair, people dancing around a fire bare foot into the night getting sloshed on good wine & toasting to love and all things romantic. And in my head, that kinda wedding didn’t cost very much at all.
Fast forward to post-engaged Jade, and I’m starting to wonder if my pretty ideals are even an inexpensive option.
Do you know what I love? I flippin’ adore listening to old(er) people telling me how back in their day a wedding consisted of a church ceremony & then back to your mum & Dads (or a local church hall if you were doing things flashy) for a reception. They’d be a snazzy buffet (pronounced ‘buff-et’) which no doubt a Nan probably had some hand in putting together. But the most important thing was everyone was there; family, friends and all the loved ones.
And that’s what I want to capture at mine & Max’s wedding.
In answer to my question:-
Yes, I think it is possible to do a wedding inexpensively. Maybe not as cheap as chips as our old folks, but it’s certainly possible to avoid those staggering figures you hear about.
And I think the way to do it is like this – stop thinking about your wedding in conventional ways. If you go and do it like everyone else then sure, it’s gonna cost just as much as everyone else (you paid how much for an effin’ cake?)
Here’s the places where I’m hoping to save some dollar dollar:
It’s no secret that ASOS have their very own range of bridesmaid dresses and quite frankly, it didn’t even cross my mind to shop anywhere else for bridesmaid dresses other than online high street stores. Because hello, £50-£70 per dress; it’s an absolute no brainer. I’m taking it one step further by looking at all occasion dresses in high street stores. Why the hell not? As soon as you imply something is for a wedding the price does this funny thing where it accelerates at an alarming rate. So bye bye to all dressed wedding related . CYA. And hello to just, y’know, generally pretty dresses.
Like for example, this dress is £38 and it’s totally appropriate for bridesmaids. Or this little cutie is only £48 and my squad would look totes adorbs in these. And no, these aren’t what I’m going for you nosy so & so’s but I’m just making a point. There is money to be saved here ladies & gents.
I was suitably shocked when I found out how much people pay for wedding cakes. Like, what are they putting in these cakes to differentiate them from other cakes? The sweat of a unicorn?
My advice? Don’t pay someone insane amounts to make you a ‘wedding cake’. Chances are, it won’t get eaten because everyone will be busy dancing the night away and then you’ve spent an insane amount of money on something that just needs to look good in a photo. A prop cake. WTF there goes £600 down the drain.
Here’s our plan; Max’s nan makes incredibly pretty and incredibly yummy cakes. It was an absolute no brainer to ask her to make our wedding cake. Not only does it save us money, but it makes it extra, super special that the cake is being made my a member of the family. Nice, right?
Plus, her cakes taste better than any supplier I know so there you go.
And I bet you know someone that could make you a cake too. And if not, M&S now do their own range. So there’s that. They sell both decorated and plain cakes with DIY videos showing you how to adorn and personalise your own iced cake. And if that doesn’t float your boat, how about this cheeky blast for the past?
One of the biggest, most gigantic, mammoth costs (I have found, anyway) is the venue hire cost. You know, those all inclusive venues where you spend the whole day with your guests; ceremony, wedding breakfast, reception, the whole shebang. Which at a glance sounds great. But lemme tell you something – an all inclusive wedding is not the same as an all inclusive holiday. You don’t get all the free drinks and snazzy perks. Unfortunately it can really tie you in and restrict any money saving activity which is a bit pants when you’re on a budget.
So once you’re in with a venue, you’re restricted to their catering costs, their suggested suppliers, their timings & their restrictions on decor and layout.
Without giving away our venue plans (because I like a bit of surprise and allure) I think it’s important to think broadly and outside the box about where you want to hold your wedding. If you’re not religious, a wedding is just a big ass party to celebrate love, and think of all the different places you could hold a party.
Catch my drift?
Oh and if you are going to book a standard wedding venue, don’t be afraid to negotiate your ass off. Don’t take the first or the second or even the third quote as gospel. There’s always a bargain to be had. Haggle ya pants off, mate.
Unless they’re edible does anyone really remember to take their favour home at the end of the night?
If you’re looking to cut back on costs (more moneys for that stunbun wedding gown), maybe skim over this ‘tradition’. Tear up the book and re-write the rules. No one says you have to have favours.
It’s true, I am the stationary queen. And yes, I do think the ‘Save The Date’ & invitation are totes important. They set the tone for the day & are the starting point for your wedding guest journey. Like a Jewell adorned silver sparkly invite might suggest a formal affair, sparking your guests to go out & buy a super snazzy, formal frock. Whereas a Polaroid themed invite on rustic brown card adorned with flowers gives a totally different vibe.
But I do think there is money to be saved in this department. Yup, it’s nice looking at all the suppliers on Pinterest and chatting to all the suppliers at the wedding fairs but getting a bespoke design can end up costing a bomb. Papier do their own very flashy range of invitations and ‘Save the Dates’ from 90p per card which is pretty ace considering how cute they look. If you’re on a super tight budget, how about taking things online and inviting people via email/website or event on Facebook? I’ve read about it online and it does the job.
Or, if like me, you have a friend that does their very own sleek & proper profesh calligraphy (Quill & Ink) then call on them for all the deals. Daisy charges not nearly enough for all her amazing designs. It’s all about who you know and who you can utilise.
Ask a friend/family member/relative if you can use their fancy pants car. Sorted.
P.s no one even sees the bride arrive in the car anyway. So there’s some food for thought.
My pal told me about a wedding she went to where the bride went to one of the giant flower markets in LDN the day before, bulk bought fresh flowers and arranged them herself on the morning of her wedding. Cute AND thrifty.
If you’re not feeling too dandy in the flower arrangement department, how about getting you and your bride tribe down to a class to learn a bit about it? Not only could it be massive lols but it could save you super amounts of money.
The bottom line is this; figure out what the most important things are and then be a money saving queen on everything else. For us? We want to make sure everyone is well fed & well entertained. The rest is very much in Jade & Max’s DIY department.
Oh & beg borrow steal. Use the support of family & friends. Ask for help. People, I’m sure, will be honored to be a part of the big day by lending a hand. My mum went to a wedding whereby different family members had been asked to bring a dessert for the dessert table. She said it looked & tasted bloomin’ marvy & it had a really special feel about it.
And as I said before; think outside the box. Who wants their big day to be like anyone else’s anyway?