Your wedding day is one of the biggest and most exciting days of your life, however there’s no denying how expensive it could be and if you are a bride on a budget, you need to come up with savvy ways to save your money. The average Australian wedding now costs $65,482 (Bride Online Survey), which is a significant sum of money by anyone’s standards for a single personal event.
Maybe you are just starting out in your career and simply don’t have the money to spend, or perhaps you can think of other things you would rather spend this kind of cash on – such as a mortgage deposit or towards your future children! If you don’t have the means or inclination to drop such a large amount of cash on your wedding day, here are a few ideas on how you can cut costs.
Your Wedding Dress
Your wedding dress is so important, every bride deserves to look and feel absolutely gorgeous on her big day. However this doesn’t have to mean spending a lot, and there are a few ways you can get a wedding dress for less. The first is to buy a ready to wear dress that’s not designed as a wedding dress. If you look carefully there will be white and cream ones out there, whether it’s a plain maxi that you can dress up or a lace cocktail dress, with a veil and your wedding heels on your will still look like a stunning blushing bride. But you’ll pay far less than you would at a bridal boutique.
Some shops like Asos and Fashion World actually have a wedding section these days where you can buy dresses for less so these are worth checking out too. Buying from a store like this is useful not only will you save money but it’s easy to return them if you try a dress on and it’s not quite right. Another option is to check out charity shops, many people donate their dress after their big day so you could grab a bargain. With a few adjustments it will fit like a glove, the only snag is finding a style you like that’s already relatively close to your size.
Finally you could order from eBay, there are lots of sellers in places like China and Hong Kong who mass produce wedding dresses. While horror stories do exist, many customers are very happy with the dress their receive. You will save such a large amount of money compared with buying from a designer, and while up close the fabrics and materials might not be as good, in many cases you just can’t tell. Ask the seller you’re working with to send you pictures of their actual work, rather than just going off stock pictures in listings.
Wedding stationery can be something of a ‘hidden cost’ as it might not be what you immediately think of when you’re planning a wedding. However invitations, RSVPs, table numbers, place settings and more on top of postage can all add up. One option for keeping paper to a minimum would be to host a wedding website. That way you could use a small piece of paper for the invitation (which would also be lighter on postage) and allow people to RSVP or find out more information online.
You could search for a company which offers nice quality wedding invitations for good prices, or you could use a template on a photo printing site and make your own. In fact, if you have an eye for design you could even design your own invitations from scratch. Either buy some nice paper and print them yourself or have them printed with a company online.
You could make them extra special by tying them up with a small piece of ribbon, or sticking a gem or sequin to each one. Save money on postage costs by hand delivering as many as you can, it could be a nice hike or bike ride on a clear day and allow you to get some pre-wedding exercise in. Only post the ones that are too far away.
The Wedding Cake
Custom wedding cakes can cost a fortune, and if you go into a bakery you’ll be getting quotes of many hundreds of pounds. But there are a few ways you can reduce costs. The first one, if you want a large showstopper of a cake but don’t have the budget (or enough guests to eat it all!) consider a ‘dummy’ layer.
Here a circle of foam will be covered in the same fondant icing as the rest of your cake so will be indistinguishable, but a lot cheaper. When you cut the cake, simply cut any of the other layers. That way you can bring down your overall spend, and still get a large cake without the cost or waste. Another option would be to bake your own cake, if you or any of your loved ones are a whizz in the kitchen then this is a great way to go about it.
You could even use cake box mix if you wanted to be sure it would turn out right, that way all you need to do is follow instructions. The fondant is the trickiest part, however rustic and unfinished looking ‘naked cakes’ are very popular at the moment. Sprinkle on some icing sugar and place onto a tiered stand with some flowers and fresh fruit.
The final option would be to buy plain wedding cakes from a nice supermarket like M&S or Waitrose. Here you can buy the exact sized layers you need, there are a choice of flavours and they’re covered in your choice of white or ivory fondant, and again you can decorate with ribbon, flowers, fruit, a cake topper or whatever you like. If your venue doesn’t offer cake stands, cake knives and other equipment, find these cheaply on places like eBay and Amazon, you don’t need to spend a fortune here.
Are you getting married this year or next? Do you have any clever tips for bringing down the cost of your big day?