Big Day on a Budget - Top 10 Clever Tips!

June 23, 2016

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First off, a massive congratulations! (We are of course assuming you have found yourself here as a result of a recent engagement). You're all lovey dovey and totally swirling with ideas and inspiration for your dream day. "I want a designer white dress, a summer wedding in a country house, a three course meal, ..... oooh, who should I invite - friends and family? No but what about work colleagues.... and work colleagues plus ones? And the entertainment... could be fun but adds another couple of grand... and.....and...... GAHHHH.


And so sets in the panic of budget. You may feel your fairytale wedding is becoming less and less glamorous as you look at your recent bank statement. 


But there really is no need to panic - you can still achieve your dream day on even the smallest of budgets. It is simply about being a bit clever and learning the art of compromise. Here at the Bridal Emporium, we have put together 10 top tips to help you achieve your dream day whilst keeping an eye on the pennies.









Setting the date is possibly one of the first decisions you will make - and it is also one of the most crucial when bearing in mind your budget. Saturday weddings are a significant favourite (a whopping 54% of weddings taking place on this day!) but they are also consequently the most expensive. Consider how important a weekend wedding is to you... would it be the end of the world for your guests to book a couple of days off work? 

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Most couples opt for a summer wedding - the popular wedding season runs from May through to September, with August being the most popular.



Again, with popularity comes price. 



Why not consider a winter wedding? It may not seem the ideal option at first, but think about it carefully. How much time do you spend outside on your wedding day? Granted the photos are a big concern, but how stunning would you all look against a white frosty backdrop? Or perhaps consider indoor photos... 


A big one to remember is that if you are marrying in the UK your summer weather is not guaranteed. You could pay through the nose for a June wedding and get blessed with a day of rain. Secure yourself the perfect venue, one you could decorate beautifully inside and one that you would ultimately be happy spending the entire day in if the weather fails to co-operate. Then consider how important the season is to you.

















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Check out Elegant Wedding Invites on pinterest for some fab winter wedding inspiration! (Pictured on left)
















Ok so you've sorted out when... what about your venue?



Rather than hiring an expensive hotel - some of which also insist on you using their own caterers/decor etc - consider renting a property. Maybe a cute country cottage in the UK or even a holiday villa abroad!




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Yes - it's so so tempting to immediately come up with your wish list; designer dress, 10 bridesmaids, 3 course meal, arriving in horse and carriage etc .... But in a way, you're setting yourself up for either a hefty bill, or even worse, a bitter disappointment. 


Martin's Money Tips strongly suggest working out your budget FIRST - then create your wish list. You can then add up all your costs and work out with your partner the most important things to you both. Learn the art of compromise - is it more important for you to have a dessert buffet or a DJ?


Image Source: Google Images,

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So you're learning the art of compromise as you crack through your wish list. You will find that you don't have to completely scrap ideas - you may just have to substitute for a cheaper option! For example, consider swapping your champagne for prosecco? Swap your free bar for a free cocktail voucher? 

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A great way to incorporate substitutions is to get stuck in with some DIY. You can save a bunch on wedding invites, props, decorations etc if you're savvy about it. Perhaps send out 'Save the Dates' on a special email? Pinterest is the ultimate site for DIY Wedding inspiration so be sure to check it out for a whole range of money saving ideas. 


Whilst we do strongly encourage this - do be REALISTIC. You're getting married - theres an awful lot going on and you simply won't have time to make everything. Occasionally, buying all the materials and putting in the hours can be more costly than hiring someone else to do the work for you, so just work out what is worth making and what is best left to the professionals. Save money on materials by shopping in charity shops and car boot sales - UPCYCLE!


It is also worth noting here that you don't have to rush your wedding date! Whilst it is very tempting to get married within the year, consider the extra time you could have with a year/two year engagement - plenty more time to get crafting!



Create your own selfie booth rather than paying out.


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 .... Or your own vintage invites  (Image Source:












Think about the talent your family and friends have to offer! Would a friend be able to design invitations? A cousin who is particularly good at hair and make up? Is your mum the budding baker? Consider asking for wedding services instead of wedding presents - not only will it save you tonnes but it will add a personal touch to your day.


You may find your loved ones would actually prefer to make a difference to your day and offer you something meaningful - as nice as a new coffee machine is!


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Sounds harsh but you are

going to have to be a bit ruthless with the guest list. Of course your big day is all about being surrounded by loved ones and yes, you're going to want to share your big day with everyone you've ever befriended! But guests cost money - drinks, seats, meals.. the list goes on.


So consider inviting close loved ones to the ceremony and then work colleagues etc to the reception. This works especially well if you decide to hire a hall or country club where you are paying for the venue and not per person. Heres a handy little flow chart we love! 





















Be careful when photographers/florists/venues etc quote you - shop around first to find out what most places charge.



Another handy tip is to avoid mentioning 'wedding'. Some people suggest when ordering flowers for example, to state that they are for an event, celebration or party - anything but the 'W' word - some companies tend to think that they can charge more when it concerns your big day! 






















Don't feel pressured to have a three course sit-down meal - you may find you're better off with a buffet option. Not only is it often cheaper but you and your guests can graze throughout the long day. Or if a buffet isn't your thing, consider just having a main meal, with appetisers earlier in the day in place of a starter and having the wedding cake for dessert?


Another nifty trick - have a partially fake cake! Sounds crazy we know, but if you're only likely to get through the top two tiers, create the third as a decorative, iced (but non edible) element? You can still have a cake professionally made whilst cutting down on the cost. And if you have found great aunt Carol to make your cake, we are sure that she would be glad of the reduced effort!


Check out (pictured above) for their range of hog roast deals! 










Most people who hire a DJ will end up badgering them with requests all night anyway! Why not be your own? You could save some pennies here for other forms of entertainment throughout the day, singing waiters perhaps or maybe a band for a short slot?


Buy Spotify premium and set yourself up a playlist - you can be clever about it too and make the tracks fade into each other just as a DJ would.


Why not ask your guests for song requests on their R.S.V.Ps? We love these invites by 'A Creative Destiny' - find them on etsy:








Most of all, don't stress! This is wonderful news and we are super excited for you! The key is compromise, budget planning and using your skills and contacts wisely! We wish you the best of luck for your big day and would LOVE to hear about your money saving tips - we are pretty fab but we don't know everything! 



Have we inspired you? Please let us know - send us your pics! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest (check us out - dead modern)



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