Everyone dreams of one day getting married in a beautiful castle or a cathedral in the perfect setting, being whisked away to a tropical land and having 100 doves let off after the ceremony...Oh, and don't forget the horse and carriage!
Weddings can be incredibly expensive, and often they leave no savings left in your account for your new life as a married couple. The last thing you want as newlyweds is to come home and have no money to spend on your life and home together. It is important to remember the simple fact of what it means to be married. Two people who are in love coming together in front of family and friends. Sounds simple, right?
So instead of spending $100,000 on a mansion, the rings, a helicopter and a celebrity appearance... why not think about the long-term and keep it simple. Not all of us have the money to splash on an audacious affair, and we should try and save money wherever possible so that we can still have the perfect venue and great food. You'll still be able to spend on what's important to you, such as the wedding photography, rings and food for the hoard. Other than that, it is possible to scrimp on a few things.
Decorating your ceremony hall and reception venue doesn't have to cost you the earth, there are tonnes of smart wedding decorations you can make yourself, even the invitations. Buy some ribbon for the chairs, scatter rose petals on the aisle and add fairy lights to add to the romantic feel of the room. As for favours, why not gift your guests with something they can use- like some seeds to plant in their garden or a mug with their name on it. You don't have to spend the earth for great results.
Although the thought of arriving at your wedding in a posh car or a carriage is great, it's also expensive. Instead, ask your friend or a family member to drop you off, or get a minibus taxi instead. It will save money, and you'll still make it to where you want to be, so that's the important thing.
Don't let yourself be fooled into spending thousands on a 5 tier monster wedding cake. If you or someone in your family is handy in the kitchen, why not ask them to help you out and make a simple cake of their own. It adds that personal touch to the day and is a wonderful gesture. If not, why not choose an alternative? Use cupcakes and cake stands to create a fake wedding cake or use your favourite sweet treats. Just because a cake is traditional doesn't mean you have to have one.
The busiest day of the week to get married is on a Saturday. It's understandable because people don't have to book time off, and they can spend Sunday recovering from the after party. But because of this, Saturday is far more expensive than any other day of the week. Try to arrange your day on a Thursday or Friday instead.
Rent a House For Your Guests and Reception
This is a different idea, but a brilliant one. Rather than pay for a wedding reception, rent a large house to act as your venue. It will double up as accommodation for the whole wedding party, as well as a honeymoon spot should you choose to stay afterwards.
Go For A Buffet
One of the big costs of the wedding is the food. A sit-down meal can set you back $40 per person, and if you have 80 people eating... It's a lot of money. A buffet is the cheaper option and offers variety so that everyone can pick at different foods and eat at a more leisurely pace. It is certainly more cost-effective and means you can start the party earlier.
Be Your Own DJ
There's no need to hire a DJ if you have access to a big speaker and a mobile phone. Take turns throughout the night to take control of the music, it will mean that you only listen to what you all like and you can have some fun creating a playlist in the weeks leading up to the big day.
Weddings are a beautiful celebration of love, life and family, but they don't need to cost the earth. Using these tips you can still have an amazing day but without the financial stress.