As if the build up to a wedding isn't enough to send even the most laid back bride to be into Bridezilla mode, the mounting bills can be enough to have the groom considering Cliff might have been onto something in declaring the life of a bachelor boy 'the way to be'.
Well, the good news is that the era of the lavish wedding is pretty much behind us. Today's bride's are leaning towards simple affairs, streamlined elegance or quirky bohemian, there is much more emphasis on handmade individual touches that as well as being far more personal, generally work out significantly cheaper.
Now before we talk 'wedding on a budget' one thing has to be clear, you have to prioritise. If you have dreamt of a bespoke, fairytale wedding dress from being five years old then a second hand, make do number will not cut it. Set your priorities, go for the dream dress, but be prepared to make savings elsewhere.
Making your own invitations can be a real cost saver. You can buy invitation kits online that you can then customise, which not only makes them cheaper but ensures that your invitations are unique and personal to you.
Most bridesmaids will thank you for choosing their dress from the High Street. Only those under five years old should have to endure ribbons, lace and underskirts and you can now get some stunning designs that are not only cheaper, but can actually be worn (with some adaptation maybe) to proms and parties afterwards.
It’s not difficult to find beautiful, but inexpensive flowers for your wedding. Hand tied bouquets can be as much as half the price of a traditional bouquet. You can use most flowers in a hand tied bridal bouquet, they’re versatile and more importantly, cheap. Single stems can also be effective, particularly for bridesmaids. Again these are not difficult to create yourself simply by wiring the stems and winding with ribbon - you could even add an ostrich feather for drama, I've seen beautiful plumes on e bay for less than £1 each. Calla lillies, roses, orchids and sunflowers looks great as single stems.
Instead of buying flowers for both your ceremony and reception, buy one lot and use them for both! Enlist the help of a couple of friends/ushers who can move the flowers decorating the church across to the reception whilst the post ceremony photos are being taken.
Keep the reception simple. Floral table decorations, fancy napkins, wedding favours, balloons, ice sculptures, table 'gems', place card holders, tea lights... is there anywhere left to put the knives and forks?! Again, a single stem in a simple glass vase, classic white napkins, handmade place cards - simple elegant and cheap! And personally I find wedding favours probably the single most pointless expense there is at a wedding - spend the money on a few more bottles of wine!
Talking of wine, I would estimate that in every room of 100 wedding guests maybe 10 can tell the difference between champagne and a good Cava. One of your biggest expenses will be your food and drink. Whether you are using the in house catering service at your venue, or the services of specialist caterers you need to think practically and carefully about the outlay. Take advice from your providers (if they try to force the most expensive option on you, change them!) and above all, negotiate. We Brits are notoriously bad at 'haggling' but more and more businesses actually expect it these days.
And on that subject it may come as a surprise that major savings could be made if you actually employ the services of a professional wedding planner. A good one will know how you can really save money, and will be expert at negotiating with suppliers. Their knowledge and contacts alone could save you a fortune, and leave you free to concentrate on sorting out your honeymoon!
Croydon businesses are also here to help with all your wedding needs, offering packages for all budgets.
Buffets By Design is a Croydon based catering company that offers Wedding Catering Services and has an excellent reputation for fresh and delicious food at reasonable prices.
Another Way Entertainment can provide light background music to a full vocal set. They will tailor the music to your own specific requirements and will even compose your own special song for your wedding!
Local photographer Randall Murrow creates innovative and dynamic photography and can capture those moments of laughter, intimacy and emotions in a creative and fun manner.
Alternatively, Hoteye Designs prides itself in providing exactly what is required, whether it is 'unposed, relaxed' wedding photography or traditional formal. Their priority is to establish exactly what you want and perfectly create that vision for you.
The staff at Jurys Inn are experts in hosting wedding receptions. They will make sure you have everything you want to make your wedding day one to remember for all the very best reasons. With 240 rooms there will be no shortage of accommodation for your guests!
For the smaller wedding, The Furzedown near Croydon is a fantasic venue to hold your special event, who can also provide accommodation for those guests who have come from afar (or those who have not but just want to make a night of it!)
Hallmark Hotel in Croydon is registered for civil ceremonies so can take care of your day from start to finish, from the ceremony right up to offering somewhere to stay for you and your guests and can even offer a wedding co-ordinator to help you through the preparations.
Budget or blow it, Croydon certainly has all the options and you can find these and other related services on our Business pages.
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