When it comes to weddings, you have every excuse to make it as memorable and extravagantly expensive as possible. After all, anything you spend for the love of your life is worth every dime - right?
For now, splurging on weddings still seems reasonable for some couples. What's worrisome is the fact that it gets even more expensive every year. In the UK, the average cost of weddings is up 21% since 2014 - totaling a cool £25,090. You have the rising prices of expenditures such as food, venues, and wedding planning services to thank for this.
Don't fret, a fairytale wedding doesn't necessarily mean expensive. After all, it's about the lifetime union of two happy couples - not the stomachs or entertainment of the guests. Here are the top seven tips to make this possible:
Skip the Wedding Planner
Some may argue that hiring a wedding planner can actually save you money since they take care of time-consuming tasks. They even get involved in planning the wedding budget - helping you get the most out of your money. But if you're diligent enough to do research, make phone calls, and create schedules, then there's absolutely nothing a wedding planner does that you can't do yourself. You do, however, require the input of other married couples when it comes to picking reputable vendors.
Split the Responsibilities
Understand that planning a wedding yourself is a huge responsibility, which is why you need to share it with your would-be spouse. First, create a list of the top priorities and split them evenly. For example, the husband could be responsible for the open bar, live band, and transportation, whilst the wife should focus on the cake, photographer, and seating chart. Of course, some responsibilities are best handled by both partners. Just try to be flexible and determine how the planning tasks fit each other's busy schedules.
Be Practical with the Getup
Wearing a less expensive attire doesn't make your wedding vows any less true. That said, avoid custom-made wedding dresses unless they cost less than £1,000. Currently, mass retailers like Ann Taylor, J. Crew, and Target continue to bring wedding gown prices down. They also bring soon-to-be brides advantages such as wider options and effortless online shopping. For even bigger savings, you can rent a gown or tuxedo from websites like Tradesy, Poshmark, and Ruffled.
Choose Budget-Friendly Rings
Unlike a wedding dress that is only worn for a day, a wedding ring is something you're stuck with for the rest of your married life. It's not really something you should skimp on, but that shouldn't stop you from shopping smartly and getting the best value for your money.
Remember that there are subtle differences between rings that can significantly affect the price, but has no noticeable impact on appearance except for professional jewelers. In diamond rings, these are called the 4 Cs - short for clarity, cut, colour, and carat. For example, a 0.97 carat diamond ring can be as much as $2,500 cheaper than a 1.00 carat one. If the stone itself doesn't really matter to you, consider alternatives such as sapphire and moissanite, which can look identical to diamonds under the right circumstances.
Consider Free Venues
Every once in a while, a movie includes a scene where the bride, groom, and a handful of friends gather in a private location to share an irreplaceable memory. As the couple exchange their vows, there's such a scenario can be just as romantic in real life. Just make sure to pick some place relevant, accessible, and can be beautified without breaking the bank.
The popular choices for DIY weddings include a huge backyard, a benefactor's property, or a picturesque park. On average, couples stay engaged from 13 to 18 months. This gives you more than a year to decide the venue and acquire the necessary permits, if any.
Look for Volunteers
Whether you like it or not, a wedding isn't only about the bride and groom. It's also about providing a memorable experience to your friends, family, colleagues, and everyone else you hold close to your heart. Why else would you go through the trouble of planning a fairytale wedding in the first place?
That said, don't be shy to ask for volunteers who can contribute in any way possible. For example, someone who bakes well can be in charge of the cake while a photography student can take the wedding photos. Just be sure to set realistic expectations and offer fair compensation for their efforts.
Consider the Timing
Timing can have a huge impact on your overall wedding costs. For example, since serving dinners is generally more expensive than serving brunch or lunch, having a morning wedding is the way to be practical. And to take advantage of discounted vendor prices, schedule your wedding on "off" months such as January, February, and March. Or at the very least, avoid peak months like June, August, and September.