Even if you’re doing it on a tight budget, there’s no doubt that weddings are still expensive for all involved from the happy couple to the bridal party and the wedding guests.
However there are plenty of opportunities to save money when you’re planning a wedding and in todays post, I’m going to share with you how you can do this as a bride planning the day, a maid of honour arranging the hen party and as a wedding guest attending the wedding.
THE MONEY SAVING BRIDE
Without a doubt, the happy couple are going to be the ones with the biggest financial responsibility when it comes to planning a wedding but there’s plenty of ways to save money too.
Start with your guest list. Compile a list of everyone who you and your partner feel as though you should have at the wedding and then cross off those who you’re not really bothered whether they attend or not. If you look at the cost per head, the amount of money that it’ll cost you to have all of those relatives you haven’t seen since Aunty Mabel’s funeral 6 years ago is unreal. Focus on having the closest people to you at the day do.
Don’t set yourself unrealistic goals. If you’d love to walk down the aisle to the sound of a string quartet, you can still achieve that with the music on a CD and save yourself the £600 on the live musicians if you don’t have the spare cash. I promise you, on the day, you wont even care as you’ll be so focused on one another. That’s what a wedding is truly about.
Spend your budget on things that will last forever such as your rings and videography, not wedding favours. Often people get so caught up in spending a small fortune on elaborate table gifts that they get really disheartened if they’re left on the table at the end of the wedding breakfast. Save yourself the wasted money by ordering cheap wedding favours that still look really effect but serve a purpose too. I find ones that are consumable such as sweets, chocolate, mints or alcohol go down a treat and are less likely to be left unused.
THE THRIFTY MADE OF HONOUR
Planning a hen party tends to start off fun and exciting but can very quickly become tedious when you’re trying to organise activities for lots of demanding girlies.
From experience, the best hen parties are kept simple with an easy to get to venue without a complicated schedule of events and a clear pricing structure of what its going to cost each women to attend together with what they need to do/wear/bring with them. Food and drinks always goes down a treat and theres plenty of places that offer meal deals for large parties or happy hour pricing if you’re dining earlier in the day and if you’re having a buffet, there’s plenty of affordable snacks that you can bring along to bulk up what is served such as crisps, nuts and sweeties.
Fun games always go down a treat at a hen party and prove that you really don’t need a fancy pants venue or expensive excursion to have a memorable hen. There are plenty of hen party printables that you can find online to get everyone mingling and getting to know each other which is exactly what you need to break the ice when you’re bringing lots of people who you don’t know together. Hen party games are so much fun and create lots of photo happy moments so make sure someone has a camera on hand to capture them!
THE COST CONSCIOUS WEDDING GUEST
Lets not forget the cost to the wedding guest as things can get pretty pricey for them too when it comes to attending someone elses big day.
My tips for them are to book their hotel accommodation, if needed, well in advance. I went to a wedding recently that was absolutely fantastic but the cost of the rooms at the venue was astronomical considering we hardly spent any time in them. To reduce the feeling of that financial outlay, I booked the hotel as soon as I knew that rooms were available for the wedding night and put £10 away each week into a savings account to cover the cost, that way, I didn’t have the money to pull out in one go on the day itself.
Another option is to look at neighbouring hotels and guest houses which can often be cheaper than some of the real fancy venues but again, reserve your room in advance to not only lessen the feeling of pulling the money out so close to the wedding but also to make sure that you actually get a room as if other people do the same thing, they’ll be fully booked very quickly! Don’t forget to factor in any additional costs involved with travelling to and from the venue though as these can sometimes outweigh the money you’ll save by booking elsewhere.
Then there’s what you’ll wear to the wedding as a guest. Always check with the bride or maid of honour to see if there is a dress code for you to adhere to as it would be awful to turn up to the nuptials wearing the same colour as the bridesmaids if thats expressly against the couples wishes.
Plenty of guests love to really dress up when they’re going to a wedding as they’re such a special occasions but don’t feel pressured to spend hundreds on your outfit. You can find some absolutely stunning dresses for well under £100 that really rival some of the more premium high street brands.
Chi Chi London is definitely one of those brands. I’ve worn a few of their dresses now, including one to my friends wedding evening celebration earlier this year that I also wore again to my other friends 30th birthday party, as you can see in this post on my WhatLauraLoves Instagram. Their dresses are so well made, beautifully designed and really embody their brands signature style.
The outfit that I’m wearing in this post is the Janine Dress from Chi Chi London whose curve clothing range has some stunning occasion wear that’s perfect for a wedding, prom, christening or special birthday party.
I love lilac and think that the colours of the digital floral print on this particular dress compliments it beautifully. A combined bardot and sweetheart neckline is feminine, flirty and so pretty especially when combined with the skirt of this dress. I love the pleated skirt with the dip hem as it gives you that extra coverage in the back for when you’re sitting down but still shows your legs off which is perfect if you have a tan!
If you’re looking for a gorgeous plus size wedding guest outfit then I’d really recommend checking them out. I’d suggest going a size up as the dresses do tend to fit on the small side.
I paired mine with some sparkly chunky heels from Primark which again, don’t break the bank, and the gorgeous Pandora jewellery that I always wear. Pieces like these never come in wrong so if you find a dress you love that would be perfect for a wedding or shoes that would go with so many outfits or jewellery that you can wear for a multitude of occasions, then snap them up in advance, using promo codes or a cash back website if you can to save some dosh. That way, you’re not pulling the money all out in one go and if you can buy the pieces you love in the sale, then you’ll save even more!
So there you have it; some of my tips on how to save money as a bride, maid of honour and a wedding guest!
How do you save money when it comes to weddings and special occasions? What are your top tips for wedding planning?
*This post has been sponsored by Real Weddings. All opinions are my own. Images by Mark Dawson.