Affording Your Wedding

As soon as the word 'wedding' is mentioned, the initial image tends to be dollar signs rather than the romance and meaning. Everything about a wedding costs money and the average price is around €28,000. With an endless list beginning with the engagement ring, then the ceremony, outfits and honeymoon, it is little wonder the price adds up.

Going through the process of getting married can be daunting enough, but trying to afford it all takes away all the excitement and replaces it with stress and debt. Trying to fix a budget is difficult when you have 'hidden' extra costs, and trying to do things cheaply can seem like a lot of hassle. But in the long run planning it yourself may actually be worth it.

Where To Begin

Start by making a list of everything which needs to be booked. Once you have both made a decision on the kind of wedding you want you can start to shop around for the best deals. Make a decision on the date and time, and get this booked first if you are marrying in your own church or local registration office. If you want the ceremony and reception in the same place, look on websites then make appointments to speak to the organizer face to face.

Getting married in the summer tends to be more expensive than the winter months, and it is slightly cheaper to marry on a weekday rather than a Saturday or Sunday.

One of the most expensive parts of a wedding is the food and providing a meal for your guests. When trying to afford the big day, think about whom will attend the meal and who will just be invited in the evening afterwards. Limiting the number to just close friends and family means you do not have to compromise on the quality of food. Equally, having a buffet or a hog roast could be a cheap yet effective alternative.

Ask For Help

Getting friends, family and acquaintances to all chip in and help out gets them all involved and lift spirits, as well as cutting back on the costs. If someone you know can provide the food, make the cake or even make the bridesmaid outfits will be of great benefit. Knowing local business owners and gaining a rapport with them could score you a deal on a cheaper wedding bouquet or a good photography package.

Do It Yourself

If you are creative, then it could be fun to design your own invitations and table decorations. Small details tend to add up, so do as much as you can tastefully yet on a budget. If you have a PC and a printer, then print your own invites and name place cards. Go to a budget store and buy balloons in bulk and table confetti. The more you do yourself, the more money you save.

The Wedding List

Write a list of everything to organize for the big day and tick off, or add to it as you go along. The list should include the following:

  • Book the venues (church, registration office, hotel or marquee)
  • Arrange the musician for the evening. Will you book a DJ or band? If a friend can do it cheaper then that would be a benefit.
  • Choose the Best Man, Bridesmaids and maid of honor.
  • Make a guest list. Choose the guests who are invited to the whole event and who will just attend the evening reception.
  • Make the invitations and post them out. Include a location map, contact numbers and a RSVP.
  • Book the caterers if needed and organize the design of the wedding cake. Ask a friend to bake and ice the cake for a small fee.
  • Book the photographer. Shop around for deals. Use a professional for main portrait photographs and place disposable cameras on the tables at the reception for the guests to use and hand in at the end.
  • Make a decision about the outfits. Ensure the colors match on all the dresses and suits. If someone can make some of the dresses, this would be cost effective, or shop using the internet.
  • Book the hairdresser. Choose your style before the wedding. Doing your own makeup will save money rather than using a professional.
  • Choose the flowers and book the florist. Look at the best prices available for a stylish bouquet.
  • Who will provide the transport? If you know someone with an old vintage car or runs a small cab firm then ask for a favor on your wedding day. Wax up the cars and decorate with ribbon, and it will save you a fortune on a horse and carriage.
  • Book the honeymoon. Check deals online and compare prices. If you know someone will accommodation abroad, ask them if you can rent it out for the week. All you then need to do if pay for your flights and make sure you have your passports.
  • Choose the rings. Check your ring size at the jewelers then buy online for a cheaper deal.
  • Check last minute preparations. Choose your wedding favors, accessorize the tables and buy stationery for 'thank you' cards. You will have to pay for the marriage certificate and ensure guests have accommodation.

Do not be too proud to accept offers from people who want to help. It will take the strain off the arrangements and will save you money in the long run. Just make sure they are well looked after and buy them a 'thank you' gift. Have a low key hen night and stag party rather than an expensive trip abroad, and try to relax. You can still have a tasteful wedding day without all the expense which will leave you with bills for months to come.

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