Love is in the air at Attitude this month, as we get all doe-eyed and mushy over our boos.
In celebration of Love and Marriage month, we’re dishing out wedding-themed advice to get you in the mood to say ‘I do’. But while we all want our wedding day to be the happiest of our lives, you don’t have to break the bank to have the big day of your dreams.
So if you’re lucky enough to be tying the knot in the near future, or still day-dreaming about that big day, here’s a list of 20 wedding-planning tips that’ll ensure you’re the thriftiest bride-zilla of them all…
1. Choose a midweek wedding
You don’t want spend THAT much do you? Midweeks are on average cheaper than weekends. And that way you can still go out at the weekend. Plus, it’s a day off work! Win- win. Oh and of course, you’re getting married. Yay!
2. Use your friends
No, not like that. Think about it, chances are, you’re friends will likely be attending your wedding anyway – so if they are or are with a photographer or DJ, it could save you a fortune on mate’s rates.
3. Don’t have an open bar
Seriously, you know how much they can drink, and these drinks aren’t G-A-Y prices, so let them pay for them. Besides, you don’t want them to get too bladdered anyway.
4. Don’t try to dress everyone
Chances are, most of your friends are gay and will (mostly) know how to dress themselves. Let them wear something they feel comfortable in, after-all you don’t want miserable people in your snaps do you? And it makes it cheaper for you!
5. Know how much you want to spend
Set yourself a budget – a final figure – and try to stick to it. We know how easy it is to get carried away, but limiting yourself will mean you have more to spend on a nice honeymoon.
6. Make a list
It helps, a lot. Buy a special notebook just for the plans. Tick off when you have something, make notes if you see something out and about, and circle something if you need to get something urgently.
7. Choose your theme and stick to it
It sounds like a given, but once you get down to the differences between colours and you’re arguing in shops, it just isn’t productive – and you’ll wish you listened to us.
8. Forget trying to wed on Valentine’s Day
Just forget it. It’s too expensive, it’s difficult to find a venue (unless you book 10 years in the future), and it’s a cliché. April Fool’s Day and Friday 13th are not popular – but they are generally cheaper. Plus, he’ll never forget your anniversary.
9. Don’t ask for things from guests
Forget the gifts, ask them to contribute to the wedding – like photography or chipping in for the cake, or providing the catering. They’ll love the idea of being involved and it takes some of the pressure off you.
10. One venue, two parts of the day
Have your ceremony and reception at the same venue. It just makes everything easier, less transport and it will save you on venue fees. Plus, no-one can get lost then.
11. Don’t mention the ‘W’ word when shopping around
When looking around for supplies, invitations and venues don’t mention that you’re planning a wedding straight away. It gives you less haggling room, and their prices won’t start sky high.
12. Make an iPod playlist
Forget the DJ entirely, this is YOUR big day so choose music both you and your partner like to play throughout the reception. It will bring the cost down. If you’re inviting kids, give “Anaconda” a miss though – or make way for some unforgiving parents.
13. Buy supplies in bulk
Whether it’s sweets, napkins or booze you can get great discounts online or at your local cash-and-carry – especially if you’re doing a buffet. Get your mum and aunties involved, they’re always great for discounts!
Hand-in-hand with tip 13, hire a venue where you can provide your own booze. This eliminates corkage charges and means you get to choose what you can drink. Cash-and-carry booze lowers the expense even more.
15. Cut out the middle man
You don’t need a wedding planner when you have us and the internet. Use your friend’s, parents and colleagues knowledge for what you need and create a list. The internet can be really handy if you’re fresh out of ideas too.
16. Get married overseas
Believe it or not, it’s cheaper – and the event itself is often a more intimate ceremony with just the two of you. Cutting out guests means you’re free to do whatever you like with your day. And you don’t have to travel anywhere else for your honeymoon.
17. Invite via social media
Granted it takes off the personal edge, but it’s much cheaper and quicker. Postage is expensive these days, and that’s when it turns up. Email and Facebook will get you quicker replies too.
18. Go to wedding fayres
Yes we know that there are often 5 million people all in one place, but it’s the best place for discounts. More often than not those are exclusive discounts – on everything from suits to cakes, venue and car hire.
19. Give every table a camera
It sounds expensive, but disposable cameras can be used by everyone from toddlers to your Nan. They’re easy to develop and the results will be less forced than posed photos.
20. Pick your season
Weddings are often less expensive and less popular during the winter months, meaning big savings and more chance of getting your chosen venue. November to April is the cheapest time to book.