As the cost of living soars and salaries lag behind, more and more couples are looking for ways to stick to a budget when they decide to tie the knot. Putting a personal touch to the proceedings can help keep costs down – read on for a guide to reducing your outlay with a little DIY.
Look for a cost-effective package deal
When choosing your venue, take a look at intimate wedding locations that also offer extras at a discounted rate. For example, you might find an attractive manor house in the countryside that also has space for a reception and in-house caterers who will provide the meal. Think about whether you’ll need overnight accommodation, and whether there are any local businesses that have teamed up to offer packages at the venue.
DJs and other entertainers might have deals with the venue that could see you achieve a discounted rate, and opting for a package offer will leave you with time to turn your attention to other areas of the planning, such as picking out dresses and compiling the guest list.
Get crafty with the invitations and thank you cards
You can add a personal element to your wedding plans by getting involved in the making of things like your invitations, orders of service and thank you cards. Rather than employing a specialist to make these publications, use your crafting skills to hand-make what you can, and rely on your printer when possible to cut your costs. You could also come up with a design yourself and have it printed out at an office supplies store, which may have the facilities to print in a range of sizes that a domestic printer may not.
Make your own food
A sit-down meal or even a buffet can set you back thousands of pounds, but you can reduce how much you have to spend and give things a personal feel in a number of ways. If you’re happy for an informal meal, why not ask your guests to bring along something that you can put on a long table, so everyone can tuck into homemade food and you won’t have an enormous bill for the privilege?
Alternatively, if you’re happy to provide your guests with a main course, you could avoid costly puddings by making your own and putting them on a table at the side of the room for everyone to choose a tasty treat from after the main course. You might make fairy cakes, muffins or cookies, or visit the local bakery and pick up a selection of sweets. Another option is to have the wedding cake cut up and served for dessert if you’re happy to do so.
Call in favours
If any of your friends have skills like photography or music, now is the time to call in any favours they owe you, as their skills will help give your big day a personal touch while also keeping your budget down, if they treat you to mates rates.
Ask among your friends and family to see if anyone knows people who can help with your DIY wedding; maybe somebody owns a classic car they would be willing to drive you to and from the venue in, or perhaps someone else knows a well-regarded baker who will whip you up a cake for a good price.