Can you really have it all without the designer budget? Your wedding is the day you looked most beautiful in your entire life. In the photo album, the pictures you treasure most are the ones of the day you were born, the day you won your dance competition, the day you graduated, and the day you got married. It is one of the most important days and probably the most expensive. Is it really possible to cut any corners and still have the wedding of your dreams?
Those of us that meet our soul mates late in life feel a little bit awkward about running back to Daddy in our 30s to ask for a wedding. We have a career and probably a mortgage by this time, so running home just seems weird. The trouble is we are only in our 30s, so the lifetime of savings isn’t there to cover a dream wedding. What’s more, Dad might be retired and living on a pension in poor health.
The dilemma of what to do when money is tight is upsetting. We have always dreamed of a beautiful big wedding. We waited for Mr Right to come along, but now it seems we may have other financial priorities. Is it possible to have everything on a tight budget? Of course not. The designer dress and bespoke invitations, and a five-course meal just can’t be reached. But there are ways to make the most of what you do have, and even cheat a little!
First, pull out your wedding file and take a good hard look through it. Pick the one thing that you absolutely must have. This may be the dress or the invitations or the venue. Whatever it is, pull that picture out and put it in a new blank wedding planner book. This is where you are going to start again from. And let’s face it, styles and ideas have progressed since you were a teenager putting the original book together.
Whatever you have pulled out of the old book to start your new file with, here are some tips and tricks to still have it in all its glory:
The Dress – If you have a picture of your perfect dress as the one thing you absolutely cannot compromise on, look at it carefully. Is the model wearing the dress the same build and coloring as you are today? If you are not the same shape and size, or you’re a brunette instead of the blond in the pic, you may need to ask yourself if this dress will actually suit you at all. Perhaps there is some detailing that has caught your eye. It could be the corseting at the back or the lace cuffs. Can these things be replicated on another dress that would suit your physique?
When was the last time you really scoured the latest bridal magazines? Styles and designers have changed. It is very likely you will find something contemporary that you could fall in love with just as much. The old picture probably features a dress you just cannot buy today. If you need your dress to be made bespoke, think carefully about your designer. You could choose a well-known established dress-maker. Alternatively, contact the local design school to see if any students stand out that would love your commission. You don’t have to settle for off the peg, but if you see the one, there is no shame in buying it or renting it from a shop. Spend the budget on the venue instead.
The Invitations – There are many things to consider in the perfect wedding invitation. You may have saved your dream one in the file because of the texture, or the font. The color scheme and how the invitation opens are both important considerations too. A good design house will reproduce your dream invitation effectively for a fee. It may be that fee stretches your budget too far. You want the designer look of grace and glamor, but without the price tag. Have a look online at some specialist invitation printers who offer quick service with a couple of clicks of the mouse. You could even look further afield to see if your money buys you more. For example, if you looked for UK wedding invitations you would see different styles and ideas to inspire you. Don’t feel bound by what you liked years ago. Part of the excitement of planning a wedding is to see what is in vogue now.
The Venue – when you put your perfect wedding book together, you may have chosen a venue that just doesn’t live up to the pics anymore. It may not be available on the date you had in mind. Most importantly, there are likely to be many more beautiful places to get married today than there were then. What was it that attracted you to the venue you had fallen in love with? Was it the pillars at the door, or was it just how it was decorated for that particular picture? While people are willing to do some traveling, the location of your venue is important if you want to maximize the guest list.
When you are looking for a venue, don’t just melt for the pictures. Your day will not be decorated or dressed in the same way. There are other factors to consider, like the landscaping for photos, and the interior space to accommodate your guests. The menu should always be a top priority as this will be a meal you want to remember for the rest of your life. Some wedding venues will refuse a request for you to bring your choice of chef, so this may affect which place you can choose. Others do not include a dance floor in their charges listed so you will have to pay extra for this to be utilised. Finally, if you want live musicians rather than a DJ, you need to confirm your venue of choice can accommodate them and has any appropriate licence for live music.