Budget Decorations


Balloons

Balloons are often a staple decoration at weddings, particularly at the reception. If you do decide to go for balloons, an added bonus, is that children love them, so they keep the children happy. The downside to this however, is that your balloon display is pretty much guaranteed to be dismantled.

Balloons to decorate the cake table

Wedding Reception Balloons

Balloons, are thought to be very old hat, and have gone out of fashion when it comes to weddings, however, you can re-vamp the balloons use at weddings, by using one of my favourite balloons – the round balloon, they look modern and unique.

Round balloons

You can also put marbles in your balloons to have them hang downwards without moving around too much. This looks great when hanging from trees.

Hanging balloons, put a marble inside before you blow it up.

Candles
Candles are another staple within wedding decoration, on tables and ledges, tea lights, pillar candles, candle sticks, candles in jars, they twinkle and give a whimsically romantic, relaxed atmosphere to the wedding, especially combined with low lighting.

Candle lit barn wedding

Tea lights can be picked up cheaply, and a fantastic, cheap way to display them on your table is in baby food jars. So if you know a couple with a child at weaning age, ask them to wash out and keep their baby food jars as they are often the perfect size for a tea light candle. Decorating your baby food jars is as easy as pie with some tissue paper.

Baby food jar candles

Another way to make simple tea light look lovely is to use flame retardant paper bags to put tea lights in. The paper bag be customised by cutting shapes, designs, patterns or even the initials of the couple out for the light to shine through. and are available from a range of places including Etsy.

Wedding Candle Luminaries

Personalised Candle Bags

Bunting

My personal favourite!

Wedding Bunting

courtsey of lovemydress blog

I think bunting is a fantastic way to decorate your outdoor wedding, your wedding breakfast room or reception room. In the wedding breakfast room your could decorate your top table with a string of bunting instead of an organsa garland.

Bunting to decorate top table

Bunting can be kept after your wedding to decorate a room in your house, the most popular room in the house to decorate with your wedding bunting, is the future babies room, if you wait to have a baby until you’re married, or the children’s room if you already have children before you become a Mrs/Mr.

Pom Poms

You can carry the theme of pom poms through your wedding from your bouquet to your decorations. One of the most common ways to do this is with paper pom poms. Pom poms can be hung from the ceiling with string or used as table decorations.

Paper pom pom decorations

Table decoration pom pom

Isle decoarations

Or even as isle runners on chairs down the isle of the hotel, or used to decorate the end of pews at the church,

Pom poms, however they are made or used are a delightful and fun modern way to decorate your venue.

Other fun ways to use Pom Poms in your wedding: 

pom-pom wedding confettiPom pom toppers on cupcakes

My Think High Street


It wasn’t an option for me, I knew that I would be looking to the high street for many things for my wedding. The first thing I bought on the high street was my bridesmaid dresses. I saw them in the sale, reduced by 50% to £50 and knew that I had to have them. I sent the link to my Maid of Honor (here after known as MOH) who also liked the dress. My MOH was a complete star with the bridesmaids dresses, and if it wasn’t for her there is no way I would have been able to get them at that price. She phoned round the stores hunting down the right sizes as there wasn’t many of them left by the time I saw them on the website. We did have some issues with getting them, but thanks to my MOH we got them and they looked great! The shop where I got them from? Debenhams!

Green Bridesmaid dress

For me, I wanted the bridesmaids dresses to be something my bridesmaids could wear again and most important were comfortable wearing. The dress had also really good reviews online and seemed perfect for the autumnal wedding we were planning. when the dresses arrived my MOH tried hers on and she loved hers. The one we got for my BM was too big, but have kept it, as the dress hasn’t gone back in the sale down to £50 again yet. When it does I will get the smaller size she needs and sell the bigger one.

I got my day wedding invites for FREE 😀 from a couple who had got married and had loads of invites left over, so just had to buy my evening invites, which came from a high street discount card shop.

Poundland offers a small range of wedding paraphernalia, such as banners, invites and cake/favour boxes and confetti. In Poundland one day I spotted some Favour boxes that seemed nice so picked them up. £1 for ten – BARGAIN!

Favour Boxes

So, just think, everywhere is worth a look, as you never know what you are going to find. The above boxes will need minimal assembly to take them from flat packed into the box form they will take. We will be putting the dress boxes on the table for the women, and the suit boxes for the men. Pounland no longer stock these, however they do currently stock favour boxes with a simpler design that could be pimped with ribbon to fit your theme.

Poundland Favour Boxes

What happens next?


What happens after booking the venue depends on how close to your date you have booked.

If you have booked 15-12 months before your wedding then you need to find and book a photographer, caterer (if applicable), florist, transportation (if applicable) and entertainment.

Irrelevant of when you book your venue in relation to your wedding date, the other thing you will need to do as soon as possible if you’re having a civil ceremony, is to book your registrar. Different registry offices have different rules on how long in advance you can book your registrar and give notice. Some will allow you to provisionally book your registrar 24-18 months before, however, others only allow you to book, provisionally or other a maximum of 12 months before. Once you get to the 12 months before or less stage you will be able to book your registrar and give notice of your marriage.

If you have booked your venue with longer to go than this, then really what you do next is up to you. You can start looking for your wedding dress and your BM’s dresses, and possible ways to decorate your venue.

When looking for photographers, you may feel that it is impossible to find a photographer at a low price. Money can be saved on all of the above areas! One of the biggest ways to save is if you are lucky enough to know talented and generous people who will either be your florist, entertainer, caterer, photographer etc for free/at a reduced price. If you are not lucky enough to know people who can do this for you, then you need to look around for a bargain. Student photographers, or photographers that have just qualified are cheaper than experienced photographers. Opting for seasonal flowers and hand tied bouquets will also reduce your expenditure.

Having your wedding at a later time, means that you may only have to feed your guests once, as opposed to twice, which will help in reducing catering costs, as well as, opting for cheaper menu options, not having canapes after the ceremony, choosing sparkling wine instead of champagne for the toast, not having a buffet in the evening, or having bacon sandwiches instead of a buffet in the evening.

As you plan you will find for yourselves the areas you feel you can save on and those that you really don’t want to. You may decide that you have never been that fussed on the idea of having a bouquet anyway and go give up having flowers at all, or only have a bouquet and button holes and no venue decoration flowers or vice versa.

First things first


1st Things 1st for the newly engaged

The search for a venue was a long and difficult one. I was aware that the average cost of a wedding at the time was 20k, and I knew I didn’t even have half of that to play with for my own wedding. The biggest part of any wedding is the venue, and it is often the most expensive part too! With my small budget in mind I knew I needed to make sure I could afford the venue.

The very first thing any Bride2B should do is work out what budget you have.
One of the ways to do this is to work out how much you think you can sensibly save every month, and when your ideal date to get married would be.
For example, if you think you can save £200 a month, and your ideal wedding date is in 2 years time, then £200 x 48 (months) is £4,800.

With this figure in mind you may then decide to up how much you save each month, push the wedding back/ or bring it forward, or if you haven’t already done so approach your parents to see if they would like to contribute towards your wedding. Some brides feel comfortable doing this, and others don’t, some parents offer to contribute towards the wedding as soon as you tell them you are engaged. However, few say at this point how much they will contribute. This maybe because they don’t know themselves or because they don’t think you need to know until you’re closer to the wedding date. The conversation can be difficult, but it is important for budgeting reasons if you are going to ask them, to ask them if they plan to give you a certain amount, or if they want to pay for certain things such as the venue, or flowers and transportation for example.

A wedding can be done on a budget of £4,800, I know couples who have done it. With a budget like this in mind it is important to think about what is important to you. For some newly engaged couples the most important thing is to have all their family and friends at their wedding, for others it is to have a lovely dress and an intimate relaxed day. Figuring out what it important to you, will help you greatly with your budget, as it will enable you to work out what you can live without on your wedding day and what you can’t.

With your budget in mind you can then start to look at venues. The venue for your wedding will be the setting for your day; it is what provides the background and the feel to your day, so it has to suit you. If you want a laid back day, you will want a less formal venue and if you are having a small number of guests you will want a venue that won’t drown your guests. So this is one of the biggest decisions you will make in the planning.

One of the easiest ways to save money is to choose your venue wisely. Start off looking on the internet to find venues in your area that you like. If they don’t have prices on their website (and many don’t) then contact them to arrange a viewing or simple contact them to ask them about their prices.

When you go to view potential venues take your fiancé, a friend or your mum along with you as it can be very overwhelming. It is easy to jump to a decision that isn’t best for you due to how emotionally charged the whole wedding planning can be. Looking around different venues will give you a good indication of what you like and what you don’t like.

Make sure that the questions you ask during venue viewings include:

  • Availability of the venue on the dates you have in mind
  • If you would get exclusive use of the venue or not (for some people having exclusive use is very important, but not so much for others). If you won’t have exclusive use of the venue on your wedding day, ask who will be using the venue, what facilities would be used, and if they would be able to go freely into the areas you are in.
  • Does the venue have accommodation for you and your guests? A venue may seem nice but it can be a nightmare if it doesn’t have rooms for you to stay in the night before or after the wedding.
  • Ask if you will have access the day before the wedding so you can set the venue up with decorations etc. If you do not have access the day before the wedding, you will have to think about who is going to set up the decorations (table centrepieces, bunting, sweetie buffet) and when.
  • And finally how much? They will most likely ask you how many guests you would be having to the day and evening among other things, so go with a rough idea of numbers in mind. My venue were amazing and drew up a spread sheet with costs on for me, of the room hire, how much food and drink would cost etc, so ask if they can do a similar thing for you.

Make sure you take a note pad and pen, for writing down key information about the venue, as it can be really hard to remember all the details once you’ve seen a few different venues, and the notes you make when visiting each venue will really help you when making your decision about which one is the right one for you.

Lastly: HAGGLE!

Don’t be afraid to ask them for a reduction in the price, see if you can work out a deal with them. Tell them what your budget for your venue is (remember, roughly half of your overall budget) and ask them what they could give you for that. A booking is better than no booking, so venues are often happy to work to your budget within reason.

Going for cheaper menu options for the wedding breakfast can massively reduce the cost, soup and chicken are often the cheaper options, or think about having 2 courses instead of 3 . Venues will sometimes give you a discount if you have a certain number of guests booking rooms at the hotel for the night of the wedding, so make sure to ask about this too.

The months from September/October to April/May are cheaper months, and in recent years September, October and April have been fabulous weather wise! So definitely think about going for one of these months instead of the traditional summer months which can be much more expensive.

Another way to save a lot of money is to have your wedding on a week day, Monday –Thursday weddings can massively reduce the overall cost.
So a Thursday in October = ching ching!

I hope these hints and tips on how to get started with your wedding planning has helped.