Tips

How to cut costs without cutting quality: Places where you can cut corners to save money (and places you shouldn’t)!

All brides will be conscious of their spending. There will always be the need to cut costs where possible. This is a guide to where you should and shouldn’t cut corners.

Flowers

If you want a beautiful bouquet, don’t scrimp on this; remember that it is your day! But bridesmaids do not need to have expensive bouquets. Now, let me set the record straight, you have to give bridesmaids something to hold in their hand whilst walking down the aisle. I can think of nothing worse than walking in from of a group of people with nothing to occupy my hands; it’s a bit like standing in a bar without a drink or clutch bag in your hand!

Why not try a single stem flower to keep costs down? There are also alternative trends for carrying fans, lanterns or party windmills.

To save money, flowers that are used in the ceremony room should be reused in the reception room. I advise brides to have one floral piece made for the ceremony table and then to reuse that piece in the centre of the head table. Any pedal stool floral pieces can be made so that they can be taken down and used as centrepieces on your guest tables.

One word of caution, do not assume that using lots of foliage or gyp in your florals instead of flowers will reduce the cost; they can be just as expensive.

The Dress

People will always say never compromise on your dress and I agree. BUT I still believe there are savings to be made. When you choose the dresses that you like from the wedding magazines, it is likely to be from the designers newest range and therefore carrying a higher price tag. However, what brides don’t realise is that the same designer has probably had the same dress design in their range for years and have slightly tweaked it each season to keep in trend. My advice to you is to definitively try bridal outlet stores. If you go to one of the not so good outlets, you will really have to rummage to find the hidden gems.

One that I can recommend is Gillian Roberts Bridal Outlet store in Eltham. I bought my wedding dress from here so I can vouch for them. When I bought my dress, it was two seasons old so they gave me a considerable discount off (and I am talking over £450 off). When I looked at the designers newer versions of my dress, I actually preferred my older version. My dress was a designer dress. It was a mermaid style and had a sweetheart neckline. It was lace with a long train, it was boned and was heavily beaded all over; I no way compromised on quality or style.

Just because you are buying from an outlet, it doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the experience. If you find a good outlet, the dresses will be covered and have little or no damage, you will get to try on dresses in a comfortable and clean environment and the staff will treat you like a true bride; irrespective of your budget (this is another reason why I recommend Gillian Roberts Bridal Outlet store).

Bridesmaids

There is always the advice that you can ask the bridesmaids to buy their own dresses. If your bridesmaids are willing to do this, then great! But, if you feel that you cannot ask your bridesmaids to do this or you do not want the stress of dealing with a group of women who feel like they have the last say in their dress because they are paying for them, then you are going to have to pay!

If you have to pay, try to keep your bridesmaid numbers low. ASOS do some really reasonably priced bridesmaids dresses and if they have a sale, even better. My bridesmaids dresses were £140 each reduced to £39 in the ASOS sale. A small thing to note is that it can be quite stressful trying to locate various sizes in one dress, especially in the sales.

Photographer

This is the one area where I would say, “Do not cut corners”! Your pictures (or video) will be the only thing you have to remember the day in the future. Your photographer will even capture the things that you planned but missed during the day. Therefore, this is an area where I would spend money. A good wedding photographer is worth their weight in gold; especially when you need deodorant marks edited out of your pictures (yes, if these walls could talk).

Please don’t allow you brothers mate who takes good pictures to be your photographer unless you are really really (really) stuck. It’s is not worth it. Don’t, get me wrong, your brothers mate can take pictures but this should be in addition too and not instead of your professional photographer (by the way, tell your budding David Bailey to keep out of the way of the actual photographer)!

I have met so many brides that have said their biggest regret was not investing (yes it is an investment) more in their wedding photography. It is sad when you find a bride that had a wonderful day but is left with a sour taste in her mouth because her wedding pictures are crap.

Also, be aware of any deals that are too good to be true; as they usually are too good to be true. After spending a day at your wedding, a photographer can spend days editing and processing your pictures for you. No one is going to do this properly and in a timely fashion for £200.

Decor

This one is close to my heart (I run a wedding decor hire company of course).

This is the one area where you can really get stuck in yourself. Firstly, I must say that if you are time poor or aren’t very creative (and no one will help you), you may want to pay for a company to decorate your wedding. But, if you are like me, and want to do somethings yourself (to both save money and because you fancy yourself as creative), you may want to hire or buy some bits and dress your own tables. A word of caution. Avoid going into stores and just buying stuff during your wedding planning process. It doesn’t work. Not only do you end up wasting loads of money, but you usually end up with a lack of cohesion in your decor.

You can save money by hiring in decor items and doing the decorating yourself.

I would advise that anything printed should be done professionally. Vistaprint are good to use for stuff like this.Their printing service is very reasonable. You can use their templates or create your own. This is great for things like menus etc. Stay away from photocopying or computer printing; it looks cheap.

Lastly, before you opt for chair covers and sashes, it can sometimes work out cheaper in time and money to hire nice chairs rather than covering horrible one.

One quick thing, please always check the background and reviews for any supplier that you use; as with any industry, there are a lot of scammers.

Happy decision making!

Love you

Angels and Gypsies

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