Becoming Mrs Robertson: Our money-saving ideas
We didn’t have a budget for our wedding. There were no spreadsheets and there were no cutting corners and certainly no compromises. I’m the type of person who, if I want something, I simply work my backside off until I can afford it. My wedding day was going to be no different. However, I am also not the sort to waste money, spend it like it’s going out of fashion or spend now and worry later. The plan from the outset was to splurge on the things which were most important to us (the dress, the venue, the photos) and save money where we could on those extras which nobody would notice if they weren’t there.
- Utilised the skills of friends and family…my mother-in-law is a hobby florist and so produced our beautiful table centre pieces, the bridesmaids’ bouquets and the button holes as a gift to us. My sister, a hairdresser, was on hand on the day to ensure our six bridesmaids looked perfect with their pretty up-dos. What friends or relatives of yours could help by using their skills to save you money? You may find they’d be happy to help and donate their products/time as a gift.
- Bought our wedding rings online…shops have overheads so we saved lots of cash by ordering our wedding bands from www.blackcarat.co.uk My ring, in particular, cost a tiny amount as I didn’t want to detract from my stunning trilogy engagement ring and didn’t feel the need to have a second expensive ring. We instead spent more on my husband’s wedding band.
- Drove ourselves to the venue…we live within minutes of our wedding venue and so never considered paying out for transport. As it turns out, my lone drive to the venue on the morning of our wedding, with just my wedding dress for company, was a little moment of the day I will cherish forever. Beeping my horn at my mum, sister and bridesmaids in the following cars and knowing these were the last moments I would spend alone before becoming a bride were truly precious. Instead, with the money we had saved, we invested in a chauffeur driven Mercedes to take us to and from the airport for our honeymoon.
- Served our wedding “cake” as dessert…neither of us like traditional wedding cake and all too often have seen it go to waste at other weddings when guests leave their slice behind. We didn’t want to throw money down the drain in this way and so decided to serve our unique wedding “cake” (individual cheesecake!) as our dessert during our wedding breakfast. So, there was no spending hundreds on a wedding cake and no expense of gift boxes for guests to take it home in. Could your favourite dessert be turned into an alternative wedding cake? It would be one way of making your day unique.
- Bought my dress in the sale…now, I would’ve spent any amount on The dress. As much as it would’ve stung to pay over the odds for a dress, I still would have done it had the right dress been expensive. By a stroke of luck, I found my dress when the shop (www.adorebrides.co.uk) had a sale on, offering 10% off any dress. Result! Even better, my mum and stepdad footed that bill!
- Got creative with thank-you gifts…I’m a huge fan of photos. If I was given a gift of a photo from a special event, I would be over-the-moon. So, we decided to give our bridesmaids, my dad and stepmum and my sister framed photos as their thank-you gifts. For the girls, I framed a fab group shot of us dressed as Geeks at my child-friendly hen party, while for my sister I picked a photo of me and her on her wedding day and left space for a photo of us at mine to add in later. For my dad and stepmum, I dug out a photo of the three of us from when I was young, placed it in a double frame and again left the other side blank for a wedding day photo. I like to think the gifts were special, even though they cost a small amount with me printing the photos at home. Would your parents and helpers appreciate a personal keepsake more than expensive flowers which only last a few days?
- Put background music on CD…there are so many songs I wanted to include in our wedding day. We spent endless hours selecting the ones which would feature during key moments, but there were so many which were being left out. So, we asked our DJ friend (www.alirobertson.co.uk) to put together two CDs for us – one of Rat Pack favourites (with Dean Martin classics mixed in with up-to-date versions by Robbie Williams) to be played during our wedding breakfast and another – full of our favourite love songs which hadn’t made it onto the ceremony or wedding film list – to be played during our afternoon tea party on the lawn. We could’ve spent a fortune on live singers or other entertainment to fill those gaps, but it was really special to instead have bespoke playlists by the original artists as the backdrop to our day.
I would love to hear your clever tips on saving money without compromising. Post your ideas below…