Merry Christmas! I hope you’ve had a lovely week of festivities and have been able to enjoy some time off!
Did anyone get a ring for Christmas? Or perhaps you’re getting married in 2018?? I thought this would be a good post for anyone who got newly engaged over Christmas (how exciting!), as well as those couples perhaps in the final throes of their planning process…
When you’re planning a wedding there is so much to think about, the whole process can get incredibly stressful and it’s easy to let your budget get out of hand. Annoyingly, there are also lots of hidden costs involved, which often can’t be helped, so I wanted to share a few insights with you so they are not a complete surprise further down the line.
Hopefully it will make your planning process a little easier too!
First up is postage. Seriously! You may think that you’ll only need to purchase stamps, but if you have a heavy or thick card for your invites, any form of embellishment on them, have envelope liners, or are including RSVP cards, then the postage cost may go up considerably. Make sure that your invites can happily fit into a standard-ish envelope, and avoid things which will need a ‘Large’ classed stamp.
Don’t forget about your postage for your ‘Save the Date’ and ‘Thank You’ cards too, so you could consider going online for these. I think it’s totally fine to do an online ‘Save the Date’ as an announcement, but I would always recommend to do a handwritten ‘Thank You’ card – it’s much more personal and heartfelt.
Stationery by Devine Bride
Wedding Stationery (Not Your Invites)
After your invites are sent out, it’s time to think about all the other paper products you’ll need for your big day. Order of service, menus (including buffet signs, allergy signs or ingredient notes), table plans, table names, place settings and other signage for the day. To save costs, get your wedding party involved to help. Place settings don’t necessarily have to be perfect or designed by a professional, if you have nice handwriting you can easily write them yourself – or delegate to a trusted wedding party member!
If you are handwriting your place cards, just remember to order around 10% extra cards for wastage and little mistakes, and always leave yourself plenty of time – this job always takes much, much longer than you think it will.
On one of the biggest days of your life, when you will be photographed more in one day than you have done in your entire life, you want to make sure your dress is a perfect fit. The right fit can totally transform any dress, and any shape. Some designers or brands throw in alterations with the price of the garment, but that can be a rare deal. Ensure you have enough money in your dress budget to cover alterations, and make sure you leave yourself with enough time to get this done without any stress.
Also, a great way to save money on your outfits for the big day is to visit sample sales, but remember that you’ll definitely have to have the dress altered to fit you. Always buy samples that are slightly too large for you rather than too small, as clothes are much easier to take in than let out. (And you will be your own worst enemy if you set yourself weight loss goals… This is never a good idea.)
Me on my wedding day! Photo by Cotton Candy Weddings
Outfits – Your Hen and Beyond
It’s not just your dress for the main event you’ll need to worry about, you may also want to buy a new outfit for your hen party (usually a white party dress), the night before the wedding, and the day after if you’re having a brunch with your guests (or even just seeing family off). If you want to save money here, I would suggest borrowing something special from a friend or bridesmaid, that way your outfit will still feel new to you and your friends will enjoy helping you out.
Flowers and lighting will make up the majority of your decorations but you may also find yourself purchasing extra items here and there, and before you know it you’ve spent a fortune on small decorative bits and bobs. Keep a list of all of the items you’re buying and try to stay off Pinterest, if you can! Stick to a plan of things that you definitely need and don’t stray from it. You don’t want to end up with a mish mash of wedding decor that was bought on a whim, either.
Extra items you may need might include; a basket for confetti, centrepieces, lanterns, candles, bunting, ceiling decor, balloons, helium, table decor, sparklers, party poppers, a box or basket for wedding cards or gifts, etc, etc.
Planning, set up, decor, styling and photo by Devine Bride
You’ve hopefully accounted for the cost of your wedding breakfast and any other extras on the day (like canapés), but if you’re hosting family and friends from afar you may have to feed people multiple times. At the very least, you’ll have your mum and your ‘maids the morning of, and evening snacks (drunk food or buffet food for evening guests) is often not included in wedding packages.
Additionally, lots of couples host a rehearsal dinner the night before and a brunch the morning after, which are lovely ideas but obviously this can really rack up catering costs. Unfortunately, this is usually a necessity for destination weddings… but if you have your own accommodation, or if you are hosting guests in your own home, perhaps you could ask everyone to bring a dish or a course to help keep costs down.
Gifts for Family and Friends
It is simply impossible to try to plan a wedding on your own and it’s customary to buy a little something for those who have helped you out the most to say thank you. Something personalised that they can keep forever as a memory is always touching, but it’s also a lovely idea to make up little goodie bags or packages for the people who have helped you bring the wedding to life. Some couples hosting a destination wedding put together welcome baskets for every single guest, which is a lovely idea if you can afford it. Try to buy small gifts that aren’t cumbersome to transport, or if you have the time make some yourselves. Personalised mini bottles of champers and a heartfelt letter will go down as just as much of a treat, though.
Stationery by Devine Bride
These were just a few of the common oversights on wedding costs to get your started, I hope they will help you plan and budget on your own terms for your wedding. Hopefully saving some cash in the process!
Remember to stay focussed and only buy what you really need!
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