As all our thoughts turn to romance this week, this Saturday will see huge numbers of loved up men popping the question. But the big question that they’ll be asking soon after is ‘how can we get married without breaking the bank?’
As the credit crunch bites, brides to be are still spending huge amounts of cash to get their dream day and almost half admit they will blow their budget to get the ultimate day.
But the quest for the ultimate wedding on a budget has a sad side and 67 percent of brides are struggling with the stress of organising without overspending
Julie Tooby, who specialises in planning chic weddings on realistic budgets, said: “It’s easy to get carried away when organising a wedding and this can lead to stress, arguments and massive overspending. So many couples think that the only way to get a dream wedding is to buy it and that’s not the case. A wedding where the couple has put thought, rather than cash, into everything is so much more impressive to guests.
Wedding Planner of the Year 2009, Julie, went on: “All brides want ‘something different’ for their big day but what everyone seems to have forgotten is that the best way to achieve that is to use their personalities, rather than their purse. They should be thinking about their hobbies and their likes & dislikes, not where they can buy the most expensive thing."
Amazingly, UK weddings are currently running at a whopping £60 per minute and those planning for weddings in 2009 should act now to stop their big day becoming a big payday.
Julie, who’s well known for her down to earth approach, says: “Hopefully couples will have written a budget early on in the planning and will have stuck to it.
“But as the day gets closer and panic sets in, it’s easy to start haemorrhaging money. First of all make sure you write down everything you spend because it's often the little things that can send budgets out of the window.”
The average wedding costs £20,273, with one in 10 couples taking extra jobs to pay for the union. While the big spend is often the wedding dress (pitching in at around the £1,000 mark) it’s the incidentals that can break the bank. Easy overspends include £20 on rolls of ribbon, £25 on cards for the bridal party, £50 for mums’ bouquets and £50 on mini cameras for the tables.
Julie, went on: “Avoid impulse purchases. The internet is a big culprit because it's easy to browse wedding sites, see something you like and before you know it you’ve bought it. If something isn't in your budget, you'll need to trim costs elsewhere before buying.”
Top 10 Ways To Stick To Your Wedding Budget
1. Use a wedding planner. Using Julie’s savvy know-how, especially when it comes to negotiating with suppliers, will more save stacks of cash.
2. Don't provide a floral arrangement for a top table at dinner – use your bouquet to decorate it for the photos.
3. If you pay for a dozen cases of wine for the meal, check how many are used – any 'leftovers' can be put behind the bar in the evening.
4. If you have a few large flower arrangements at your ceremony, move them to your reception and save some money.
5. Use your cake as dessert to avoid paying for an additional course and don’t forget that supermarket wedding cakes can look great and cost less.
6. Some hotel venues will give the bride and groom a complimentary room on the night. Negotiate before you book and remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get and remember, venues will often do deals on weekday weddings.
7. Don’t ignore the high street for your bridesmaid dresses where you can save up to half on the cost of speciality gowns.
8. Book a photographer by the hour if you're not bothered about snaps of you getting ready, or at the evening party.
9. If a supplier's contract stipulates that you've got to feed them, there's no need to give them the same as the guests. A bar meal or a plate of sandwiches is cheaper.
10. Kids activity bags are great but can be expensive to put together - use websites to print free 'clip art' instead of buying colouring books.
Julie Tooby is the Managing Director of Essentially You. She was named ‘Best Wedding Planner’ at The Wedding Awards in 2009 after being Highly Commended in the same category in 2008. Julie works with private clients as well as handling wedding planning at some of Berkshire’s most prestigious venues. Julie is available for interview or comment and can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07976 645480
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