Is a budget wedding even doable? As soon as the word wedding is mentioned the price is quadrupled. As an experienced celebrant I have seen lots of couples have weddings which are absolutely and totally amazing without breaking the bank so thought I would share some of those ideas here. Disclaimer here: I have so many friends in the wedding industry and know of even more outstanding vendors in everything wedding. Please know that you are wonderful and this blog in no way is meant to take away from the outstanding work you do every day.
Of course your ceremony will blow you away if you have the right celebrant for you, trust them to get everything just the way you want it and put you at your ease. You do not have to spend a lot to do that. It is not about money it is who feels right for you. Your celebrant should be able to download and play the music of your choice for the ceremony as part of their package.[ See my blog for choosing a celebrant]
What is top of the list for you. Do you want fabulous photos of the ceremony? A park or beach for background will usually fit the bill. Your photographer may be a student or family friend with an interest in photography. If you choose the latter make sure they do some homework looking at the websites of the professionals to check some fun poses, backgrounds etc. Many excellent photographers have a smaller package for 2 hours which might be just right. If your photographer costs a bit more you can cut down in some other areas but more about that later.
Invitations can be very inexpensive. Use Vistaprint or a similar service. You could also consider a personal letter if your numbers are few. Everyone likes a letter in the mail especially hand written. An invitation via email is fine. Emphasise the RSVP is required. You dont want to cater for those who cannot attend.
Some personal styling of your ceremony site would be good. Check out marketplace or wedding groups for used items at a fraction of the cost. You can hire arbours etc but this can all add up, consider having a go yourself. Depending on the look you want some big vases or jars with leaves and branches can give a lovely rustic look. Lanterns or candles are quite inexpensive too. If you don’t feel crafty ask a friend to help or go online.
Next on the list might be a wedding that includes family and friends. Know your guests. Would they be up for a week-end of camping or glamping? This is ideal for ceremony, reception and lots of fun together. A lot of this is DIY, will everyone pitch in and do their part. [See my DIY blog for more tips here. ] It is a way for everyone to feel they have done their part to make the week-end totally memorable even the little ones. If this is all a bit hard consider a late morning ceremony with a grazing platter in the park for lunch. Relaxing good fun for everyone and then a special evening alone together at a super romantic hideaway. If you prefer a sit down dinner shop around. Costs and whats on the menu can differ a lot. There are venues where you can have food vans but these can get pricey too. Another idea is a beautiful park or backyard ceremony then a restaurant or club. Guests can be asked to pay for their own meal instead of buying you a gift. This can take the worry out of buying you something. If you like a drink and want everything to be close consider a ceremony site or venue close to a local hall. You can go in the day before with your team and decorate the hall, limited only to your imagination and have it all ready to go after the ceremony. Food can be catered for or ask guests to leave their favourite dish at the hall prior to the wedding. A roster will see no-one doubles up and it is all covered to provide a fantastic wedding banquet. Another bonus with this idea is there is probably no curfew so you can party all night. Of course if lots of people is not your thing you cant go past eloping. You can take immediate family or a few friends as well. There are so many venues that cover everything from flowers to make up to celebrant that are quite affordable. Do your research and make sure you know what’s covered. Sometimes there are extras not covered in the package and they can all add up. Renting a big house on the beach sounds perfect but many places have strict rules about numbers and curfews. Some don’t allow weddings or parties at all.
The Dress. So many great options on line for preloved dresses and veils. After all they have only been worn once, then dry cleaned. Some have not even been worn. If you have a particular dress in mind this might be the way to go. If you know someone who is a great at sewing or have a trusted dressmaker this is an option. Depends on the cost of fabric too. Some fabric can be very expensive. Get the dress on line? This can be tricky, if it does not fit which seems to happen a lot there is the extra expense of getting someone to alter it. Hair clips, and shoes can all be budget wear. If you want to go less formal or are looking at a second wedding there are lots of options for a simple, elegant dress without the big price tag. Dress it up with some stunning earrings or a necklace. Rental of bride and grooms clothes may be an option as well. If you dont want to dress as bride thats fine as well. Bikini on the Beach?
Transport to the ceremony can be as simple as a friend or family member with a nice car. It should not be a member of the wedding party as they have enough to do. Clean it up, put some ribbons on and away you go. Transport after party/reception needs to be considered when everyone has had a few drinks. Uber or taxi might be the way to go.
Flowers. At the right time of year you can raid the garden. Roses and some greenery look amazing. Tie with hessian or satin ribbon. The secret is to bind up tight with several strands of twine around the stalks before you put the final ribbon on. Then cut the stalks to the one length. If the garden is not co-operating go to the local flower markets and you will find all you want there to make a stunning bouquet. Another option is dried flowers. There are many choices available second hand on wedding groups or marketplace.
Cake. If this is important for you try Utube for how to make a naked wedding cake. It can be made from mud cake purchased at Coles or Woolworths and it looks quite simple to do. Fresh edible flowers on top. Perfect. For the more adventourous a cup cake tower also looks fun.
The Wedding Party. If you want a wedding party you should negotiate for the cost of dress or suits. Do not feel bad about this, those fortunate enough to be asked should understand your situation. You are getting married on a tight budget. Yes REALLY. You either don’t have a lot of money and that is your business or you have a lot of money and want to spend it on other things. Again your business. Don’t let anyone take you on the guilt trip or tell you you will regret it. You also might regret spending buckets of money on a few hours out of your life. There is middle ground and I hope I have given you some good tips to get there. Get married, laugh, dance, love and enjoy it all no matter how you do it or what it costs. The person beside you is the only thing that matters.