100 Ways to Save Money Planning Your Wedding: Part 2
So Prospective newly-weds...it's time for the second part of my 10 part series on how to save money on planning your wedding- as the title suggests! In part one I told you about the scary huge costs that can happen when you even innocently utter the 'W- word'- so don't! I also gave you some advice on how to save money on truly stunning wedding and engagement rings, and also shared some brilliant and romantic ideas for getting an unforgettable wedding reception for waaay less!
Today though, it is time for my promised advice on how to get a beautiful wedding-cake at a fraction of the regular wedding-cake retail, tips to save money on a fabulous wedding photography package, and I will ALSO be telling you how setting your date for the right times of the year can cause you to walk away with money in your pocket after your wedding to-do list has been ticked-off.
So first thing's first. Let them eat cake! But for a snip of the price of course...
11. The cake is one of the easiest things to save a fair amount of your wedding cash on, as wedding specialists charges for these are daylight robbery! So consider buying a simple sponge cake, or whatever tickles your fancy, from a supermarket and then get all excited decorating it yourself- this is super exciting because in doing this you can match your cake to your wedding theme to a higher degree! For instance if you are having a summer wedding you can match flowers on the cake to your bouquet. Or if you are having an autumn wedding some burnt orange and amber leave decorations would look lovely as part of a wider autumn theme. In winter you could use berries, mistle-toe, snowdrops etc. It's not just seasons you can do this matching with- you could also have a theme close to your hearts across every aspect of the wedding and tie it in with the cake! This is a great way to take control of your special day to bring yourselves into every aspect of it's design. You can buy ribbons, glitter, eddible flowers and pearls very inexpensively- or save even more money and just bye the moulds to make what you want. Ebay and amazon have loads of moulds that are budget-friendly.
12. If you or a friend/ family member are a skilled or even novice-baker (after all wedding cakes are just regular cakes with a little bit more decoration and a terrifying price-tag!) then make your own cake. If you are not so confident in your baking skills or want a sure-fire way to make a brilliant cake just search for the cake mix with the best reviews you can find. What could possibly go wrong?? You can always jazz it up by adding a pinch of flavoring such as vanilla or almond, a dash of rum or some dried fruit- and wallah!- a decadent wedding cake for snip of the cost! This would also be a lovely bonding opportunity for you and your bridesmaids! You could always make a cheeky few cupcakes for yourselves to enjoy on the day/ night as well before you settle down to watch a girly wedding chick-flick such as Bride Wars- a total must-see by the way if you want to melt away any wedding-planning stress and laugh so hard you cry with your favorite girls ;)
13. If you do make your own cake then Do make it well-ahead of the day and DO freeze it. This is because you want to do it well in advance of your wedding to make sure that it has turned out right and save you any last minute pandemonium trying to make another or shelling-out to replace it if it doesn't go as well as you'd hoped, and the freezing part is to make sure it stays perfect and lovely for your big day. How far ahead of the big day you would have to take it out to defrost would depend on the size and weight of the cake. Google will help you with that.
DO watch this video below on how to make a beautiful and luxurious wedding-cake. I think you'll find it is easier than you think with this super-helpful break-down of all the steps!
An amazing step-by-step tutorial to making your own luxurious wedding-cake!
Putting some flowers in between layers and on tip isn't that hard either! ;)
Bit ambitious?? :P You'd only need 1200 friends to help!
You don't need a professional photographer for some of the best shots from your day
From cake to photography- another overly-inflated cost!
So most brides and grooms are going to spend up to a couple of thousand big ones on their photography. "That's crazy!!" I hear you say- or at least I hope so! Because that IS CRAZY. The truth is that photographers make a huuuuge amount of money out of weddings, yet somehow, when it comes to every other photography gig it costs waay less for the same amount of their time. If you asked a photographer to come to your home to d a portrait shoot for your family and then asked them to take photographs for your one of your families birthday parties afterwards there is no way they would charge you that much! The truth is, it's that darn "W-word" rearing it's head again and draining all your hard-earned wedding finds away. SAY NO!
14. Today we are going to consider the non-professional route, which can work a charm! If you have any gifted photography hobbyists in either of your circles ask them to get involved. Maybe not for the whole wedding-day but at least a part of it. Your bridesmaids will be great photographers for the 'bride-in-prearation' part of the day, and that would be another super-lovely bonding thing to allow them to do for you and each-other. Most people have a photographer all day on their wedding days now from pre-make-up through to nearly then end of the reception. Hello crazy costs! So similarly this tip is all about getting people involved in your wedding- you could get the groomsmen to be doing the same for your the groom. They can even do this in-leu-of a gift for you, and this is especially handy if they are a bit cash-strapped themselves.
15. Disposable cameras on the tables. Awesome fun and a very charming addition to your wedding! So each table has one or two cameras in the middle and they start snapping various candid shots of the bride and groom, wedding party and other guests/ special moments eg the cutting of the cake, speeches, first dance, father-of-the-bride dance etc. Many couples have had the very best and most treasured wedding photos from these candid shots from people who know and love them and know what would be meaningful to them to have caught on camera. A bunch of disposable cameras can be bought on ebay really cheaply and the more you have the more chances you have of getting some really amazing photos. You could give them out in two halves though so they're not all used up at the beginning of your celebration. Maybe give a second batch out just before the dancing starts or at the distributing of the cake.
Disposable cameras can be a beautiful touch and provide perspectives of your wedding day through the eyes of your most special people...
Photography students can do wonders
16. Student photographers. They are VERY talented. They are learning all the cutting edge techniques and have the very best equipment- often because their colleges will lend them it for use as part of the course. These are the people who know the things your professional wedding photographers don't know yet- and might never get around to learning. Get in touch with your local college and ask them to forward on an email looking for a photographer or two for your wedding. Give a brief description of what is wanted in terms of time and amount of photos you would expect (they will take A LOT of photos but will only give you the ones that are good, ie in focus and without elbows and the like ruining the shot because someone moved). You might expect around 100 good photos but still ask for as many of the taken ones as you like because you want to see everything. You will also need to specify if you want any photo-editing done eg light and shadows correction, cropping and more sophisticated editing. Have a look online at wedding photography packages for ideas on your request and what editing etc you would expect.
You will also need to have a thorough look at the portfolios of these students- which they all have as photography students. Ask for them to submit these as part of their response to your email. This will help you choose the right one/ ones. Also ask for at least two references for the. One should be from their tutor and should concern their reliability, work-standard, a confirmation of whether the portfolio the have shown you is truly their work. Another should be from an employer or someone who can vouch for their reliability. I know many a student who has taken on wedding photography jobs and produced excellent work. It could cost you as little as $100/ £100 for the day and if you throw in a wedding meal and a post-shooting drink or 2 then maybe even less.
17. Whoever you get to do your photos at any stage of the day DO make sure they know exactly what you want. Send them examples of wedding photos you have found on the internet which is the kind of thing you are hoping to achieve. DO spend some time with the photographer to tell them a bit about you and what things you care about as a person so they can get a feel for you and what would make you happiest when they are capturing your day.
18. Get your free 'test shoot'. If you go with a Photography student or a newly established photographer request a test-shoot so you can go to a place which has similar lighting to the placed your wedding will be at (so in a park if you will be wanting some outside photos at a time of day when the lighting will be closest to what you want etc) and have some photos taken by the, This will serve a two-fold purpose. One, it will show you if they've got what you want for your wedding day, and two you will have some free engagement photos! Most photographers would be happy to do this if they are a student or in the early stages of their career. If you are putting out an advert either to a college or another place mention that a successful candidate will be required to do this test-shoot.
Get a complimentary engagement shoot
Did you miss part 1 in this wedding money saving series??
- 100 Ways to Save Money Planning Your Wedding: Part 1
Article 1 of 10 on how to save money planning your wedding. This article contains the wedding-saving GOLDEN-RULE and will also offer unique ideas to save you money on your rings and venue!
Make sure you get that test-shot to make sure you photographer is good in the light conditions you'll be working with.
It's that most wonderful time of the year...NO, not Christmas- June!
19.June is every wedding-budget's worst nightmare as a wedding-date. Don't do it!! Not unless it's really important for you or totally unavoidable. Try not do May or July either! This is wedding-season- and the prices to go with it will make you cry! And then cry some more. And probably a bit more- you get it right?? Yup? Good.
The wedding industry goes into overdrive when summer roles around because the sun is shining and suddenly everyone wants to get married. Hmm, but is a tiny bit more sunshine than usual really worth it? Well that, up to you to decide. The truth is, wedding venues are up to half of the peak price in Autumn, Winter and Spring- and because business isn't as fast they are waaay more willing to negotiate! Have a look at prices for the seasons then make a few haggle-request emails and see what you can save. It will genuinely make you prance a little (probably a lot) with excitement!
20. Further seasonal savings are readily available if you get married during an off-peak season because you can totally take advantage of all the celebrations around these times of the year- which summer is curiously short of. If you get married at the beginning of the year you can go for a lovely winter-wonderland theme for instance, or a new beginnings theme to tie in with your new beginning! If it's more of a spring affair you could make use of all the lovely new flowers in beam and maybe go for a spring-fling theme to your party. Later on in the year and you could use Christmas decorations (choose wisely to avoid tackiness) and could put mistletoe up (and have a lovely little kiss under it for a brilliant photo-opp and a moment to remember every Christmas to follow). You could use berries to decorate your cake and maybe opt for a black-forest-gatue. There could be crackers on the table instead of party-favors for your guest and there could be a big Christmas tree for people to hang there hopes for you on (you could get clear bobbles for people to insert paper wishes into or you could just have colorful bobbles and a pen. Whatever your off-peak wedding-date maxamise savings on luxury add-ons by getting into the swing of the season!
From one of America's most prestigious hotel chains
So there we are for part 2 of my serious on 100 Ways to Save Money on Planning Your Wedding. I will be back with part 3 soon which will feature bridesmaids and groom and groomsmen attire (I am leaving the bridal dress for the very last installment which will focus entirely on how to save a shed-load of money on your dream wedding-dress!), ways to sharply cut costs on your wedding flowers, and creative ways to take the sting out on wedding invite expenses.
Can't wait to tell you more of my tried and tested wedding-saving secrets!
Love Thirfty- Fee