Cheap and nasty

The definition of cheap involves words such as inexpensive, economical, reasonable, of little worth, shabby, bargain, budget and discounted.  Is that how you want your Wedding to be remembered as?  Bargains are great if received in the right context.

When shopping for clothes I am more than happy to receive a bargain at a discounted rate as clothes are worn for the purpose to cover my body.  There are no long term lasting effects unless I am photographed in public wearing my pajamas which will never happen while I'm alive unless something dramatic happens rendering all my clothes useless.

When it comes to your Wedding day the last thing you want to associate it with are words like shabby, budget, of little worth and economical.  You want the best of everything and you want quality, affordability, perfection, taste, stylish, fashionable and above all else memorable for all the right reasons.  Instead of seeking out 'cheap' items/vendors perhaps we could use another word instead like reasonable or reasonably priced.

Now I know that every time you mention the word 'Wedding' the price automatically increases when seeking quotes however there are ways to keep your expenses at a reasonable level. 

Having married in 2011, I am also aware of how much Weddings cost and for us the costs were planned for with no budget set.  The total cost of our Wedding came to around $13,000.  We did not have unlimited funds to pay for our Wedding and had a rough idea of what we wanted to spend. 

We kept costs down by being very creative.  When you set a budget you end up adding more stress to an already stressful situation.  You then spend precious time arguing about money when you realise you have blown the budget but still have much to organise.

Based on my own experiences and seeing a trend appear all over social media seeking 'cheap' vendors, here are my top 5 tips for keeping costs down when planning your Wedding:

Tip # 1 - Do not set a budget
Write down on a piece of paper your must haves.  Plan around those.  For us our must haves were:

  • Dress theme for me - White Witch of Narnia
  • Reception theme - Paua
  • Transport - Horse & Carriage
  • Cake - Individual cupcakes
  • Photographer - Queensberry Album

Once we had identified the costs of each of those, we then set about making sure everything else was included.

Tip # 2 - Do not seek vendors who can provide 'cheap'
Do not scrimp and save on anything to do with what the photographer is shooting.  Hair, Make Up, Dress, Bridal Party will all be recorded for eternity through your photos/videos and if you have used 'cheap' vendors the quality of their work will show in the photos leaving you a lasting memory of the wrongful choice to choose cheap in the first place.

Tip # 3 - Be creative
Be as creative as you can to save money on the things that have less of an impact on your day.  Food, flowers, decorations and favors can all be delicately styled to appear expensive but may not be.  Cakes are becoming less elaborate these days and are appearing more 'naked' although as soon as you mention 'Wedding' cake the price increases by at least $100.  When booking the cake simply mention 'celebration' and add the topper after you have picked it up.

Tip # 4 - Guest list
When writing your guest list make sure you have the people who matter the most on it.  There were guests at our Wedding that we felt obligated to invite at the time which we haven't seen since so in hind sight they should not have made the list in the first place.

Tip # 5 - Whose wedding day is it?
Remember, this is your Wedding day not your mothers or your mother in laws.  Unless they are paying for the entire Wedding they do not get to make the decisions.  Make it very clear from the beginning that their input is valued but only when asked for.

I have seen too many brides look for cheap vendors or try to save money by hiring the bare minimum only to have their Wedding day over shadowed by disappointment and regret because something went wrong and they tried to save some money.  These types of events will lead you to look back on your day and think about how disappointed you were with what went wrong.  Instead, spend a little extra on quality and enjoy one of the most magical and memorable days of your life.

This article has been written after hearing stories from real brides about how the dress they bought overseas was nothing like they had thought it would be leaving them stressed and having to find an alternative.  There are also stories of brides whose hair and make up were complete disasters and the results showed in their photos.  Buyer beware when it comes to vendors in this industry and make sure you seek recommendations and referrals before handing over any money.

We would love to hear your feedback on what your top tip is for saving money when planning a Wedding so please comment your tip below.


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