Let’s face it – weddings can cost a lot of money. But there are plenty of ways to cut corners and save money, such as baking your own cake and only paying a professional baker for the decoration. And there are a huge amount of little details that can be made by you, so get your DIY gloves on and get creative…
1. Candleholders: Jam jars tied with pretty ribbon, half filled with water and topped with a floating tealight make for gorgeous and simple candleholders. You can even hang them from trees or the ceiling! Or punch holes in tin cans and add a tealight for a rustic candle holder effect.
2. Table numbers: Print out numbers onto nice paper in cool fonts and create your own wine labels to use as table numbers, or incorporate numbering into your centrepieces or place settings. Some couples like to choose a theme for each table rather than numbers, which can set the tone for the rest of your décor.
3. Flowers: Your reception and ceremony can be decorated yourself using seasonal flowers and plants placed in a variety of shabby chic containers sourced from charity shops and antique shops. Or how about mini birdcages painted white for a vintage feel, filled with beautiful blooms?
4. Place settings: Paint a circle of blackboard paint at intervals on your table cloth and simply write each guest’s name in chalk when you come to set the table! Or cut out butterflies in pretty paper, add each guest’s name and thread them into each place setting fork.
5: Favours: Buy sweets and chocolates in bulk and prettify your own packaging for vastly cheaper favours. Personalised favours go down a treat, too – perhaps something using a great photo of you as a couple. Some couples give out scratch cards or lottery tickets too (you can hold your own ‘lottery’ or prize draw by making your own tickets).
6: Invitations: Get familiar with photoshop and a word processor, ink stamps and other crafty techniques, buy some quality card and paper and make your own! Aim for simple and classic and you can’t go wrong.
7: Desserts: Cupcakes, brownies, cookies and all those childhood favourites always go down a storm at weddings. And what about an ice-cream bar, with a variety of cones, wafers, flavours, sauces and toppings so everyone can create their own?
8: Decorations: Make garlands and bunting by cutting shapes (butterflies, hearts, stars etc) out of pretty paper and sewing or threading them onto fine string. A simple way to decorate is to scatter petals, confetti or sequins over the tables for a pretty effect.
9: Guestbook: Create your own ‘family tree’ by drawing out a tree trunk shape onto a canvas or hardboard and providing different coloured ink pads for your guests to leave ‘leaf’ fingerprints all over the branches. Or cover a wall in envelopes with individual cards for your guests to fill out.
10: Bridesmaid gifts: Find your local bead shop and put together some pretty bracelets or necklaces for your favourite ladies. Or leave them heartfelt personal messages written on the soles of their bridesmaid shoes!
And if DIY and crafts aren’t your thing, then there are plenty of other ways to save money on your wedding. Shop around for the best deal, use personal recommendations and ask for discounts wherever you can. And did you know you can more than halve the cost of a designer wedding dress by shopping at a factory outlet or discount bridalwear store?
So start saving those wedding pennies for your honeymoon!