This week we’ve got another fab guide from Emma of fromalditoharrods.com where she’ll be giving tips on how to do your own wedding flowers.
With smaller bouquets starting at around £30-£40, not to mention the bride’s bouquet, floral decorations and buttonholes, wedding flowers can be a big expense. You can reduce the cost of your wedding flowers by DIYing them. Whilst it may seem like a scary project, DIYing your flowers is easy, but it is time consuming.
First of all, you will need to know what you want. Choosing flowers that are in season (or pick silk flowers) will help you to keep your costs down. Scour the internet and wedding magazines for inspiration and keep your eyes peeled for suitable vases – we managed to get 1l glass milk bottles for just 50p each. Once you have decided on a design, you will be able to get started.
Things you’ll need:
- Flowers – either real or silk
- Floral tape
- Oasis/flower foam
- Boxes to transport your flowers – you can get boxes for free from supermarkets.
If you want to order your flowers online but at wholesale prices, try Triangle Nursery.
Once you have all your supplies, you will need to:
- Choose a design and do a test before the big day. This gives you an idea of how long the bouquets and arrangements take to create, as well as whether you need to purchase any more supplies.
- Rope in a few family members and friends to help you to create the arrangements. Make them the day before the wedding – it will be too much stress to make them on your wedding day. You won’t be able to do your buttonholes the day before though.
- If you can refrigerate your flowers then great, but if not, you can store them in a cool, shaded area and make sure to water them.
Remember that your own wedding bouquets and arrangements isn’t cheap, it is just cheaper than getting them from a florist. If you don’t feel confident enough to make your bouquets then you could stick to making your floral arrangements and getting a professional to make your bouquets and buttonholes.
This is a guest post by Emma who runs the money saving and money making blog From Aldi to Harrods
Have you been inspired to have a go at doing your own wedding flowers? Why not browse all vases and jars currently for sale on Bride2Bride by clicking this link!
This week I’d like to introduce the first guide written by the lovely Emma of fromalditoharrods.com. She’ll be giving tips on how to haggle with your wedding venue.
When choosing a wedding venue, you may be put off by the cost of hiring your wedding venue. What’s more, some venues will stipulate that you must use their own exclusive caterers alongside other exclusive suppliers, or charge a hefty corkage charge if you want to supply your own alcohol. Remember that your wedding venue is a business too, and whilst they have their margins, there might be circumstances where they are happy to accept less money in order to secure a booking.
Be confident when asking for a discount. Know what to ask for. Asking for a specific thing, such as a certain percentage off your booking, free corkage or alterations to your wedding package.
- If you are prepared to get married on a weekday or outside of wedding season, the venue may be more willing to haggle – any income is better than no income.
- If you are able to, offer to pay it all upfront, or a large deposit. It means more money in their pocket right now and helps the venue to feel more secure about your booking.
- Knock off items that you don’t need – whether it be dessert, tea and coffee or some other option that you don’t need for your big day, ask what the savings would be to knock it off.
- Think about what you might be able to offer the venue. If you are a blogger with a decent social media following, they might see this as a chance to advertise. Likewise, you could offer to use your wedding photos for their advertising purposes.
- If your venue comes with exclusive suppliers then remember that the venue will be getting a commission from the suppliers. If you are having a large wedding then use this to your advantage when asking for a discount.
Some of these tips can also be applied to other areas of your wedding planning, such as the wedding dress, other outfits, catering and even your wedding rings.
This is a guest post by Emma who runs the money saving and money making blog From Aldi to Harrods
If you are on a tight wedding budget, having to also think about getting gifts for your wedding party can add another layer of stress that you don’t need!
It’s a lovely tradition and a great way to say thank you for all of their support, but you need to be practical and not go overboard on big presents that will cut into your wedding budget.
A great way to save money on this is to get presents for your wedding party that are part of their outfit, but can be kept by them afterwards as a memento of the day. Here are some ideas:
Cufflinks are always a good option – they are needed as part of the outfit and can be used again afterwards. To make these a bit different from the ordinary, why not consider getting personalised engraved cufflinks like these: www.bride2bride.co.uk/listings/2624/engraved-best-man-laser-etched-edge-cufflinks-with-box .
These super sweet personalised slates will look so pretty carried alongside a posy, but will also be a lovely item for them to hang on their bedroom door after the wedding!www.bride2bride.co.uk/listings/1855/engraved-flowergirl-slate-heart.
Something you could also consider is getting them an activity pack – this will keep them entertained and double as a fantastic keep sake for after the wedding. Check out this one for sale on Amazon.
Choosing a lovely necklace or bracelet that will compliment your bridesmaids outfit but that can also be versatile to be used again afterwards is a great idea. What girl doesn’t love some pretty jewellery! Shops like Debenhams do some great sterling silver sets that won’t break the bank. Have a look at their website to get an idea of what they offer.
Another lovely idea is to make gifts for your wedding party – I’m thinking of parents here especially who would I’m sure would love something a bit more personal. How about doing a photo book of old family photos, or selecting a couple of special ones to get framed? Sites like bank Photobox offer some great deals on photo printing.
You could also think about buying a plant rather than flowers (this is what we did for our mum’s) as you can pay such a lot for a bouquet of fresh flowers and they will only last a week or so, but a plant can be enjoyed and treasured for years to come. Have a look at sites like Gift a Plant for some inspiration.
Have you got any top tips to share for budget friendly wedding gifts?
Your wedding reception can take one of the biggest chunks of your budget so any savings here can be crucial.You might think that a traditional big hotel reception is your only choice, but there are plenty of other lower cost options to help keep your wedding spend down.
A village hall can be a fantastic cheap wedding venue choice. They are often inexpensive to hire (most village halls can be hired for a couple of hundred pounds), and normally include all your tables, chairs and other equipment too. They then leave you with the flexibility to have your own catering, drinks and decorations – you just need to have a few willing helpers to help you set up and clear away afterwards. Websites such as www.hallshire.com can help you search, or just search for village halls in your local area.
These can be a little pricier than village halls, but still offer a good value for money centrally located wedding reception venue. The buildings can often be fairly grand without the price tag of a posh hotel. Check out your local council website for details of what’s available near you. The picture featured here is from Sheffield Town Hall .
There are hundreds of pubs up and down the country that make fantastic venues for your wedding reception. They often have lovely gardens, beautiful countryside settings and great private hire function rooms which are great cheap wedding venues and the perfect setting for a lovely relaxed wedding. They’ll also be able to serve up some great pub grub for your wedding breakfast.
Local Sports Clubs
Most local sports clubs have a club house that may be available to hire and this could be particularly perfect if your local team is special to your or your fiancé. They often have cheap hire charges and again have all the same benefits as a village hall in terms of flexibity of decoration and catering. Ask around your local area or do a bit of internet research to see what’s around in your area.
Some hotels offer fantastic all inclusive wedding packages – Britannia hotels offer a wedding package which starts at £999 and includes: Bucks Fizz welcome & 3 Course Wedding breakfast for 50 guests, evening buffet for 100 guests, room hire and red carpet. See the Britannia Hotels website for more information. Other similar packages are offered by Old English Inns, andHoliday Inns.
Do you have any tips for budget-friendly wedding reception venues? Please share theme on our Facebook page!
For our wedding I thought the lighting would be really important in creating the right atmosphere and giving the look Sophie wanted.
(Our wedding reception was in a village hall). I explored lots of options including battery powered candles in jars, light strings and glowing paper lanterns. In the end we settled on the paper lanterns – inspired by photos like this one:
I looked at putting individual battery powered lights in each, but I was put off by the idea of turning on each lantern – and it was beginning to cost a lot. I then came up with a very simple solution that I thought I share.
All you have to do is purchase paper lanterns and strings of LED fairy lights (battery powered for convenience and safety). Work out what length you need – then tape bunches of individual LEDs together and hang a lantern over the bunch. Very easy. You do get exposed LEDS between lanterns – but for us this didn’t matter.
If you want to hang anything heavier than a few paper lanterns the LED string itself won’t be strong enough – in this case run some strong garden wire alongside the LED string and make sure the lanterns hang on this. This is something I’ve done in our conservatory with lanterns:
Have you been inspired to make your own lantern strings for your wedding reception?
Check out the paper laterns for sale on Bride2Bride and light strings too!
Or you could try searching Amazon.co.uk for battery LED light strings
John and I had a village hall wedding and didn’t have a huge budget. Based on our experiences, here are a few tips for how you too can keep your wedding budget down.
1. Think about the timing of your wedding. We got married at 3pm, and this meant that we only had to feed our guests one main meal, plus a light snack/wedding cake later on in the evening. Incidentally, our light snack was buttered crumpets (yum!)
2. Think about the type of food you want. You don’t necessarily need to go for a three course meal for your guests. We had big sharing platters of cold meats, cheeses and breads etc (sort of like a posh buffet), which was much cheaper than a hot three course meal. You can also have a wedding cake that would double up as a dessert for your guests which can be a big saving.
3. Make your own/do it yourself where possible. We made all of our own invitations & name cards for the tables, which saved us quite a bit compared to buying readymade/bespoke. My Mother in law also made us some tea light holders which we used as table decorations, and these doubled up as wedding favours for our guests. We also bought some coloured card and a couple of butterfly punches to create our own table confetti. John rigged up some fairy lights and paper lanterns – he’ be telling you how he did this in a future post so look out for that one! I did have my hair professionally done on the morning of the wedding, but my bridesmaids did their own hair, and we all did our own makeup.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family & friends You just never know what hidden talents they have! Here’s a few examples of the help we received:
- My mum made the wedding cake
- John’s mum made our table decorations/favours
- Our close family & friends helped us cover 100+ chairs with covers & sashes, saving us from paying the hire company to do this
- A family friend provided flower arrangements and vases for all of the tables for a very small charge
- We were able to borrow speakers from our best man so that we could have music outside
5. Buy second hand wherever possible you can pick up wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, veils, and decorations etc for a fraction of the price of buying them new. I wonder where I’m going to recommend you do that?! ;o)
If you have any money saving tips from your wedding, we’d love to hear from you – please visit our facebook page and tell us about it on our wall Bride2Bride on Facebook
10 top tips for making your wedding budget go further
No matter what your wedding budget is, there are plenty of ways to trim down the costs and make your budget go further, ensuring that you have the day of your dreams. Following these simple tips will help you to stretch your wedding budget.
1. Decide where to splash the cash
When you first start planning your wedding, sit down and think about the aspects of your wedding that are important to the both of you. Focus your budget on things that are important to both of you and scrimp on the things that are less important to you. You could even go as far as skipping the things that aren’t important to you altogether.
2. Haggle haggle haggle
You’ve heard the saying “don’t ask, don’t get”, and the true is same for your wedding. Bear in mind that you are spending a lot of money on your big day and many vendors might be happy to offer you a discount in order to ensure your business. If you aren’t confident enough to ask for a set amount or a percentage off the price, you can use the key question “is that the best price you can do?” which invites vendors to offer a discount or a freebie. Some suppliers won’t be willing to offer a discount, but they might throw in some extras, for example a DJ might offer free early set up or a florist might offer free buttonholes. These extras will save you money too!
3. Cut down on the catering
If you are planning canapes after your ceremony, a three-course wedding breakfast, wedding cake, a sweet trolley, an evening buffet and late night snacks then that is too much food. Not only will you spend a lot of money, but the food will go to waste as neither you nor your guests won’t be able to enjoy it all. You can easily cut back on canapes or an evening buffet and make big savings. Another alternative is to cut down the wedding breakfast to just one or two courses.
4. Buy flowers in season
This is a great way to stretch your budget as flowers that are in season will be easier to get hold of and be much cheaper. Choosing large flowers like peonies and hydrangeas will help to fill your bouquet or arrangements without coming with a big price tag.
5. Pull in favours
Not wedding favours, personal favours! Your friends and family are a talented bunch, and you probably have an expert baker, an aspiring florist and a graphic designer amongst them. Asking them to provide their services free of charge in lieu of a wedding gift is a great way to stretch your budget – or if that feels cheeky you can offer to pay for the materials they use, or ask them for “mate’s rates”.
6. Cut out the non-essentials
Pinterest has a lot to answer for when it comes to weddings, but you can still have a day that both you and your guests love without spending a fortune. There are simple ways to cut the costs for your big day – you don’t need to give your guests a wedding favour (they often get left behind anyway) or you could send out electronic save the dates to save on printing and postage costs.
7. Buy second hand
Imagine this – a couple buy brand new, expensive table centerpieces/bunting/accessories for their wedding, what do they do with them afterwards? More and more couples are choosing to resell their wedding items to release some cash or create more space in their home. Bride2bride is the perfect example of this, where you can buy everything for your wedding from outfits to vases. You can also keep an eye out on local Facebook selling groups, charity shops or even boot sales to find second hand wedding bargains.
8. Research before doing it yourself
Doing it yourself has become a trend in weddings, with lots of advice about how it will save you money. Be sure to spend some time looking for the best prices around for your materials and don’t always assume that doing it yourself will be cheaper. In some cases, after purchasing all your materials you might be spending more than purchasing ready made items. If you are looking for bespoke items, check out Etsy for one of a kind guest books, wedding invitations and more.
9. Use online money-saving tools
You’ve done your research, you know what you want – now make sure that you find the cheapest supplier using money-saving online comparison tools. A great example is wedding insurance: do you research to work out how much cover you need, then use a comparison tool (we’ve put together a simple grid to help your compare and find the best wedding insurance for your needs).
10. Sell the day after
Ok, this is a shameless plug for everything that’s great about Bride2Bride, but once you’ve had your celebrations, even if you keep your wedding dress, why not sell your chair covers, table decorations, name place holders and accessories to help recoup costs and reduce your overall spend? Use our site and it’s free to list your items!
Following these tips will help you to keep within your budget whilst still making your big day magical. We would love to hear your tips for making your wedding budget go further – leave us a comment below and tell us your top tips.
This guide from Emma of fromalditoharrods.com helps you with advice to make sure you’re a smart shopper to help you save money.