The size of your wedding budget is no guarantee of your wedding’s success. Some of the best and most stylish weddings have been put together on a small budget while equally, those that have cost thousands can still have their hiccups! So, just how do you get it right? Celebrity wedding consultant Liz Taylor of the Taylor Lynn Corporation let us into some secrets and reveals her top 10 wedding saving tips:
- Work out your budget in advance and then spend your money wisely by focusing your main cash in one or two areas that people will remember long after the wedding, such as fabulous live entertainment or simple yet striking table dressings.
- Look to choosing your preferred venue’s quieter months or days of the week for your wedding. Sundays are quiet in hotels and ‘twixtmas’ – between Christmas and New Year – are also usually a cheaper time and actually very romantic. Even the very best venues have quieter times, so check when they’re ‘off-peak’ are and negotiate costs. Alternatively, see if you can stage the wedding reception at a friend’s house or in their garden; or investigate local restaurants with private dining rooms that you could use.
- Using a wedding planner can save you money. We can often negotiate the best deals from the best and most reliable suppliers, such as entertainment, catering, venue and so on. Plus you don’t have to use a planner to organise everything – we could simply help source the best DJs, stunning marquee or sushi caterers for you, and you can still enjoy planning the rest of your wedding.
- Who says you have to have a new wedding outfit? Remember the old adage of ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ – why not recycle a family heirloom or go vintage and simply update it with some modern accessories and shoes. Alternatively, you could look for elegant eveningwear from a good department store – that way you get all the style without the added premium of a wedding dress or formal suit price tag.
- Forget written invitations – try the eco and budget friendly email invitations instead. Social media invitations is an option, but I very much believe that people like to receive something a little more personal.If, of course, you still like the romance of a postal invite, look at one of the many greeting card websites where you can design and print your own invitations.
- Be creative with your floristry – use fresh flowers from your own garden as a simple hand tied bouquet and button-holes. As an alternative you could order a couple of large bouquets of fresh flowers on-line and make your own wedding flowers from these, which is much less costly than a florist. Regardless of where you buy them from choose seasonal flowers as this will significantly reduce costs.A big trend is to mix a few flowers with fresh fruits such as apples, lemons and limes, for a natural and less expensive table decoration. Place these on simple white linens, which most venues provide, and you have a first class look.Or try using a variety of candles in different styles of glass holders, jars and tea light holders. Arrange them at different levels on the table to add height and interest, or float them in a simple perspex trough of water along the centre of the table, and your display will look stunning. You could dress simply with a few flowers, but it’s not always necessary especially if you opt for coloured linens.
- Put a reliable friend in charge of the photography. Many of your friends will have digital cameras at the wedding, so why not ask one (the most reliable!) to act as photographer for the day. You could also place disposable cameras on the reception tables and collect these at the end of the night. Photo booths are also a great source of fun shots from the day.
- Ask friends or relatives to help make your wedding cake and favours. Your cake doesn’t have to be traditional and tiered – try a beautifully iced sponge cake with simple decorations from a local catering supplier. Or buy a plain, iced cake from a quality supermarket or artisan baker, then decorate with some fresh flowers on top.A cake stand overflowing with colourfully iced cupcakes can look contemporary and fabulous, or opt for one real and two dummy layers of cake – iced to match your the top. No one will ever know!
For favours, a few quality chocolates wrapped in colourful tissue paper and ribbons can look very stylish. Homemade truffles are even better tasting and cheaper. Don’t forget the children’s favours – some inexpensive colouring books, crayons and a few sweets always works well and are not costly to make.
- Catering can be expensive so you could opt for an early ceremony and lunchtime wedding breakfast, where people tend to eat less and consume less alcohol. Otherwise dispense with the formal sit-down meal and just have one fabulous party with a BBQ on the lawn, a vintage afternoon tea reception or ‘street food’ – a more informal catering that is huge hit. Gourmet pizzas to sushi, posh kebabs to fish and chips – all great fun!
- Switch from champagne to a bellini or kir royale made with prosecco or sparkling wine for the reception – guests won’t notice. Also ask your venue to charge only for ‘drinks on consumption’ – that way they won’t open and make you pay for all the wines, just what is actually drunk.
About Liz Taylor
Liz Taylor has been planning stylish wedding for more than 30 years. She is managing director of award-winning celebrity wedding planners the Taylor Lynn Corporation.
Cupcakes on stand: Cripps Barn wedding, Gloucestershire