Where To Spend, Save And Compromise On That Dream Wedding!

A wedding is about joining two people together in a bond that will last a lifetime. Yet many modern couples face something beyond their unification, with the prospect of a huge bill at the end of it. We all know that weddings are expensive, yet we still manage to be surprised when we start getting quotes.

It’s at this point that the more frugal among us begin to worry. A wedding is a spectacular, wonderful occasion – but it is just one day in our lives. All being well, it’s something we’ll only do once. Yes we want it to be special – and spectacular would be welcome as well – but when the costs are running to a year’s wage, we look for other options.

Don’t worry – this is not the point where we will immediately begin to advocate a DIY wedding. You don’t have to spend any money at all! You can create everything you want with some innovation and Pinterest boards! This is the common suggestion for wedding money worries, but it has a drawback. For working couples, the idea of being able to spend hours making posies or creating banners just isn’t workable. A wedding is stressful enough without giving you lots of crafting requirements, which may or may not be suited to your abilities.

DIY weddings have their charm, and if it’s feasible, then it’s well worth considering. But for two many couples, it would just be swapping one stress for another.

The other option to consider is substitution. Look for something you want, decide on it and then go for something cheaper with a close-enough look to it. Yet couples don’t like this, for they don’t want to feel they have scrimped on their special day.

So where do you draw the line? You have to make a decision somewhere, and you’ve yet to find the money tree you’re half-hoping exists. The answer is in knowing where to draw the line. So which areas deserve the attention; where can you Splash Out, DIY and Substitute?

Splash Out: Money Spent Wisely

The Venue For The Ceremony

The ceremony is the actual part of the wedding that counts. A lot of couples fall into a trap of thinking the ceremony is only a small part, and the reception is what counts. Then they look back on their photos of the ceremony and are disappointed. While the reception is important, it’s what happens beforehand that really counts. Don’t be tempted into a cheap-and-cheerful ceremony with a lavish reception. At the very least, try and balance them, so they both have their own wonder.

Jose Villa

Photo credit: Jose Villa

Flowers and Lighting

The reception venue itself doesn’t need to be spectacular. A simple church hall or a hotel conference room; all you need is a canvas. When you have your blank base, then your money is best spent on the things that will make it wonderful.

Lighting is essential for any occasion, especially if you’re getting married in the months with shorter years. Always make sure you visit your potential reception venue both in the daytime and at night. You may think that floor-to-ceiling windows will allow plenty of light, but what if the day is overcast? If the lighting installed in the venue is insufficient, then use tripods or fairy lights to get it an extra lift. You can also incorporate lighting into the centerpieces.

Flowers are a staple of weddings, and for good reason. They signify flourishing beauty, and it’s an area you will regret skimping on. If you’re tired of the usual boring wedding arrangements, then go for tropical flowers from the likes of With Our Aloha and similar. They give a splash of fresh color and something unique that is all your own.

DIY: The Areas You Can Realistically Do For Yourself

Invitations

The wedding may be considered to begin with the invitation, but it’s a tiny prelude. For most modern couples, Facebook exists. You don’t even need to send save-the-date cards if a simple email will suffice.

It’s less romantic and you won’t have anything to save, but it could save you a fortune. If you’re worried about losing face, then explain when doing your invites that you were hoping to get responses as soon as possible from them.

Substitute

The Dress

Yes, the precious dress. While it is a massive part of the wedding and something to be treasured, it is nevertheless an outfit that you are only going to wear once. Designer creations can run into the thousands.

Photo credit: Phan Tien Photography

There is so much mythology around the dress that it has almost taken on a life of its own. We’ve convinced brides that as soon as they find “the one”, it will have a magical and transforming property. It’s a neat bit of marketing; as the cost of dresses get more and more expensive, makers have convinced brides of their essential nature. It’s the kind of PR that millions of items would kill for.

Realistically, the only thing that matters is that you feel good in the dress. If you can look in the mirror and be happy, then nothing else is relevant to the situation. It doesn’t matter what the price tag is or what the label is; it’s how you feel in it.

If you find that you truly love a designer creation, then you can use it as the basis to create your own. Given the costs of some designer items, it can be cheaper to get a custom design by an experienced dressmaker. Plenty will offer the service, and have recommendations on cheaper fabrics that will still give the same overall impact.

 

These are just the beginnings of ideas. There are many other areas that you can apply the same tactics. Always question your motives for wanting something. Do you want something in your wedding because you actually desire it, or because you have been conditioned to think that you want it? If you ask this question often enough, you’ll soon begin to see the answers.

 

Location – The Key to Your Dream Wedding

No one doubts a wedding is all about the bride (and, well, to a lesser extent, the groom). Traditionally, it’s the bride who plans the majority of the wedding and the groom is relegated to choosing his groomsmen, and, if he’s lucky, the music for the reception. Of course, there’s the exception of the couple who choose to do everything together and make all decisions together.

 

Once you’ve committed yourselves to each other, you need to commit – as soon as possible – to another important decision: the wedding date and wedding venue (such as The Brighton Savoy). If you’re going to a have a wedding with guests, it’s assumed that you want to take your vows in front of your family and friends and declare your love and forever affection to each other in front them. Additionally, that should mean that you want your guests to be (nearly) as happy and joyful as the two of you are. By no means should you plan your wedding around anyone else’s schedule, but you need to be aware that when you choose a date, you can “open up” the entire month of your wedding or a month before, a month after, as long as you want to, and your budget permits. However, your guests won’t have that luxury. If you desperately want a Christmas wedding you should have one, but you might want to rethink how many guests you’ll want to have. Christmas is a magical time to many, even those willing to share their wedding anniversary with the “day of the lord’s birth.” There’s little doubt you’d have a pretty wedding with your venue (if you choose a hotel) pre-decorated.

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Photo credit: Brighton Savoy

But here’s the rub: Christmas is probably the most expensive time to travel, and that is asking your guests (likely people you really, really want to come to your wedding) to not only spend a good deal of money, but to spend it away from home. In other words, a Halloween wedding can be a delightful theme wedding, but a New Year’s Eve one, less so – if the guests have had to take out a loan to attend.

 

The next step is the venue. You can look into unusual locations, like the library, a museum, an art gallery, a boat or even a theatre. Or, you could choose a more traditional venue, like a hotel which will give you a choice of venues within their property and provide your guests with an excellent and fun place to stay. There is an elegant wedding venue in Melbourne like Brighton Savoy, which has four fully functioning reception rooms geared for larger (up to 250 guests) and smaller (as few as 24). Two of the rooms have gorgeous views, one of the Brighton Beach and one of Port Phillip Bay.

 

There are a series of questions to consider when choosing a venue and one in which you can have the actual wedding ceremony and the reception are much favoured by guests who prefer not to navigate an unfamiliar area.  These include:

 

  • Number of guests it can accommodate
  • Can the wedding service as well as the reception be held in one of the rooms?
  • Will the hotel portion block off rooms for your guests – and under what circumstances (will the block be guaranteed or open?)
  • How is pricing determined? Is there a package that includes everything, the service, the reception, the food, the dance floor, the DJ, the tables, the chairs, the AV system, the cake?
  • What are requirements and restrictions?

 

Be prepared and your dream wedding is within sight!

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