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“Low Cost” Doesn’t Have to Mean “Cheap” -
Helpful Tips For the Bride on a budget

By Fiona McKay

When you were six, you were going to have a fairytale wedding. Now you’ve actually met Prince Charming and are preparing for that fantastic wedding. Only, it comes at a fantastic price.

Planning carefully allows you to have a dream wedding on a small budget. To start with, list everything you need. Then tackle each item on the list, starting with the big-ticket items.

What honeymoon packages does your travel agent have? Is there an early bird discount? Is there an off-season discount?

When it comes to your guest list, you must be ruthless. How many of those people do you really want to invite? Have a separate “Ceremony Only” guest list. You can ask nicely that guests not bring children.  Have a firm date for RSVP’s and stick to it. 

Can you use someone’s home as the venue? Ask how you would qualify for a discount if using a professional venue. Often, decorating or cleaning the venue costs extra. 

An afternoon or morning wedding is less expensive than an evening one. You can serve a light tea instead of a full meal. Have a barbeque. Order sponge cake instead of a fruitcake. Have a creative streak? Rent a special cake tin and bake and decorate your own cake. Provide a bottle of champagne per table and a cash bar. 

Party favors are cute but unnecessary. Do you know where half the party favors you’ve received are? In need, go without. A simple “Thank you” card for each person is enough.

If you’ve seen a design for a dress you like, take a picture to a dressmaker and see if they can make it up for you. Have the dress made plainly and do the beadwork yourself. If you want to be completely non-traditional, wear a beautiful evening outfit/suit instead.

Keep the tables as simple as possible. Hire what you need. Be creative - a glass bowl with floating candles and a few floating flowers can replace a formal arrangement. Use flowering pot plants in place of cut flowers. Decorate with driftwood.

Do not skimp on the photographs. You don’t need the photographer to document minute by minute, but have at least one set of professional photos done. To supplement this, have some disposable cameras handy for informal shots.

You can have your dream wedding without having nightmares about paying for it.

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