Stories from Your Wedding Friend - The Wedding Planner's Blog
If you're anything like me you'll see lots of amazing pictures of beautiful weddings and hear talk about how expensive weddings are these days and think, how can anyone justify spending that much on one day. The thing is, your wedding budget is a matter of perspective. If even the 'average' figures (usually somewhere between £17000 - £30000) the press like to shout about make you want to cry, then chances are you're a 'budget bride', but you know what, that is OK.
For some of us it's just a pipe dream to ever be able to save up that much money, for others you'd rather spend the money on something that will be with you for years to come, like your first home, a car or simply your family. And that is also fine.
If I hadn't had a 'budget' wedding it would have taken me and my family a good 5 + years to save up for an 'average' wedding. At the time, we had just moved into a new house with no central heating or double glazing, it was a bargain of a place because it had been repossessed. Just starting out we were spending what we could on the essentials, but we wanted to get married as quickly as possible. We were given furniture, and rugs, and everything else was either an early wedding present or bought mostly second-hand. If it weren't for our families, we could not have planned and paid for a wedding on top.
When it came to our wedding, we were so lucky that we had friends and family willing to do what they could for us. My uncle made our wedding cake, one of my best friends did my make-up, her hubby was our photographer (and yes he was a professional photographer not an excitable amateur), one of the best men was our DJ but best of all my mum and her friend made mine and the 3 bridesmaids dresses. We spent around £200 on the fabric for all four dresses. We paid a minimal fee to the church (to cover the cost of the choir) as the vicar was a good friend of my father-in-law. The venue flowers were done between my mother in law and a fabulous local supplier. Our wedding breakfast reception was held in a community centre and the evening in a sports centre event room - neither space was overly dressed, and we didn't miss it.
I say all this because I didn't feel like a budget bride, I felt like a well-loved bride with an amazing group of people supporting our fabulous wedding day. Looking back on our wedding today I don't regret any part of it, and I don't think any of our guests really missed any of those 'extras' that we just didn't see as a priority.
The thing is as a budget bride it can feel like we can be frowned upon by some suppliers. It's true, I've heard suppliers bemoaning the couple who seem to have outrageous demands or 'champagne aspirations on a bucks fizz budget' but you know what, I understand that there are likely to be areas of your wedding where you're willing to spend a bit more and that it could be the difference between one little extra or two. I also know that worn out old phrase 'if you don't ask, you don't get' so sometimes we want to try our luck with a supplier and see what more we can get from them. And that is also fine.
Suppliers are often very passionate people, they are self employed and believe in what they offer, so yes you might come across the toastmaster who tells you your wedding might be a disaster without their help. Or the photographer who tells you your friend will ruin your wedding by failing to give you the same service they would. Or that cake your friend is making for you won't be half as good as something a professional baker would make.