Having a frugal wedding is perfectly possible, it just takes a little more planning and thought.
This second page of tips and advice on cutting the costs on your big day looks at the issues and costs around the wedding receptions.
Another great expense on the day can be the flowers for the bouquets and table decorations. Of course frugal weddings don't actually have to have flowers at all, but you can still have some within budget if you think cleverly.
I think my sister spent around £400 on hers the first time. To reduce this cost make your own bouquet from flowers bought the day before at your local supermarket or garden centre (florists are too expensive).
You can mix and match your bouquets and tie them together using coloured ribbon. After the service the bouquets can be used for table decorations, the brides for the main table and the bridesmaids for the guests tables.
Another option is to forgo the whole bouquet thing and get yourself and the bridesmaids to each carry a single long stemmed red rose or lily, with the stem bound in ribbon. Beautifully simple and elegant. Again these can be placed in vases on the tables afterwards.
Depending on how many guests you have and the venue this can be one of the biggest costs on the day, but planning it with your frugal wedding hat on, A great party can be had by all for a fraction of the cost.
Try to have your wedding on a weekday rather than at the weekend when costs of hiring venues can double. A Friday afternoon/evening is a good choice. Always look around for special offers at different venues in your area for off peak times.
If decorations are required at your venue, to keep within your frugal wedding budget, keep them simple and arrange them yourself with friends.
Strings of white Christmas lights and plain white tablecloths give a certain simple elegance. Bunches of pastel coloured balloons, tied with draping ribbon, placed around the walls is a great way to add simple spots of decoration.
If buying wine for the reception, check out your local supermarket or large wine sellers who will often lend you glasses free of charge when you buy wine from them.
A buffet is the cheapest option and if you can arrange for family and friends to do the catering for you the better.
I have been to too many buffets laid on by so-called professional caters where all I kept saying to myself is " I could have done better".
Always keep in mind health and safety issues and make sure that there is enough refrigeration available at your venue.
Arranging the wedding catering yourself can be a great saving and if kept simple can be easily arranged.
To have a cake made for you can cost hundreds. My sister hired a wedding cake stand and we baked about four fruitcakes and decorated them with marzipan and white icing.
Red ribbon was placed around each cake and once they were placed on the stand and the little bride and groom were placed on top, it was hard to tell that we had made it ourselves. It was yummy too.
This can be a tricky decision to make. The cheapest option is to ask a friend who is into photography and who is prepared to take on the responsibility. However most friends would find this too much of a risk, what if something went wrong?
Well you will have to decide how upset you would be if something did go wrong. You could always get two friends to take the pictures as a fail-safe solution.
Another option is to ask at your local art school to see if any students would be prepared to do the photography at a reduced cost. But always be sure to see examples of their work first.
Enjoy your wedding day (with a secret smile inside with your knowledge that your frugal living budget is in tact)
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