For those planning a wedding, it’s fair to say cost saving isn’t often a main priority. Yet in 2023, with all the talk of cutting back in every area of our lives, more engaged couples will be looking to keep the costs under control. With the average wedding costing anywhere between £9000 and £32,000, even those doing well financially might want to look at ways to nip and tuck the budget.
Luckily, there are ways to stretch your wedding finances without losing any of the style or impact. Dharby, Wedding Planner, at the Grade II listed Sheffield wedding venue, The Old Rectory, Handsworth, shares ideas for a wedding that looks a million dollars – without a price tag to match!
“Nobody wants their big day to feel like a bargain basement wedding,” Dharby begins, “but with some clever insider tips and stylish swaps your wedding could cost significantly less, and still impress guests.”
There’s a reason this wedding tradition has made it down through the ages, not just because it was originally thought to bring luck to the wedding couple. Borrowing, renting, or even asking for certain elements of the wedding day to be gifted can have some significant savings for you on your big day. More so if it’s a high-ticket item such as a wedding dress or bridesmaids dresses. And you don’t have to wear or use it in its original state (unless of course that’s specified by the original owner). Take a vintage wedding dress and find a local tailor or seamstress to give it a more modern edge. You could take sewing lessons yourself if you feel the need to give that item a truly personalised touch.
Pre-loved items too can give you brilliant bargains. With some savvy brides finding designer gowns at a fraction of the cost. Resell at the end and it’s possible you could make your money back entirely. Time to scour the auction sites and charity shops to see if you can find the deal of a lifetime.
Stylish Décor Swaps
Fresh flowers are by far the biggest cost of the decorative elements of a wedding day. So, it’s worth thinking outside of the box for wedding décor that doesn’t include the floristry fee. If you’re green fingered, you could grow your own plants and keep them in their pots for a sustainable yet stylish swap. Provide seeds or miniature seedlings as favours and your décor doubles as a thoughtful token for guests to take away, and that demonstrates just how easily love grows.
Candles can easily replace flowers as table centres, offering a soft romantic glow to any reception or ceremony space. You could use green foliage as a substitute for floral displays too, a cheaper cut by far. Nestle them in among rustic wood or beach salvaged shells and you might not even miss the petals. If you do, choose a budget-friendly bloom like gypsophila – a dainty decorative flower that can make a big impression.
If you have a large space to fill hanging giant pom poms, paper fans and pin wheels from the ceiling is impactful dramatic and low cost – a perfect combination.
Looking for more ways to keep it stylish and low cost – stick to the same colour palette but bring in different shades of the colour for an ombre effect. Think deepest red to palest pink.
Reimagine the Day
Weddings tend to follow the same format with a familiar structure, catering, guestlist and regular traditions. Yet there’s nothing to say that your big day has to be a carbon copy of everyone else’s. And in fact, the similarities in weddings are often what pushes people to go way over their original budget in a bid to outdo, or at the very least ‘keep up with the Jones’s.’
Change the format of the day and you could be surprised at how liberating it is. Move the ceremony to the morning and follow it with a lazy brunch. As an historic Sheffield wedding venue, The Old Rectory provides the perfect backdrop to an elegant afternoon tea wedding – jazz, scones, and some sparkling wine cocktails. Divine. Or choose a twilight ceremony, popular with guests at the Old Rectory, which offers a late buffet meal and a fabulous party! All of these options will reap the rewards when it comes to the catering bill and will make your day stand out as something unique and memorable.
Remember though, the key to saving in these situations is communicating the end time to your guests, you don’t want to start in the early hours only for the party (and bar bill) to run on indefinitely.
Go off peak
Another high-cost element in a wedding day is your venue. By opting for less popular days – Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays you could take advantage of off-peak rates.
Similarly, certain seasons can be less attractive to the majority of couples – winter weddings for instance, particularly January can be significantly cheaper than the spring/summer months. And it’s not just the venue but the photographer, florist, make up artists and entertainers who will probably have more availability in low season.
It could be a step too far for some but lots of couples avoid Friday 13th weddings because it’s considered unlucky for some, especially in Christian tradition – so if this isn’t a factor for you, you can make even bigger savings by booking then. Worth a look if you’re not a superstitious type.
The Old Rectory is available for weddings of all shapes and sizes, both peak season and off-peak times. Contact Dharby to book a no obligation venue viewing or to meet our wedding planning team.