20 brides-to-be, 20 money saving wedding tips


Getting married is a pricey affair but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways you can slash the cost of everything from your bridal gown through to the bonbonnieres.

Financial comparison site, Mozo.com.au, asked hundreds of brides-to-be to share their top cost cutting tips for their big day.

From the thrifty bargain hunting tactics through to the cheeky cost cutting methods, here are 20 money savings tips from 20 brides-to-be:

Invitations

  • “Design your own Save the Date card and Invitations and get them printed from Vistaprint”: Marie
  • “Only invite those who you know you won’t be sorry you invited in 20 years time!”: Kathryn                                                                                                           

Photography

  • “Do a pre-wedding shoot. Without guests around, it takes less time (and costs less). On the day itself, get a relative to snap important moments”: Kate
  • “We’ve asked friends to take turns taking happy snaps of our wedding and upload the photos onto our instagram account! Saves on a photographer!”: Candice

Bridal gown

  • “Save on an expensive wedding dress by recycling and buying a retro vintage dress instead”: Seyon
  • “Buy your dress from eBay USA – beautiful brand new designer dresses for under $500!”: Faria

Shoes

  • “Every bride needs something borrowed, why not be specific and borrow your wedding shoes? Today glitsy heels are very accessible”: Sian

Ceremony

  • “Plan a sunset ceremony on a weekday eg. Friday as this provides a cheaper venue cost”: Liz
  • “We are doing a morning wedding and ceremony for close family and friends only, and making a lot of our own decorations”: Jess

Food

  • “Instead of gifts, ask family and friends to bring a plate and have a picnic in the park after the wedding”: Sarah
  • “Cooking your own meals with your partner will ensure you not only have fantastic food but also at $10 a meal who can go wrong?”: Karley

Alcohol

  • “Our friend home brews so is brewing the whole bar for our wedding saving us hundreds of dollars!”: Hannah

Cake

  • “Ask for a ‘celebration cake’ rather than a ‘wedding cake’ and try chain bakers like The Cheesecake Shop or Michel’s Patisserie”: Julia

Flowers

  • “I am cutting out the middle man and am befriending a flower farmer, creating my own bouquet and supporting a local grower”: Candice
  • “IKEA sells amazing artificial flowers. One shopping trip and a couple of YouTube clips has saved me $600+ dollars. My beautiful bouquets are perfect!”: Toni
  • “For the wildflower look, keep an eye out for flowers that grow along the sideways of the freeway/highway! Also, baby’s breath is cheap too!” : Peta

Decorations

  • “Make decorations from stuff you can get from op shops. For example I am going to put pebbles and a candle into a jar for the table decorations”: Jacinda
  • “I have spent 3 months folding paper flowers to create a beautiful bridal table backdrop for my reception. Resources have only cost me $6”: Danielle

Bonbonnieres

  • “We spent $40 on a custom-made cookie cutter for gifts for the guests – much better than a corkscrew each or something”: Hannah
  • “Use a free app to personalise and print individual wedding favour gifts for all of your guests!”: Alisa

For more thrifty tips for your big day, head on over to Mozo’s wedding hub.

Advertisements

How to make a DIY flower crown in 5 simple steps


Our good friends from FreshFlowers.com.au have put together a great DIY post on how to make a flower crown.

If you don’t remember the heady days of the 60’s then you might not know what a flower crown is and why in the world you might want to make one. For those of us who were young and flamboyant in the 60’s however, we remember these whimsical and girly flower crowns with affection.

So it was quite a surprise to realise that floral crowns are making a big comeback with young girls today and that just about everyone wants to be seen wearing one of these fabulous floral creations.

They look absolutely beautiful on blushing brides and you can match them to your wedding dress and to the bride’s dresses as well. You don’t have to keep them to weddings though, because they bring a fresh and girly feel to just about any happy event.

Making your own floral crown is really easy if you have a ready supply of flowers in your garden. Otherwise, if your garden is bereft of flowers, then you can simply order flowers online and have it delivered in Melbourne or any other cities across Australia.

So grab your girlfriends and have a wonderful day making these beautiful floral crowns for yourself and each other.

  1. You need to collect your supplies together which includes, flower wire, tape and wire cutters, as well as a selection of fabulous flowers and some greenery.

Measure the circumference of your head and add about 10cm, cut the wire and bend the ends over to form a circle big enough to sit on your head. Then wrap the tape along the wire, making sure that you cover all of the floral wire (you need to wind the tape around the wire a couple of times).

  1. Decide whether you want to make a full crown or a half floral crown, then select the greenery and tape this to the wire, making sure to cover all of the wire where you want to add flowers (half or a full crown design). You will have to tape each of the greenery stems about 3 or 4 times around to make sure they stay in place nicely.
  1. Make small bundles with the flowers and tape them together
  1. Once you have covered the wire with the greenery, select your flowers and trim the stems leaving about 10cms or so to make it easier to attach the flowers to the wire.
  1. Arrange your flowers along the greenery covered circlet and tape each stem in place with the floral tape (3 or four times should do it).

The design of your floral crown is limited only by your imagination – wear them to weddings, parties, family get-togethers and even dates.

Step 1

Step 1

 

Step 2

Step 2

 

Step 3

Step 3

 

Step 4

Step 4

 

Step 5

Step 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wedding on a Budget


Cash strapped couples can feel a little left out of the decadent wedding game.  There are so many different ways you could spend a fortune on the wedding of your dreams.  Luckily, having a budget does not mean that you need to abandon all your dreams.  In fact, it can keep you focused and mindful of the things you really want to make your special day.  Here are some tips.

Invitations

weddingonabudget-inviteBespoke invitations are beautiful but the costs really add up especially if you have a large guest list.

If you print out your invitation on the computer, it will look a bit corporate and dull.  That is until you unleash your creativity (and a bit of pinterest inspiration).  You do not need to be a graphic artist to pick out some cardboard and ribbon and other embellishments to bling it up a little.  Most of us are capable of doing a bit of gluing, cutting and bow tying with a bit of practice.  The benefit is that the choices are endless and you will come up with truly unique invitations.

One of my friends inspired me to handwrite my invitations.  She said that her mother did not like computer generated invitations and so she handwrote all invitations to her 21st birthday party.  I taught myself calligraphy from a book and, after a few practice attempts, I handwrote each and every invitation to our wedding (we had 120 invitees!)  It meant that our invitations looked like they cost thousands when in fact they were less than $1 each.  I would only recommend this for the truly dedicated and organised but I did find it therapeutic after I got into a rhythm and I learnt a new skill I have used on birthday cards since our wedding.

Flowers

A florist told me when I got married that it is flowers, after the Bride, that draw the most attention at a wedding.  Although all wedding vendors will say that about whatever it is they are selling, I tended to agree with her.

While florists can do truly beautiful arrangements, it is not necessary to have professionally arranged flowers.  We bought enormous bunches of wildflowers from the markets on the morning of our wedding.  My mother tied bunches of them for me and my attendants and put some in large vintage cream cans my parents-in-law had for the ceremony.  They were very striking and cost less than $50.

If you prefer more polished flowers, I went to a wedding where the Bride and her attendants carried a single red rose and there was one on each table at the reception.  Elegant, simple and classy but it would not have broken the bank even with the highest quality roses. weddingonabuget=flowers

Food

To some people food is more important than it is to others.  However, if you have people travelling long distances for your wedding, you will need to make sure that there is enough food for your guests.  Grumbling tummies after spending the day with you does not make for well wishes.

You can save a lot of money on catering by having a cocktail reception rather than a sit down meal.  Many couples baulk at this idea because it seems too informal.  Ironically, the most formal society weddings in England are cocktail style.  You just need to make sure that there is enough food and there are plenty of chairs available for people to sit down if they need a rest.

If you do want a sit down reception, try getting a quote from your preferred reception centre for a “function” rather than a wedding and asking if you can set up the tables yourself.  You may find that the quote is significantly lower.

Wedding cake is often wasted.  The tradition of giving each guest a piece of the cake as they left is well and truly dated.  Most guests just left it in their cab or in their pocket and forgot about it.  Why not get your wedding cake to double as dessert?  You are not limited to fruit cake and you can have more than one type of cake.  Some people now have wedding cakes made out of wheels of cheese.  You can present different cakes with the same icing to create a more traditional wedding cake.  I have seen Brides present their wedding cakes on boxes under satin or velvet to create a tier effect if your cake is too soft to stand on top of each level.  Homemade cakes can look more professional and polished if you decorate them with flowers rather than amateur piping.

The Dress

Specialist wedding dress shops tend to be very expensive.  One of my friends wore a beautiful cream silk designer label dress she picked up in a high end boutique for $600.  Expensive for an evening gown but very cheap for a wedding gown.

If you have been sketching your dream wedding dress since you were a little girl, ask around for recommendations on home based seamstresses.  You would be astonished to find the quality of tailoring available from home based businesses.

Other Ideas

Why not put together a list of “extras” that you would really like if you could only afford it.  Guests will undoubtedly be asking what you want as Engagement and/or Wedding gifts.  If they know that you dearly wanted a string quartet, a soloist, hand crafted chocolate truffles as bonbonniere or a vintage Rolls Royce wedding car they may be able to get it for you.  Your cousin might play in a quartet, your Great Aunt might love to make your bonbonniere and your best friend’s parents might be members of a vintage car club.

 

Bio

Kate Schwarz is the developer of Gift Club – an App for iPhone with an Android version coming soon.

Gift Club is an all purpose fully customisable gift registry on your phone.  You can add anything you like to your wish list – traditional wedding gifts, cash, honeymoon activities, someone to make the wedding cake…

After the wedding, you can use the wish list for birthdays, Christmas, baby showers…  You just keep your wish list current and it is searchable whenever anyone wants to buy you a gift for any reason.  There is no risk of causing offence because the wish list is searchable and people will only look it up if they have already decided to give you a gift.

The App is free and can be downloaded here https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/gift-club/id760018890?mt=8

Check out Gift Club on Facebook here www.facebook.com/GiftClubApp

weddingonabudget-logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wedding Venues – so many choices, so many options….


Mary-Anne Lowe from The Riverstone Estate shares her advice on some great questions you should ask the reception venue when booking your special event

003small

Often as a reception venue, the first question we get asked is What is your price per person?  This is the worst question you can ask any type of wedding vendor. Sure budget does come into the question, but do you really just want to find the cheapest supplier possible.  What about the service, the quality and above all, the experience and memory of your special day.

Instead of asking the price, ask what packages they offer that provide the best value from the vendor.  Some venues may start with a lower base price, but quickly as extras are added it ends up more expensive with fewer inclusions and all of a sudden, the question about price is an issue when you find extra costs a few weeks before a wedding, often blowing the budget at the last-minute.

Instead of a Saturday night, you may look at off-peak, instead of 100 people for your reception,  look at 80 people instead.

Great questions to ask any venue when shopping

What is the wet weather option?  Are you really going to be happy getting married on the dance floor if it rains?  If you dream of a garden wedding isn’t meant to be, you need to be certain you love the wet weather option.

Do you cater for one wedding at a time? This can be a deal breaker for some brides.

By having only one wedding per day means the staff and management are only worried about you and your guests, not running between the two, and secondly your wedding is never going to be affected by another wedding arrival, or tardiness – no car parking because the ballroom started before you, or the other room runs late so kitchen has to run late for you.  This could simply lead into disaster.

Do you have any past clients we can talk to?  Nothing beats a reference from a past client.  Social media is a powerful thing.  Simply Google the venue add the word reviews – very quickly you will see a pattern of review, and this is a great independent way to really see how a venue stacks up.

Above all, ask yourself – Do I feel like an important person when viewing, if a venue won’t take the time to answer your emails promptly, return a phone call or send a brochure when you are trying to buy something off them, how will they be once you hand over your hard-earned dollars…?

When booking a venue, do your research first.   Check out online who you like the look of, who caters for your numbers and location.  Consider alternatives and a wide variety – just because you pictured a beach wedding, doesn’t mean that the reality is what you will want.  It is a public space, no privacy, windy with sand blowing everywhere, no toilets etc, you may find a venue that you fall in love with which was totally different to what you first dreamed of.

Remember it is your dream so you are allowed to change it along the day, as long as you don’t cross the very fine line into Bridezilla land.

www.theriverstoneestate.com.au