Weddings can be a huge expense, and to avoid starting to marry debts, you should carefully analyze your income and savings and establish a realistic budget. You can plan wonderful weddings in just L2,000, it only takes a little time and effort, and a little imagination.
· Guest list: First of all, when you are planning an economic wedding, you should be ruthless with the guest list. The more guests you invite, the more the costs will increase. Invite only close family and friends, and explain to those people who may be disappointed not to receive an invitation that is only having a small and intimate wedding. With a smaller guest list, you can book a smaller place, which will save you some money.
· Ceremony: civil ceremonies are generally cheaper, but if you request that the registrar come to the place you have chosen, they may charge you more. Marry in the official rooms of the registrar to keep the ceremony costs down, which are generally well decorated and are ideal for smaller guest parties of up to 30 people.
· Reception place: look at your hotels and lounges for reception to reduce travel costs. Choose smaller and more intimate places that are cheaper to hire. This could also mean that you could spend a little more on decorations and flowers for the room. Instead of having an open bar, make arrangements with the place to have an effervescent glass ready for when everyone arrives for the first toast, and then let people order and pay their own drinks from that moment.
· Food: a buffet is the cheapest way to feed everyone, and if you have a small wedding party, you may want to offer a homemade buffet with the help of some friends or family. Remember that people do not need anything fancy, but they will expect tasty and generous food.
· Cake: Cakes made by professional wedding services can be very expensive, so ask your friends and family if anyone has any baking skills and if they might be willing to make the cake for you. A simple single layer cake, white ice cream with a flower decoration top can look lovely, and as long as you have enough to give everyone a piece, it can be made from any cake base, sponge, cheesecake, cake of fruits, etc.
· Sets: just choose sets for the bride and groom and do not take care of providing matching sets to the main wedding party. Many of the main stores on the main street sell a good variety of off-shelf wedding dresses for just L100, so take time to buy and you should find one that suits you. If you are satisfied buying second hand dresses, you can find some amazing bargains on eBay and other online auction sites. Choose your approximate size and then look for the services of a seamstress to make the necessary adjustments. Buying wedding dresses in bridal shops can be very expensive, and you can find the cheapest dresses (still not so cheap!) They are very simple and not as pretty as the main street options. For the boyfriend, there are many street shops that sell suits, so you should be able to find something very smart and suitable for around L100-200.
· Wedding transport: instead of hiring an elegant car and a driver, think if any of your friends or family have a particularly nice car and ask if you could borrow their services for the day you take them to the wedding.
· Honeymoon: Honeymoons must be special, but try not to borrow when you book a honeymoon that you really cannot afford. You should never book your honeymoon with a credit card, it could take literally years to pay. Look for deals on travel agencies, holiday websites and newspapers, and don't forget that vacations in the UK can sometimes be more expensive than popular destinations abroad. Don't forget to budget spending money too, and some people find it better to book all-inclusive honeymoons, so they don't have to worry about the cost of food and drinks while they are away.