Your wedding – Clever ways to save money

Wedding Magazine in the UK reveals how real-life brides save their pennies Hold it at home! DIY bride Robyn transformed her parent's farm into her dream wedding venue. The vision "Robin and I wanted an informal, home-grown wedding, which reflected our own laidback style and where our guests would feel totally relaxed. We couldn't think of any other venue that would suit our vision more than my parent's farm. In fact, we actually met for the first time there seven years earlier, so it couldn't be a more perfect place to celebrate our wedding!"   The project "Of course, the farm wasn't exactly wedding ready. We had a lot of renovating to do in the courtyard where we wanted to hold our reception so we wasted no time getting started on painting, sanding and scrubbing our yard into shape. We also spent many weekends getting crafty, making flower boxes, planting rosemary seeds in tins for favours, and drying petals to make confetti for the day. You won't believe how much you can achieve with a lot of elbow grease and some help from your family and friends!"   The results "Working on the wedding every weekend for over a year did get a bit exhausting, especially as life and work still carry on. But it was all worth it in the end. The farm actually transformed into something better than we originally imagined and it was such a thrill to see how well everything came together."   The savings "Compared to what we'd have paid to hire a venue and buy in all our supplies, we saved about £7,000, if not more. We didn't have to pay for hiring out a venue or for transporting our guests from one place to another, plus we were able to buy all our wine at Tesco's online wine shop for around £5 a bottle. In a traditional venue, they would charge at least double per bottle plus an extra fee for corkage! We also saved loads on the decorations by recycling everyday items like tins and jam jars to hold flowers and candles, grew a lot of the flowers from seed and my aunt made our beautiful cake as a wedding gift."   The verdict "Best of all, our DIY labour of love didn't just save us money, it made the wedding completely individual to us – and thus much more meaningful."   Get wed abroad!   Boho bride Beth tied the knot in the French countryside...   The vision "I really wanted a rustic, French country kitchen feel to my wedding that looked as unstaged as possible. We decided to get married in France because we've been on holiday to the Bergerac region many times and love it out there. It also meant we could spread the celebrations out over a long weekend and it would still cost much less than marrying in this country."   The project "Jackson and I speak a little conversational French, but nowhere near enough to arrange a wedding, so we hired a wedding planner, who was a lifesaver. We couldn't have done it without her and her fee was easily covered in the deals she managed to get us and the advice she gave us. You need to be resident in France for 40 days to get legally married there, so we had a small civil ceremony in England a few weeks beforehand. But knowing we were already married didn't take anything way from the day, and our humanist blessing felt just as special as a traditional wedding ceremony."   The results "Chateau de Cazenac made the perfect wedding venue. We held our ceremony outdoors in the pretty grounds before moving through to the beautifully rustic converted barn for our reception. I'd collected jam jars as containers for the flowers and bought my own candles and ribbon to decorate the tables. We also opted to forego a traditional wedding cake for a tower of cheese – well, we were in France!"   The savings "Overall, I think we saved around £5,000 by having our wedding In France. Not only are wedding venues and suppliers much cheaper over there, we also had fewer guests than we'd have had in the UK and saved a fortune by buying local wine. We spent a few lovely days before the wedding, driving around local vineyards, tasting wines and buying our favourites for the big day. They cost a fraction of the price you'd pay in the UK plus, like most French venues, ours didn't charge corkage. It's also worth noting that if the exchange rate hadn't changed so much during the year we were planning (and if I hadn't splashed out on a few little extras!) we could have saved a whopping £10,000!"   The verdict "I would definitely recommend a wedding abroad, not just for the savings you'll make but also for the weather, the lovely relaxed holiday vibe, and the fact that you get to spend so much more time with your guests."   Marry midweek!   Savvy bride Lorna married on a sunny Thursday in Scotland last summer...   The vision "Allan and I knew we wanted to have our wedding in June or July but when we found our dream venue – Glenbervie House Hotel in Larbert – it was booked up a year in advance for all Friday and Saturday weddings. It ticked all the boxes so we were reluctant to look elsewhere which is why we decided to book it for a Thursday."   The project "We were initially a bit worried that our guests would have to take a day or two off work, but we felt that if we were important enough to them then they wouldn't mind taking a little time off to be with us on our special day. We sent out save-the-date cards six months in advance so everyone would have plenty of notice to book their holidays and in the end, no one even commented on the timing – except my mum who was a bit surprised at first, but came round in the end."   The results "One of the best things about having our wedding midweek was that we didn't need to compromise on any of our suppliers. I have heard of girls planning their weddings three years in advance to get their first choice of band, photographer and venue but because we weren't tying the knot on a busy Saturday, we got all of our first choices and none of the stress! It also meant we were able to access the venue the day before to set up – particularly helpful as we were doing all our own flowers."   The savings "I think we saved around £3000 having our wedding mid-week. Venue hire was less expensive as we were permitted to have a smaller number of guests than they usually require to book the venue on a Friday and Saturday. This meant we could spend a little more on the food and drinks to really treat our guests. With a little negotiation, we also managed to get our band, chair covers, hairdressing, kilt hire, and piper all at a reduced rate for being there during the week."   The verdict "Ours is still the only midweek wedding we've been to and I'm surprised they're not more popular. Your wedding will be the the best day of your life no matter what day of the week you have it on!" Article

Traditional values changing in 2013

Irish wedding website, together with CX Analytics, polled over 1700 brides-to-be in January this year to create the most comprehensive survey of its kind in the country. Over 90% of respondents were in the process of planning their wedding. Results show that Irish marriages are moving away from the conservative values of the past, with 18% opting for a civil ceremony rather than a church wedding. Family structures followed suit with 26% of those yet to tie the knot having children already. Irish Wedding Stats 2013 Other top line results show that weddings in Ireland continue to be an expensive event, with people prepared to spend significant amounts on their big day. While the most popular bracket was the €15,000-€20,000 (24%), over 21% of respondents still planned to shell out between €20,000 and €25,000 on their special day. The average price per head at a wedding remains steady, with over 25% of those surveyed budgeting €40-€50 per guest on the reception meal. At the higher end of the scale, 3% plan on spending €80-€90 per head and nearly 4% have a budget of €90-€100 per guest. Read more here