Elegance on a Shoestring: Money Saving Tips for Your Wedding

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Budgeting your wedding can be a daunting task for any couple these days. But with some creative solutions and careful homework, you needn’t break the bank to have an elegant and enjoyable wedding celebration. Here at Bickley Mill Inn, we don’t subscribe to the idea that a beautiful wedding has to carry a beast of a bill. It is highly possible to have a fantastic reception, complete with great food and a romantic setting, without selling an organ on E-bay.

Curiously, we suspect that couples who have to work together and budget smartly tend to get more from the wedding than meets the eye. Beyond initial fears, planning a wedding can be fun. It can also be a great exercise in cooperation that will stand you in good stead for married life. When you have to get a lot for your budget, this team work becomes even more important. Interestingly, a recent US study indicated that those who have to organise their wedding on a budget tend to stay married for life far more often than couples who splash out megabucks. Think of the richest Hollywood brides, to take an extreme example, and their lavish wedding ceremonies tend to lead to marriages that last about as long as the British summer.

So, for richer or poorer, here are some timely wedding budgeting tips to have a wonderful day without breaking the bank:

Expect the budget to grow, not shrink
How many weddings fall well within budget? Virtually none, is the honest answer. With the best will in the world, costs have a tendency to grow and, like the tail of a wedding dress, have a nasty habit of tripping people up. Proceed sensibly, therefore, budgeting for the essentials such as venue hire, food and decorations first, before you even think about entertainment and novelty items. Leave at least £500-£1000 of budget for unexpected surprises would be our advice. If you don’t use it, you can have an even better honeymoon! 

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Which venue and wedding package?
You will undoubtedly see big differences in price in your venue hunt. The decision is all yours, but if you are planning a wedding on a tight budget you must get value for money. Very often, you will get a great deal more for your money by taking the best package on offer at a reasonably priced or cheaper venue, rather than opting for a lavish setting and then having to scrimp and save on aspects such as food, decorations and entertainment.

Use your friends and family where possible
Ninety-nine percent of us have kith and kin who can help with wedding preparations. Nor is it cheeky or cheap to ask for their help; in most cases their personal involvement will only add to the day and make it more memorable. Do you know a florist or expert cake maker? Perhaps one of your friends is a dab hand with crafts and decorations or a great DJ? While lumbering any one person with too much responsibility is to be avoided, making it an affair of family and friends not only makes the day cheaper but more unique to the couple. Here at Bickley Mill, we are always happy to recommend trusted local wedding suppliers, but you are welcome to arrange aspects such as your own flowers, entertainment and decorative touches.
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But don’t skimp on the pictures
Do I really need a wedding photographer? Couldn’t one of my friends take my wedding pictures? It is hardly surprising that couples ask such questions when many wedding photographers charge over £1000 for even quite a basic package. But it’s still a good move to hire a professional, for several reasons. Granted, you might have a friend who takes excellent pictures. But there is simply no way they can do a thorough job and still attend as a guest. Two outcomes are a big risk; they either have a really stressful day and no fun, or they have a few drinks, forget about the camera and you end up with a set of pictures you’re not totally happy with.

A good wedding photographer has their mind on one thing and one thing only; capturing the very best moments of your day. This takes total concentration, not to mention careful preparation and at least another half day processing pictures. That said, some still charge a ridiculous amount. Do negotiate with them and see what is possible for your budget. Sites like GroupOn are useful, but tend to rob quite a slice of profit from photographers- so use them to check prices before approaching your snapper directly.

mage title(Image by Oliver Wong Quinnell, just one talented Devon wedding photographer offering quality and creativity at an affordable price.)

Check Exactly what is included- and beware hidden costs!
With the marriage business so hotly competitive these days, many wedding reception venues in Devon and nationwide are only too eager to get your name in the diary. Our advice would be to study wedding packages with care. Any trustworthy venue will give you a clear picture of what is included, the price of food and drink and any likely additional costs. Do take them to task on this and ask about anything you’re not sure on.

One classic way for venues to rake in extra money is to only allow their own entertainment, photographer, florist and the rest (who they will probably be charging a commission too). This way costs stack up and your initial budget can easily double. In short, ask your questions early- and if they are pushy or misleading, avoid at all costs.
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Get more value with winter or midweek weddings
It could be the mild climate, but winter weddings in Devon are now hugely popular. It is a similar picture for midweek celebrations too. With lower demand for bookings during these times, venues are keen for your business. Not only can you often get a big discount, but you’ll also be able to pick from a much wider range of dates- a far cry from the potential nightmare of trying to book summer weddings at the most popular venues. Seasonally themed weddings can be great fun too, adding a twist to the traditional ceremony and reception.

Bickley Mill: A Beautifully Affordable Devon Wedding Venue
With a delightful rustic setting, great food and a friendly ambiance, Bickley Mill is one of the most elegant yet affordably priced wedding venues in Devon. Located near both Newton Abbot and Torquay, we cater for both initmate wedding ceremonies and larger ceremonies, with inclusive packages starting at under £3000. See our weddings section to find out more and browse our online brochure, or simply contact us directly on 01803 873201/ info@bickleymill.co.uk


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