The Loop Market x Tiger Lily Wedding and Events
We’d like to thank her for kick starting her series with a topic which will be sure to help brides on a budget all around Australia. If you’re needing that extra help on your wedding budget, keep reading. Congratulations on your engagement. You are probably very excited about the fun wedding planning ahead of you, but you are also a little anxious about all of the planning & how much everything is going to cost. Kiri Walker, Director & Principal Wedding Planner from Tiger Lily Weddings & Events shares her top tips to keeping costs down.
1 – Keep your guest list small
There is no need to invite every man & his dog to your wedding. The more people you have the more time you spend going around the room & thanking everyone for coming, than you do actually enjoying the day! Think about who is most important to you, who is actually part of your life & your relationship. You don’t need to invite all your work colleagues, think about all the jobs you’ve had, how many people you actually stay in touch with?
2 – Discuss with your partner what your non-negotiable items are & what is most important
You might just want a big party so you don’t really care about the styling, your focus would be on great entertainment. Think about weddings you’ve been to in the past. What do you remember most & what do you want your guests to remember?
3 – Guest experience
Weddings are becoming more about the guest experience (& the couples of course lol). Think about how you want your guests to feel on the day & the lead up to the wedding. Most people want to feel welcomed on the day so it’s important to take the time to talk to everyone.
Think about what will make them comfortable (seating, heating, cooling, weather etc) and who they will get along with at the wedding in terms of seating arrangements. Ensuring that there is adequate catering for all your guests & taking into consideration wait times e.g.; if they are waiting 1.5 hours with an open bar & no food then this makes people uncomfortable, hungry & drunk! These things may not seem like you could save money but if you concentrate on these things rather than things people don’t really care about like bonbonierre personalised menus, then it just makes you think differently about where you spend your money.
4 – Ask for help rather than gifts
Sometimes your family & friends may have a special talent that you don’t know about. They may be closet graphic designers & can design all your stationery or have a knack for floral arranging or cake decorating. So start brainstorming on who you know, even put a call out on Facebook to see if anyone has any secret talents. This may be the opportunity they need to actually work on a real project for a real person, that they can then use to build their portfolios.
5 – Wedding party gifts
Personally I think these are outdated & unnecessary. From my experience your wedding party don’t expect gifts & if you’re keeping costs down then this is an area that you can forget about. Most of the time these gifts just end up sitting on a shelf collecting dust. If you really want to thank your friends for their part in your special day then take them out for dinner or invite them over for a dinner party after your wedding when things have settled down a bit. They will appreciate the gesture more & have great memories of your dinner party, rather than an often ‘useless gift’ just for the sake of feeling obligated.
6 – Buy clothes off the rack or on sale
Unless you can afford a designer wedding gown or bespoke suit then there’s nothing wrong buying on sale or off the rack. If buying secondhand doesn’t bother you, keep an eye out on Ebay or Facebook market place or Facebook Wedding groups. Keep an eye out for sample sales too. Personally I would avoid websites like Wish.com as you often end up with something that is not what was promised, doesn’t fit properly or the fabric is terrible & you end up spending even more money sending it to a dressmaker to alter or buying a whole new dress. It’s not worth the headaches!
7 – Attend wedding expos or venue showcases
They are a great place to find all of your suppliers under one roof. Often they have been invited to showcase their work by the Venue owners because they are a preferred & trusted supplier, so you can be confident that they will give you the best service in the lead up & on your wedding day. Many suppliers will also offer ‘expo specials’ to new clients they book from the show. It’s also a great way to save time visiting all the suppliers or spending hours researching online. Don’t forget the money on petrol you will save from driving around to visit them.
8 – Plan well ahead
If you have at least a 12 month lead time then you have plenty of time to research what you want. You’ll have a better choice & you can keep an eye out for any specials or discounts that may be on offer. If you’re not fussed about dates then choose an out of season time to get married, late Autumn to Winter is perfect as wedding vendors are not as busy & may have winter packages on offer.
9 – Ask for recommendations from your existing suppliers
Your little black book of suppliers you’ve already booked is your best place to find what you still need to book. They will know exactly the type of suppliers that will fit your requirements. They may be able to offer you more package inclusions or a better price, as a thank you to the person that recommended them.
10 – Hire a Wedding Planner
Contrary to popular belief hiring an experienced Wedding Planner is not as expensive as you may think. We can actually save you money by knowing which areas of your wedding to spend to get the most impact, what to cut or reduce that isn’t necessary. We also have a better buying power with other suppliers than couples do, as we are a return customer. Having a Wedding Coordinator to pull everything together in the lead up & on the day is often a godsend so you can spend the time enjoying the planning & spending the day with your family & new husband or wife.