1. Use free media and the internetYou can borrow wedding/bridal books and magazines from friends, work colleagues and public libraries. Check for local wedding suppliers on the web, where you will be able to find details on the larger and smaller specialist wedding companies in your local area.Visit free-to-enter wedding fairs, as the prospective customer why should you be expected to pay an admission fee to view their stands? Ask lots of questions and obtain quotes without making any firm commitments at the time, giving you a chance later to review all of the offerings and make your choices without any sales pressure – you’ll be amazed at the price variations for supplying identical services.Bear in mind that the larger wedding fairs will be charging high fees to the wedding suppliers who attend. This will have two consequences for YOU, firstly, it will exclude many of the smaller, but equally good quality, local wedding suppliers who cannot justify the wedding fair expenditure and secondly, you have to ask who is ultimately paying for these high exhibition fees? YOU ARE!…and then many of these larger wedding fair operators have the cheek to expect you to pay an entry fee as well!2. Use Online Auctions and e-BayMany of the items that you need for your wedding are available on e-Bay at a fraction of the price charged by many wedding vendors. Cake toppers, favors, balloons, new and used-once wedding dresses along with a host of other useful items that can save you a lot of money. Do your shopping well ahead of the wedding date to allow plenty of postal time. Check for the established and trusted sellers by checking the number of items they have sold previously and their feedback rating and you can’t go far wrong.3. Food and Drinks For Your Wedding ReceptionAsk your caterer for advice and be honest with them about your wish to save money. Discuss with the caterer the options that are available to you, maybe considering a hot buffet if that is cheaper than a formal seated three course meal. Enquire about providing your own drinks for your guests, or providing your own wine to accompany the meal.You should carefully consider the bar arrangements as this can have a considerable cost. If you intend to provide a free bar, then ask about restricting this to only wine and beer, which will be cheaper. You may also wish to consider having the (free) bar open for a restricted period of time, an hour for example – or dispense with the free bar completely if you are supplying the wine for the meal and wedding toasts, etc.4. Reduce The Wedding Guest ListEach name on your guest list is an increase in the cost of your wedding. It’s not just the catering cost that will increase, but also the table decoration, favors, rentals you may need and even the size of the room you need to hire. Avoid being lavish with issuing wedding invitations, don’t be pressured to invite all of your work colleagues and be selective over who’s children you invite – each child will probably cost you just as much as an adult on the wedding day.Remove anyone from your guest list that you haven’t had contact with in the past few years and don’t bow to pressure to invite distant relatives. When you invite friends and relatives who are single, resist the temptation to include “and guest” on their invitation, they are attending your wedding, not out on a date paid for by you.5. Revise The Day and TimeSaturday is the most popular day to hold a wedding, so suppliers and venues are likely to be booked and they have little incentive to reduce their prices. However, if you choose to have your wedding midweek, or on a Sunday, there is less demand for these days. Wedding suppliers will have fewer bookings for these days and will be more inclined to quote you better prices in the hope of additional work. If your wedding is timed for early in the day you may be able to secure a better rate from wedding car suppliers, as their vehicles can be used later for a second wedding or evening transportation jobs.6. Shop Around For Wedding CarsThe wedding cars are a major part of your wedding day. If you are fortunate enough to know someone who owns a luxury car that you would like to use, you may be able to persuade them to provide it for your wedding as their wedding present to you.If you are hiring a wedding car, it certainly pays to shop around various suppliers and various vehicle types. Don’t assume that all wedding car suppliers have the same rates, they don’t – and don’t assume that a cheaper quote means an inferior car. Go along and view the wedding cars, ask questions and don’t be afraid to negotiate, some companies have lower operating costs than others and some will have fewer bookings for your wedding date than others, so discounts may be available.There is the possibility that wedding car suppliers will try to get you to hire two cars, for the groom and for the bride. Ask if there is sufficient time for one wedding car to make more than one journey, there generally is as the groom needs to be at the wedding venue much earlier than the bride.7. Flowers and Floral ArrangementsIf you know someone who is trained in flower arranging or has a flair for it, then it may be worth considering asking them to provide your floral arrangements for the wedding. Alternatively, obtain quotes from several local florists and view their previous work before making your final decision.If you have a church wedding service planned, then bear in mind that you will not be using the church and the wedding reception venue at the same time. You can score an economy by simply asking friends to take the flowers from the church after the service and displaying them at your reception so you get more use from them.8. The Wedding cakeThe age-old tradition of having rich fruit wedding cakes is passing, so you may want to consider having only the top tier of your cake made of rich fruit cake, with the other tiers made from sponge cake. If you do not intend to keep the top tier after the wedding, then you could have the whole cake made in sponge, or dispense with a top tier completely.Do you know someone who is good at baking cakes or cake decoration? You could ask them to provide your wedding cake as their wedding gift, or maybe purchase plain white iced sponge cakes from a supermarket and have them decorate them for your wedding cake. Rented cake stands are available should you need them.9. Professional Wedding PlannerIt’s your wedding, you know what you want, you know your budget, so why would you want to allocate a percentage of your wedding day spend to a wedding planner? Planning and arranging your own wedding is fun and a memorable achievement. Unless you are a big celebrity, professional footballer or huge personality (in which case you probably wouldn’t be looking for money saving tips!) then handling all of the planning and bookings for your wedding day is a satisfying and economic task to undertake.10. Restrict The Number Of BridesmaidsMost brides dream of a big fairytale wedding, gliding down the aisle in a long flowing wedding dress supported by flower girls, page boys and lots of bridesmaids to meet her Prince Charming. But reality is often different! Before you make a list of all the candidates for your bridal entourage pause a while and consider the cost of doing so.Each individual bridesmaid will add a cost to your wedding. Each will need a dress, shoes and accompaniments, each will need to be included in rehearsals and rehearsal dinner, hen night, etc. and each, of course, will need to be catered for at your reception. Just a few, maybe two or three, bridesmaids will give you a small intimate group and your special invitation to them will be far more meaningful.For your wedding day, apply the K.I.S.S rule: Keep It Simple and Stylish. It’s YOUR special day, have it YOUR way – and ENJOY IT!
He has asked for your hand in marriage and you have finally said, “Yes.” Wow what a fantastic feeling, as this is the start of your new life as a couple. After the celebrations have subsided and all your family and friends have showered you with congratulations and prior to that much awaited big day, both of you have so many decisions to make and wedding related tasks to complete in harmony.Planning in advance of what you need to do for your wedding day is the answer to stress free preparing for your wedding day. As planning your wedding together should be so much fun, enjoyable and equally as memorable as your big day. So your starting point should be both of you putting together a wedding timetable and assigning responsibility for each aspect of this timetable to each other – sharing is caring. What I am going to give you is a short list of wedding related tasks as well as a rough estimate of when the activities should be done. I will present you with tips and guidelines to keep you organized and help you think of everything that you must take into consideration in the course of planning for your wonderful memorable Wedding day. These are mere suggestions which should help you to adapt the correct mindset and get you organised. I find it is always better to have suggestions to work from as opposed to a blank sheet so my suggestions will help you both agree on the perfect schedule of activities that you both need to decide on – depending on your priorities.Let me start at the Time of the Engagement – What ever you do don’t forget to tell both parents first cause forgetting to do that would get you both off to a slow start. So you must tell your parents the happy news as soon as possible.- A wedding planner is a great idea and not that expensive, especially when you consider a good experienced wedding planner can find everything you require for your wedding at the right price which could result in saving you lots of money. The wedding planner is also great for helping you keep track of all the appointments, payments and other wedding related activities that you must attend to.- No doubt you had your photo taken at the time of the engagement well that is a great idea and a great keepsake. If you did not have it taken on the day then go to a professional photographer and get it taken by him/her and yes while you are there check the photographer out for your own wedding day.6 to 12 Months In Advance Before the Big Day Step 1: Pick your wedding date. First thing to do is to decide what time of the year you wish to get married and pick the wedding date. Bear in mind getting married in the summer time can be more expensive when organising venues etc. I would suggest spring, early autumn or Christmas time are great times for a wedding and would certainly cut the cost considerably.Step 2: Book the church, registry office, or wherever you decide to have the wedding ceremony. Again remember a church wedding needs to be booked three months in advance. Second thing to be considered is where are you going to get married – chapel, church, registry office, hotel, back garden – the decision is yours. Now that you have the date and the location of your ceremony planned – next step is to decide on where you wish to have your wedding reception.Step 3: Book the wedding reception. Take your time on this one especially in this climate as most businesses are crying out for weddings so therefore that puts you in the driving seat so shop around and see who can give you the best deals. Don’t be driven by cost remember it is your wedding day and the venue is something that you want everyone in attendance to enjoy and talk about for months afterward. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear people saying that was the best wedding venue I was at, the food was great etc.. Consider your budget when deciding on your wedding venue.Step 4: Establish your budget and stick to it. Now it is time to consider the size of the wedding you are planning and who must you have at the wedding and who you wish to invite. My advice to you is to start your list with the people you want.Now we are getting into the detail of what you need to support your day e.g. photographer, florists, musicians, caterer etc.Step 5: – Look around for a photographer – again they are plentiful and pick one you like.Step 6: – yes a florist is also important and you must have a good rapport with him/her. Perhaps even consider making your own wedding bouquet.Step 7: Your music is extremely important as this sets the tone, the mood, the fun, and the enjoyment levels for your wedding so choose carefully, if you are going to have either a DJ or a band make sure that you hear them at another venue in advance and only then decide if this is/are the musician/s for you.Step 8: Perhaps you are going to organise your own food well then choosing a caterer is an important decision for both of you to make and again find out where they are catering and go and taste the food and get feedback from the guests at this caterer reception. Most important that you obtain estimates for these services. If you are booking your reception at a hotel where the food is provided make sure you go for a taster menu in advance prior to making the booking.Step 8: To be sure you get the gifts that you want leave a gift list with your favourite department store.Step 9: Have fun picking the wedding dress just for you, this does not have to be expensive as long it looks fantastic on you to the extent of turning heads when you walk down that aisle, up that garden, or into that registry office. If you are planning on getting your wedding dress made now is a good time to start this process. Once again need I remind you that you must have a good rapport with the seamstress you pick and also make sure that she/he has a good reputation. Find out who they have made dresses for already and go and view them. Remember several fittings may be required for this.Step 10: Time to consider what colours and style of dresses you wish your bridesmaids to wear. The style should be complimentary to your own wedding dress. Set a date by which these need to be ordered.4 to 6 Months In Advance Before the Big Day Step 1. Now is the time for both of you to consider ordering your wedding invitations, stationery and thank you notes – this is one place that you could save money as you can make these yourself or get someone to make them for you at half the cost of what they are to buy in the shops.Step 2. At this stage you will have decided on your photographer, your florist, your musician, and choice of food whether it will be complete by a caterer or be part of the venue you have selected. Go over all the details with each of these services to make sure that everything is as agreed upon. I would do this more than once.Step 3. Grooms have the life, they have two decisions to make when it comes to their attire – do I rent a tuxedo or buy a new suit. I believe it is best to hire a tuxedo for groom, best men, and fathers of both bride and groom as there are great styles out there now and the wedding party looks so much better in the photographs this way.Step 4. Now for the fun bit arranging the honeymoon, where to go, for how long etc. once this is decided then go ahead and make those reservations. Remember this will be the holiday of your dreams so make it a romantic one.Step 5. Now it is time to confirm the delivery of the bridal gown and the bridesmaids dresses.Step 6. What about the mother of the bride and the groom – ask them do they need help in choosing their wedding outfits. It is tradition that the mother of the bride wears the same colour of the bridesmaids.2 Months In Advance Before the Big DayStep 1. Excitement is building the big day is getting closer so it is time to plan your rehearsal dinner.Step 2. Perhaps you have some guests coming from far and wide – If so you may need to secure accommodation for them or an even better idea is to put suggested accommodation into the invitations and let them book their accommodation themselves.Step 3. Make an appointment with your photographer to discuss where and when you want him to be on the day to capture the best bridal portraits for you.Step 4. What about the cake – choose a cake type that you enjoy and make sure that you order the wedding cake right now.1 Month In Advance Before the Big DayStep 1. It is getting closer and closer, at this stage you will probably already have decided on your wedding band set so now is the time to collect them and put them away safely.Step 2. Send out the wedding invitations plus the R.S.V.P. with an self addressed envelope and remember to put a selection of accommodation into them for those guests who wish to stay over.Step 3. Check the apparel for the wedding party – at this stage everyone should be dressed to perfection with matching accessories, shoes, bags, etc.Step 4. Assign the role of organising your bachelor and hen’s parties to the bridesmaid/s and bestman/men.2 Weeks Before the your wonderful Wedding day.Step 1. Ensure that you have got your marriage license and any other legal documents in order for your wonderful wedding day.Step 2. If the bride is going to change her name then it is time for you to order a new passport, make the relevant changes to your name and address on bank accounts and any other official documents.Step 3. It is now time to test what wedding hairstyle and make up you wish to use on the day and have a practise run at this to see how the entire image suits you. Again grooms relax no need for you to do this.Step 4. Double check with the wedding venue that all is as expected as this point.Step 5. Go on a pleasure shopping trip to purchase the relevant gifts for your bridemaid/s, bestman/men and attendants. Don’t forget to buy each other a gift for that day too.1 Week Before your special Wedding day.Step 1. Ensure you have everything ready that you need to take with you on your honeymoon packed at this stage. Caution – do take the correct amount of kgs in fact take less than you are allowed to leave room to bring back some lovely souvenirs from your honeymoon location.Step 2. Wrap all gifts for the groom, bride, and attendants. (keep each others gifts as a surprise for the day.Step 3. Now it is time to schedule the wedding rehearsal – make this a fun day / evening. Relax you are almost there.Step 4. Make sure everybody knows, especially the wedding party, of the exact time and place for your wonderful occasion on the wedding day.On your memorable wedding day.Step 1. Start the day by getting up early and meditating to help you relax. See wedding fitness on my need help with weddings site.Step 2. Make sure you eat a good breakfast – make the breakfast fun by having your immediate wedding party join you at the breakfast table.Step 3. Have the hairstylist and make up artist arrive to your house at least 2 and half hours before you are due to leave.Step 4. Take time out with you Mum or someone close to you to share a special moment.Step 5. Relax this is your day, which you have well planned, so enjoy every minute of it.Congratulations.