Way, way back in the distant past weddings were not just a family affair they were often the highlight and centerpiece of a village’s year. The idea of the village green exists because along with the May-Pole and Morris Dancers the village green was the central point where couples celebrated their wedding. They would marry in the church then have a festival of celebration on the village green.
Now I mention this not because I am wanting all brides-to-be to have their wedding receptions on the village green, but because the history of weddings is found in the idea of a wider community sharing in the wedding preparations.
Take a look at the costs associated with a wedding and you find that much of it is because we lead busy lives and so we simply go to the computer or the high street and buy everything off the shelf. If you want it right here and right NOW its going to cost you more than if you can shop around or involve others in the process.
There are some major items in the wedding budget which you can’t get around, the costs of your ceremony, the venue or marque, your wedding photographer, your dress, however there are many ways to involve others to you’re your wedding a real sense of family and community occasion and the best bit is saves money into the bargain.
Here are 5 Ideas Every Bride Should Be Using To Save Money
1. The Great Wedding Bake Off
Did you know that you work along side secret master bakers. Did you know that your grandmother has the most incredible recipe for chocolate fudge cake and your aunty, well, you will never taste scones and muffins that good without having died and gone to heaven.
You have all around you an amazing resource of skills and willingness to assist you on your wedding day.
Puddings and cakes can costs about £6 per head more if your use them as an Canapés.
When you send out your invitations include an entry form to the “Great Wedding Bake Off” and then leave the rest to your guests. You will be amazed how many will sign up and it will cost you nothing.
After the wedding breakfast main course, the Bride & Groom judge the cakes awarding a bouquet to the winner and then everyone is encouraged to help themselves to pudding.
We first saw this idea at a beautiful country themed wedding in the Cotswold’s and it work perfectly.
2. Memories Make Memories
Decorations can be a big expensive on the wedding day. Most venues are going to provide the room, tables, cutlery and chairs. That’s it!
You have provide everything else that is going on those tables and around the venue.
People love looking at old photographs. Pictures of you when you were children. Photos of your parents when they were teenagers. Photos of grandparents when they were young.
You can buy or make photo-frames to decorate your tables with old photos and your guests will love it – someone in your family will adore the job of going through the family photos and making up frames.
If you use good quality frames then they are an investment because your can take them home and use them again. Alternatively you can buy 8x6 standup photo mounts where you slide the photo in and they costs about 20 pence each off eBay.
Again have a table competition, who can guess the most names of the photos on the table and give them a bottle of wine for a prize.
3. I Heart it
The “I Heart You” symbol is everywhere and for everything. Then put it to good use.
Make heart shaped maps to send with your invitations to direct people to the ceremony and then the venue. Simply cut out a heart shape piece of white stiff card and glue a Google map of the locations to it. Now your guests have a personalize map with their invites.
My daughter loves travelling. She created a 24x20 inch photo-frame and stuck 16 hearts with maps into the frame of the locations around the world she had been.
You could do the same thing except make sure the maps have little clues of your holiday locations and again use them on the table as guessing games and decorations.
4. Wrap it up to finish it off
Seat covers cost a fortune, depending on how many guest you have you can spend anything from £300 to £700 on seat covers and bows.
You can buy a shed load of material for that kind of money. Most venue chairs are metal rimmed and look just fine, its that they need something to make them look more wedding than conference.
Buy a roll of voile material and simple wrap it around the frame of the chair and then tie a large bow at the back. If you want, pin or staple a flower that matches your bouquet to the bow and you have made the arrange very unique and personal tying in your wedding theme to the decorations.
You can buy silk petals, shiny pearls and sparkling diamante crystals that cost nothing but look great spread across the guests tables. If you have candelabras as centre pieces wrap lengths of matching beads around them again to tie into your wedding theme.
5. People love games
During the wedding day, at some point there is always a lull. A time when people stand around thinking ‘now what do I do….’ How do you fill that time void.
Think back to the village green idea. For a fraction of the price you can hire carnival party games and young and old will play on them all day long. Coconut shy, hook the loop, three legged race.
Again get friends and family involved because so much of these games can be made for free. The one I made and everyone was queuing up to have a go was “Splat the Rat”
Simple fix a piece of old drain pipe on a wooden stand. You drop the bean bag in the top and the guy with the rounder’s bat has to hit it when it comes flying out the bottom. Not as easy as you think. Hours of great fun, cost next to nothing.
If making things is not for you, then buy a giant Jenga, giant snakes and ladders, Croquet, giant dominos, the list of giant stuff goes on and on.
Now if you have managed to get to the end of this blog, hopefully you will have got the idea that weddings involve people and the more you involve them in your day the more involved they will want to be in your wedding.
There is a very old and wise saying “Do to others what you would have them do to you”. Apply that to your wedding and you will have a day to remember for a lifetime.
If you have ideas or have experiences to share with us please leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would love to share them with all the wonderful Brides-To-Be.