Arranging a wedding is not the cheapest of activities – before you place deposits down on venues, wedding dress, suit hire and entertainment, have you thought how much money you’ve spent unconsciously on driving around visiting potential suppliers, attending numerous wedding fares and the teas, coffees and girly lunches that go with it?
There are many ways to save money while wedding planning, so you’ll have a bit more to spend on your actually wedding day or honeymoon. Little things like having lunch at home or take a packed lunch with you if you’re out and about all day visiting wedding venues, limit the number of wedding fayres to attend, have coffee with your girly friends at home rather than at an expensive coffee shop.
One area you can certainly save at least £5 a month is to resist the temptation in buying wedding magazines – the printed and iPad variety (other tablets are available). £5 might not sound much but if you spend two years planning your wedding, that’s £60 gone! And admit it, you can’t just stick to one wedding magazine. There’s at least five different UK wide publications available – have a look next time you’re in WH Smiths.
Yes, they are good to get started on wedding planning but when you break down the content, majority of the magazines are advertisments. At least 40% of a glossy monthly mag is adverts on expensive designer wedding dresses that no one can afford, florists in London that can’t facilitate your requirements in west Wales and luxourious wedding venues in middle of the English countryside that no one will be able to find or afford to stay over night.
After advertisements, it’s the location or featured weddings articles that really wind me up. Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing what other couples have done for their wedding, how much money they spent and see new up and coming trends and themes. But please, editors of wedding magazines, feature ‘realistic’ weddings that were held in the UK, not in California when you have guaranteed sunshine all year round!
The biggest culprit is You & Your Wedding magazine – I bought this publication once just out of curiousity and out of four or five real wedding articles, at least three were abroad. Not destination weddings in Italy or Greece, but couples living and getting married in California, Texas and Australia.
These wedding were gorgeous outdoor weddings, with amazing wedding ceremonies set up on the beach/farm and lush dining tables in vineyards, orchards and barns. A type of wedding you always dreamed of but will never happen in the UK because of:
1. The weather – very unpredictable! Who will risk setting up a dining table in a field with no cover? And it always rains in August.
2. A wedding ceremony cannot be held outdoors in the UK. You can only get married in a permanent building / structure with a roof and at least three walls. So forget about getting married barefoot on a beach in Cornwall with the sea air in your hair.
3. A wedding ceremony must be held in a church, chapel or for civil ceremonies, in a official wedding venue. You can obtain a list of official wedding venue from your local registry office. No wedding ceremony on your parents’ farm or your local Costco store sorry!
4. Not realistic – Where is the food being prepared? Where’s the electricity supply? Where are the toilets? Who’s going to clean up afterwards? No bride should ever set foot in a portaloo on her wedding day.
Having a dejavu moment while readying a wedding magazine? Most likely yes – many of the articles are ‘recycled’ for blogs and websites. I’m sorry to say, you have spent £5 on a magazine which you have already read online for free.
And finally, sticking with articles, how many times have you read ‘Your Wedding Planning Timetable‘, ‘How to get slim for your wedding‘ and my favourite ‘Who to invite to your wedding?’. These articles are on a six month rotation and often ‘recycled’ for future publications but with slight variation in imagery, colours and font use. If you buy wedding magazines regularly or subscribe to them, guaranteed you’ll see the same article a few times.
If you have the burning desire to get your hands on a wedding magazine, either buy one that comes with a free nail varnish (ah freebies!) or try get hold of the free regional wedding magazines you can pick up at wedding fayres, hairdressers, spas, salons and independant bridal shops.
They might not look at glossy as You & Your Wedding, but I strongly believe that the content in the regional magazines is so much better in terms of quality of articles, related advertisements and exposure to local suppliers. Plus, they are FREE (my favourite price!)
I picked up a few in the south Wales area and I recommend:
- Your South Wales Wedding www.yoursouthwaleswedding.com
- Wedding Day Wales www.weddingdaywales.com
- Ladies First / Tiara Weddings www.ladiesfirst.co.uk/tiara-weddings.html
In addition to the above, ask your local registry office if they have a ‘Wedding pack’. Not every council have a glossy publication to support you with your wedding planning, but a few have a brochure to promote all of their wedding venues in the county as well as suggested wedding suppliers.
I was very impressed with Pembrokeshire County Council’s Wedding pack. Cardiff Council Council were boring printed Word documents (August 2012).
If that £5 is burning a hole in your purse and you have to buy a magazine, pick up a publication that specialises in card making, flower arranging, cake decoration or fashion. Identify which area you are struggling the most with wedding planning and search for a publication that could help and inspire you.
I’m not innocent here – I have to admit, I did buy six Wedding & Wedding Flowers magazines www.weddingandweddingflowers.co.uk while planning my wedding. But I really didn’t know what flowers I wanted for my wedding, type of bouqet for myself and my bridesmaids and different button holes for the wedding party. I am clueless in the flower department.
These magazines helped me, especially when discussing my requirements with my florist. I was so impressed with their service (flower order done in two short visits!), I donated my wedding flower magazines to them. There was no way I could throw away the £30 I spent on these magazines.
And my mum bought two wedding cake magazines. Sorry mum!
So where else can you get ideas for your wedding? Apart from wedding fayres, there’s Google, online retailers like etsy.com, notonthehighstreet.com and confetti.co.uk, most wedding magazines have their own websites and publish their articles online (for free!) and the oracle of everything wedding related – Pinterest.com.
Pinterest deserves it’s own post. I won’t say no more so I’ll end this post with a link to my own Pinterest board www.pinterest.com/telerijj.