I’m usually not that crazy about weddings – even mine. So it was a bit surprising that last weekend, I had a bit of wedding nostalgia. The memories from my wedding came flooding back and I wished I could be transported back there (with a few tweaks).
I’m not sure where the nostalgia came from. Perhaps because a friend sent me a message at 3 am on Saturday morning saying a few of our friends were discussing how they had such a good time at our wedding. Or maybe because there were so many wedding videos on Instagram Story this weekend. Or finally, maybe it was because I was about to create a photo wall gallery at home and none of our wedding pictures made the cut. I’m probably one of the few people who 4 years into their wedding, don’t have an enlarged wedding photo. Heck, we still don’t have an album, but I have now set that as a major target for Q4 2018.
Anyway, all these feelings meant that I deep dived into the soft copies of our wedding album and started glancing through. It was such a beautiful day, and I’ve already shared my best memories and photos from the day, some hilarious behind-the-scene moments and how we personalised some items and bits of the day. I hadn’t looked through the photos in a while because baby life had taken over, and the most interesting photos and videos to look at now were baby photos. So I did that for a good amount of time on Saturday to feed the nostalgia. I was surprised to wake up on Sunday and as I sat down to type a blog post, I suddenly had yet another wave of nostalgia and decided to try on my second dress. I dug it out and tried it on (even zipped it myself. I think it’s official, I can now do this myself. did motherhood make me stronger / more flexible?). It made me happy. I was surprised I fit into it. I’m not sure what warmed my heart more – the dress or the fact that it fit.
I recalled how I bought the dress such that it fits within our budget, and I thought well, I’d better share my tips on how to save costs and have a wedding within budget.
First things first, you need to determine the budget and then prioritise what is most important to you. Some aspects of the wedding may require a splurge and that’s okay. For me, these three items were pretty much what I considered important. Okay so here are the tips, and how we used them:
Some people automatically think that because it’s a wedding, your regular shops are so out of the way and it has to be some fancy “wedding shop” or designer for your wedding items. Truth is, a lot of time once you include the word “wedding” in it, the rate could as much as triple. My second dress I bought off a UK high street online and while I was in Nigeria. I didn’t even try it on. Same for my civil wedding outfit here. Maybe I’m a risk taker or knew it couldn’t be that bad, but it’s okay to consider. Same for my bridesmaid dresses. I ordered these online and the shop was in China! I was very sceptical, but I had no reason too. Honestly, the dresses were incredibly well made: the pleats, the tailoring, all of it They were slightly too long, but I didn’t mind at all as we could get them amended in Nigeria. The groomsmen got their suits off the rack as well. My wedding shoes, bridal robes, same thing!. In fact, Tee’s cufflinks were from eBay as that was the only customised place I could find. Cost about £5! Finally my earrings and bridal hair stuff, I got from Lagos Island market. Of course, if I could afford diamond pieces and I really wanted them, I would. But the point here is, you can still look amazing within budget, with items from our everyday shop.
Sometimes, there might be a few things you or your friends can do yourself that would help minimise costs. If you’re a DIY person, you may be able to assist with creating your own souvenirs or even some elements of the decor. If you’re a pro MUA, you could do your own bridal makeup and possibly that of your bridesmaids. Tee had some good knowledge of printing, so he was very involved in the design and printing of the invitation cards – which helped stay within budget. Again, we could do this knowing that even if it turned out terrible (which it didn’t!), they’re just invitation cards which people tend to discard at the end of the day!
Isn’t it traditional for the bride to wear something borrowed anyway? So you really do not have to buy everything, do you? Particularly if it’s not something you’re likely to use again. I know many brides would rather wear a brand new spanking dress, but if it’s a stretch of the budget, do consider pre-loved dresses or possibly a rental. Did I try something borrowed for my big day? I sure did. So I’m ordinarily a big wristwatch kind of girl – but for my wedding, based on my dress and the look I wanted, a tiny wrist wristwatch would have gone better. I found exactly what I wanted online – a wristwatch and bracelet set, and then I realised one of my best friends and bridesmaids had the exact piece. I wasn’t likely to wear it again, and so I borrowed hers. Worked perfectly I tell you! If you start to plan really early – there might be a few things on there you could borrow. One that springs to mind as well is cars. As opposed to car rentals which could be pricey, consider borrowing your friend’s cars if they fit the spec.
I know, I know. You’re sometimes wary of taking up family and friends services so you don’t get disappointed. But I guess it works two ways. They may be willing to give you a discount and also go to the extras for you because you’re family and friends. If you’ve got a wedding planner, you could also have such person deal and coordinate with them so there’s a bit of order and seriousness. Some areas where we very happily used family and friends services include our cake, bouquet, decor, drinks and food.
So yeah, these are some ways to plan your wedding on a budget. Oh, one thing we also personally did was to ditch souvenirs. I was pretty certain that family and friends would make some anyway. Remember there’s so much life and living after that just one day and you don’t want to be in debt!. At the end of the day, all’s that really necessary for the wedding is the bride, groom and two witnesses!
Are these helpful? How did you save for your wedding or how did you plan to?
pS: If you’re not paying for the wedding and someone else it, no strings attached, please don’t stress. Let them do it as lavish as they wish!