How much of your wedding preparation should you do yourself?
The average wedding in the UK costs nearly £32,000, and takes around 11 months of planning in advance of the big day itself, from finding the right venue to arranging entertainment and organising catering. With so many details, big and small, to get ready, and a considerable level of cost to contend with, it can be tempting to outsource much of this planning, leaving you free to focus on the parts of your wedding that only you can do as the happy couple.
However, leaving these elements to the professionals can get pretty costly pretty quickly, not to mention the time you’ll have to spend researching the best vendors, which might take up just as much time as doing some of this work yourself. So which parts of your wedding should you take responsibility for?
Flowers and centrepieces
Considering how long the planning process can last, being responsible for your own wedding flowers could save you a great deal of money and give you something new and beautiful to focus on. One couple in Salisbury believes they saved £1,600 on flowers by growing their own on their allotment.
However, this obviously requires having space and the resources to be able to do this in the first place. If you live in an apartment block, you’ll be unlikely to have the luxury of a garden or greenhouse and, while using a dedicated flower company to create your centrepieces will set you back a little more money, you can easily offset the costs elsewhere.
As well as this, more and more businesses are putting as much focus on sustainability and eco-friendliness as on creating stunning centrepieces. As wedding florists Blooming Haus note, an increasing number of couples are becoming interested in arrangements which offer “maximum visual impact with minimal environmental damage”, which can’t be guaranteed if you take the DIY route.
Depending on how extravagant you want it to be, the average wedding cake costs around £300, though this may be higher if you’re after a memorable multi-tiered masterpiece. Couples who might baulk at this price have also begun to offer their guests a more affordable array of cupcakes instead, which also provides them with something tasty and customisable to take home afterwards.
However, if you’re hooked on The Great British Bake-Off, or simply fancy yourself a master baker, you might consider creating your own cake for the reception. Not for the faint heart but sure to make a lasting impression, this gives you the chance to wow your family and friends with something personal. You could even incorporate flavours which have some deeper meaning to your relationship with your spouse-to-be. And for those who are more concerned with simply keeping your budget down, companies like Stork have even created wedding cake kits, which give you everything you need to feed some 70 guests for less than £50.
Invitations and RSVPs
Your wedding stationery is one of the first things you’ll need to think about, with RSVP cards generally being sent between eight and 10 months in advance of the big day. As such, you can get the DIY approach to your nuptials started early by taking the time and care to create these cards yourself—or simply using a free RSVP site to do the job for you!
But when it comes to the invitations themselves, going to a stationer has been said to cost, on average, as much as it costs your guests to attend the wedding in the first place. Designing and sending your own, while time-consuming, can generally work out cheaper and allows you to inject a little bit of your personality and creativity into proceedings. This also ensures that you only print and send as many invites as you need, which might work out particularly well for smaller ceremonies.
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