In an ideal world, we would all like to have fancy cars, expensive flowers, an exclusive venue, and a top band at our wedding. However, with the average cost of of wedding in the UK in 2009 being anywhere from £11,000 - £20,000 many people are finding it very difficult to even contemplate a traditional wedding.
One of the most expensive parts of any wedding is the meal. Even in a modest Hotel in Scotland, this can cost about £50 per head. So, if you have one hundred guests attending, that means the meal is going to cost £5000.
Therefore, if we can find ways of dispensing with the meal, that would bring down the overall cost considerably.
With that in mind, let's look at some ideas for cutting costs, generally, and eliminating the meal, in particular.
Hire Your Wedding Dress
Thousands of brides are hiring instead of buying. With the average cost of a wedding dress being £700, this can make good sense. Where else would you get a Vera Wang, Armani, or Carolina Herrera dress for a few hundred pounds?
Hire the Groom's and the Best Man's Outfits
In the UK, men have been doing this for years and it has become normal practice. Yes, girls, it's a "Man" thing!
Don't Buy Expensive Wedding Shoes
Instead of buying wedding shoes that you will only wear once, buy a pair that you will have fun wearing again - or a cheap pair that you will never have to wear again...ouch!
Get A Friend To Drive You To The Ceremony Venue
If you have a friend or relative with a big, fancy car, then get him to drive you to the ceremony venue. It's a shame to waste that big BMW or Mercedes. Also, think of the fun you will have getting to wear a chauffeur's hat...
Walk To the Ceremony Venue
If stay close to the venue, then you could always walk. If you live in a small village, this could be lovely way to go to the Church, as people line the streets to cheer and wish you well. This is what brides used to do it in the old days.
Only Have Close Family At The Wedding Meal
Instead of inviting one hundred people for the meal, just invite your close family. All your other relatives and friends can be invited to the evening reception. They will not be insulted and they will still love you as much.
Have The Wedding Reception In Your House
You could get married on one day and then invite people to your house (or your parents house) on another day for a finger buffet. You could invite people at different times. The older relatives in the afternoon and younger friends (who want to party) in the evening. This would dispense with having to hire an expensive wedding venue.
Have The Wedding Reception In A Hall
You could hire a local hall and decorate it yourself. If you wished to have a formal meal, then you could hire caterers to do it for you. They could also provide a bar. The meal would be a fraction of the cost that you would pay at a Hotel or Reception venue.
Have A Wedding Party Instead
This is becoming more and more common. After you get married (local or abroad), you can have a wedding party in a local hall. Decorate the hall yourself. Hire a band or DJ and supply a finger buffet.
Run Away To Gretna Green or Las Vegas
Traditionally when couples wanted to get married quickly, cheaply, and with the minimum of fuss, they ran away to places like Gretna in the UK and Las Vegas in the USA. So, find somewhere romantic and just go and get married. You can then put all the money you save towards your house.
These are just some ideas to get you started and you will probably thinks of lots more.
Have a cheap - but very happy wedding!