Planning a wedding? Of course, budget is everything – but a lot of the ‘must-haves’ are things you can really do without. Here’s what I think you can cross off your wedding shopping list (and save!).
1. An engagement ring. Gorgeous as they are, I don’t care about diamonds that much. I’m a pretty simple gal when it comes to jewellery and my platinum band is all I need. In my book, the stress of having to find another $5000-10,000 for a big rock isn’t worth it when you’re planning a wedding.
2. Wedding cars. Vintage mobiles can look cool in the photos, but worth the $2000 price-tag? Not so much – especially when you consider how few people see the cars. My dad ended up driving me and the bridesmaids in his 4WD, while a friend picked up Mr Chick and his family. No biggie!
3. A really expensive dress. My dress cost a bomb and it was gorgeous. But looking back, I wish I’d considered more options (like vintage stores, Ebay or overseas dressmakers). A friend who got married in a drop-dead gorgeous gown later confessed to me it cost her $150. She sent her measurements overseas and they sent her the finished dress. Smart girl.
4. All that extra printing. You DO NOT need save-the-date cards, wedding registry cards, RSVP cards and so on. Get the invite beautifully printed (or create a cost-effective one yourself) and add as much info as you can to it, or keep it simple and do a wedding website for all the other info if you have overseas guests coming. Otherwise people can call you to ask questions. So old-school, I know.
5. Bonbonerie. Seriously, step away from the personalised M&Ms.
6. A super-posh venue. You’ll find everything from elegant ballrooms like the one at Melbourne’s Bell City, to harbourside school halls like the one I got married in. But don’t get roped into spending a fortune on a venue; it’s the vibe you create at the reception rather than the surroundings that matters. I met Mr Chick at a surf club wedding and it’s one of the best weddings I’ve ever been to.
7. A formal cake. Although we did have a cake made, it didn’t cost a fortune. So save money by getting a cake-making rello to whip one up, opt for a selection of mini cakes, cupcakes on a stick or a big cupcake tree – it’s a fun way to dish up dessert AND will save you heaps of dosh!
8. A sit-down dinner. I’ve never forgotten the food at my friend Jacqui’s wedding. It was catered, but served in fancy takeaway boxes with forks and chopsticks and we sat on a grassy knoll overlooking Vaucluse. It was such a casual, beautiful meal and a good way to save bucks.
9. A band. Wedding bands can set you back $1000-3000, whereas a carefully created playlist costs nix. Let’s face it, when everyone’s a bit tiddly and kicking their shoes off to hit the dance floor, no one cares if there’s a band or not as long as the music’s good.
10. A florist. I spent hundreds on flowers and I didn’t even like my bouquet in the end. So my tip would be to go to Paddy’s Market and buy flowers you love, rope in a creative friend to help do the table settings and pull the bouquets together. Easy, beautiful and way cheaper.
Over to you, RC readers… Any other wedding day ‘must-haves’ you actually don’t need and wouldn’t miss? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!