Category Archives: Budget Wedding

10 Creative Ways to Finance Your Wedding

A wedding is one of life’s most precious and memorable moments. But while the day itself is one of joy and new beginnings, paying for the wedding of your dreams can be a tall order. As well as the expense of a dress, the cake, the cars and the flowers, you may also want a lavish honeymoon. And when you factor in all the smaller details of the big day – including favours, suits, food and entertainment – the bill can be substantial. Whether you are planning your own wedding or that of your children, there are 10 very inventive ways of financing a day to remember.

1. Release some equity in your home

The difference between what you owe on your home and its current market value is your equity. Some banks will consider lending you money based on the market valuation, but you will need to secure your home against it. You may just be sitting on enough hidden value in your property to realise your dreams of a lavish wedding.

2. Unsecured loans

While the cost of personal loans is relatively high, they can be useful if you are in need of quick finance to pay for wedding expenses in a hurry, including the hiring of a Church, paying for the wedding cars or putting down a deposit at the reception venue – all of which can be time sensitive.

3. Cash gifts from friends and family

Perhaps the simplest and cheapest way to secure finances for your wedding is through cash gifts. Your friends and family can provide you with up to £3,000 in tax-free gifts, which may be part of a future inheritance or in lieu of a gift on the day. And to make the process easier, there are some innovative online services that make giving cash donations simple and quick.

4. Crowdfunding

It seems that crowdfunding is being used to fund just about anything these days, including lavish weddings. Whether you target friends and family through popular crowdfunding sites or offer invitations to the big day in return for donations, this could be a great way of securing the finance you need without getting yourself into debt.

5. Peer to peer loans

Whether you want your wedding finances in a hurry or you’re looking for a more favourable interest rate than that you have been offered by traditional banks, a peer to peer lender may be able to provide you with a low cost loan for the big day. Unlike most standard personal loans, you have the option of paying down your debt early in order to save on interest, and there are no early redemption penalties to worry about. Some lenders are offering loans of up to £15,000, which could be the difference between making compromises and having the wedding you have always dreamed about.

6. Endorse your chosen suppliers

If you are open to the possibility of companies advertising during your big day, you may be able to secure extra funding or discounts. For instance, allowing your photographer to erect some advertising signage could shave off several hundred pounds from your final bill. Or agreeing to having your wedding filmed by the reception venue for future promotional activity could also bring down the cost.

7. Pay as you go

A lot of people make the mistake of taking out high-interest loans to pay for a wedding, which usually results in the total cost of their big day being significantly increased. However, if you are prepared to take your time looking for bargains, paying for aspects of the wedding in instalments and compromising on certain areas of your big day, paying as you go could make your money go further.

8. Alternative investments

If you are prepared to put up with the increased level of risk that comes with many alternative investments, you could grow your capital significantly in just a few years. Investing in a venture capital trust, diamonds, gold or emerging business opportunities could give you the extra money you need to create a wedding day to remember.

9. Haggle for the best deal

Times are hard for businesses these days, and the increasingly competitive nature of wedding planning may work in your favour. Don’t be afraid to negotiate over price, and threaten to take your business elsewhere when it is appropriate – you might be surprised at just how much suppliers will shave off their original quotes.

10. Get away from it all

A great way to cut costs is to book a wedding abroad on an all-inclusive basis. Not only will this add an exotic dimension to your big day, it will save you the cost of a honeymoon. Your guest list will be smaller, but many tour operators offer will offer subsidised deals on travel and accommodation for friends and family.

Whether you go down the road of wedding loans or innovative investment opportunities, some careful planning and sound financial management will guarantee a wedding day that will never be forgotten.

Top Questions to Ask about Used Online Wedding Gowns

So, you are on a budget and have decided to buy a used wedding gown. Good for you! It is a great way to go and quite the trend these days. There are so many gorgeous dresses out there that brides are not upset about parting with, so why not take advantage of their generosity and get the dress of your dreams for less? Many brides are choosing to shop online for used wedding gowns. If this is the case, there are some very important questions that you should ask before actually purchasing or committing to anything. Below are the top questions to keep in mind.

What are the exact measurements? Remember, even though the gown will have a size does not mean it has not been altered at some point. It could have been taken in a great deal, or let out a great deal, which in turn, will affect the actual size of the dress. Call or email the online shop and they will give you the details you need.

What is the condition of the wedding dress? You are seeing this wedding dress online, and it is used. So be sure and ask what sort of condition the gown is in—photos can be deceiving. In particular, ask if there are any stains or tears that you should know about. And, if there are, are they repairable.

What was the original retail price of the gown? Make sure the online shop knows exactly what the gown originally sold for. You want to know that you are getting a good deal—especially if you go with a designer gown that will still be a bit pricey even though it is a used gown. The normal discount is 40% or so. If the price is lower, you need to ask why that is.

What is your return policy? This is so very important! You need to find a site where if you are not happy with the dress you receive, you have the right to return it. Some used wedding dress sites have all their dresses as final sales. You want to steer clear of these and find one that does allow returns within a reasonable amount of time.

Do you have customer reviews? You want to be sure that the online shop is reputable. Most will have a customer review link, but if you don’t see one, ask if there is somewhere else you can look. A good reputation is a must when buying a used bridal gown.

  • Photo credit: jorgemejia of Flickr Commons

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The Shoestring Wedding: Cut Down Costs, Not the Celebration

Not everyone who wants to get hitched has all the resources for an all out wedding ceremony and party, but this shouldn’t hinder one’s plans to tie the knot, right?

Ready to get hitched but not entirely prepared to irreparably ruin your bank account? Well fret no more for there are ways to cut down the cost of your “I do” while still saving a necessary level of class and subtlety.

Here are some options for you to stage a shoestring wedding day that nonetheless stays fun and memorable.

Ice Cream Bar in Lieu of a Wedding Cake

There’s nothing worse than to cut your wedding cake all the while thinking the confection had cost you an arm and a leg. So why not go out of the box and opt for a quirky and innovative ice cream bar instead? There are many independent suppliers who create these delicious and visually scintillating treats that can adequately take the role of a four-figure, five-tiered, triple-chocolate cake.

Flower Power

Maximize your flower ornaments! First surefire way to cut the cost of wedding flowers is to opt for those variants that are in season. This means that there are an abundance of these quaint natural wonders hence they are offered in an affordable price. It’s simple economics and simple economics is always reliable. Another means to get the most of your purchased floral pieces is to reuse and recycle. Instead of stuffing both the wedding ceremony and reception areas with different sets of flowers, you can instead use the ones you had in the wedding hall for the reception area. This will of course require a little help from friends and family who should be fast and creative enough to transport and arrange the flowers from the wedding hall to the party location.

Mind the Menu

Filet mignon is quite fancy and impressive. But for couples who wish to avoid a post-wedding financial hangover, it is best to stick to the more affordable and seasoned sources of protein such as fish, pork, and chicken. After all, with an exceptionally creative chef, there is an array of fabulous dishes that can be fashioned from these bounties. Furthermore, buffet style dining is most recommended for thrift-driven couples since plated dish proves rather expensive and scores low in terms of value-for-money. Lastly, reviving the old tradition of brunch or breakfast wedding affairs can also save future grooms and brides with a considerable amount of money hence they are worth considering.

Serve Just Enough Alcohol

Your wedding day should be a memorable affair and it should never end up all wild and rowdy. With that said, do not overindulge your guests by paying for an open bar that serves unlimited alcohol. Have a fixed budget and stay within that amount. The last thing you would want is for your guests to all get wasted and have a serious condition of “what happened last night” the morning after. Weddings should be remembered.

Weddings are indeed lifelong commitments. But same goes with your value toward your financial viability. Especially during these times when the economic landscape is on a state of flux, it is a smart move to avoid yourself from getting carried away with all that glitters, and maintain the appropriate degree of levelheadedness with regards to your expenses.

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Brilliance’s Sharon Sussman has worked with countless couples to get the engagement ring or wedding ring of their dreams, no matter how big or how small their budget may be. Check out more of her tips on Staying Golden: The Art of Accessorizing with Gold Jewelry at GoldMarketPrice.Org.