Wonderful Weddings on a Budget
Weddings are a serious business in this country and, therefore, can also cost serious money. After all, all those involved have to make a profit and it can be very stressful to avoid going way over what you can actually afford in order to have your dream day. Few of us, though, have the fund to have fairy tale weddings and it is good to remember that it is not the amount of money you spend on your wedding day that will determine your future happiness; your wedding day is just the beginning and nothing is more stressful for a couple starting out than if the day costs more than you can really afford.
There is plenty of information and people out there who will help you spend much more than you should, so this article is tended to help you spend less, but still have a truly memorable day.
You don’t have to choose a wedding theme, but it can help you make decisions further down the line. Deciding now, for instance, on colors, avoids wasting time in the future. White is the easiest color to go with, as every caterer will have white table cloths, and you can always add a secondary color if you like.
WHAT TO WEAR?
Remember that, as a bride, you will only wear your wedding dress once, so think about other options. A friend bough a tight white dress and made a long tulle skirt to wear over it. With some cheerful jewelry from Divisoria, she had a classy look for minimal price and – even better – she got to wear everything multiple times. Refashioning your mother’s wedding dress or a close relative’s could be another cheaper possibility, and it will have a lot more sentimental value.
You don’t want to burden your bridesmaids and female sponsors with excessively stringent dress request that they may not be able to afford, and even if you have allocated your funds elsewhere, you will still want a uniform look. So, just request your bridesmaids to wear one color. The days that black was not worn at a wedding are a long gone, and having your bridesmaids wear black dresses will at least ensure that they will be able to wear them again! Add a corsage in a bright color and you will have a very chic attendants!
Men have it easy, as a barong can be re-worn countless times!
MAKE YOUR OWN BRIDAL ACCESSORIES
The cord can be cheaply purchased in Divisoria, tied into a large figure of eight and decorated. The veil, a length of tulle, is cheap, and for a more elegant finish, sew some lace to the outer edge.
White candles are available everywhere and can easily be decorated to match the theme of your wedding.
With regard to the ring pillow, does it really have to be a pillow? Could a small basket or box work just as well?
Flowers are expensive, but you can use them sparingly – for instance, just for the bridal bouquet and corsage. They are more affordable if you use local varieties that are in season. However, of course there are alternatives: while silk flowers aren’t cheap, either, they will at least last longer than natural variety! The DIY varieties are not too difficult to make out of paper for venue decoration or felt for corsages. A quick Pinterest search will give you plenty of ideas.
THE GUEST LIST
Easy to say but hard to do: keep the guest list as small as possible. Yes, you may have to give in to some of your parents’ wishes, but you do not have to invite everyone you know. Take a serious look at what you can afford and limit your guest list to the people you really want to be with you on that day. Alternatively, you could choose to have a more public ceremony but a smaller, invitation-only reception. An intimate wedding with the friends and family who really matter can be just as beautiful as a huge ceremony with people who you may not still be friends with in five years. Be open about the fact that you are having a small wedding, and people will understand, and if they don’t you would not have wanted them there in the first place!
HAIR AND MAKEUP
This doesn’t have to be expensive, especially if you go to the salon and have it done there. rather than have the stylist come to you. But, you can also do your own makeup – just spend an afternoon practicing with the help of a good friend (after all, if Kate Middleton did her own wedding makeup, why shouldn’t you?). If you do go with a makeup artist, just make sure you do a trial run with her/him, as you want to make sure that you do still look like you on your wedding day!
Can you have the ceremony and reception in one place? This could save the expense of hiring a car to get you and your spouse from one different fees. The reception could be in the restaurant that is catering, but it could also be in your own home if you have the space – or maybe you have a friend with nice garden who would be willing to help out. Your Barangay may have a small park that they rent out. Ask if certain days are cheaper than others. DIY decor made out of paper, balloons, and so on can make any venue festive – and at reasonable prices! Google and Pinterest will be your friend!
Invitations – do you really need multiple cards with fancy engraving, ribbons, etc.? Consider making them yourself. If you have a computer and printer, you can make it as fancy as your Photoshop talents allow, or if you have beautiful handwriting (and a short guest list), think about writing them yourself. Do you really need to include a map? An internet link to a Google Map, as well as a specific address, should be enough for guest to find their way there.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEOGRAPHY
Lucky you if you have a talented friend in this area, but having some good photos of your wedding day, particularly with your guests and family, are well worth investing in. Don’t forget to ask all your guest to take photos – the perfect shot may well be among those. On the other hand, personally, we think you can skip the video – after all, how many times will you truly watch yourself getting married?
Yes, we have all seen those multiple-tier cakes, but how much actually gets eaten? Again, if you have a good friend who bakes well, you are lucky, but otherwise buy the cake and decorate it yourself. Guests would rather have a delicious cake to eat than beautiful one that mostly cardboard. You can get ready made cake decorations at many baking supply stores around Manila.
Keep it simple: do you have to have a sit-down meal for everyone? Maybe time your wedding so you have merienda instead, or an early morning wedding where you serve brunch (or otherwise maybe include merienda for everyone and a full meal for those closest to you).
WEDDING FAVORS AND GIVEAWAYS
So much money is spent on these items, but how many are truly kept by the recipients? Maybe something more meaningful, like a photo of you and your spouse with the guest, would be a more special memory of your happy day. A photo booth manned by a professional or amateur complete with dress-up accessories will keep your guests busy as well as give them a keepsake!
Generally, the earlier you book any type of trip or overnight stay in a hotel the cheaper it will be. Keep your eye out for promos and don’t travel during peak seasons. ( Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts at hotels, which often have honeymoon packages!).
Make sure you have a Master of Ceremonies who can help you during the day to keep everyone on track. After all, you will be busy with other things! Get help from all your friends in planning a program including music and they will be able to implement it during the reception. No need to hire a DJ or a band… Nowadays, a laptop and some decent speakers can provide all the music you’ll need.
Shop around, as even though these are the symbol of your eternal love, they don’t have to be that expensive! Don’t forget to haggle, especially in smaller jewelry stores – and if the owner is present.
The most important part of this day will be the memories you create, and these are free! So make sure you spend time with each and every guest (after all, you spent a lot of time thinking about who would be on your guest list) and you will all treasure the memory of the happiest day of your life forever!