Tags: Blogs

Diary of a Wedding Planner: Part 8

06 Dec 2016

Marie Haverly of Isabella Weddings Planning and Consultancy offers her last blog entry of the year, advising how you can cut corners to save money without compromising on the wedding day that you want

Image gallery

Image gallery

Remember that budget, the one that you promised not to blow?! Hmmm... so that didn’t really happen, did it? If you’re one of those people that have a wonderfully active imagination or a big wish list (probably from all that lovely wedding inspiration out there) and you also have a small budget or have to be strict with your spending, then I can guarantee you will run into problems at some point. Things always cost more than you think, the little extras add up and before you know it you’re having THAT conversation over dinner, the one where you have to make cut backs. No one likes having that discussion, especially if it’s to do with your very special day where you really don’t want to let a little thing like money interfere with your amazingly creative ideas. However, all is not lost, I can give you some of my top tips that will help reduce that budget, keep your pocket happy and still wow your guests on the day.


While it’s important to ensure you take good care of your guests, you can perhaps worry unnecessarily sometimes. A previous couple of mine were worried that they were cheating their guests out of a decent meal by choosing the first option on the menu. Then their caterer said to us: “Don’t forget that your guests won’t know you went for the first option”. This was an eye opener for us; after all, your guests are joining you for dinner – not to inspect your menu decisions (hopefully).


So here are my top three tips on how to cut corners without anyone really knowing you have:

1. Why not hold your own ‘Bake Off’ competition?

Ask your clever baking expert friends to each bring a cake, judge them and then enjoy them for dessert – you save a fortune on not providing dessert and your friends have something fun to join in with.

2. Feed everyone just once

Rather than going with a wedding breakfast during the day followed by evening food, why not invite everyone to a later ceremony and feed them all just once? Your guests will love that there isn’t a separation between daytime and evening guests and you save the price of a whole meal for them all.

3. Grow your own flowers

It might not seem like an easy task, but enlist those green fingered friends and family and make plans early so you can enjoy a home-grown wedding. Better still, choose a venue with lots of wild flowers and see if you can use some of them for your bouquet or tables. Rustic and natural wins every time for us.


If you are finding your budget is struggling under the weight of so many items or decisions, then draw up a priority list. A wedding planner can help you by understanding what’s really important to you both and aiming to focus your money here. You can also ask at local universities for budding musicians who might be able to offer you some ceremony music; they will most likely charge a lower fee and you will be helping them to build their portfolio and confidence. Trainees are a risk, but both sides can benefit hugely when it works. Do your research and make sure you are confident about all your suppliers before booking anyone.

Remember the cost of inviting guests can set you back by around £200 per person. Reducing your guest list by a few people could save you a fortune and help other areas of your budget.

Be strict with yourself if you find your finances could use a little more attention. After all, you want to ensure you have the day you truly want, even if you do have to be a little realistic.

Images: Ikonworks

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