Thousands expected to start wedding planning following Valentine’s Day proposal
Just a few weeks after Valentine’s Day, thousands of newly engaged couples will be starting the exciting process of planning their big day.
After a 40 year decline, marriage is back in fashion and the number of weddings is expected to rise again in 2014 following a 6.6 per cent increase in marriages between 2012 and 2013*.
Laura Strutt, author of the new Haynes DIY Wedding Manual, is warning that along with the rise in popularity will come a rise in costs – the average cost of a wedding currently stands at a staggering £18,244, but there are simple steps couples can take to keep spending under control.
Laura says setting a budget as early as possible should be top of the list for couples starting to think about their own wedding:
“The average cost of a wedding is still huge and could take a considerable amount of time to save for, so it’s best to agree a budget in the first few weeks – and stick to it! Nowadays, more and more couples are abandoning the big-budget blowout in favour of a more personal and less costly celebration that still promises to be as unique as you are.”
By following some simple DIY steps, couples planning their big day can save up to 75 per cent of the average cost of a wedding, as Laura did on her own wedding. The well-known DIY writer has now put pen to paper to share her practical advice and tips with a new easy-to-follow, step by step guide in the Haynes Manual format.
Laura has harnessed the personal, home-spun approach to help couples create a unique day, armed with little more than £5,000, some inspiration and a few crafty supplies.
The DIY Wedding Manual is full of creative suggestions, money-saving tips and inspirational ideas, including how to make your own full-length veil, DIY top table and centrepiece decorations and unique, home-made wedding stationery.
Laura continues: “It’s easy to get carried away trying to create the perfect day, and with the rising cost of venues, dresses and stationery, it’s not hard to see why. Whilst bespoke weddings are still top of the agenda for some couples, they can come in at an eye watering amount. Even if hand-made bunting isn’t for you, becoming savvy at each stage of the process will help budgets stretch further.
For some though, the prospect of ditching the wedding planner entirely can be daunting so I hope to allay people’s fears and guide them through each stage of the planning process using Haynes’ failsafe step-by-step approach, handy for even the most novice DIY-ers!”
Here are Laura’s top five money saving tips for wedding planning:
Set your budget
Setting and keeping to your budget is crucial if you want to save the pennies. Agreeing on the total budget before you start looking at dresses, cars and venues will help you remain realistic. Using a dedicated notebook to jot down quotes, deposits placed and items paid for will help you to keep on top of your spending
Dress for less
If you have your heart set on a designer dress, but can’t afford the big price tag – call around your local wedding boutiques and find out if they host any end of season sales or when they sell off their sample gowns
Ask creative friends to lend a hand
Now is probably the only time you can really ask those cheeky favours from friends and family – is your aunt a talented dressmaker? Can your sister bake wonderful cakes? Are your best chums brilliant musicians? Why not find out if anyone can offer their creative services to help. What’s more, having a wedding cake lovingly baked by your siblings is far more memorable a gift than receiving another toaster!
There are so many places that you can shop for your wedding supplies – wedding boutiques, dedicated online stores, the high street, craft shops, vintage stores and markets. Take some time out to shop around to ensure that you get the best prices. Handy tip – do you have a stash of yet-to-be-used gift cards? Why not see if you can use these to boost your wedding fund – you might be able to cover stationery costs, or even kit out the bridesmaids in pretty accessories…
Wedding planning can be stressful – especially when you have your usual daily tasks to keep on top of too! Getting flustered can result in making rash decisions and can often result in costly mistakes. Double check your calculations before buying supplies, confirm elements with suppliers until you are completely happy and maybe take yourself for a coffee and count to ten before spending a big chunk of your budget on an impulse purchase!
About the author
Laura Strutt, author of the Haynes Sewing Manual, is the former editor of Craft Business magazine, the leading trade publication. She was the launch editor of Sew magazine, a monthly contemporary stitching title, in 2009 and continued as editor until 2012, leaving to pursue freelance work.
Laura has recently created her own DIY wedding full of craft projects and shares her daily creative inspiration, projects and craft tutorials on her website www.madepeachy.com
The information on this page is supplied courtesy of Haynes Publishing www.haynes.co.uk