Do you want a wedding, or a marriage?
Before our wedding on the 23rd of April, I’ve spent a lot of time on websites such as ThePerfectWedding.nl and learned that any wedding under €8’000 is considered a budget wedding. I was shocked! €8’000 on a wedding? Give me 6 wishbone chairs on our dining table instead!
For our wedding we didn’t set ourselves a budget. We had no idea what it would cost, so setting a budget didn’t make sense. We just thought of every wedding aspect on its own: what is it worth to us? When you want to have a budget wedding, it is all about priorities. You just can’t have it all but let me you tell you, you don’t have to have it all. It is a special day, I know. Ours was great. But to me, it’s all about spending your special day surrounded by the people you love.
So let me walk you through our wedding day and some budget choices we made!
1. Wedding dress
Usually a BIG part of your wedding costs. A dress with a price tag of €2’000 is considered normal. I could not imagine spending that much money on a wedding dress, at all. Mine was €210, in total. And it was perfect, just the way I imagined feeling while wearing a wedding dress. I’ve bought mine at Lightinthebox and I am still so happy I did. I’ve spent 6 years on that website, went through almost all of them. And then – one day – that one dress shows up and you think, yeah, that’s the one.
2. Groom’s clothing
My husbands clothing came from H&M and cost in total €220. The pants, blouse, jacket and tie fitted him perfectly and to us were the perfect combination for our april wedding. I think he looked stunning!
3. Wedding flowers
I got really frustrated with our local florists since I didn’t feel the were interested in my unusual request: a bunch of happy flowers instead of a formal round bouquet. So I decided to contact Judith Slagter, I’ve known her through Instagram and she has a beautiful blog about flowers. I asked her if she wanted to make my wedding bouquet and decorate our location with some more flowers. Know that flowers are not cheap and I’ve realized (while seeing Judith working on our location) that being a florist is a rightful job. But, if you’re not feeling the way local florists are treating you, look further. And you know what? I really miss my wedding bouquet. With every picture I show people, they notice the bouquet first. I really wished it was still here, it was so cheerful!
We’ve decorated our location with wine bottles and random flowers. Consider this as an
option instead of huge (pricey!) centerpieces.
4. Wedding photography
Our biggest cost for the day, so maybe not the right place to put in this blogpost. But as a photographer myself, I wanted good photos. The pictures are the one thing you have forever, so my advice; don’t save money on your wedding pictures. Pick a good photographer, who you can put all your faith in. You really really really don’t want your wedding pictures to be a disappointment.
We’ve had two wedding photographers. One, Hans Jellema, a friend of ours, such a good photographer. He had never done a wedding before but we totally believed he could do it. And he did! The second photographer was Hanke Arkenbout, all the pictures in this blogpost belong to her work. An analogue photographer which I met last year on a summer wedding and I knew immediately: she was the one I had to have. She stayed for three hours, which was our way of saving some money. Yet her pictures of our day seem so complete, so that might be an option for you too if you’re on a budget.
5. Wedding rings
Our wedding rings were €25 each. We wanted the same ring, but our taste turned out to be quite different (haha!). So after a lot of research we found these we really liked and laughed out loud when we saw the price. My husband thinks that in 10 years we will be wearing different rings, but we love them now and that’s all that counts. They are white ceramic and from the brand Melano.
6. Wedding car
I know I’m really lucky to have a father that has a beautiful old sports car, that we could use without having to pay for it. Actually, when I asked him if we could use his car for our wedding day, he replied that the car would probably be really hurt if we would use a different car. Yeah, funny dad! But if you’re into cars but want to save some money, ask around. Always ask if they want money for using their car, but it might just save you some.
7. Wedding location
We were very lucky (again) to hold our wedding at such a beautiful location. It is the holiday home of my parents, which is usually rented out since it’s on a holiday park. A location next to the water, with the beautiful weather we had. Just perfect! Our guests parked their car on the other side of the water and got transported by boat. They loved it, and we did too.
Saving money on your wedding really starts with the location. If you hiring a location, your drink- and eating bill will also go up. We saved a lot of money by doing the groceries ourselves. We rented a BBQ and people could get their own drinks. While it was a lot of work, shopping before and cleaning up afterwords, it saved us a lot of money.
8. Wedding cake
We asked a local bakery to make us 6 cakes and we never spoke about it being for our wedding. We didn’t want a traditional wedding cake, just different ones so that everybody could pick the one they liked the most. A lot cheaper!
So those were my top tips on saving money on your wedding, hope you liked it! If you do, please leave a message below. Are you planning yours, for instance? Let me know, please! I could talk about weddings all day long!
All pictures by Hanke Arkenbout