This post first appeared at this relationship blog
As we all know, a costly wedding is not a vital or even necessary ingredient for a perfect marriage - the two have nothing whatsoever to do with each other.
There is a brilliant way to give friends and relatives a good time, have a classy, memorable, fairy-tale wedding, put aside enough to get on the property ladder, and save the planet while you’re at it!
Your family and friends
I’ve chosen to discuss this first because in order to have an affordable, green wedding, it is vital that you first inform your family and friends about this decision and rope in all the assistance you can get. Letting them know from the start that you will need their help and involvement (work promises) at every step to make sure that everything runs smoothly, is a crucial way of preparing for the first day of your life as husband and wife. In order to take some of the stress off the wedding, it makes absolute sense to put different people in charge of various aspects of the event, which I will explain as I go along.
The cost for your reception adds up to about half of the average wedding expenses. To be able to cut costs it means that this area has to be seriously considered. While not compromising the perfection of your wedding, the reception does not have to be at expensive venues to which your guests need to travel. Here are some beautiful, affordable options.
- Local gardens
If you contact the local authorities in advance you could have your wedding at the local gardens. You would have no need to buy flowers as you would have the exquisite aroma of blossoms on trees, and flowers still in the ground, waving in the wind. Fresh air, daisies popping up from the grass, birds chirping, and at certain times of the year, even swans gently gliding by. No matter how much money you forked out, you couldn’t get that backdrop in a rented hall.
- The Beach
Many couples are now choosing the beach as the place to tie the knot. The liberating feeling of open space, and the peaceful sounds of waves gently splashing the shore are totally therapeutic. The simple idea of being able to run bare foot along with your brand new life partner in the cool water is exhilarating! You’ll always remember the joy of your wedding day every time you smell or think of the sea. What a cheerful, profound investment.
- Local castle grounds
- Sports ground or the Ice rink
The Wedding Reception
- The Village Hall
- Local Sports/Leisure centre
Here is where the bride and groom could take the plunge literally. Everyone could be asked to come dressed as their favourite sports personality. You could put up sheets of paper at the door and have guests vote for the best costume, with the winner getting a prize.
- Family or friend’s large house
- Websites for second hand wedding dresses
- Charity shops like Oxfam weddings
- Rent one
- Family heirlooms which could be altered to suit you.
- Fancy dress
- In the spirit of the old wedding poem – something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue - have the men dress in something old (they could wear an old suit) and the women dress in something borrowed. If you’re getting married in the castle grounds or at the gardens, the flower girls could all come in their little summer dresses with daisy-chain hair bands.
- If you’ve chosen the beach, the guests could be encouraged to come bare footed, and couples could be invited to come dressed in each other’s favourite summer clothes, (single people could be asked to borrow something blue – a good way to get people spotting and meeting each other).
Scan photos when you get them and send loads of photos into friends' inboxes instead of posting.
I’ve been to modern weddings which didn’t bother at all with centre pieces and wedding favours. They are not important. Think of all the weddings you’ve been to. Now think of the one that was your most memorable. I’m certain that it wasn’t the one with the best party favours you remembered. Where are those favours now and for how long did you keep them?