Your Budget Wedding Planner: Covering the Essentials

Here we cover Rings, the Wedding Cake, Photographer, Honeymoon, Other Top Tips and General Planning Ideas

If you missed Part 1 of our Budget Planning Guide, which covers Venue, Catering, Dress, Flowers, Car Hire, Stationery & Favours, please see - Suffolk Wedding Planner Part 1

Also see our Budget Calculator to Guide you through the maths!


Budget Wedding Planning Guide Part 2

With wedding rings itís very easy to overspend. If youíre in a shop, state your budget clearly to the assistant and ask them to stay within it. Only view rings that are in your budget. Itís easy to be distracted by all the lovely sparkly jewellery and the desire for a bigger, fancier ring, but be strict with yourself, you can always upgrade in years to come.

You can also save a huge amount by buying rings over the internet or second hand and antique dealers. Gold is at a premium at the moment, if you or a family member has some unwanted gold jewellery consider finding a designer who could melt this down and use it to create new rings.

For a list of some Suffolk jewellery shops where you can find some lovely rings please see -
Suffolk Jewellery


Budget Wedding Planning Guide Part 2

To some couples the cake is the centerpiece of their reception, to others a tasty treat - so decide how important this feature is and budget accordingly. If it is an important part of your day it still needn't cost the earth.

If you have any family or friends who are particularly nifty in the kitchen, consider asking them to bake your cake as a wedding gift, the raw ingredients can be relatively cheap depending on the type of cake you choose. You could even pick more than one, and have a variety of flavours (and a variety of bakers if you know more than one!)

Or, you could opt for a less extravagant cake, with one or two tiers. As with florists, a big part of the cost is time - therefore choosing a simple design, with no intricate sugar craft or piping will get you more for your money. Decorating the cake with fresh flowers, such as roses will give a stunning effect and no-one will notice the actual cake itself is quite plain.

You could even choose individual cup cakes for each of your guests, which would be an easy home-made option.

Budget Wedding Planning Guide Part 2

Budget Wedding Planning Part 2

Don't delay, put your mind at rest today!
When you get married your Will needs to be updated as your old one will become invalid, and if you die without a valid Will the law says who gets what.If you make a Will you can also make sure you donít pay more Inheritance Tax than you need to, so put your mind at ease and call the experts!


Budget Wedding Planning Guide Part 2

Many couples feel that photography is a major part of the day and are prepared to pay a small fortune for a beautifully presented wedding album. But it is worthwhile researching and comparing photographers to ensure you are getting value for money. It is important to see as many portfolios as possible, and ask the photographer if they have any customer testimonials.

Consider a package which allows you to create your own album at a later date, and forget all the little extras such as engagement shoot, getting ready shots, canvas prints, leather bound album etc. Many photographers are prepared to attend your wedding day and then provide you with a DVD of your photos. With the DVD, you can then use some of the fantastic online services to prepare your own album - costing much less.

You can reduce the costs further by booking a professional photographer for the ceremony and group shots only, and then ask close friends to cover the reception and party. Think about which elements of the day are the most important to capture professionally.

The same applies with a wedding video, think about asking a friend or relative - though it might be a good idea for them to do some practice shots beforehand!

Many guests will have their own digital cameras with them - you could even set up a laptop at the reception and as guests exit ask them to upload their images! Or ask them to share their photos in an online gallery by adding a little note to their favours, then you will be able to pick out the best and download at a later date.

Budget Wedding Planning Guide Part 2

Another great idea for having a photo keepsake of your wedding is to use disposable cameras on the dining tables so that guests can capture a lot of the moments that you miss. This also adds great fun to the wedding reception!

If you do choose to go with a professional photographer be sure to check whether you will receive all the proofs from them. Some photographers keep the originals and the only way you can get any pictures is by ordering them through the photographer at inflated prices.

Don't forget there are no retakes so spending a bit more on someone with an excellent reputation and stunning portfolio, who you can trust and work with on the day is money well spent.

Suffolk Wedding Photographers
Budget Wedding Planning Guide Part 2

For a selection of some great Wedding Photographers covering Suffolk, please click on the link above.

Budget Wedding Planning Part 2


Budget Wedding Planning Guide Part 2

It may sound obvious but a UK honeymoon will probably be cheaper than a foreign holiday as the travel costs are lower. Also you don't have the hassle of lost luggage at the airport or working out the exchange rate, which at the moment is pretty horrendous with £ being weak against $ and Ä. In Suffok there are lots of great value ideas for your honeymoon night and for a longer honeymoon break. See - Honeymoon Venues

Always mentnion that you'll be on your honeymoon when you book as you might receive a free upgrade or special offer for honeymooners.

Lots of couples opt to set up a honeymoon fund instead of a wedding present list. People are waiting longer before marrying nowadays and often already own a home and the main household gadgets when they get married, so why not ask friends and families to make contributions towards the honeymoon instead?

Bay Tree Cottage, Suffolk - Budget Wedding Planning Guide Part 2

The cheapest way is to cut out the honeymoon all together, or go for a weekend break to a hotel not too far away. Or rent a romantic cottage! - see Suffolk Cottages.


Budget Wedding Planning Guide Part 2

Weddings are a great at bringing families and friends closer together. Many people you know will want to help, so consider asking for favours and personal time instead of a wedding present. It will make a big difference to your budget and help make the day even more personal and unique. Skills such as baking, growing flowers/food, crafting, design, hair and make up, sewing, DIY - are all invaluable and if you know people who can do these things then you are a very lucky couple! If your best friend or mum feels they have no real 'skill' to offer but are desperate to contribute then don't forget there will be plenty of shopping and decisions which will need second opinions, gathering suppliers details and quotes can take many hours so their help will much appreciated!



Budget Wedding Planning Guide Part 2

- Buy things in the sales!

- Ebay or Etsy is brilliant for finding anything that you need to make your wedding day special and it can be very cheap too

- Donít mention the word Ďweddingí when calling for prices

- Do your research, keep track of quotes and keep comparing

- Donít be afraid to ask, many suppliers will be willing to bargain with you

- Remember to save money for your new life with your partner. One day of happiness canít compare to a lifetime.

- Make sure you stay focused on what you and your partner want and not what you think is expected of you!

- Donít be frightened to shop around, it might take a little longer, but you might find a gem of a deal

- Hair & Make-Up - Everybody has a friend who should have been a hairdresser, and chances are they'll be delighted to be asked to do your hair. Make-up counters in department stores often perform free makeovers, but make sure you have a trial run before the big day arrives.

- Insurance; once you've worked out how much money you're going to spend, it's a good idea to take out wedding insurance to prevent anything from spoiling your big day. For as little as £47 you can have the whole day covered.


Budget Wedding Planning Guide Part 2

The most common sense way to cut wedding costs is to make sure you get estimates from several suppliers for your cake, flowers, music, reception site, etc. Then take the time to sit down and compare what you are getting for the prices quoted. Examine quantity, quality, price, and service. When you are satisfied with your choice, then call and book them. Don't jump into any spur-of-the-moment decisions which can end up being very expensive.

As you receive and open gifts, immediately mark on the card who the gift is from and exactly what it was. Should the gift be damaged in any way, you can easily find out where the gift giver purchased the gift and have it exchanged with a new one. Also, by keeping the names related to the gift in this way, it will be much easier to write your thank-you notes.

Order extra envelopes when ordering your invitations as it is likely that you will make some mistakes with names and addresses.

Put a set amount of money aside every payday into a "wedding fund." When planning weddings on a budget, it's much easier to save a little bit at a time to cover expenses than to try to come up with large lump sums to pay your vendors at the last moment. You might want to set up a specific bank account for the wedding fund, or take out a specific credit card for the wedding so that you can keep a track of all expenses.

Be well prepared with a list of questions for each wedding professional that you speak with. It gives you a good basis to compare services of different companies to find one that will provide you with everything you require and charge a fair price.

Budget Wedding Planning Guide Part 2

After you have made a decision on each of your vendors and have signed contracts with them, be sure to call and confirm your reservation and service. Keep in touch as your wedding date draws nearer to be sure they are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing.

Keep records of all conversations, appointments, phone calls, contracts discussed and signed, and receipts. This is your proof in case the vendor doesn't provide you with all the services you both agreed upon. In this case, you would be well within your rights to demand a partial refund. By the same token, some vendors may try to get extra money out of you by insisting
that you owe more than agreed upon (Ed note - we don't do this in Suffolk!!). With a copy of your signed contract on hand, plus receipts for any deposits you've paid them, you'll have proof of the balance that you really owe. This is vital for those planning low cost weddings on a budget. Find out if the price
includes VAT, delivery, service charges etc.

Never sign a contract until all of your questions have been answered to your satisfaction. If you are having trouble getting answers out of a supplier, move on. You don't want that hassle. If they're being difficult now, imagine what they'll be like as your wedding date draws nearer!


1. Resist the urge to pick foods that are costly i.e. lobsters, steaks. You can still impress your guests with less expensive food.

2. While it is nice to be entertained by a live band, recorded music will do just fine, you can even compile a play list on your ipod and play it through speakers.

3. Forget about hiring an MC. Ask a family member or a friend to MC instead.

4. Ask yourself if you really want your wedding on a film. Will you spend some time after the wedding to watch it? Or will the video end up in your grandmother's chest in the attic?

5. It's not necessary to hire a wedding planner if you have the time to do the work yourself. You can still get the job done with the help of family members and friends.

6. Always try to get the best price from vendors. Since they expect some negotiations to happen, they would most often give a quote that is higher than what they are willing to accept.

See our Budget Calculator to Guide you through the maths!

Budget Wedding Planning Guide Part 2

Top Tip of all - Enjoy your Day!

Suffolk Weddings Guide