Weddings are so often expensive and overdone that you might think the whole charade isn’t for you after all. Given the amount of pressure that is put on couples to do things in a particular way, it’s not really surprising that the industry has become so inflated by the need for everything to be “perfect”.
But what if you could do things differently?
Between all the perfect white wedding days, some couples are choosing to do things differently. It might be that they simply want to have a great wedding on a shoestring budget but for many couples, the formality of their wedding day is the thing they want to change most. And this is leading to much more casual weddings.
When you get down to the very bones of a wedding, the real purpose of the day is to celebrate your love for each other and have a good party with your friends and family. You don’t actually need all that much to do this: a great venue, a nice outfit and some delicious food and drink is really all that’s called for.
In fact, you could do the whole legal formality on one day and then essentially throw a big party to celebrate the next. This method could work out significantly cheaper too as you only need two witnesses and a registrar to tie the knot and often hotels and venues charge extra in order for the ceremony to take place there.
However, there are still a few ceremonies you might like to observe instead that don’t have any legal standing but do give a sense of occasion to a wedding. For example, the sand ceremony is becoming increasingly popular. The couple have a glass of coloured sand each and they pour it into another glass, combining it together. These purely symbolic acts give a sense of occasion to the day but in a more understated way.
When you think about all the different costs associated with weddings, it’s clear that no matter how much money you have, you need to prioritize. It’s no different for a casual wedding but your slant will likely be on how to make the day feel more relaxed rather than how to get a perfect wedding out of not very much.
A good example here is the photographer you choose. Wedding photographs can easily take up an hour or two of different groups posing and smiling and doing various things. And, let’s be honest here, this isn’t much fun for everyone who’s still waiting in line! Choosing Candid Wedding Photography instead will give you all the pictures you want without the formality. Besides, seeing your guests in action and having fun is far more representative of the day than a static family portrait.
Similarly, you might choose to relax the dress code. While most people will still want to look good for your big day, relaxing the dress code will also make people feel more comfortable and less resentful at having to spend a fortune on new clothes! And given that the average wedding dress costs around £1,385, you might like to consider relaxing the wedding party’s dress code too.
Another big cost at weddings is the venue. If you do decide to do the legal stuff separately, you could actually save a lot of money but you are also much freer to choose somewhere that really suits you, not just somewhere with a wedding licence. Essentially, you are now just throwing a big party with a wedding feel so go for whatever feels good – a barn conversion, a pub, your village hall or even your home could be perfect.
The cost of any wedding party quickly adds up and while the average is just over £27,000, there are lots of ways to trim that number back. Having a more casual wedding is certainly one of them and introducing a more DIY feel is actually becoming a trend in itself. Food, flowers and decorations are all pretty major element of weddings and most parties but mention the ‘w’ word and prices can soon soar.
Though you might have your heart set on a 3-course dinner, the reality is that the cost can be prohibitive. An excellent and much more casual solution is putting on a buffet and simply letting people serve themselves. You can also save further money by doing some of the cooking yourself (read ‘kind friends and family’) and opting for simple but delicious recipes can work wonders – especially if you can make them in advance!
Wedding flowers are another great expense but, again, there is a lot you can do yourself. While you might not be green fingered enough to grow your own bouquet, there’s nothing stopping you from upgrading a basic bunch of flowers from the supermarket with some gorgeous foliage and a bit of gypsophila. Displaying flowers in jam jars, teapots and frankly any watertight vessel you have can create a unique vibe you couldn’t buy anywhere else.
Finally, the decorations. How you decorate your wedding says a lot about who you are and what kind of wedding you are hosting. If you’re going for something more formal, you will probably spend a fortune on centrepieces and all kinds of other stuff. For a more casual wedding, the decoration world is your oyster. There are lots of paper decorations that are easy to make and look beautiful, candles will always add instant romance and a smatter of biodegradable confetti usually works too.
Whatever you have planned, making your wedding more casual won’t take anything away from the day. In fact, it will give you, your family and your friends licence to relax and have fun on your special day. Keep things simple, do exactly what will make you happy and don’t give in to the pressures of spending a fortune on things you don’t really want to have. This is your day.