Aileen's Top Tips for Wedding Planning
Give yourself plenty of time. The best thing to do is check out some online weddings, get a feel for what you like and what you don't like. Don't forget to speak to your wedding venue and church or civil ceremony location about what will be allowed e.g. some churches do not allow candles in the aisle. Decide where you want to spend most of your money, what is most important to you. It can be very hard to stick to a budget, but things can get out of hand very quickly if you don't.
Rustic and vintage weddings are very in fashion at the moment, but even if that isn't your thing, you would be surprised at what you could pick up at flea markets and second hand shops. Mother Jones Flea Market have some exceptional pieces. Ebay, etsy and donedeal are also places that you can find some hidden gems.
I love the wedding pom pom trend, and they're so easy to make! DIY invites can be really special and money saving. Remember though, when it comes to invites these are the first impressions of your wedding. You want them to reflect what your wedding is all about. You can do this cheaply, but you don't want them to LOOK cheap.
A good idea is to pick a venue that works with your colour scheme, you won't have to spend a fortune to make it fit with your wedding theme. Choose flowers that are in season and find a florist that doesn't charge travelling fees. If you know someone that is creative,you could enlist them to help you arrange your flowers! Jill Wild of Wild Floral Couture holds workshops on how to arrange flowers and make floral headpieces. You can purchase your flowers from a flower wholesaler or better yet directly from the grower and off you go. A lot of venues include flowers on tables as part of their wedding package. They might originally say they only provide a very specific flower, but I have found that you can mostly negotiate the types of flowers used and how the table is decorated within reason. A lot of money can be saved by doing this.
Bargaining is key. When it comes to dress shopping, venue booking, flowers, cakes, you have to bargain to get the best price. Shop around and get comparable prices and don't just jump in and agree to the first thing you see.
Preowned wedding dresses can be magnificent. These dresses have been worn once and you are getting possibly up to 70% off the original price. You are getting amazing quality without spending a fortune. If preowned isn't to your taste, most stores have rails with last seasons dresses that are usually on sale. Check these out before you go splashing a few grand on your dress. Sample sales are also a good idea. Vera Wang holds an amazing sample sale in Brown Thomas in Dublin.
As for music, think of yourself as a talent scout. Check out music venues and even music schools! Kerry school of music provided some very talented church musicians for my sister's wedding. You don't always have to choose a 'wedding band', and non wedding bands are almost always cheaper.
Who doesn't love the cake? But these can be pricey. An average wedding cake costs between 350 and 500 euro. An idea would be to order a one tier cake, have it beautifully decorated and displayed and use it for the cake-cutting ritual but serve a classic sheet cake or cupcakes for your guests to enjoy. They will never know the difference.
Bridal Bazaar happens at the Cork Vision Centre on Sunday, March 30th next from 2pm - 5pm. The event is for brides looking to sell their pre-loved wedding goods to brides-to-be!