Money saving errors

Published date: 3rd January 2019

There’s a lot to be said for being careful with your wedding expenditure – and that applies whether you are really pushing the boat out or sticking to a very tight budget. But there are some elements of your planning where ‘This is so cheap’ should perhaps trigger alarms. Pushing careful too far towards scrimping can lead to disasters.

One topic dominates here, and that’s cheap photography. That can mean a bride asking a friend to take ‘a few pictures,’ and the friend finding out she was meant to do all the groups, the individuals, the reception… This happened, and as the poor girl had not expected to take so many pix she’d not charged her battery properly, so it gave out early in the day. She was in bits, and the couple had no album to treasure.

Another couple saved – they thought – about 50 per cent of the usual video photography fee by taking a punt on a newbie. His kit was sub-par – lights not battery operated but cabled to mains – and the cable of course caught on the cake table, toppling it and its cargo – tiers ended in tears.

Second in the unofficial hit parade of money saving failures is the DJ. You’d be better off without one than having a bad one (check them out by word of mouth, or see them in action): inadequate sound gear that nobody can hear in a big venue is one end of the spectrum, and at the other the DJ who just wants to be a star so gives a great price. You also pay, however, by having to listen to terrible jokes; watch him or her show how to dance – sooo awfully; and find that your playlist is not cool enough, so his/her radical stuff is substituted.

Making your own entertainment can work – if your friends are great musicians or comedians. The Russian wedding where one guest tried to liven things up with a game of Russian Roulette ended just as you’d imagine. That puts in context the fail at one wedding I went to where a friend of the family played didgeridoo. Not moving, not very musical, no actual melody, in fact to put not too fine a point on it, it was like listening to someone suffering with very bad diarrhoea. Mention that wedding and people don’t start with the great food, or how lovely the church was, but with the didgeridoo.

What – apart from her intended – is foremost in the minds of most brides when planning a wedding? The dress. There are ways we’ve looked at elsewhere of doing this without breaking the bank, but still looking great. But some tempting routes can go wrong. We’ve come across a few sob stories of late where buying cheap versions from China – ‘It looked so great on the photographs on the website’ (some lifted from more reputable makers) – led to disaster. An absolute doozie (though not for the poor girl involved) saw the item delivered being so long that a seven foot bride would still not have fitted it; had erm, let’s say the top of her legs area highlighted with a see-through section; and was in material so fragile that she feared it might disintegrate.

The old phrase you get what you pay for springs to mind. But sometimes people try to save a few pennies by not spending any money at all. One tragic story years ago was the cheapskate who, instead of buying a box of confetti, used the bits from an office hole-punch. One particularly sharp-edged piece lacerated the bride’s eye, and she had to live with the effects for the rest of her natural.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on your wedding then, but if you are trying to save money you do need to be smart about how.

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