Wedding Update and Money-Saving Tips

The date has been set!  We are getting married September 1st 2011.  I'm so happy to have finally decided on a date and venue for our wedding in Sorrento, Italy.  I can't wait!  

In my recent wedding update vlog, unfortunately I had to edit a lot of what I said out because it was getting too long.  So I decided that writing it out would be easier, and wanted to share some money-saving tips with you guys!

As I mentioned in the video, my budget for the wedding is €10,000.  I wanted to mention this because I know how difficult it is to plan a wedding for under the usual amount which is something like €27,000.  That to me is crazy!  And I don't want to get into any debt, especially not just before we even get married.  So far, I've managed to secure some great deals for my wedding...and stick to my budget.  Here are my tips on how to have your dream wedding without breaking the bank.

1. Get married abroad!  This may originally seem like the more expensive option but it really isn't.  If you live in Europe like me, getting married somewhere like Italy is actually very affordable.  Travel around Europe is not expensive and you can double it up as your honeymoon too!  Also, getting married abroad means fewer guests.  Obviously, if you live in the US getting married in Europe will be a lot more expensive, in which case I suggest somewhere like Hawaii instead!

2. Keep your guest-list small.  I know this is difficult, especially if you have a big family but it really IS possible.  I am only inviting 59 people, and they are very close family and friends.  Think about who you really want at your wedding, who you consider to be important in your life and don't get caught up in family politics.  Your parents' friends and family don't have to be included if you are the one paying for your wedding.  I know I am lucky enough to have parents and in-laws who understand that and some are not so fortunate, but it is important to make that clear from the beginning.  It's YOUR wedding and you can decide who is invited!

3. Pass on the hair and make-up IF you are confident enough to do it yourself!  This is something I definitely do not want to spend money on...when I know exactly what I want and how I'm going to achieve that myself.  It just seems crazy to spend so much money on something I know I can already do.  Think about what you'd like to look like on your wedding day and just practice that!  You will get good at perfecting whichever look you want and by the time your wedding rolls around you'll be just as good if not better than a pro :)

4. Keep the ceremony and reception self-contained.  This means you can pass on things like the car.  This usually isn't too expensive anyway but it's an expense nonetheless.  If you get married in the same place as your reception, it makes everything SO much simpler for both you and your guests.  I am getting married outside, in the gardens of the hotel where the reception is taking place.  This means I'm only paying one fee for the rental of the space for the ceremony and the reception.

5. Be creative with your centre-pieces.  You don't need to go down the route of flowers if you don't want to.  I personally have never been a flowers girl...but that's just me!  I don't really like flowers all that much, and I never wear floral prints...hahaha!  I've always preferred candles so my centre-pieces will be candles in big glass vases.  We are having an evening reception so I think this will look beautiful at night!  Of course the corsages and bouquets will be real white roses but limiting the flower costs to just that makes a huge difference!
6. Shop smart for your wedding dress.  I am a firm believer that you can look stylish on a budget anyway, so I absolutely intend on applying that philosophy to wedding dresses too!  You can find some amazing wedding dresses for under €200.  You do not have to pay thousands to be a beautiful bride.  Women are already beautiful anyway, we shouldn't feel the need to spend that much money on a dress that we're only going to wear once!  I would actually love it if I could find a way of wearing my wedding dress again after I'm married.  My tips are to find something that flatters your body shape, make sure it's made from good quality material and don't fuss too much about the designer/brand.  You can find an original and unique vintage piece, or Nordstrom's have some amazing designer finds for more affordable prices.

Those are my money-saving tips for the meantime...but I will be back with more as my planning progresses!  I hope you found those helpful.  I know they won't pertain to everybody's tastes/circumstances but they work for me and hopefully they will help somebody in a similar situation!

Stay Stylish!


  1. wow Anna everything sounds very organised and well planned out.
    I can tell already the day is going to be a huge success.
    please let us know what your budget ends up being if you can keep to the 10,000 mark or not, best of luck with it all.
    you are dead right not getting carried away with extras that make the costs go way out of control good for you :-)

  2. Thanks, very interesting. I will marry in August and my Budget is about 10.000 €, too. Wedding dress will be about 200€ - i have seen so much beautiful dresses, but i will have a look at Nordstrom, too. :o)
    Good Luck for the further planning!

  3. Ohhh So true with some of your tips. It's funny how people always invite folk they have not spoken to for years or have never even met to their wedding just because they are family friends. That's like paying for someone you don't knows dinner! lol. Now I just need to convince Craig to marry me!

  4. i love you 3, you're the best family to watch on youtube, you even beat the shaytards to me! i can relate to you guys because we live in the same area of the world

    i hope you have a fantastic day, and jonathan vlogs! :P xxx

  5. I got married in Spain & like you we didn't want to spend much and thankfully we didn't! Its a much nicer idea going abroad and we had a small intimate wedding, and all our guests said it was the best wedding they were ever at! I did get my make-up done, but I had a friend come over who is a hairdresser, so that saved money! I think the one thing we did splash out on was wedding dress and honeymoon! But then again, my parents did help and also helped organise it as they had a friend in the same place so we didn't have to hire a wedding planner! Our reception was in a restaurant, right on the cliff edge, and it was spectacular! We had the most amazing day and you definately don't have to invite hundreds of people & have all the trimmings to have a wedding! Would do it again in a heartbeat :) Enjoy all the planning & run up to the day, it will go soooooo fast you won't believe :) Anything you need regarding info on the paperwork for weddings abroad, let me can't do much until 3 months before the date anyway!

  6. you could dye your wedding dress and wear it again :) and definitely make could make it shorter :)

  7. Hi,

    I like your post and your opinin: "Women are already beautiful anyway " :D

    Let us know what dress are on your mind? Do you have something to show us? I am getting marriage on 24/9/2011 so I am looking forward for more tips ;)


  8. sounds so classy Anna, just like you. so nice to see someone following what they want and not what bridal magazines tell them. I went to a pretty big wedding this summer and the extravagance can make you cringe a bit.

  9. Great tips, I'm sure your wedding will be beautiful and without a doubt you are going to be a gorgeous bride Anna.

  10. I really like this its helpful but I can't see my self flying my family to another country to get married they wouldnt be able to afford it anyway but if you can get people there its a good idea and if its your home land half your fam would be there anyway good luck xxx wedding dress thing is so true btw x

  11. Can I just say I love you!!!! It's so great to hear such realistic expectations when some people go so crazy on weddings. You are such a good inspiration, between this and your last video on bulimia you are such a fantastic role model not just in the youtube world but in the world in general. Such a gem! x

  12. Great Tips! It's so true a wedding doesn't have to cost a fortune to be beautiful. :)

    There is actually a way a wedding dress can be worn again. I read about it on another blog, I think it is so clever!
    I thought I would share the link
    Best of luck for your wedding :)

  13. Great date Anna, we will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary on September 1st. I totally agree you can have a lovely wedding on a budget. We only spent about £800 on ours and most of that was on food and drink. We had our reception in a family members garden and kept our guest list low. My dress cost £75 in the Monsoon sale. It was very low key and relaxed and still one of the happiest days of my life. We didn't have all of the stress and drama. Good luck with all of your planning

  14. When i look at the wed dresses´ prices, i´m going crazy =)

  15. hey!so happy u are getting married!u are really made for each other!
    u can come to Greece for your trip and you can couchsurf our couch!

  16. Yay for getting married and saving money at the same time! Sorrento is quite possibly one of my favorite spots that I've traveled to, so I can only imagine how magical your wedding day will be.

    My fiance, J, and I are getting married just 9 days after you on September 10th! Congratulations and I can't wait to read more about the amazing adventures you have while planning and nearing the big day!


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