Part 3 of 3: Budgets: The truth behind the myths

We wrap up our truths behind matrimony and money (because with some insider knowledge weddings don't have to cause a credit crisis!) by looking at music, flowers and photography!

  • Story by Photo Emily Adamson & Words Briar Douglas

We wrap up our truths behind matrimony and money (because with some insider knowledge weddings don't have to cause a credit crisis) by looking at music, flowers and photography!

The truth behind: The Music 
While using your iPod is a cost-effective option, live music can’t be beaten as a way to encourage guests to hit the dancefloor. Have the best of both worlds by booking a live act for only part of the celebration, such as when you walk down the aisle or during the after-dinner dancing.
If you have a limited budget, a DJ can often be more affordable than a band. Alternatively, you could ask your local university to recommend an experienced student band or string quartet.
For the parts of the day when an iPod will do, check that yours works with the venue’s system and the sound quality is up to scratch.

The truth behind: The Flowers 
If your heart is set on peonies and you’re not keen to compromise, flowers can be an unavoidable expense. But if you’re prepared to be flexible, the cost of pretty petals can be curbed by buying cheaper varieties and in-season blooms. Let your florist know your budget and priorities – they should work with you to find something you can afford.
Using expensive flowers sparingly can save precious pennies while maintaining visual impact. Splash out on floral arrangements where they’re most needed, such as for your bouquet and the bridal table, and skimp on blooms in the entranceway – guests will only be able to enjoy them for a fleeting moment as they walk by.
Your flowers can also do double duty. Use the bridesmaid bouquets as centrepieces or transfer arrangements from the ceremony to the reception. If your ceremony will take place in a church, check to see if blooms could be provided. ‘Many churches have flowers delivered weekly, so ask if they use varieties that will work with your colour scheme,’ says florist Kelly Amundsen of Blush.

The truth behind: Photography
You can’t escape the fact that your wedding album will be shown to your loved ones for years to come, and a professional photographer will capture all the details, and know your best angles and how to work with the light. However, having a few friends with good cameras take some shots also has its merits.
To save money, photographer Chris Dillon advises that you do your research. ‘Get recommendations from friends and make a shortlist of photographers to visit.’ Ask for quotes and remember that negotiating before you make a deposit is crucial – once you’re locked in, you lose your bargaining power. But remember it’s not just a matter of going with the cheapest quote. You’ll spend a lot of time with the photographer on your big day, so it’s important to choose someone you feel comfortable with.
To get top-quality photos and keep the cost manageable, don’t book your chosen professional for the entire event. Once the sun sets your photographer won’t have good light to work with, so this is the time to nominate a friend or relative to take some happy snaps. Doing so often results in candid, personal pics that capture priceless moments you could never have predicted.

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