Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wedding Guest on a Budget

There is no doubt that weddings are an expensive celebration, but not just for the bride and groom and their respective family’s, but also for the guests.

It is not just the wedding but also the Hen Night – Last year I was invited to a friend’s wedding in Italy (I did not go) and also to a Hen Night in Dublin! (I didn’t go to that either). I have just received a wedding invitation from an old friend and do feel compelled to attend as she came to mine and this will be the first wedding I have attended since my own, some 9 years ago!
So how do you cut costs when there are outfits to be bought, hen parties to attend and presents to be purchased?

Well firstly I was quite pleased to see that none of the children’s names were on the invite, so that at least means there will be no new outfits to buy there. If your children are invited, start early in their outfit preparation and do checkout ebay. Boys suits really don’t seem to go for much on there, when I have sold them, they have gone for peanuts! Also smart shoes are very often for sale, having only been worn once for a wedding etc. If it is a family members wedding, you are bound to have lots of notice even before the official invites go out, which can only work in your favour, as with a bit of luck you will have some Sales on at the shops, in the lead up to the event. High summer can see teeny tiny guests in cute shorts with little short sleeve smart shirts for boys and pretty lightweight dresses and cute sandals for girls. These less formal outfits will mean that items can be mixed and matched and reworn for the remainder of the season. If your child is to be a bridesmaid or pageboy, make sure you know exactly what part of their attire you are expected to pay for, if any, well in advance.

Think carefully about buying your outfit. I saw a gorgeous mink coloured jersey Grecian style dress in last weeks Bella magazine (it was my mums mag - I don't buy that!), £40 at Wallis, went on the website and it wasn’t even on there! I Can’t believe stupid magazines do this! Anyway have seen one at M&S online (pictured) for £39.50 and feel it is an easy piece to chuck on, won’t break the Recessionistas bank and the shape and style will hide a tummy quite nicely! The beauty of this dress is that it will work perfectly well for holiday evenings, future parties or even sunny days with flat gladiator sandals. Buy something too “over the top”, and you will risk never being able to wear it again. You want a timeless style and not something too high fashion. Posh Ruffle blouses and pencil skirts can also be a good alternative to a dress as the blouse could be dressed down afterwards with jeans and the skirt could be worn for nights out or to the office.

Accessorize – I have long advised friends if only buying one pair of sandals, one evening bag or clutch, then always go for Metallics. Silver, Gold and Bronze accessories work with all colours, look fab with a tan (real or fake) and you can add chunky bangles, dangling earrings and necklaces to match and complete your outfit. I have asked to borrow some silver shoes and bag from my dear friend S, so will only have to worry about getting the dress. If you decide to wear a hat, check out ebay or borrow from a friend. Never buy a hat first just because it is fantastic, only to find you can’t find an outfit in the same colourway. Hats can also be hired so check out your yellow pages or the internet for local companies offering this service if you really want to wear one. Alternatively, Fascinators have been quite fashionable for a while now and are much cheaper.

Beauty – We all want to look and feel fab at a wedding and as summer Saturdays can be very busy for Salons, book any appointments well in advance to ensure you get the time you want. Try to schedule appointments early so there is not too much of a rush when you get back home to get ready. Manicures and Pedicures are important, especially if you are wearing sandals. Ensure your therapist has a suitable nail colour in advance of your appointment; you don’t want to arrive on the day of your mani/pedi to find the only colours she has, clash with your dress! A cheap nail polish will still last a good few days if applied properly and you can prolong your treatment by putting on a layer of top coat each day. Barry M (£2.89 available at Superdrug) tend to copy all the designer colours like Chanel and the professional ranges such as Opi and are very reasonably priced, no manicurist will be offended if you take along your own colour. Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount if having more than one treatment i.e. mani/pedi and say, a leg wax. Most Salons offer bridal or holiday packages, so see if any of the contents in these packages are suitable, or if you can swap one package treatment for another.

Hair – Never rely on friends to do your hair on the day, no matter how tight money is, unless they are qualified and you have practised a style beforehand. Never experiment with new colours or cuts before a big event. A blow dry on the day will finish off your look to perfection and will be a worthwhile investment. If you manage to get a reasonably priced dress, the hair and beauty treatments shouldn’t push your budget over the top, if the event is planned for and you save gradually. You can prolong your blow dry with the use of a dry shampoo such as Batiste (available at Boots and other chemists) and ask your hairdresser not to put too much product in your hair, as this makes it get greasy quicker or you can just ask for product on the lengths of hair, away from the roots.

Make-up – Got a bag full of out of date colours and dried up mascaras? Then book an appointment at a beauty counter in your nearest department store. Make sure you mention you are looking for a natural look and discuss the colour of your planned outfit. If there is a small charge for this, it is normally redeemable against any purchase, so you could buy the lipstick or blush that has been used on you. Bobbi Brown are very good with natural looking colours. Try this method out in advance if you wish and always ask for a note of what colours have been used on you and never leave a beauty counter without asking for some samples.

Wedding Gifts – The purchase of a gift is made so much easier if the Bride and Groom have a wedding list. Lots of couples will already have a home together and might just ask for Vouchers for things they may need in the future. If you really don’t have a clue then opt for this lovely white candlestick from Tiffany £60, nothing will cause such a frenzy of excitement by the bride, than a blue Tiffany box, beneath the wedding wrapping paper! They also have gorgeous vases for £100+ if you want to spend a little bit more. The bride whose wedding I am attending loves Laura Ashley soft furnishings and furniture, so a gift voucher from there should go down a treat.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! So many great tips here - I guess you have been to a lot of weddings. And I love the M&S dress!

    Fortunately our friends appear to be pretty lacklustre at convincing others to marry them, so we're off the hook this year.