5 Tips for a Budget-friendly yet Elegant Wedding

5 Tips for a Budget-friendly yet Elegant Wedding

Even if you are not planning on getting married now, chances are you will be in the future, or you will be involved in your daughter or son’s wedding. Your cousin may also consult you on a few tips to use to achieve a dream wedding.

DIY planning can save you thousands. But planning a wedding can be stressful and exhausting. Oftentimes, the bride and groom will hire a wedding coordinator to help relieve some of the burden. Your game here is the ‘Complete guide to planning your dream wedding’ by Editor Carolyn Menyes at Thedailymeal.com.

Here a few tips that you can use to organise your own or child’s elegant wedding at a budget-friendly cost:

DIY Dessert Bar

If you are close with your family members, you should take advantage of their dessert skills, if they have some. A potluck dessert bar can come in handy, saving money that would otherwise be used in ordering your dessert from caterers.

If you have aunties or grandparents that have baking skills, you can use them to share their desserts with your wedding guests. You can ask them if they can make a certain amount of cookies or cupcakes to put at the dessert bar.

Get a small cutting cake for the bride and the groom, then fill the table with some special sweets. One can then use some customised tags that shows who made the sweets or the cake.

5 Tips for a Budget-friendly yet Elegant WeddingHire the dress 

Most people who think about hiring a wedding dress think of it as downgrading the most important moment of their lives. Everyone wants to say ‘I do’ in the perfectly elegant dress and the mention of “hiring a dress” shatters that dream.

However, that should not be the case. You can easily hire a designer dress with all the details and specifications that you want. This will not only ensure you have a dream wedding, but also achieve this dream at a pocket-friendly price.  

Marilyn.nz is a wedding dress hire company with dresses starting at $500 and going up to $1,000. If you cannot afford the hire charge, you could consider taking a small personal loan! 

Buy Used Items

Many times after the wedding, the things needed at the wedding are disposed of by already-married brides. Some of the things may include décor items, candle holders and even chandeliers.

Many physical and online shops sell used wedding items that are in perfect condition that can be reused again at your wedding. These items may also not necessarily be used as some weddings are usually cancelled leaving their wedding items unused, or the previous bride may well have over-purchased!

You can buy these items at a subsidised price that will enable you to have the wedding you have been dreaming of all this time.

Avoid Favours

This is one of the most efficient ways of saving money and time. Instead of giving everyone free rides to and from the wedding, simply let everyone know in advance to cater for their transport so as to save yourself the cost of transportation.

One of the most common misconceptions about a wedding is the use of a limo. Couples should be creative and find other ways of getting to the wedding venue and from without having to hire a limo.

5 Tips for a Budget-friendly yet Elegant WeddingLimit Your Guest List 

This is the most dreaded and crucial part of wedding planning. Dreaded because it’s difficult when it comes to deciding who to invite and not to invite to your wedding. 

The guest list is crucial because you get to reduce the number of people so that you can reduce the cost of the wedding. Remember, the more people you invite, the more food and drink you’ll have to buy to serve them at the reception.

Wedding costs wilvary accordingly. In an article on Cost of Wedding, it says that about 50 per cent of couples spend less than $15,000 on their wedding, while the other half “spend between $19,323 and $32,205.” The honeymoon is usually excluded from the budget.

Be sure to always check with your your accountant or financial advisor before committing fully to any of your wedding plans and taking out a loan. You must carefully read the disclosure statement before considering taking out a loan. Quickloans.co.nz offer loans to New Zealand residents, with repayments terms starting at $20 per week.

 There’s nothing wrong with spending money on your wedding because you only marry once. However, a wedding with a tight budget does not make it any less personal or cheap. It just means the couple chose frugality over debt to save up for their newly-wed life. You can also browse the rest of our site (My Wedding) for more wedding inspirations, tips, and advice.



Image: Lucy Rice
Hair & Makeup: Angela Renee

Our bridal hair tips are brought to our readers by Bridal Beauty.

Do you want a formal updo, something loose and flowing or a vintage creation?

It pays to browse magazines and the internet before you go to your hair stylist for your bridal hair trial so that you have some idea in mind of styles you like. They may not all be suitable for you, your dress or the location of your wedding, but they will help your stylist to determine your likes and dislikes.

It’s also a good idea to take a photo of your dress along for your hair trial. Your stylist can take inspiration from the gown’s design. After all, if you have a drop-dead back to your gown, you don’t want it covered by long hair left loose!

If you recently attended a function and had your hair done just the way you like it, and you’d like to replicate that style, take along a clear photo of you as you were on the night.

If you’ve already purchased a hair accessory, such as a tiara or diamond clip, then it should be taken along to your trial too. Some accessories, such as a birdcage veil or tiara, will help guide the stylist into a suitable style to showcase that accessory. This is particularly important if the piece has wow factor, or is an heirloom.

Discuss your venue with your stylist, too. Outdoor venues can wreak havoc on some styles if there’s a bit of wind!

Be assured that a good stylist will work with you to determine the right style for you, your dress and your venue. They may suggest a fresh cut or adding highlights…be open to their suggestions. Remember that the majority of stylists have done this before.

10 Tips for planning the perfect wedding

10 Tips for planning the perfect wedding

Putting together your wedding day can be seriously time-consuming and stressful as you juggle guest lists, flower arrangements, dress fittings, demanding family and big budgets.

With just a few simple tips however, you can save time, money and reduce your stress levels while organising what should be one of the best days of your life.

Having organised many large-scale events, including her own wedding in 2007, Impact PR managing director and event management specialist Fleur Revell knows how to put together a beautiful event that you and your guests will remember for the rest of their lives.

Here, Fleur shares her top ten tips for your wedding planning and the big day itself.

  1. First things first. Don’t start your planning with unnecessary stress. Be realistic about the planning time you require. You’ll be surprised at how fast time flies when you’re approaching a time deadline, so if possible give yourself an extra few months’ grace – you’ll probably end up needing them!
  1. Preparing your invite list can be tricky, especially if you’re limited on numbers. After your bridal party and immediate family, focus on prioritising your guest list to friends who you think will still be a big part of your life in five years’ time and beyond. You may have had ‘best mates’ in the past who you always thought would be at your wedding, but there’s no point inviting people who you no longer have anything to do with. Keep it realistic!
  1. If you need to save money on decorations and flowers, then don’t spend much on the church or area where the ceremony is taking place as this is the place your guests will spend the least time. It’s better to spend money on flowers and decorations in your reception area where you and your guests can enjoy them.
  1. Your favourite music might be house or trance beats, but remember that alongside you and your husband-to-be’s personal touches, it’s a good idea to include music that will suit the masses if you want a packed dance floor. They may be cheesy, but often it’s the good old classics that gets everyone up, to get down.
  1. New Zealand (or overseas) weather is never predictable. So to save yourself extra worry and constant what-ifs by preparing a wet weather plan so that no matter the weather, you and your guests can still enjoy the day in comfort.
  1. If you’re fanatic about photography and have a pretty clear idea of what you want, ensure you have briefed your photographer clearly – and even offer a written sheet of family, guest and detail photos you want captures. This means not only can you relax and enjoy your day without stressing about whether every moment is captured, it also means there will be no ‘missing photos’ when you collect your prints post wedding.
  1. While champagne is a popular celebration and toasting tipple, it can also tip your budget into blowout. Why not offer a refreshing Pimms after your summer ceremony, or fill up your guests glasses at toast time with local bubbles (the non-French kind). It will save you a lot of money, and most of your guests probably won’t even notice.
  1. If you choose to get married in a remote location, it may be courteous to offer transport in the way of a bus drop-off or similar. There’s nothing worse than your guests having a perfect evening, only to be kept waiting in the cold for two hours for the next available taxi.
  1. And speaking of logistics, tell your guests as much information as possible about location, transportation and accommodation for your wedding location (either on a separate piece of paper with your invite, or create an information website/blog). It will save multiple organisation phone calls from out-of-towners in the lead-up to your day, and it means that with a little more knowledge, guests can plan their own timings and transport with ease.
  2. Finally, the more people in your bridal party and key contacts who know the days order and timing, the better. The last thing a bride needs while trying to enjoy her wedding preparation is phone calls every five minutes from people wanting instruction. Make a clear run-sheet for the day, go over it with all involved, and tell them to ring your husband-to-be or maid of honour in the first instance. After all, this is your day to relax, enjoy, and to soak up the love.


It’s okay to say no

It’s okay to say no

It’s okay to say noIt’s okay to say no, even to the bride.

When you walk into the florist’s office, and the sample table she’s set up for you is covered in pink taffeta, topped with a bejeweled pink cloud of peonies, accented with fluorescent pink votives, it’s perfectly acceptable to say, “No, this isn’t going to work.”

Just remember that the key to compromise is offering an alternative, like “perhaps some white to offset the pink” or “if you get this, I get a man cave.”

Brian Leahy

Service with a smile

Service with a smile

Service with a smileThe groom will often be delegated the drink, and sometimes even the catering aspect of planning a wedding.

If this is the case, you need to ensure good service, not just great food!

You should have one waiter and one wine server for every ten guests. This is not an area to try and save money. Good service is very important and something your guests will remember.

Unfortunately, they’ll remember even better if they could never get a drink or canapé!

Avoid Bridezilla status

Avoid Bridezilla status

BridezillaWe’re all only human, yet brides-to-be often think they’re superhuman … and they can become a bridezilla.

Don’t go that route – you’ll just end up a mess!

Delegation is the key to success. Your bridal party, family and friends are all likely chomping at the bit to give you a hand, so let them.

And if you’re a classic perfectionist and can’t bear the thought of in-laws and cousins getting involved, perhaps you really should consider hiring a wedding planner!

Natural Tips for healthier skin

Natural Tips for healthier skin

waterThese natural healthy skin care tips will help you on your way to healthier, brighter, younger looking skin.

Drink water

Dehydration makes skin look dry and lifeless. Drink eight cups of water a day, it will help flush out toxins, rehydrate and keep skin looking fresh and young.

Brush your worries away

A dry brush exfoliation can be done in the morning before you shower. It eliminates dead skin cells and allows the skin to detox (skin is the largest organ of elimination). Dry brush exfoliation also improves lymph and blood circulation and decreases puffiness. An added benefit is that the gentle pressure is calming to the nervous system. To give yourself a dry brush exfoliation, you’ll need a soft, natural bristle brush.

Invigorate a sluggish circulation

Do you sit at your desk for hours, only getting up to go to the bathroom? One of the best things you can do for your skin, stress level, and overall health is to get moving! Inactivity may affect skin and promote bloating, puffiness, acne, cellulite, and loss of muscle tone.

Healthy diet. Healthy skin.

Stick to fresh foods, such as lean protein, fruit and vegetables as much as possible. Ensure to increase fibre intake and don’t forget to eat good fats. They are critical for maintaining younger looking skin. Avoid excess sugar and saturated fats which are the main causes of premature aging. The chemical reaction caused by consumption is known to damage collagen in skin, and promote a loss of elasticity.

Avoid the sun

Over time, sun exposure causes wrinkles, rough, dry skin, age spots and, even worse, it can lead to skin cancer. So stay out of the sun where possible or protect yourself with sunscreen and clothing at all times.

Use natural products

Using synthetic products can dry out skin over time. Stick to nourishing, natural products with no harmful synthetic ingredients such as mineral oil and BHT.


Face Value

Face Value

Face Value1by Nicki Collett

When you really think about it, your face will be the first thing your fiancé and your guests will look at when you walk down that aisle, followed closely of course by your stunning dress! That’s why your makeup truly needs  to say a lot!

Choosing the style of your makeup should be just as important as choosing your dress. The right makeup can take any bride from wow to WOW! However, it’s not just a case of enhancing one’s feature’s … there are a few other key factors that should be taken into consideration.

Your Features:

The first thing to consider is YOU. You definitely want to enhance your natural beauty and bring out your best features. If you decide to use a makeup artist, first and foremost they will assess your individual features.  There are professional techniques to enhance (or diminish!) any feature, so discuss these with your artist and let him/her know what you would like to focus on, and definitely let them know what you don’t want!

A good makeup artist should also look beyond your physical characteristics, as your makeup should reflect your individual personality and style.

Your Dress:

The next thing to consider is of course your dress. Think about the style of your dress and what you would like your makeup to say. Is it vintage, classic, or traditional?

Your makeup should compliment your dress so your  whole look ties in together. Think about the entire package, right down to your accessories. If need be, look through magazines for dresses in a similar style to yours, and get ideas on how the experts have styled the model’s hair and makeup to compliment the dress.

Also, bear in mind your bridesmaids’ dresses and how you would like them to look. Their makeup should be different to yours, yet still compliment you and your look.

The Theme:

I always ask my clients if they have a colour theme running through their wedding, and especially what flowers they have chosen. The last thing you want is to have colours that clash.

The warmth or coolness of colours  can also bring out different skin tones, so be conscious of this when choosing colours, right down to whether you are a gold or silver girl.

The Venue:

The venue and your surroundings should play a big part in your decision making. Is it a traditional wedding in a church, an outdoor wedding, or maybe an evening wedding? The style of your makeup should reflect the style  of your wedding.

For example, a beautiful sultry smoky eye may not look right at a beach wedding; you’d probably want to opt for a fresh faced summer look, or perhaps you suit a natural bronzed beach style.

You also  want to be conscious about how your makeup will wear into the night. If you do want a natural look during the day, be aware that you also don’t want to fade into the night. Ask your makeup artist what you can do yourself, to take the day look through to the evening. They will be able to design a look that can easily progress into the night.

Whether it’s some strategically placed eyeliner, or a change in lip colour, you can dance the  night away feeling fabulous!

The Photos:

The last, but by no means least, important factor to consider are your photos. Professional makeup artists know all the tips and tricks to make you look stunning in photos without your makeup looking ‘caked on’.

Almost all my brides make use of black and white photos as part of their wedding album, and these can look absolutely amazing. However, if you specifically want a lot of black and white photos, I would recommend you mention this  to your artist. Your makeup will need to be slightly tailored for black and white photography.

Finally, your photos are the memories you will have forever, and therefore you don’t want your makeup to date too much. Steer clear of the latest high fashion trends and opt for a classic, timeless style that you will love looking back on in years to come.

At the end of the day, having taken all these factors into consideration, you want to be stunning but also be you. Choose a style that you feel comfortable and confident with, after all it’s your day to shine …and then  enjoy every minute! ?

Photographer: Dillon Photography

Makeup Artist: Nicki Collett

Dress: by Bridal Brilliance

Nicki CollettNicki Collett is a professional makeup artist and hair stylist. Nicki specialises in bridal hair and makeup, photographic makeup, editorial, fashion, runway, corporate events and makeup lessons. Although Auckland based, Nicki  works from Queenstown to The Bay of Islands, whether it be Fashion Week, a photoshoot, or a Waiheke wedding. No two days are ever the same. Nicki and her team will travel to any location saving you travel time, and  allowing you to enjoy being pampered at your chosen venue on your special day!