On a Budget? Don’t worry…you can still have the Wedding of your Dreams

Okay, so you’ve got Christmas out of the way and now the serious ritual of tying the knot begins; yes folks, wedding season is upon us with every spare moment being taken up by plotting, planning, budgeting, booking, emailing, Facebooking and threatening your chief bridesmaid with certain death if she gets pregnant because that slinky little number you’ve planned for her leaves no room for alterations!

  You might think I’m joking folks, but when I had the honour of being a chief bridesmaid for a Dublin friend many years ago she actually warned me and her other bridesmaids not to get either ‘pregnant’ or ‘put on weight’ in the run-up to her big day! You see, bless her, the budget was so tight she didn’t want to have to pay for any alterations. I told her there was no fear of me becoming pregnant; I was done in that department; besides, if I wanted to hear the pitter patter of tiny feet in our house again I’d just pop a pair of crocs on my Jack Russell.

  However, while all brides want to have their big day, unless you’re one of the three winners who shared the $1.6bn from last week’s US Powerball Lottery, I’m afraid now is the time for the pair of you to start channelling your inner Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin and make a budget, because, as anyone will tell you, getting hitched doesn’t come cheap; that said, it doesn’t have to break the bank either and there are some creative ways in which you could shave a good few hundred euro off the bill while still throwing a first class event giving both you and your guests a day to remember.

  A lot of venues offer discounts for weddings booked midweek or even booked during an off peak season, say in November. However, do your research because I’ve found that there are some wonderful venues right here in Roscommon whom, because of their obvious opulence and grandeur, might appear to be too expensive and, sadly, may go overlooked. However, once you chat with their helpful wedding coordinators you’ll find they’re only too happy to tailor-make a bespoke wedding befitting your budget meaning you get more bang for your buck by hosting your big day in your dream venue, even if it means having to cut some costs with the likes of fancy chair covers or centre pieces so massive and garish they take up half the table space. So do check out that local historic castle or that friendly family hotel. While you’re at it, get your skates on and pop into those lovely shops all over Roscommon who are now holding their post-Christmas fairy light and decorative, scented candle sales and nab a few bargains for your tables. 

  Sign up for TV shows like RTE’s brilliant reality series ‘Don’t Tell the Bride,’ or other such shows or competitions whereby you could actually be lucky enough to have either all, or a good portion of your wedding budget covered; depending on your expensive expectations. The purse on offer for the lucky couples featured on ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’ is €10,000. So, if you’ve both got high hopes but a really dodgy budget, why not send an email to info@cocotelevision.ie, they’re a lovely production company who make the series for RTE. Sure it’s worth a go, isn’t it? In addition, why not sign up to the mailing lists of every local florist, bakery, wedding dress maker and designer and dress hire company you can find because they won’t be shy about letting you know when they’ve got their big sample sales and discounts on offer.

  If you decide to do your own hair and make-up – this is a bit iffy unless you’re actually very talented at creating the difficult eyeliner flick. I’m not, but luckily for me my eldest is an award-winning hair and make-up artist who sorted me out for my wedding day; otherwise I’d have ended up looking like an aging drag queen auditioning for the lead in Priscilla Queen of the Desert. My advice is to stalk the beauty counters in your friendly local pharmacy for trial size samples, end of line or near their sell by date products. I’m sure they’d be delighted to help you out; however if you are going the DIY route, make sure to practise in order to perfect your look. Remember, just because the Kardashians are experts at contouring it doesn’t mean that you are.