For most brides and grooms, planning their dream wedding often means draining their bank accounts of any need for a prenuptial agreement. We can all agree that getting everything you want—without having to start a gofundme account—is a real art.
At New Zealand Wedding Films, we really believe one of the most important investments anyone can make in their big day is wedding videography. There’s nothing like capturing your day with high quality, intimate, and breath-taking film you can enjoy for years to come. Wedding videography is becoming an increasingly sought after must-have, but we know it’s yet another big ticket item to add to your ever-growing Excel spreadsheet. That’s why, to help you out, we’ve lined up a few of our favourite ideas for how to cut costs and corners when putting together your special day.
If you have an expensive vision of something, try sourcing an item that is cheap-with-potential and renovate it into your very own masterpiece. You can also sell it on again, earning you a little post-wedding profit.
There are so many ways to be sustainable, and recycling is right up there. So why not hunt around and use your imagination? You might already own something that could enjoy a second life and save you a penny.
Who would ever think of using toothbrush holders for wedding table vases? Sometimes it pays to think outside the box—literally.
What we love about the petite size is how your eye is most drawn to the artsy floral display: copper beech leaves spray-painted gold, dockweed flower, and some roadside wheat-like weeds.
It also helps when your guests can see the person opposite them, instead of fighting to peer over a colossal flower arrangement and then deciding to move it out of the way… (guilty).
The bride and groom had a whole stack of these tiles spare (pictured above), and that was what helped them come up with the unusual idea of using them as platter boards. The earthy, neutral colour tone was on theme, and the slender shape meant they fit neatly on the table.
Everyone knows someone who’s been married before. Why not get in touch with a few friends and see if they’ve kept anything you could loan? Most people are more than happy to share and are glad to see their things being used a second time. Seeing what’s out there could also make a great starting point for your styling direction.
Put up your hand if you like free stuff! There’s plenty of ways to score things for free: from friends and family, from buy/sell/free sites online, and even from off the side of the road.
Speaking of free, nature is more than happy to help you with your wedding decor. You can find her anywhere, so why not gather up your bridesmaids and go for a plant hunt?
Whatever you’re on the lookout for, the key is to talk to people who might point you in the right direction, and then scope out the areas well ahead of time so that you know where your prime spots are!
We also had to ask about those amazing goblets, which—on theme—were found in a cupboard at the wedding reception hall. When you see a great ‘found’ item, you’ve just got to improvise and make use of it.
7. FOUND SPACES
If you happen to know of a dreamy location, or—like these weddings below—have the perfect wedding venue in your own backyard, why not give it a crack? One warning is that this can sometimes cost more by the time you hire everything you need and it is certainly a lot more work, but take a look at the end result.
Now, you might not be as lucky as these brides and grooms in terms of what you or your friends and family have at your fingertips, but there are plenty of public spaces in New Zealand with picturesque landscape backdrops; and trust us, they’ll make epic settings for your wedding videography too. It’s also pretty special knowing that spot was just yours and only yours.
The boutiquey, eclectic look has been in for a while now, and op-shops can be a great place to source items with a bit of flair, variance, and a vintage feel.
The cushions styling the white cane lounge suite up above were also found in op-shops, as were the decanters in the upcycled bar.
Making the right selections is the most difficult part of op-shopping, so we advise on creating a mood board of looks you like to keep you on track when buying. It’s a real art bringing colours, textures, and styles together, but boy does it look good when done well.
9. BUY, SCORE, AND ONSELL ONLINE
As mentioned earlier, there are many great sites online where you can buy anything and everything for your wedding, or better yet, score something for free. It goes without saying that these are also great places to onsell your own bought items afterwards. Some to check out include: “Wedding - Buy, sell, swap, and free New Zealand”, “NZ Wedding Marketplace - Buy/Sell”, “Wedding items - Swap, Buy & Sell NZ”, and “Recycled Wedding NZ”.
One bride we spoke to commented on how having a wedding video helped her to make the decision to onsell her beloved dress.
“It was hard to part with the dress, especially after only wearing it once, but the video is the real record of the dress and captures it in all its glory.
I only show much it sparkled at night in the video and I can actually see it from a 360 degree viewpoint. So that made me feel okay about selling it.
I was never going to wear it again, after all.”
When you intend to onsell, you can justify spending a little more on your high priority quality items like your wedding dress, for example. It’s your day to be queen, so don’t settle for less than the best. But then, in years to come let your video spark your nostalgia, not a dormant garment on a hanger.
8. DEPARTMENT STORE SALES
If you are looking into hiring culinary items, or anything for that matter, you may notice that sometimes the price of buying the items (in a sale) is not that much more. One way to save money in the long run is to choose the best priced items to buy up in bulk and then onsell them afterwards. Kmart, The Warehouse, Briscoes, and even dollar stores often have very good deals, but note that it can be a challenge to source big numbers from one store at once.
10. FAVOURS FROM FRIENDS/FAMILY
Speaking of friends, whether your friends and family are super talented at something or just willing to lend a hand, consider asking them to gift their help to you as a wedding present (we only recommend this if it’s a side passion, not their day job, as that undercuts their income).
You might have a musician friend or someone quietly talented with flowers, cooking, cake-making, grazing table arrangements, decor, and so on. One bride and groom were even given three lambs to take care of the meat for their wedding, and another couple had all their salads made by friends who followed the set recipes.
Pictured above, beside the napkin, is a sweet idea for guest favours. These were little silver boxes, handmade by the bride’s grandad, with yummy macadamia nuts inside, collected from trees on the bride and groom’s property. We love how they also double as place setting name tags with a white painted stripe and gold pen handwriting. A simple and elegant touch.
You can also save quite a bit of money by having your wedding in the off-seasons of Autumn, Winter, and Spring, or by having it on a week day, such as a Friday. Many venues and vendors offer discounts, and they are less likely to be booked out. This option isn't for everyone, but it’s certainly one to keep in mind. A perk with Friday weddings is that you then have ‘more weekend’ to spend catching up with family and friends who have travelled from out of town.
12. PAYMENT INSTALMENTS
If you love these ideas and want New Zealand Wedding Films to capture your day in all its glory, we have one final idea for you. Payments for your film can be made in smaller instalments across weeks or months to spread the cost. We offer this for our clients because we believe getting film is the best way to remember your wedding for life, and we don’t want anyone to miss out.
Your big day will go by surreally fast, and it can be a lot of pressure to soak up all the goodness of every moment when you’re in the middle of it. With film, every detail you painstakingly put together is put on display forever, and every laugh, dance, and tear is captured in motion to take you right back there.
We know people who looked back on their wedding day and wish they spent less on the silly stuff, but we’ve never shot for a couple who didn’t think their film was one of the best investments they made.
Photography credits: J.Photo&co.
Astrid Ayrey, Marcel McCarthy, Lilly-Joy Amos