I got married one month ago. It was everything we hoped for and just an amazing day. But, I can see how weddings not only stress couples out, but put them into debt.
The plan was always to have the wedding to be special of course, but we just didn’t have the budget to go overboard, so we got creative. I feel like people might think it’s taboo to talk about money and how much they spent on their wedding. But, if I can help you save money and get what you want, why wouldn’t I tell you? I am going to let you in on some of my secrets of our dream castle wedding in Ireland. But on a budget!
The top of our list was to have a destination wedding. I’m sure this is to no surprise. We fell in love with Ireland last year when we traveled the green island and it was an easy decision for us. It’s an easy flight from the U.S. while being affordable. Planning a wedding not in Ireland wasn’t the easiest and I wasn’t quite sure how we would find a venue being so far away, so I did what anyone would do, I started googling castles. Sounds crazy right? And on a low budget? I’ve always been a big dreamer, but how else are we supposed to achieve anything unless we dream it up first? During my searches, I found a ton of castles in Ireland. Almost all of them are out of our price range. Then I noticed that some of them were not only venues, but places you could stay. Suddenly the light went off and I found myself scrolling through Airbnb. I typed in the word castle and I started seeing some castles that were from fairytales. There was a small castle just outside of Galway in a town called Kilcolgan for just $375 a night. It only had 2 bedrooms we could sleep in, but that’s all we needed. We really just needed the rest of the castle space for the wedding.
This leads me to my next secret. Do not say the “W” word. W as in Wedding. Seriously, trust me on this, as soon as you say wedding, vendors hike up their prices. They know you are willing to pay high dollar for anything on your wedding day. I just kept saying I was having a “party.” It makes no difference to the florist, caterers, band. I’m not saying to actively lie, just get the right quotes first and then tell them what you want. In my mind the prices should be the same with parties and weddings, but in most cases they always want to put a surge when you mention wedding.
Here are some ideas of how to get some discounts and also cut costs. Ask your vendors if they are willing to slash some prices for your feedback. Don’t sell yourself short, we all have influence and companies love reviews. Say you will do reviews across all online platforms, like google reviews, in exchange, for say, 10% off. It can’t hurt to ask!
Also we are all surrounded by talented people. Ask them to lend a hand with their talents for the wedding. My sister was our officiant, and Jimmy’s best friend just so happens to be an amazing photographer. He gifted his services as a wedding present. We paid for 2 nights of his stay during the wedding. A win win for all!
Instead of wedding gifts friends and family can help you with the wedding. My childhood friends paid for all of our wedding flowers. And, that is the best gift ever!
Last but not least. Sometimes before you even get the wedding day started, you get into debt from the rings. I have a Blue Safire engagement ring. I am so in love with it. I receive compliments daily, but it is also so much more adorable because it is a stone and not a diamond. Think outside the box. Go color!
We didn’t want to jeopardize our vision for our wedding just because we didn’t have the money to make it happen. So, we got crafty and made it all work. You can have it all without spending it all. We got married in an Irish Castle surrounded by 52 of our favorite people. We had a traditional Irish band with dancers, ate a 5 course buffet, drank Guinness and wine, and danced until morning. It was perfect and it was under $7,000 total.