Here are some budget tip ideas, for planning your big day
Feast for everyone: Plan your menu around which fruit and vegetables will be in season – and do your best to source your locally. Most caterers will be happy to construct an organic menu, if you ask. Some green couples like their friends and family to help with the wedding feast by bringing a plate. Guests are asked to supply a dish, such as meat or a salad, and the food is then served, buffet style, on a long table in the garden. Or you could get a caterer to provide whole baked fish and roast lamb, and ask your guests to bring accompanying salads and vegetable dishes.
The flowers: Plan ahead by planting out a special flower garden that will be in bloom for your big day. All you need is a few metres of garden space, then sprinkle on wild flower seeds or any others of your choice. You could grow flowers not just for your bouquet, but also for the tables and your bridesmaids. If you’re not a confident gardener, this could be a great job for your green-fingered mother-in-law. She’ll be proud as punch on the day as she tells everyone she grew the bouquets.
Candles: It’s so easy to set up candles on tables and around your reception. Collect small glasses and jars from op shops and place a tea light candle in each. You can put a bit of sand in the bottom of the glass first if you want to. The glasses will stop the candles blowing out, and create a festival feel when grouped together.
Drinks: Source local wines for your guests and help promote a nearby vineyard in the process. And if your husband-to-be is up for it, suggest he buy a brewing kit and make his own beer for the big day. For a non-alcoholic option, whynot make some ginger beer ahead of time? Search “homemade ginger beer” on nzwomansweekly.co.nz for my ginger beer bug and ginger beer recipes. This tastes lovely – and the longer you leave it, the better it is, so you could make enough for your wedding a few months in advance.
Also, why not search out some old-fashioned recipes for cordials, which can be served with sparkling mineral water or used to make up a nice punch.