The average wedding in the UK costs £32,000. That’s a staggering amount when you consider that the money could go toward a house deposit, renovation or holiday instead of a single day. Here are our tips for keeping wedding costs down!
Work out your budget before you plan anything
Sit down with your fiance and work out what you’ve got to spend, or what you’ll have to spend in total. Then add 10 per cent, because unexpected costs sneak up on you! Make a spreadsheet and note down every quote, price and detail you’ll be paying for, from the venue and dress to invitations.
Decide what’s really important to you
Do you have a very specific venue, dress or flower arrangement in mind? Talk to your fiance and decide the five things you absolutely don’t want to compromise on. Then decide the five things you don’t mind doing ‘on the cheap’. For example, it’s very easy to save money on wedding favours by simply buying 50 Love Heart sweets and organza bags from eBay for about £10. On the other hand, if you’ve always wanted hand-painted ceramic plaques for each of your 50 guests then you should ensure that you make a note of the potential costs!
One of the biggest expenses will be the guests themselves, as more guests means a larger venue and more mouths to feed. Par down your list to the people you really want at your ceremony and/or reception (is it really important that your mum’s aunt’s in-laws witness your special day?), then look for venues accordingly. Bear in mind that a handful of people won’t turn up or bring a plus-one, and remember that a buffet is probably going to cost less than a 5-course seated meal.
Work out what can be done cheaply (but remember that ‘cheap’ doesn’t have to mean ‘bad’)
As we said with the wedding favours, it’s possible to make a little bit of cash go a long way. We’ve known brides who have bought tea sets from second hand shops, used them in the floral arrangements, then told guests to help themselves to the arrangements as favours… oh, and the tables looked BEAUTIFUL. Do you mind having a wedding midweek instead of a Saturday? You could save a lot on the venue hire just by swapping days! If you’re planning an open bar, specify that you want prosecco instead of Champagne; do your wedding dress shopping in clearance sales or on classy second hand sites like Brides Do Good (oh, and help end child marriage while you’re at it!), buy a pretty cake from M&S and add some flowers to it instead of commissioning a wedding cake… we could go on.
Use your imagination, ask married friends and family what they’ve done for their wedding and what they would change if they could have their wedding day again.