Did you know the average wedding in the UK costs around £21k? We round up the 15 things you can do to keep your wedding budget under control.
15 ways to throw a wedding on a budget
Did you know the average wedding in the UK costs around £21,000? For most of us, that’s just unaffordable without getting into some serious debt.
Also, it’s not just the happy couple who end up splashing out! It can cost an average of £470 to just attend a wedding, according to research by American Express.
But here at goodtoknow, we reckon if you follow our 15 money saving tips we can shave thousands of pounds from your total, whilst still making sure you have the perfect day!
How much you want to spend on getting to the church on time really depends on how important it is to you. Transport costs can add up. Why not see if a friend or relative has a nice car you could borrow for the day? This way you still arrive in style but save a few hundred quid.
If you can’t blag a friend’s car then a cheaper option than hiring a vintage car is to book a black cab. Try firms like londonblacktaxis.net.blog/wedding-taxis. Exclusive hiring usually costs around £70 an hour.
If you’re looking for a wedding dress on a tight budget then you might want to head to H&M.
The Swedish brand launched its first-ever wedding dress earlier this year… and it costs just £59.99. The high street retailer said the inspiration for the dress is 1930’s Hollywood. But there’s only one style available at the moment, so it still might be worth shopping arround.
If you’re on the look out for a second hand dress then you should try websites such as stillwhite.co.uk, bride2bride.co.uk, preloved.co.uk and sellmyweddingdress.co.uk, who sell designer dresses from Brown’s Bridges, Caroline Castigliano and Vera Wang in a range of sizes.
The cost of a wedding photographer can really vary – some might charge £1,500 for a day’s unlimited snapping, while others will charge £300 for a few hours. It’s up to you how much you want to spend depending on how important photos are to you.
We also love it when we go to a wedding and each table is set with a disposable camera – it really does give your guests a chance to take part in the big day. You can also ask them to share their digital photos on a public album, like Flickr.
Hair and make-up trials can be time consuming and pricey. Why don’t you find a local beauty college and get your hair done by a graduate? There are also some great discounts to be had on Groupon, so sign up and keep an eye out for offers.
If you don’t trust a budget option then you could always do your hair yourself. Practice makes perfect and you can watch YouTube videos for tips and get your friends to help out.
Why not do a Kate Middleton and do your own make-up on the big day too?
Opting out of a formal sit-down meal and hiring a venue can cut costs dramatically. If you know someone that has a beautiful garden you could always hire a marquee and hold it there? Think lots of fizz with no corkage!
Prices of marquees vary, from as little as £450 up to £5,000. Why not hire a small one if you’re holding it in a friend’s garden? Also, aim to spend no more than £50 per head on catering.
The date you hold your wedding can make all the difference. If you choose a Friday or a Sunday you can cut the price by up to half. Also, winter weddings are cheaper, so do your research before committing to a date to get the best deal.
Making your own wedding favours is the perfect way to exercise your creativity and gives your guests a reminder of your day.
Here are our top 5 DIY options:
1. Love Hearts. Search online for the cheapest wholesale prices for items if you’re looking to buy in bulk. You can get a tiny tube of personalised Love Hearts direct from the manufactuer or on eBay, with 50 packs costing £14.
2. Lottery ticket or scratch card. That’s just £1 per person!
3. Make your own chutney or biscuits. All you’ll need is a bit of baking flare and some supplies.
4. Make a mix CD. Give your guests the gift of music – it could be a selection of songs that you love and want to share with your friends and family.
5. Sugared almonds. You can buy them cheap online in wholesale quantities.
If you go slightly out of season, flights and hotels are cheaper. Or you could try a staycation right here in the UK to save on flight costs? Does anyone you know have a holiday home either here or abroad they could donate as a wedding gift? It’s worth being a little bit shameless and asking around as it could save you around a grand.
Ok, so we don’t want to bring you down from all the cake tasting, wine picking and dressing up… but before you get started you should really consider insurance.
Wedding insurance is a good idea for a number of reasons, and it’s not just for those brides that are worried about their man bailing on the day.
Lucy Tobin, author of ‘From yes to I do’: The wedding guide for a modern bride, says: ‘Insurance is always a good idea whenever you are shelling out large amounts of money for something’.
It covers everything from your venue being flooded to suppliers canceling on you. When you’re picking the cover you need to consider a package that includes cancellation, supplier failure, dress and attire, presents, photograph/film and rings.
How much you need in insurance depends on how much your big day is going to cost. Some policies are very cheap, starting from £20. You can find the best one for you by comparing at moneysupermarket.com/wedding-insurance and always read the terms and conditions before signing up.
If you’re short on spending money for your honeymoon, why not set up a honeymoon fund? Some resorts let you set up a website and guests can buy you a cocktail at sunset, a massage or pay for an activity. In reality this is a pot of money you can use for any part of your honeymoon.
Cava or even prosecco is a lovely alternative to Champagne without having to compromise on taste too much. Cava is made in the same way as Champagne but is less acidic, more fruity and a fraction of the price. It’s around £8 a bottle, with some Champagnes coming in at around £30-£45, while prosecco is an Italian favourite and you can pick up a good bottle for around half the price of Champagne.
You want everyone to dance their socks off and have a fantastic evening. The music is important and the most expensive DJ is not always the best. So shop around, get recommendations, look on wedding sites and ask friends and family if they know of any aspiring DJs. If you want to be really thrifty, why not make an iPod playlist and just get some really good speakers? That way you get to make sure that all your favourite tunes get played.
Visit a flower market and hand-tie the bouquets yourself using ribbon (or enlist friends and family to do it to minimise your stress on the day). You could also go for silk flowers as a cheap alternative.
Has your sister or best friend already got married? Ask to borrow things like the tiara, veil or wedding shoes. You can save a packet and there’s your ‘something borrowed’ out the way too.
Forget pricey printed invites – get creative and make them yourself! You will save a bundle, have some fun and can add a memorable, personal touch to each invite. If you’ve got a friend who is good at illustrating or designing then you could ask them to design your invite.
Alternatively you can always use free downloadable templates, try downloadandprint.com/templates to see if you can find one suitable for you. You can then take it to a local printers or even print them off yourself.