Wedding budgets come in all shapes and sizes; whatever yours looks like there are loads of tips and tricks to use to make sure you don’t spend a penny more than planned. Here’s a few ideas to help make sure you stay on track to an affordable but perfect wedding day.
Venue – £2,400
Now, a lot of couples get caught in the idea that hiring a ‘room only’ venue is the best way to save money, but this isn’t always the case. Don’t get me wrong it could be the best option for you however, make sure you get the total costings of everything. Be sure to take all aspects into consideration like catering, drinks, furniture, table linen, cutlery and perhaps even a portable toilet if you have hired an outside space! Alternatively, why not look at hotels or other specialised wedding venues that offer affordable packages that suit all price points. Think about having a mid-week wedding because (trust me) from personal experience, this can save thousands!
Your Dress – £650
Having the wedding dress of your dreams doesn’t have to cost you thousands. Do you have a certain designer that you love? Follow them on social media to keep up to date with all their sales and promotions. Truck shows are an amazing place to grab a gorgeous dress at a fraction of the cost. Retailers will take a variety of their dresses for you to buy off the hanger at a discounted price. Bear in mind that shopping this way may mean you have to pay for any alterations to be done elsewhere. Lastly, don’t forget to check out the high street shops – so many places now offer a beautiful bridal range from as little as £80!
Ceremony – £650
Whether you are opting for a religious ceremony or a civil ceremony you won’t be able to hide from the fees of marriage. Most registrars will charge around the £550 mark plus any additional fees for marriage certificates etc. Also, it is worth mentioning that if you have your ceremony in a different venue from your evening reception you will have to factor in additional transport costs. So to keep costs down try finding a venue that is licensed to hold your ceremony as well as your evening reception.
Suits – £350
Many retailers do great deals and offers for hiring suits instead of buying them. Maybe think about hiring suits for just the Groom & Best man and asking your ushers to wear their own. You can always tie them all together with matching button holes and/or pocket squares ensuring they still stand out from the crowd.
Flowers – £350
Finding out which flowers are in season on your wedding date will be your first step in keeping the cost down for your bouquets. Book an appointment with your florist so you can talk through your budget giving them the opportunity to advise on the options you have without over spending. Keep an open mind when it comes to which blooms you have; consider ones such as gypsophila, carnations and gerberas as these tend to be on the lower price range but can still look super stylish!
Photography – £1000
You may be looking at the £1000 thinking wow, that’s a big chunk of my budget and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, in years to come the only thing you will have to look back on is your photos, so if that means spending a little more then so be it. Try looking for a package that includes one photographer and get them to snap only the ceremony and a few group shots after. Opt to not have an actual album and ask if they do a package that just includes a USB with all your images – you can print your own album at a fraction of the cost!
Stationary – £150
The first and easiest way to save money in this department is to get your creative juices flowing and make them yourself. There are plenty of arts & craft shops around that have a whole wedding section for you to go and pick up the little bits you need. Maybe think about skipping the save the date cards and going straight for the invites or even move with the times and send electronic invites via email! (Although, you may want to print a few paper invites for the non-email-savvy guests you may be inviting!)
Hair & Make Up – £200
If you are set on having your hair and make up done professionally on the big day maybe suggest to your bridal party that they are more than welcome to get theirs done with you but ask them to pay for their own. Trust me, your friends and family wont begrudge you for being honest about your budget! Or, why not arrange a girly night with your bridal party to practice your make up and try different looks! There are hundreds of great YouTube tutorials to help top up your skills! When it comes to your hair, ask your regular hair dresser if they or any of their colleagues do wedding hair styling. That way you can pop into your local salon on the day and trust that they will do an amazing job without having to pay for a trial.
Bridal Accessories – £110
Again, there is no need to splash the cash on a bit of bling or on your shoes! Pretty much most high street retailers have an accessory and a shoe department. Even better… why not pick out a pair of shoes you already own! For the most part they will be under your dress but more importantly you know they are comfortable, and you can safely make it down the aisle without tripping up!
Bridesmaids – £200
I keep banging on about high street retailers but again… this is the place to go for your bridesmaids. Who says they have to be official ‘bridesmaids’ dresses! Inevitably, the more bridesmaids you have the higher this total will be but shop the sale! If you know you will be getting married in the spring, buy the dresses in the end of season sale the year before. Two things… 1, you are getting them at a bargain price and 2, nobody else will be in the dress because it won’t still be in the shops by the time your wedding comes around!
Wedding Décor – £400
I think this is by far the easiest place to over spend! Make sure you shop around for the best deals! Bargain homeware shops will have gorgeous items such as fairy lights, lanterns, faux flowers etc that you can easily put together to create gorgeous centre pieces. Ask your venue whether things like chair covers and sashes are included in the room hire because that will knock your décor spend down dramatically. If you have a large space to decorate and you’re worried about filling it all; then don’t! Create a few detailed focal points that will catch your guests’ eye rather than trying to spread a thin layer of decorations across the entire space.
Wedding Cake – £350
Ways to save on your wedding cake include going for a smaller simpler design. You may think real flowers are more expensive but that isn’t the case! If you want a floral design opt for real blooms instead of ones made from intricate sugar work. Another little tip to save money is to not go for a dessert option at your wedding breakfast or buffet and ask the venue to cut your cake and serve that as your dessert. There are also many other options that may work out cheaper! For example, a donut tower, cupcakes or even cheesecakes!
Entertainment – £300
There are loads of ways to entertain your guests without spending a fortune! Pop to your local toy shop and see if you can pick up some big outdoor games to keep them busy during the photos, print of wedding inspired table activities and even buy a few disposable cameras and props and set up your own photo booth. When it comes to music, there is no need to over spend on a DJ. Ask friends and families for recommendations – your venue may even have a recommended one that is included in the package!
Honey Moon – £1500
Allow yourself to spend that little bit extra on your honeymoon! It is a special time for you and your new husband/wife to celebrate your future together. Be it a luxury all inclusive holiday on the beach or an action-packed city break, take the time to enjoy it and relax after all the planning is over. Still want to save a few more pennies? Why not look at booking a mini-moon instead and just go for a long weekend in the UK to a private cabin or hop on a mini cruise to Bruges!
Additional Extras – £1390
No doubt there will be a few little bits and bobs that you hadn’t thought of like the stamps to send out the invites or the thank you gift to give to your maid of honour for dealing with your tiny bridezilla moments! So, I have factored in an additional spend because I know every single wedding will be slightly different and every couple will have different priorities.
Whatever you budget is, you can create the most beautiful and perfect wedding day. Just remember one thing – your wedding day is YOUR wedding day. Make decisions based on what you and your partner want and not what you think everyone else will want. Don’t get bogged down with worry and stress – relax and enjoy every minute of your planning journey!
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