With the average UK wedding given an estimated £30,000 price tag, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little faint at the prospect of planning and budgeting for the big day. With a venue, catering, flowers, invites and outfits to consider, the list (and expense) can seem endless.
However your wedding doesn’t have to cost the earth – we’ve got a few simple hacks to keep your budget in check!
Think outside the box when it comes to your venue and look at alternatives to stately homes and hotels. How about a holiday home, local village or community hall, or even Aunty Jane’s dreamy country garden?
Try not to mention the ‘W’ word when speaking to venues – say you’re looking to put on a birthday bash or family get together. Although they shouldn’t, venues have been known to bump up prices for the big day.
The day of the week can also have price implications, too. Consider avoiding Saturdays and opt for a late afternoon or week day do to further cut the cost.
There are endless ways to save money on your dress. Hit the high street, sample sales or even try second hand. Who wears their wedding dress more than once? No-one! A simple Google search will pull up a host of websites selling pre-loved wedding dresses. Take it to a specialist dry cleaners and it’ll look brand new…
High street stores have really upped their game when it comes to wedding dresses – Monsoon and ASOS have beautiful collections all under £500. Also remember that it doesn’t even need to be a ‘wedding dress’. Needle & Thread have a host of intricately embroidered alternative pieces for your big day.
Don’t buy… DIY! With a bit of imagination you can make your own place settings, centrepieces, chair backs, cocktail jars and even a photo booth. When it comes to sourcing props charity shops, boot sales and sites such as Gumtree and eBay can be your saviours. Don’t be afraid to call in a few favours too. If granny has a collection of crockery ideal for your vintage theme, ask her very nicely if you can borrow it for your wedding.
The key to saving money on wedding flowers is to keep it minimal, seasonal and local. You’ll save on transport costs and guarantee the freshest of blooms. Foliage rather than floral arrangements are also a great idea. Look to your garden or the countryside for inspiration and get picking – wild mismatched flower arrangements are all the rage. There are plenty of online tutorials on how to make bouquets and buttonholes – just have a few practice runs before the big day!
It’s time for some tough love on the catering front. As wedding menus are served per head, the first step to save money is reducing your guest list. See if the venue will allow you to bring your own drinks and take advantage of supermarket reductions on wine and beer, especially before Christmas. Another top tip is to provide food later in the day – guests will likely need to eat less that way!
Who knew wedding cakes cost up to hundreds of pounds? But you can have your cake and eat it! Balance out the cost by having only one real cake layer that you can cut and have faux layers for the other tiers. Buy sheet cakes and have them hidden in the kitchen to secretly cut up and serve to your eagerly awaiting guests.
Everyone wants to have beautiful photographs but hiring a photographer can be expensive. To save money, limit the hours of their services and take advantage of your guests! Most, if not all, will have smartphones with fantastic cameras. Create a wedding hashtag and ask everyone to share their best pics online – then download the ones you want to keep.
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Your wedding doesn’t have to cost the earth
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Enjoy a free day out with one of our many ideas for the whole family