With the average wedding in the UK costing between £15,000 and a staggering £25,000, we reveal our savvy wedding planning tips for couples on a budget.
1. Find your perfect dress for less
Want a designer dress without the designer price tag? Well, you’re in luck!
Generally, new bridalwear collections start arriving into stores between October and January so many will hold a sample sale to shift old stock. If your main concern is to get a dress none of your engaged friends have, now is the time to do it.
2. Figure out your priorities
What are the most important things for you to have at your wedding? Don’t think about what you should be spending money on; think about what you want to spend money on.
Cut back on less important items to get what you want.
3. Stick to budget
Figure out your guest numbers and go from there. Start with how much you can afford to spend and stick to that number.
You can always have a contingency fund if there any last-minute surprises.
4. Look for seasonal blooms
Ask your florist to suggest flowers that will be in season on your wedding date; seasonal blooms are often cheaper (and if they’re grown locally, that could cut costs further too).
5. Check for venue discounts
Lots of wedding venues “ and some wedding suppliers “ offer discounted rates between November and March, when they’re not so busy.
Ask the venue if there are more preferable rates for a non-Saturday wedding reception, a peak day for weddings, or for quieter months.
6. Negotiate with suppliers
This may seem scary but it can be a great way to get the most for your money. Enter discussions knowing exactly what kind of discount you want but be prepared to compromise.
Instead of asking for money off, you could ask if your supplier will throw in something extra “ if you’ve got a florist doing all your wedding flowers, for example, you could ask if they’ll do something like buttonholes for free.
7. Seek out wedding fairs
Not only are wedding fairs a brilliant place to find wedding suppliers and pick up inspiration, but they can help you stay on budget too; some suppliers offer special discounts if you book them there and then. The same applies to designer weekends at bridal boutiques!
8. Hire a co-ordinator
They’ve got industry contacts at their fingertips, can negotiate better deals and will be able to give you so many innovative ideas. Plus, they can be there on the wedding day to make sure everything runs smoothly.
For £50-£100 a couple of hours with a wedding planner is not a bad idea as you will save ten times this amount, if not more, at the end of the day.
9. Save on décor
Hire a venue that’s already gorgeous, silly. Who needs to create an elaborate Kimye-style flower wall if you can nip out to Pollok Park for Mother Nature’s finest?
10. Re-purpose your centrepieces
After the ceremony and photographs are done, you won’t really need your bouquets or aisle decor. Don’t put them to waste; incorporate them into your table centrepieces!
11. Downsize your quartet
Love the sound of string quartets, but can’t quite afford one? Some can downsize to a trio or duo, which will cost you less!
12. Be smart with favours
Be honest: how many wedding favours have you kept and cherished? Perhaps one or two will spring to mind, but more often than not, they’re a waste of money. Either give your guests something they can eat or drink (you basically can’t go wrong with booze miniatures or tablet), or invest the money you would have spent on favours on better entertainment, or extra cash behind the bar.
13. Weatherproof your shoes
Getting hitched outside? Invest in a pair of heel stoppers (check out Clean Heels) to prevent your expensive new shoes sinking into the mud and getting dirty. You can thank us later.
14. Save your savings
Every time you get a cheeky discount on something, put the amount you saved directly into a savings account. It’ll all mount up and you can then put all that dolla towards your honeymoon!
15. Swap your drinks
Opt for prosecco rather than champagne. Wedding guests will not notice the difference, but your purse certainly will.
16. Order your wedding album after the wedding
You don’t have to order your wedding album straight away if funds won’t allow; you can always get back in touch with your photographer after the wedding to arrange this.
Just don’t wait until mid-November if you want your album to arrive for Christmas!
17. Try before you buy
And finally… never feel pressured into making a decision. Catch a band live before you book them; always sample your cake and food before you give the green light; go for hair and make-up trials.
You’ve worked hard for your money, so spend it wisely.
Remember to check out the real weddings on our blog for handy tips and inspo!