With the average cost of a wedding now well over £30,000, it’s not always easy for those of us who don’t have loads of cash to splash to afford our dream day. Not all hope is lost, though. Here are ten easy ways you can save money on your wedding without compromising your dream day:
01. AVOID PEAK WEDDING DAYS/DATES
Choosing a popular date to get married on is likely to add a fair amount on to all aspects of your wedding. Be sure to avoid Valentine’s weekend and bank holidays if you have a small budget. You could also:
Opt for a winter wedding — Demand for wedding venues and entertainment is much lower in the autumn and winter months so your money could go much further. You may also want to consider when you’d like to celebrate your wedding anniversary each year as this could also influence your decision.
Steer clear of Saturdays — The cost of hiring a venue for your wedding and reception can be cut by opting to tie the knot on a Friday, Sunday or another weekday rather than the traditional Saturday. This is because many of the most popular wedding locations get booked up years in advance for Saturday weddings, and as a result of the high demand, they can afford to charge much higher prices.
Marry in the morning or late afternoon — If you’re happy to move your ceremony forward to the late morning you will benefit from cheaper ceremony costs. If you choose a lunch meal rather than a more formal sit down wedding breakfast in mid-afternoon, you will lower catering costs as well. And a later wedding time could help you cut costs by paying for just one wedding meal — rather than a wedding breakfast and additional food in the evening.
02. OPT FOR PROM DRESSES FOR YOUR BRIDESMAIDS
Bridesmaids dresses can be expensive, but they actually needn’t be. Have you ever noticed that bridesmaids dresses and prom dresses often look very similar? Well, believe it or not, prom dresses tend to be a hell of a lot cheaper! You can easily save money here by opting to buy prom dresses for your bridesmaids, and no one would know any different. To cut costs even further, you could ask your them to wear shoes and accessories that they have already.
03. GO FOR A HIGH STREET WEDDING DRESS
High street doesn’t have to mean boring — department stores have cottoned on to the ‘wedding on a budget’ business and now sell some amazing wedding dresses at affordable prices. What’s even better is if you can snag them in the sale or with a discount code. Here’s what some of the big retailers offer:
ASOS — You can pick up gowns from £39.50, as well as a selection of bridesmaids’ dresses.
H&M — There’s a range of wedding dresses available from £85 and bridesmaid dresses from £40.
Next — Stock Lipsy wedding dresses starting from £135, as well as bridesmaids’ dresses and mother of the bride outfits.
04. UTILISE YOUR FRIENDS’ TALENTS
One way to avoid the price-trebling effects of getting married is to use the talents of your friends and family. Ask for their help in lieu of a wedding present. It’ll cut the cost of saying ‘I do’ and perhaps save on a gift for them too. Plus, it will make your big day all the more personal and memorable. For example:
- Do you know a keen baker who can make the cake?
- Do you have a friend who is a DJ, musician or even magician?
- Is your mum a florist in the making?
- Will your sister do your hair or make-up for you?
- Does your grandad have a posh old classic car he’d be willing to chauffeur you in?
05. DIY WHEREVER YOU CAN
By DIY-ing as much as you can, you’ll leave plenty of room in your budget for splashing out on other things that really matter. Examples of things you can easily DIY for your wedding include:
- Save-the-dates and wedding invitations
- Bouquets and flower arrangements
- Wedding favours
06. DON’T MENTION THE ‘W’ WORD
When dealing with suppliers, if there’s one thing guaranteed to increase the price, it’s when they know you’re buying for a wedding. So when negotiating flowers, food and wine etc, try to avoid using the word ‘wedding’. Call it a party or celebration, and only once the price is agreed should you mention what it’s actually for. Having said that, if you’re eloping, or after smaller bits and pieces, such as makeup, then mentioning you’re getting married can mean freebies galore!
07. GET YOUR GUESTS TO HELP WITH THE PHOTOS
One of the best things about a wedding is how the day unfolds for your guests, the wedding party and the happy couple. Every group has a slightly different experience — allow your guests to capture their viewpoint of your special day by collecting your guest’s photos on an app or website like Wedding Photo Swap.
If you haven’t heard of Wedding Photo Swap before then you should definitely check them out! They provide a simple, yet elegant solution to collecting and sharing photos taken by the guests at your wedding. And you’ll get a live feed of your guest’s photos from their app or website, meaning you can relive more of the moments that made their day — and yours — so special.
Using Wedding Photo Swap’s guest manager you can invite guests by email before the big day (through the app or website), or you can print cards pre-filled with your guest access details to add to your invites. These can then be sent out to the guests with the wedding invitations, or you could have them available at the big event — on your tables for example. You can save on the cost of a photographer this way, and it’s a much cheaper option than handing out disposable cameras and then having to get the films developed at a later date!
08. BUY SECOND-HAND TABLE LINEN
Many hire companies and hotels periodically have sales to shift old, but usable table linens. Buy your linen like this for cheap and resell it after the big day. The same can be done for chair covers, organza sashes, and drapes etc.
09. SERVE WEDDING CAKE FOR DESSERT
Catering costs can soon spiral out of control when you’re planning a wedding. And, quite a lot of the time, people tend to be full after their starter and main course, so they don’t have dessert. You can, therefore, save a significant amount of money by not ordering desserts and serving up a piece of your magnificent wedding cake instead. Just make sure you get that all-important photo of you and your other half cutting it first!
10. DON’T OVER-INVITE
And, finally, think very carefully about guests. The numbers soon add up: 70 sounds a lot, but it’s only 15 members of each person’s family, then 10 friends each with partners. Narrow down your guest list. Stick to close friends and family. And if you want to invite more, just do it to the evening disco.
It can be difficult not to cave in to pressure from friends and family members that have an idea about what your special day should be like. Just remember that it’s your wedding and not theirs so keep this in mind when you’re planning it.
Do you have any other tips for saving money when planning a wedding?
If so, be sure to let me know in the comments below!