It goes without saying that Weddings are an expensive business! So we’ve compiled some quick money saving tips which will allow you to shave thousands from your wedding costs!
- Have a long engagement
It may not seem as exciting but if you have options here of having your wedding this summer or next, maybe consider that having a longer engagement can allow you to save more, get more bang for your buck with more time to research and vet your various suppliers and decoration options!
- Itemize the budget
For every item on your list, think about ways you can use cheaper alternatives. Love that hired sweet cart for £200? Why not DIY and get the sweets from Costco for £20!
- DIY Decorations
We have many guides coming up about how to make your own decorations but sites like Ebay and Hobbycraft are great for getting all of the crafty essentials you need to make your own beautiful decorations. Consider the amount of time you have to create anything yourself as this always takes longer than expected!
- Get creative with the venue
Research fun and quirky places to get married. Generally any venue which allows you to bring your own suppliers in will save you lots of cash! From buying your own booze in bulk to sourcing the cheapest caterers this is a much better option for those on a budget but remember, any marquee wedding involves extra costs for items like power generators, toilets, chairs and tables.
- Avoid a large guest list
If you are paying for most of the wedding yourself, you can certainly save costs by cutting down on guest numbers. The more people, the more food, drink, table settings, wedding favours…and the list goes on!
- Tap into your friendship network
It is amazing how many favours you can call in for your big day. Any friends with a spare field, skills in cake decorating, playing an instrument or even friends who are handy with a glue gun can be enormously helpful in helping you cut costs.
- Do the catering yourself
You can be really creative when it comes to food, a ‘pimp your potato’ table, gourmet salad bar or classic hog roast is a great inexpensive way to feed lots of people with good quality filling food.
Approach with caution…if you have a good team of mothers, auntie’s and friends who are good in the kitchen then this can be a fantastic way to save costs but bear in mind your numbers to avoid a 3am bake-fest for the wedding party on the night before the wedding. Assign dishes per person and divide up the work.
- Be clever when it comes to flowers
There is so much you can do to cut costs with flowers but you have to be careful not to scrimp so much that your arrangements start to look a little sad. As some brides have said, cutting back to the point where your flowers look sparse can turn into a major regret on your big day! Flowers such as carnations, baby’s breath, daisies, heather or even lavender are all more affordable than traditional roses; and peonies can be five times more expensive than roses! You can still use expensive flowers but bulk these out with more cost effective alternatives and green leaves to save the pennies!
- Have your wedding favours double as place names
A quick and easy one to save you time and money!
- Skip the traditions
With the eve of modern weddings where many formalities are now being scrapped for more relaxed, personalized wedding styles. More and more brides are opting to skip many expensive traditions such as paying for the bridesmaid dresses, giving gifts to the bridal party or have an expensive open bar or champagne toast. Very often, people will not judge you for this and it can save you thousands!
- Learn how to haggle
Take some advice from Money saving expert and learn how to haggle with your suppliers!
- Make your own invitations
- Blast the music budget
Use a decent stereo from home or borrow one from a friend. Also use your Spotify playlist to keep people dancing all night instead of hiring an expensive DJ.
- Stock the bar yourself
Booking a venue that allows you to bring your own booze will save you huge amounts of cash! You can allow guests to either bring their own or happily drink the cocktails, beer and wine that you’ll be buying in bulk! Try sites such as Majestic Wine for good bulk buying deals.
- Clever honey-moon booking
This could mean a saving of thousands if you plan to buy your holiday at the right time or get haggling on a good price.
- Have your ceremony and reception in the same place
Not always a possibility but doing this is a great way to save on transport costs to and from the wedding!
- Tap into the university community
Uni’s can be great places for finding a cheap or free photographer or musician. Just make sure you get your chosen student to sign a contract and review their work first!
- Create your own photobooth
All you need to do is buy a backdrop, decorate it to your theme, buy some props and a camera stand for your camera and away you go! £500 saved!
- Hold you reception and ceremony in one spot
Although this is not an option for all brides, this can be a great way to save costs on transport!
- Have bigger tables
A simple yet effective option to save cash on your expensive floral centre pieces, table covers and decorations.
- Consider getting married during the week or in an ‘off-season’
It is commonly known that booking your wedding on a less popular day or month can save you thousands! So shop around and have an honest chat with your venue to find out the best rate they can possibly do.
- Become a savvy shopper
Whether you scour the car boot sales or second hand shops, these quirky places can provide great places for finding unique pieces to decorate your venue. Even try charity shops and sites like sellmywedding.co.uk!
If you are buying anything online, be sure to check if you can get cashback first or at least use a vouchercode to buy something. Shop on black Friday in November or during the sales in January. If you are going to small independent suppliers also pay with credit card and protect yourself! If you are buying something branded also shop around for your wedding essentials, google shopping can be a great way to do this!
- Buy dresses off the rack or on sale
Another well-known fact when it comes to wedding day savings is the amount you can save on the dress if you buy second hand or ‘off the rack’. ‘Off the rack’ means dresses which are bought in by the salon to sell without fittings and are typically a more simple design than bespoke bridal dresses. Salons usually buy in a certain amount of off the rack dresses each season for brides with less time or budget.
For sample dress sales, check out those wedding mags or wedding websites for the latest updates on where you can find your local sample sale. Get there early and hunt quickly! Also try websites like ASOS for beautiful and affordable bridesmaids dresses!
- Rent tuxedos as a group
Many rental shops now offer discounts when you rent a number of outfits for the wedding party. For example, Moss Bross offer free hire for the groom when you book more than 5 outfits. You also may want to shop around for your rental; it may work out cheaper to buy the suits for your Ushers!
- Sell your items after the wedding
And finally…remember that you can easily shave money off your wedding budget with the above tips but remember you (theoretically) have one shot at this and if you cut down too much you will risk having a wedding which is much more shabby than chic! This is your big day and you deserve it to be beautiful!