Get The Wedding Of Your Dreams Without Breaking The Bank
Having the wedding of your dreams needn’t cost the earth. Our hacks will help you plan an amazing wedding without blowing your budget.
Weddings can be an expensive affair, and with the average cost of a UK wedding sitting at more than £27,000 it’s unsurprising that many couples are looking to cut costs. We’ve put together some popular hacks which will help you to save money without compromising on your wedding vision.
Take Your Time
In all the excitement of getting engaged it’s often tempting to get married as soon as possible. But, taking your time and leaving a longer gap between the engagement and wedding could actually help to save you money. You’ll have time to research all the best deals and take advantage of any seasonal sales. And, as well as helping you to cut costs, a long engagement also gives you more time to save, so it’s a win-win for your bank balance.
Choose Your Date Wisely
The time of year you choose to get married can have a big impact on your budget. May to August are the most popular months for weddings; so by avoiding this period and booking your wedding in the ‘off season’ you could benefit from discounts and special deals. Similarly, you could save money on your venue and suppliers by booking a mid-week or Sunday wedding, rather than getting married on a Saturday. Try to choose a Sunday that falls on a bank holiday – that way your guests won’t need to take the next day off work. At Crondon, the January, February, March and November weddings cost around £2500 less than August and September weddings.
It’s also a good idea to consider what time of day you get married. A late afternoon or evening wedding will mean that you only have to provide one meal for your guests, helping you to significantly shave costs.
Do It All In One
Unless you have your heart set on a traditional church wedding, it makes sense to hold the ceremony and reception in the same place. That way you won’t have to pay to decorate two different venues, and you won’t need to organise transport between venues for the bridal party or your wedding guests. Aside from the financial savings it also makes for a smoother, stress-free day.
Small Ceremony and Reception, Big Party!
The reception is often the biggest cost, and for this reason many people invite a small number to their wedding service and breakfast, and then more to the evening reception. If you and your partner have many work colleagues that you feel you should invite, then an evening only invite is a wise choice and will save you several thousand pounds.
Think Outside The Box
The wedding breakfast can take a big chunk out of your budget, particularly if you have a lot of guests. To cut costs, think outside the box and consider trying something different when it comes to catering – for example, you could treat your guests to an afternoon tea, BBQ, hog roast, or buffet instead of a traditional sit down meal. Speak to your venue or caterer to see what options they can offer.
Some cultures have a collection for the bride and groom at the wedding reception which greatly helps to pay for the event. For example, in some traditional Turkish weddings, guests will pin money to the bride during a ceremony after dinner. Just asking for money instead of presents will usually help to pay for the reception. If you have 100 guests and half give a £50 gift, that is £2500 towards the reception costs.
Fake Your Cake
Wedding cake can be surprisingly expensive, so if you have your heart set on a multi-tiered cake, why not fake it? Ask your baker to use a couple of dummy tiers (usually made from Styrofoam and covered in icing), and bake a real cake for the top, smallest tier. You can then buy inexpensive sheet cakes to cut up and serve to your guests. Of course, there’s no rule to say you have to have a wedding cake at all. Play with tradition and save money by going for an alternative wedding cake, such as cupcakes, cookies or even a pic ’n mix station where guests can serve themselves.
It’s surprising how much money you can save when you do things yourself rather than outsourcing. Unless you’re hugely talented with a needle we’re not suggesting you make your own dress, but invitations, centrepieces and table plans are all perfect DIY candidates, and with a little care and creativity can look really effective. Check out Pinterest for wedding DIY inspiration and tutorials, and remember to be realistic about what you can take on – nobody wants to be up until 4am making wedding favours the night before their wedding!
Call In Favours
People are often keen to offer up their time or services as a wedding gift, so if you have loved ones who are talented in a particular area, don’t be afraid to take them up on their offers. By getting a friend or family member to do your flowers, bake your wedding cake, or style your hair, you could save yourself a lot of money. For those who don’t have a specific skillset, see if they’d be happy to help out in other ways, perhaps by assembling wedding favours or helping you to set up and decorate the venue.
These days more and more couples are choosing to set up their own wedding website. This is a great way to cut postage costs as you can include all the information guests need in one place, rather than sending out a big bundle of paper with your wedding invitations. Some couples even decide not to send paper invitations at all, instead preferring to invite guests via email or social media. If you’re not comfortable with this, you could consider sending your ‘save the date’ electronically, and then following up with a traditional invitation a few months later.
Be Clever With Décor
Every bride wants their wedding to look amazing, but decoration costs soon mount up. To combat this try to choose a naturally stunning venue for your nuptials that just needs some simple elegant touches, rather than large, expensive decorations and floral displays. For example, the Baronial Hall of our Crondon Park wedding venue looks great dressed with traditional centrepieces, but it looks just as effective when decorated simply with mason jars, gypsophila and some twinkling fairy lights.
An easy way to save money on your big day is to borrow or buy used and pre-loved items, and with websites such as Gumtree, eBay and Preloved, it’s never been easier to find second-hand wedding items for sale – and at a fraction of the cost you would pay for them brand new. You might even want to consider buying a second-hand wedding dress from a reputable website such as Still White, which enables you to pick up a stunning designer frock without the hefty price tag.
With so many great hacks out there, your wedding needn’t cost the earth. All you need is creativity, flexibility and a willingness to get stuck in and you can have the wedding of your dreams without blowing your budget.