Budgeting Your Wedding? Here’s What You Need To Know!

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We know that wedding budgets have halved in the past 10 years, so it’s clear that lots of us want to tie the knot for a fraction of the price.

As savvy shoppers, we know that beautiful weddings don’t need to cost a fortune – especially as online shopping has enabled us to source items at reduced cost, and there is the increasing trend of adding a personal touch (and saving a few £££) by DIYing certain elements yourself.

Weddings take a lot of planning, and with so many elements to consider, trying to decide where to cut costs might seem overwhelming, so we’ve put together a handy guide to help you get hitched on a budget.

1. Actually Set a Budget

A lot of people make the mistake of putting together their dream wedding wish list and then try to achieve it on a budget. Instead, it’s better to set your affordable budget first, and then factor in what you can reasonably afford, knowing in advance that you’ll likely have to make some compromises.

Do some research, and don’t forget to include costs that may not be obvious, including: ceremony fees, stamps for the invites (if you’re posting them!), presents for the bridal party, etc., because it all adds up! Whatever your final budget is, allow 10% for contingency.

2. The Venue

Typical wedding venues can account for up to one third of your budget. This can be reduced significantly if you get married on an unpopular day – venues are most expensive for a Saturday, cheaper on a Friday or Sunday, and even cheaper again on a Monday to Thursday. Midweek wedding dates may mean some guests are unable to attend, but close friends and family will usually understand and make the necessary arrangements.

If you don’t like the idea of a mid-week wedding, consider an unpopular season instead – April to September is prime wedding season, so having your wedding outside of those months can save you up to 50% on the cost of your venue.

3. The Dress

In years gone by, Brides spent a small fortune on a dress that is usually never worn again, and rarely sold on due to sentimental value. This just doesn’t make financial sense. Today, high street quality has improved significantly, and a little tailoring can make all the difference. Other sources of fantastic looking purse friendly options include second hand dresses and last season’s stock from a bridal boutique. All of these resources are also great for Bridesmaid’s outfits.

4. The Guests

Think carefully about who to invite to the wedding, as numbers soon add up. Just 15 family members each from the Bride and Groom’s family, and 10 friends each with plus ones for partners, is 70 people. Keep your guest list to close friends and family only, and invite work colleagues, acquaintances, neighbours, family friends, etc., to the reception.

5. The Invites

Unless you really want them, you could do away with physical invites. These usually incur not only design and print costs, but also postage, and can be a lot of hassle. Instead, you could get an invite designed as a PDF to email to guests, or use a variety of online tools to send digital invites, especially for guests who are attending the reception only.

6. Be a Savvy Shopper

If you have a creative streak, favours, table decorations, and room decorations, can all be purchased online for a fraction of the cost. There are plenty of online discount stores, craft stores, and sources for second hand items in good condition. Bonus points if you can resell you wedding décor bundle on a site such as eBay for a quick cash injection post-wedding.

7. Don’t Call It a Wedding

When sourcing flowers, a cake, and entertainment don’t refer to your big day as a “wedding”, call it a party or celebration instead until the price is agreed. Referring to your booking as one for a wedding can sometimes put the price up automatically.

However, feel free to shout about your wedding from the rooftops on your honeymoon plane ride, to the hotel you’re staying at, and at any other venues you visit while away – you’d be surprised at the freebies and upgrades you’ll get!

8. Cash Gifts

Historically, guests gifted items to the couple to help them set up in their new home together. Today, many couples already live together before getting married and have most of what they need. As an alternative to a traditional wedding present, a lot of couples ask guests to contribute to their Honeymoon through sites such as Buy Our Honeymoon, where guests can pay for a specific experience for the couple to enjoy. Some couples are also perfectly OK with asking for cash [INSERT LINK].

By Rachel Doherty, Excalibur Press