Your wedding is a beautiful day full of romance, love, friends and family. But it’s also a day of big expenses. The cost of getting married seems to be creeping up each year, with the average wedding in 2019 costing £30,000. But not everyone can afford to spend big on their wedding day and many people are coming up with creative solutions to keep costs down.
We’ve put together a list of 10 beautiful ideas on how to have a budget wedding without compromising on any of the sophistication or romance.
1. Ask your friends and family for help rather than gifts
Asking for wedding help rather than a gift can be a great way to save money. If your cousin is studying photography, or your friend is a graphic designer, or you have an aunt or uncle who is a dab hand at DIY, or maybe your grandad has a gorgeous classic car that you would love to be chauffeured around in, then don’t be afraid to ask them for their help in lieu of a gift.
Nine times out of ten, family and friends are more than happy to help out when you ask them. In fact, they are likely to be flattered that you’ve entrusted part of your big day with them. So ask away, and put a smile on everyone’s faces.
2. Pick an unconventional day or season for your wedding
If you choose to have your wedding on a Friday or Sunday, you can cut the cost of the reception venue in half; Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, even more. Of course, you may have fewer guests attending if you pick a weekday, but that may be a blessing in disguise if you’re serious about keeping costs down.
If you opt to have your wedding in Autumn or Winter, discounts may be available, not only on your venue but also on photographers, florists and registrars.
3. Hold the ceremony at a smaller venue, outdoors, or even at home
Venues are often the most expensive part of the wedding day, so searching for alternative wedding venues like village halls, fancy pubs, parents’ back gardens, woodlands, holiday homes or even your own home really pays off.
4. Do the catering yourself
Consider your choices when it comes to the food at your wedding, a sit down three-course meal for 50 people can be very pricey, but there are buffets, picnics or BBQs that you could arrange instead.
If you’re having a small wedding party and you have the know-how, you could even do the catering yourself. Again, it’s important not to be afraid of asking for help when you feel that you need it. If a member of the family or a friend is a dab hand at this sort of thing, it’s always worth asking.
5. Offer your guests a free cocktail hour or bring your own booze
Alcohol is often a hefty expense for everyone involved at weddings, but it’s also a big variable that you can play around with to cut costs. Instead of opting for a full open bar, which can sometimes cost thousands of pounds, you can save money by offering a free cocktail hour followed by a cash bar.
Or, if you are able to, bring your own booze! Stock up on the basics, red and white wine and beer, and then keep an eye out for when offers come up at your local supermarket to get some liquor, and extras such as mixers and soft drinks.
If you do get your own alcohol, then it’s a good idea to overestimate how much you’ll need as there would be nothing worse than running out of drinks halfway through the reception!
6. Think of your wedding décor as an investment for your home
When purchasing décor for your wedding, keep in mind what the fate of it will be. If you believe it will become a permanent fixture in your home, then it’s a good idea.
These can be items such as vintage tea sets, cake stands, lanterns, potted plants, rugs, picture frames or mason jars. If you see the decorations you want to buy eventually being chucked in the shed, or worse thrown in the skip, then it’s often not worth the money.
7. Get in touch with the local university
Universities are a hub of fresh young talent, so why not get in touch with your local university to seek out some musical accompaniment for your ceremony and/or your reception.
You can simply contact the music department and ask if there are any students who are studying a particular instrument you like and see if they’re available to provide music for a wedding. The work can help them develop their CV and save you on this pricey part of your wedding.
8. Choose a pre-loved gown
Choosing a pre-owned gown is a fantastic way to get your dream dress at a dream price. It’s a good idea to shop around first, try a few different styles on to get an idea of exactly what kind of dress you would like.
9. Make your own favours
Whether you’re naturally artistic or not, there’s plenty of lovely DIY favour ideas out there. From food items like sweets and coffee to keepsakes like candles or seeds to grow. Head on over to Pinterest where you’ll be sure to find an array of inspiration.
10. Don’t stress the details
Little things add up. Though it’s lovely to have thoughtful touches here and there, don’t panic if you forget something (or if you don’t wish to include little extras like favours) as the chances are your guests won’t even notice that there isn’t a table of perfectly packaged chocolate chip cookies waiting for them by the exit anyway. Leave all the stress behind and enjoy the day for what it is really about – the celebration of you and your fiance’s love and commitment to one another.
Whilst planning your wedding, be sure to pop along to one of our upcoming wedding fayres in the North West. Meet with fabulous suppliers and take tours of the stunning venues. Find our Spring wedding fayres here.