In your engagement bubble, it can be easy to forget that you actually have a wedding to plan. Before you get #inspo pinning on Pinterest, it’s time to talk money. Unless you’ve planned a wedding before, you probably won’t have any idea how much it costs. So here, we discuss the average wedding day costs as well as our top tips on driving down price if you’re on a budget.
In the UK, according to a survey of Perfect Wedding readers, the average wedding day costs £20195, which breaks down as follows:
- Wedding venue and ceremony fees: £1,500
- Reception venue £2,500
- Catering: £2,750
- Drinks: £750
- Entertainment and venue decorations: £1,000
- Photography: £1,500
- Cake: £500
- Flowers: £550
- Transport: £250
- Stationery: £300
- Favours and gifts: £400
- Wedding rings: £600
- Dress: £2,000
- Bride’s shoes: £150
- Jewellery and veil: £250
- Hair (inc trial) and makeup: £150
- Bridesmaids’ outfits: £375
- Groom’s outfit: £320
- Attendants’ outfits: £250
- Wedding day insurance: £100
- Honeymoon: £4,000
If your budget differs from this, and you’re wondering what proportion of it to spend on what, typically you should allocate the following percentages to each area:
- Venue and catering: 45%
- Photography and videography: 12%
- Wedding attire and beauty: 10%
- Music: 6%
- Rings: 5%
- Flowers: 5%
- Favours and gifts: 5%
- Transportation: 3%
- Stationery: 3%
- Cake: 2%
- Décor: 2%
- Miscellaneous: 2%
Let’s face it – not everyone has £20,000 to spend on a wedding day. Or, maybe you do but you’d rather use it elsewhere. If you’re looking for some easy ways to save on your wedding budget, here’s our advice…
Ways to cut down your wedding day costs
Get the venue of your dreams at a fraction of the price
The biggest proportion of your budget will be dedicated to this so it isn’t surprising that it’s the first place to start when cutting down wedding day costs. When it comes to booking your venue, timing is everything. Make an instant saving by choosing an off-peak wedding day, such as mid-week or an off-peak month. Typically, November and December are cheaper (except near Christmas), as are January and February.
A great way to save on decorating your venue, is by choosing a venue with decor you already love. The less you have to add to it, the more you’ll save.
Finally, when it comes to saving costs on your venue, less is definitely more! Obviously the fewer guests you invite, the more you’ll save. Another idea is to invite people to come along in the evening, after the meal.
Saving on stationery
Your wedding stationery is the first glimpse your guests will get into your wedding day, so no doubt you’ll want it to be perfect! But there are some great ways to achieve alluring invites without breaking the bank. Tonnes of websites offer printable options for everything from place names to signage and even seating plans.
Another idea is to create your own! Pinterest offers a wealth of inspiration for cool DIY wedding stationery projects! Plus, this has the advantage of creating totally unique invites your guests won’t have seen before.
Or, in the digital age, why not go paperless with email invites? It’s likely to be a little controversial, especially with older guests who prefer tradition, but your wedding, your way! And if you really want to save on your budget, this option is perfect! To see how this could work for you take a look at my Save-The-Date WebApp
Finally, ditch the RSVP cards, as the extra materials and stamps only add to your costs. Include a phone number and email address or have guests send their own.
Don’t go crazy on decor
The finishing touches are the perfect way to add oodles of your personality to your wedding day (check out our post here for some great tips), but dreamy decor shouldn’t cost you the earth! The easiest way to save money here is to DIY it! But remember, don’t choose too many projects as not only will it give you too much to do, you’ll be adding to your cost. Pick a few, simple tasks which you’ll enjoy doing (reducing your wedding stress levels in the process) and get your leading ladies to lend a helping hand.
Fabulous flowers that don’t cost the earth
A wedding without flowers just wouldn’t be the same, but there are a few adjustments you can make to lower your costs.
Firstly, ensure you move your ceremony flowers to your reception to really make the most of them. Secondly, as flowers are sold in bulk, the more types you include, the more the price goes up. So choose bouquets and arrangements in just one type of flower. These can look so chic and will save you a small fortune. It’s also worth checking out what flowers will be in bloom, as choosing out of season flowers will cost you more.
Creative cakes at a fraction of the cost
Go for quality over quantity and cut down the number of tiers, opting for just one to really make a saving. Or, if that just won’t cut it, have all the height with none 0f the cost and fake it! It isn’t uncommon for couples to add a tier or two of styrofoam, which are decorated as normal, to give the illusion of an alluring cake. Finally, if you’re lucky enough to know someone who’d give The Great British Bake Off contestants a run for their money, call in a favour and ask if they’ll bake yours.
Dress for the occasion with none of the cost
If the appeal of wedding dress boutiques is calling but the price tag is too high, check out their sample sales. Many dress shops hold one or two of these a year, so you may be able to buy the dress you’ve had your eye on at a fraction of the price. Or, why not check out the high street? In recent years, websites and stores such as ASOS, Topshop and Debenhams have launched style savvy bridal collections, which definitely give boutiques a run for their money. With the same silhouettes and finishes you can expect from bridal stores, no one will be able to tell the difference. And again, when dressing your BFFs, more and more brides are choosing the high street.
When it comes to wedding day costs and how to cut them, the options are endless and are definitely not limited to our ideas above. Using just one or two of these is an easy way to achieve the day of your dreams without breaking the bank!