According to Brides Magazine, the average British wedding costs around £30,000 (* http://www.bridesmagazine.co.uk/planning/general/planning-service/2013/01/average-cost-of-wedding ) and while traditionally the bride’s parents paid for the big day, nowadays many couples pay for their own wedding, meaning that a big day equals big bucks.
Don’t worry, I am not going to tell you to get married on a Tuesday, have fake flowers, make everything yourself, buy a cheap dress online and serve homemade cupcakes instead of a wedding cake. I am however going to give you some of my top tips for cutting the cost of a wedding, and believe me, I should know as I have been living and breathing weddings for the last year!
Just pick two
My saving grace was a piece of advice that I was given: “Pick two things each that really matter to you”. There are so many elements that go into a wedding day; the food, the photographer, the flowers, the dress, should the groom wear black or brown shoes or should your bridesmaids’ dresses match the ribbon -you get the picture! Based on this, it’s worth sitting back and taking check; what really matters to you and your partner.
For me the photographer and flowers were the most important elements whereas my partner’s worst nightmare was of a boring wedding with not enough food to go round.
Once you have chosen your most important elements, you can then focus your money on these areas and don’t worry about the elements that clearly don’t matter to you. I appreciate that you want your whole day to look and feel amazing, but if you stick to this rule it can stop you from obsessing about every element being perfect, leaving you to concentrate on those areas that really matter to you.
Utilise, utilise, utilise
There is no point in filling the church to the brim with blossoming flowers and then leaving them there! Think about every aspect of your day and how you can re-use items. If you are going from the church to the venue, it will probably be cheaper to pay your florist to hang around and take your flowers for you. For example, we are having two huge urns full of flowers in the church along with around forty large candles. For the evening event we are utilising the same candles, putting them into large glass jars and placing them outside the venue to greet our evening guests.
Cut the cost of your stationery order by going digital! You don’t have to send everything digitally but why not go half and half? For us, it wasn’t so much as such a money saving hack but a ‘this makes sense’ kind of moment! My job is digital, most, if not all of our guests have a smartphones or tablets so why not communicate with our guests the 21st century kind of way? We sent all of our ‘save the date’ cards in the post, along with our actual invitation, however all information on gifts, transport, directions etc. was placed on a free wedding website and the link was shared within the invite. This saved us 1-2 inserts per person, with a total saving of around £100.
Remember, you’re not planning a wedding, you’re planning YOUR wedding
Keep you and your partner at the centre of all your planning, your wedding should be what you want not what you think a wedding should be. If you don’t like cake, have a cake made of cheese. If you hate flowers then have greenery – don’t follow the crowd, do it your way!
Happy planning x