With the average wedding costing £31,974, we’ve conducted extensive research to reveal eight ways you can save up to £19,242. Read on to discover more…
Avoid summer, weekend weddings – save up to £7,300
Whilst summer weddings are the most popular for Brits due to the weather being more reliable, this choice comes with an expensive price tag. Research from Bridebook revealed that June weddings cost an average of £7,300 more than those in January. On top of that, summer weddings are also the most in-demand, meaning you could be waiting years before you can book your first-choice venue, especially if you’re after a weekend date.
When you’re venue browsing, make sure to ask venues about their different prices based on different days of the week and periods of the year. A midweek wedding sounds incredibly appealing when it's half the venue hire cost of a Saturday, doesn't it?!
Crowdfund your honeymoon – save up to £3,900
Many newlyweds spend so much time planning and budgeting for the wedding that a honeymoon can often be an afterthought. However, with the average honeymoon coming with a price tag of £4,645, this is certainly something that should be budgeted for.
Traditionally, wedding gifts would be given to the couple to help them set up their home and start their life together as newlyweds. But, with more couples living together long before marriage, many people simply don't need traditional wedding gifts like kitchen appliances or home accessories. However, your guests will usually still want to give you something to send you on your way into married life. Money towards a honeymoon is then perfect, as each gift will contribute towards you creating memories you'll cherish for a lifetime. Even if the average number of guests (78) gifted you £50 each, which is the recommended amount, that’s £3,900 – making your dream honeymoon cost just £745.
Hire your dream wedding dress instead of buying it – save up to £3,524
Buying a bespoke or designer wedding dress can cost a lot, especially when you consider that you’re only going to wear it once. And after its day out, it’ll collect dust as it hangs in the back of your wardrobe for decades. Instead, you should consider renting your dream wedding dress. Not only is this a far more financially and environmentally sustainable answer but it’s one that men have done for decades, with most grooms renting their tuxes for the day.
After analysing the top 15 most popular wedding dresses to rent on My Wardrobe HQ, we found that the average dress can be hired for £194 for four days (which is the minimum rental period). That’s a staggering saving of £3,524 when compared to buying the dress outright. For example, we found that you can rent this gorgeous £12,430 Oscar de la Renta dress for just £360. Alternatively, if you prefer something less classical, this stunning v-neckline dress can be rented for £156, which is a tiny fraction of its £13,500 RRP.
Get ruthless with your guest list – save up to £1,430
Research by Hitched revealed that the average couple spent £65 per person on food and drink for their wedding guests. If you're planning a relatively large wedding with at least 100 guests, that's more than £6,500 spent on food and drink alone. If this makes you gulp as much as it does us, then taking another look at your guest list might be on the cards.
After all, accommodating plus-ones, making sure no friend or family member feels left out by not being invited, and placating family who insist that certain distant relatives are invited can all add to astronomical guest lists. Agreeing on some rules with your partner, like "no guests we haven't both met", or "no guests we haven't seen at least once in the last five years" can help you keep your guest numbers affordable, as well as give you a solid case to explain to family and friends why you can't and won't invite everyone and their dog to your big day. Even reducing this list down from 100 guests to an average of 78 would save you £1,430.
Cut down your catering costs – save up to £1,943
Another way to reduce the cost of your guests is to think outside of the box when it comes to catering. If you move your ceremony to later in the afternoon, you’ll only need to feed your guests one meal as opposed to the traditional two. Given that the average couple spend £3,887 on catering, removing one meal could reduce your costs by as much as half – a potential saving of £1,943.
For example, you could get creative with your menu options to keep costs down and put more of your personality into the day, too. What about tapas, a hog roast, or a themed food truck as an alternative to a formal, sit-down meal? Not only will you save money on the food itself, but you’ll also save on the table and chair hire, linen hire and cutlery and crockery hire!
Opt for a wedding website over physical invites – save up to £500
Whilst printed invitations are a lovely memento of the day, they can end up being far more expensive than you perhaps thought or budgeted for. For example, if you want 50 sets (invitations, details card and an RSVP) that features calligraphy or another special finish, it can cost over £500. Alternatively, you could set up a wedding website from the likes of The Knot or Getting Married which are both free. Not only can you manage RSVPs, menu choices and even song requests for the DJ, but you can export your replies into an easy-to-read spreadsheet.
Book the photographer for 8-10 hours, instead of a full day – save up to £489
Whilst having a good photographer is one of the most important parts a wedding, it’s also one of the more expensive. When you’re looking for a photographer, you should consider which parts of your day you want to be captured. Do you want photographs of you getting ready, or would having someone snapping away add to your pre-wedding nerves? Would you like to have photographs of your wedding guests dancing away, or is your evening celebration going to be smaller and more intimate and, therefore, have fewer photo opportunities? Asking yourselves these questions will uncover whether you need to book a photographer for a full day (typically 12-14 hours) or only half. When they work a half-day, they’ll still capture the all-important moments, but it’ll be much cheaper.
After analysing the prices of 15 photographers across the UK, we found that hiring a photographer for half a day instead of a full one can save you an average of £489.
Forget wedding favours – save up to £156
Wedding favours can be a lovely finishing touch that injects more of your personality into your wedding day. But considering they cost an average of £2 per guest, that’s a total of £156 taking into account the average number of guests. Unfortunately, after one too many drinks, many guests may accidentally forget to take them home, or worse, remember to take them home, but throw them away when they get there. What a waste! So, choosing to forgo wedding favours can give you money back in your budget to spend elsewhere, or simply put it back in your pocket, and we'd bet your guests won't even notice that you've chosen to give this tradition a miss.
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