15 Biggest Ways To Save Money On Your Wedding.

Say the word ‘wedding’ and your bank account probably shrinks away in horror, as it imagines all the future purchases of dresses, cakes, flowers and dinner for every single one of your guests. It’s expensive business.

In fact, just saying the word to a potential vendor can apparently raise the cost by 28% compared to their standard charge. The industry in the UK is worth £10 billion! So how do you go about putting together the wedding of your dreams, without blowing your savings and struggling financially once the big day is over?

ways to save money
Matilda Rose Photography


Cut out the unnecessary expenses

That morning cup of coffee on the way to work, buying a meal deal every day for lunch, the gym membership you signed up for with the best intentions but never use; all of these can be cut out and the money saved put towards the cost of that dream wedding. A daily £2.70 coffee run amounts to an eye watering £985.50 a year. Use this clever calculator tool to work out just how much you’re spending on a weekly/monthly/yearly basis on those little expenses – it all adds up.

Set up a standing order

You should have put together a budget for your wedding, that you’re going to stick to, therefore it’s important you get the right amount of savings moved into a separate account each month to build up your money. Work out how much you have left disposable each month and set up a payment that moves this into your savings account each month. Remember, you can still access this money if needs be so keep an eye on your account just in case but you’ll probably not even notice it leave and that number will gradually build up.

Ask friends and family for help

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Is your sister a great baker? Does your Nan arrange flowers in her spare time? Save on the cost of hiring expensive services and enlist the help of those close to you and who know what they are doing. Ask them to consider it their wedding gift to you and they’re sure to be on board. Plus, you get to enjoy something crafted with love, at a fraction of the cost.

Skip the holiday

You’re probably planning a pretty lavish honeymoon or mini moon after your big day, so you can easily forego your annual getaway beforehand, while you save to cover the costs. The average holiday costs £974, when you include everything like new clothes and transport to and from the airport too. This money could easily pay for your photographer for the day and perhaps a little extra.

Avoid the weekend

The price of a venue and vendors significantly increases when the weekend rolls around, so if you can have your big day on a weekday – perhaps a Thursday or Friday – then this can save you a lot of money. Of course, you’ll have to take into account that some people may not be able to get the time off work to be there but this could be an easy way of cutting down the guest list.

Get your own caterer

One of the biggest expenses of a wedding is food, with many venues charging around £49 per head – with a guest list of around 60 people for the day, this adds up to a shocking £2,940 and probably isn’t even food you want to eat. So it’s a good idea to find a venue that lets you use your own caterer.

Then you can go out here and shop around to find a caterer at a reasonable price that will cook what you actually want to serve, whether that’s a big BBQ or rolling up burritos. It’s your big day, don’t let your venue dictate how much you should spend or what you can eat!

Ditch the favours

Let’s be honest, favours are usually left discarded on the tables by the end of the night and many brides realise that all the hard work and the fuss they made putting them together was all for nothing.

Favours can be costly, depending on what you’re creating, and Pinterest has started a trend for lavish gifts to dish out to your guests – when you’re already paying for the food and drink for the evening! Ditch the favours and no one will even notice and you’ll save a nice chunk of cash to put towards something else.

Skip the chapel

Getting married at a registry office does have its limitations (a smaller venue and a less extravagant setting) but it is so much cheaper than getting married in a church or at a hotel. A church wedding costs between £456 – £497 for the basic ‘package’, which includes the vicar, the church, marriage certificate, lighting and admin. A registry office wedding costs £46, plus the cost of your marriage certificate on the day which is £4. That’s a huge saving!

Go high street for your bridesmaids

Bridesmaid dresses can be costly so grab these from everyday high street stores to save a bit of money. You can pick up beautiful dresses for £40-£70 and they can also be tailored if needed.

Don’t worry about wedding party gifts

You don’t really need matching robes for you and your bridesmaids, plus they won’t have said yes to being part of your special day for the gift at the end. A thank you card with a heartfelt note will let them know how much you appreciate them being there for you and your partner on your big day. If you really want to buy them something a small bottle of their favourite alcohol always works and keep things low budget still.

Go off season

Summer is obviously one of the most popular times of the year for weddings, so try to book yours between October and March (avoiding Christmas and New Year of course) to make a saving. Many venues drop their prices significantly during this period so it’s worth planning your wedding for this time – the temperature might be a little cooler but the outside photos will still be pretty stunning, just think of all those winter skies and autumn leaves.

Pop to the supermarket for your flowers

Florist prices are expensive for a reason, you’re hiring a highly skilled person to arrange flowers for you and it can be a lengthy process. However, if you really don’t have the budget then head to your local supermarket that has a wide flower selection and pick out some bunches for your bouquet. The trend for relaxed flowers for weddings is proving popular of late and means you can simply grab some colours you like, throw some pretty ribbon around them and get down the aisle for a much lower price.

Set up your own photobooth

Fancy photobooths have been shared around Pinterest and Instagram for a while now, with props and backdrops to rival Kim K and Kayne’s white rose wall on their wedding day. But it’s so easy to set up your own, with a camera on a tripod on a timer (be sure to write out some instructions for those guests aren’t so tech savvy). All you need is a something to hang on a wall – think sparkly tassels or even a pretty rug – and have guests stand in front of this for their picture. Check out this article for inspiration.

Have your Ceremony and reception at the same venue

Not only will this cut out the cost of travelling between venues – wedding cars usually start at around £250 – but it also means your guests won’t need to worry about the logistics of getting from place to place either.

Take your time

Don’t feel like you need to rush into your big day, set a realistic date in the future (take a couple of years if you need to) and enjoy being engaged! Plus, the extended time period means you have more wiggle room when it comes to money and saving.

Saving for a wedding takes time and plenty of discipline but it is possible to cut back costs and still have your dream big day. Remember, it’s all about you and your partner and sharing your love with family and friends, ignore those Pinterest boards and lavish inspiration articles on wedding sites – create a day you’ll look back on fondly and one that doesn’t leave you severely out of pocket.