Wedding costs can quickly mount up when you’re planning your big day. But worry not! We’ve got some top tips to help you look after the pennies so you don’t end up with massive bill at the end!

Weekday wedding

Just like train journeys and phone calls, wedding costs are cheaper off peak, so steer clear of Saturdays and the summer months, and set the date for a weekday between October and May. You’ll save on everything from your venue to your entertainment – and your guests are less likely to miss the big day because of holidays.

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Share and share alike

Okay, so the only people you want to share your special day with are the ones on your guest list, but have you thought of asking your ceremony venue if any other couples are tying the knot on the same day as you? If there are, you may be able to agree on a colour scheme and split the cost of flowers and decorations.

Play hard to get

You may have fallen in love with a venue/photographer/make-up artist, but don’t go with the first one that you see. Shop around and compare prices and services to make sure that you get the best deals. Ask other couples who they went with and ask photographers and the food supplier if you can see samples of their work before setting anything in stone.

Get crafty

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Have you ever received a handmade wedding invitation and thought, ‘I could make those’? You’ll save a lot of money if you do. Stationery isn’t the only thing you can make yourself: you could assemble your own favours, fill paper cones with homemade dried-flower petals for gorgeous confetti, or teach yourself calligraphy and design a beautiful table plan.

Eat on your feet

Opting for a buffet reception could keep your wedding costs under control. Catering costs tend to be lower, and you won’t fork out for as many waiting staff. You can still have separate courses and a formal seating plan, and as an added bonus, you’re more likely to please your guests by offering a selection of dishes. To save even more, why not serve your wedding cake for dessert, instead of a separate pud? Your guests’ waistlines will thank you… and so will your bank manager.

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Do it cheaply!

You needn’t spend a fortune on your evening do. Most venues will provide a room free of charge if you’ve held the main festivities there, or decamp to the village hall or the function room of the local pub. Don’t overdo the buffet – afternoon guests will have already dined like kings, and evening guests eat before going out, so catering for 60-70% of the final number is usually sufficient.

Suits you

Encourage the men in your bridal party to get organised and pay for a group visit to the suit hire shop. Most menswear suppliers run ‘groom goes free’ deals if you order three or four wedding suits at the same time. That could add up to a tidy saving of £100 or more.

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Be a fair lady

A wedding fair lady, that is. With hundreds of suppliers under one roof, they’ll all be touting for your business, which can mean big savings on everything from your dress to favours, especially if you book on the day (although you shouldn’t be pressured into a decision).

Don’t buy ‘wedding branded’

Stick the word ‘wedding’ in front of anything and you’re guaranteed to add a few pound signs to the price tag. And you can save a small fortune by choosing evening dresses from a department store.

So where does it all go?

The average Wedding Ideas couple now spends somewhere between £11,000 and £15,000 on their big day. Where could you save a few pennies on your wedding costs?

  • Bride’s wedding ring £200
  • Groom’s wedding ring £150
  • Wedding dress £700
  • Veil and head dress £150
  • Bouquet £75
  • Shoes and accessories £125
  • Beauty treatments £75
  • Bridesmaids’ dresses £500
  • Groom’s outfit £150
  • Flowers (except bouquet) £200
  • Stationery £300
  • Transport £300
  • Ceremony fees £200
  • Photography £400
  • Video £400
  • Cake £200
  • Reception venue £600
  • Reception decorations £150
  • Reception catering £2,000
  • Evening reception £750
  • Drinks £750
  • Entertainment £500
  • Going Away Outfit £150
  • Wedding night venue £125
  • Honeymoon £1,500
  • Wedding insurance £50

If you’re in the early stages of planning your big day, check out our Wedding Budget and Finance section for handy and helpful hints on making your money go further.