When Petra Ecclestone, daughter of Formula One billionaire Bernie Ecclestone, got married she had a wedding that allegedly cost over £12m.
Sadly most of us aren’t in that league and in fact, spending a whole heap of money on your wedding day doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be a wedding to remember.
So to help you along the way, we’ve asked some of our real brides on the Wedding Ideas Forum for their hints and tips for saving money on the big day. After all, who better to help you than real girls trying to make their wedding budget go a bit further?
Save the date
If you’re not superstitious, you could save a lot of money by getting married on what might be an unpopular date. Forum member Stephs1982 has done just this. “We wanted a weekend wedding but didn’t want to pay weekend prices, so we are getting married on the 13th of the month. We got a big discount as ‘no other bride wants that date’ and all of our favourite suppliers are available then, too.”
“We have a very small budget as my h2b proposed at Christmas and we only decided to get married in February, the actual wedding is in 28 days!” says forum bride DoubleD. “We decided to splash out on photography and go down the DIY route as much as possible for the rest.”
“Shopping around takes time but has saved us so much money. Chair cover hire and so on, was just an evening spent searching on the laptop to get the cheapest deal. We met and checked the quality before booking things, though. Our entertainment prices were cut in half by shopping around and using friends’ recommendations.”
“We are doing most of the food ourselves and have just had to buy an extra freezer,” she continues. “We are having a three-course sit-down reception for 70 people, it’s a lot to plan by ourselves but hopefully it will be fine.”
Another way of saving money is looking around at your family and friends and seeing if they can offer professional help instead of a traditional wedding gift. “My brother-in-law is acting as our photographer and my father-in-law is driving me in his car,” says Mrs W on the forum. “We’re also having a cake from Marks & Spencer with a personalised cake topper to make it a bit special.”
Regular forum member Future Mrs C Goodman says: “We have decided to live on my smaller wage and bank my h2b’s larger wage every month. We have had to go without a couple of things here and there, Friday night pub for example! But the money banked at the end of the month is pretty fulfilling. In fact we’re kicking ourselves that we haven’t been saving like this the whole time.”
You could also think of ways of making more money. If you have time, maybe you could get an evening or a Saturday job. Alternatively you can earn some extra pennies by signing up to a survey site – you give feedback on products and services and can earn things like Amazon vouchers.
If you’re not getting married immediately and are having a long engagement, don’t forget to make your wedding money ‘work’ for you before the big day by getting as much interest out of it as you can. A cash ISA is a good idea and you can easily withdraw the cash when you need to. If you’re over 16, you can save £5,640 every year that the taxman has no access to and then withdraw amounts as you need to pay for things.
Cut out the non-essentials
If you spend less money on non-essentials you’ll find you can save more and faster. Do you really need that daily latte and croissant on the way to work? If it costs you £4 a day, that’s £20 a week, which adds up to an astounding £1,040 a year. You could buy an amazing wedding cake for that much money! You take a packed lunch to work instead of buying a lunchtime sandwich. You don’t even have to do it every day, if you just take your own lunch on a Monday you could save about £200 a year that you could spend on your wedding flowers instead.
You could also save money by cutting down on non-essential treats like takeaways. We’re not saying don’t spoil yourself once in a while, but takeaways are expensive so why not prepare some freezer meals in advance for the days you’re going to be home late. Takeaways also tend to be fattening so it will be easier to stick to your diet if you’re making homemade food.
Think about cost per use. You may have your heart set on a beautiful pair of shoes for your wedding day that cost lots. We think that’s okay, as long as you’re going to enjoy wearing them to parties afterwards over and over again. But you don’t want to spend a big chunk of your budget on heels you’re only going to wear once. Equally, do you really need to buy lots of vintage crockery that you’ll never use again? Could you hire it instead along with some of the other, larger table decorations?
You’ll find the Wedding Ideas Forum a great place to chat with other brides and find advice on all aspects of planning your wedding, from saving money to finding the right venue. Plus the forum gives you direct access to the Wedding Ideas team, so what are you waiting for? We’re ready to chat to you today!