The wedding industry is now worth a monumental £10bn a year with the average wedding now costing £36,000 and with the average salary in the UK being well under this, it’s easy to see why couples are leaving it increasingly longer to tie the knot. The overwhelming amount of tasks that go into planning a wedding, combined with the financial punch, can leave couples feeling deflated, unmotivated and stressed – ultimately detracting from what is supposed to be the happiest day of their lives. Instead of forking out thousands for a wedding planner, here are five ways in which you can greatly reduce the cost of your big day.
1 – Rent a dress
As Money.co.uk says, it’s always best to work out a firm budget to stick to and decide what you want and need in order of importance. As many brides will agree, the wedding dress usually factors pretty highly on this list. It’s a nice decision for the bride and groom to pick one item each that they both are willing to ‘splurge’ on; for example, the cake, photographer or flowers. However, if the bride is willing to negotiate on the wedding dress, there is a lot of money to be saved by simply renting their dress instead of buying it. The majority of wedding dresses cost a minimum of £1000, whereas renting one just for your big day can cost as little as £300. Although a lot of brides want to buy their dress so that they can save it forever, the dress itself is unlikely to ever be worn again and, as long as you use a trustworthy photographer, images of the dress will be hung on your walls for the rest of your life. Using your head and not your heart is a huge factor in saving money on your wedding day.
2 – BYOB
Bring your own booze. Instead of putting money behind a bar at the reception venue, which won’t last long and may result in either guests having to buy their own extortionately priced drinks or you picking up a hefty bar tab at the end of your celebration. Instead, buy your own alcohol, which will be cheaper overall. Bridal Guide Magazine believes that, for 100 guests, you need around 10 bottles of vodka, 6 bottles of gin or rum, 4 bottles of scotch, 2 bottles of whiskey, 2 bottles of vermouth, 2 cases of beer, 4 cases of white wine, 3 cases of red wine and 36 bottles of champagne. However, you will know what your specific guests will want to drink. Although this list may seem extensive, asking your close friends and family to bring a crate of alcohol instead of a wedding gift could cut the cost considerably – which would be a lot more useful than a crockery set.
3 – DIY
Wedding favours and centre pieces are two items often overlooked or forgotten at weddings. However, these don’t have to be pricey nuisances. Wedding Ideas Magazine suggests buying a lottery ticket for each of your guests – this hardly takes any time at all and they only cost £1 each. Alternatively, making your own wedding favours and finishing touches can save you even more money. Firstly, consider your theme and think about what favours you could produce to compliment it. Homemade candles, chocolates or beauty products, such as bath scrubs made with honey and sea salt, can all be made incredibly cheaply by bulk-buying the ingredients and splitting them amongst the guests. Similarly, centre pieces made from homemade candles of varying sizes, shapes and colours can be a stunning addiction to any tables.
4 – Less is more
When getting married, don’t feel as if you have to invite your whole town. Weddings can and should be an intimate affair amongst your nearest and dearest, not people you hardly know. Bearing this in mind, when compiling the guest list, include your family first, then close friends and when beginning to add friends-of-friends, consider whether they need to come or not. How well do they know you and you them? Remember that you’re buying them dinner and you may become a bit more cut-throat with your selection.
Invite as few people as possible to the wedding ceremony. If you’re getting married in a registry office, this will cost very little and the less people you invite, the less money you have to pay as the room is smaller. Perhaps invite just family and very close friends to the wedding itself and invite everyone else to join you in celebrating at the reception instead.
5 – Phone a friend
Instead of paying huge amounts of money for a professional baker, photographer, DJ or chef, ask around your friends and family and see if anyone can help out. For example, is your Aunt a great cook? Sit with her, design a simple cake concept, such as hundreds of cupcakes on a decorative stand, and ask her if she can make it. If you have a friend who has a high quality DSLR camera, offer to pay for a couple of evening classes in photography and ask them to be your wedding photographer. If you have a friend with an extensive music collection, or who has a band of their own that would suit your wedding, offer them a chance to present this at your reception. Additionally, instead of having a sit down meal for a hundred people, which can cost thousands, bulk-buy plenty of food, bring your own barbecue and have a buffet style, outdoor meal. However, be sure to bring a separate barbecue for vegetarian food so that it doesn’t get contaminated by any meat products – you want all your guests to be well-fed and happy.