How to plan a wedding on a budget

How to plan a wedding on a budget

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Everyone says that your wedding is the happiest day of your life, but planning one is certainly no picnic. The average cost of a wedding is over £30,000, so if you’re pushed for cash, you’ll want to cut costs wherever you can. Here we walk you through the steps for how to budget for a wedding.

How to plan a wedding on a budget

Start by estimating how much you’ll spend on your wedding, including costs like your venue, food and entertainment. Then come up with a plan to save money ahead of the big day. Finally, seek out cost-cutting measures to make your money go as far as possible.

How to plan a wedding on a budget

Start by estimating how much you’ll spend on your wedding, including costs like your venue, food and entertainment. Then come up with a plan to save money ahead of the big day. Finally, seek out cost-cutting measures to make your money go as far as possible.

1. Estimate your costs

Your first step is to work out roughly how much your wedding will cost. These costs might change further down the line, but at your estimates can serve as a starting point for now. Furthermore, as your planning goes on, you might want extra things on the day (e.g. live band) that you hadn’t thought of at the start, but again, this can come later once you’ve got a clearer idea of how the day will go.

Some of the biggest costs you’ll need to include in your budget are as follows, listed with the average UK price in 2019:

  • Venue hire - £5,406
  • Catering - £3,887
  • Drinks - £1,587
  • Wedding dress - £1,313
  • Photographer - £1,155
  • Music - £1,005

Bear in mind that these are just averages and your costs might look different depending on where you live and the type of wedding you want. A few other costs that you will probably want to consider are:

  • Groom’s suit
  • Flowers
  • Makeup
  • Cake
  • Rings

Depending on how and when you’re planning the wedding, you might also want to factor in the cost of the engagement ring and your honeymoon. Added to this, you’ll want to find out how much the ceremony will cost and the price of the registrar. Both of these can vary depending on where you live, so check with your local council.

To get started with your budgeting, download our wedding planning spreadsheet:

Wedding planning spreadsheet

2. Save, save, save

Ahead of your wedding, you should look to save for the day by including a savings target in your weekly or monthly budget. What this target is will depend on how much you predict your wedding will cost and how far away it is.

You can always plan to save more aggressively as you get closer to the wedding day. If you’re wedding’s over a year away, you might not want to be cutting back on spending straight away, and you can try to make up the money in the months leading up to it.

3. Cut the costs

To budget your wedding as well as possible, you’ll want to cut costs wherever you can. Listed below are a few of the best ways you can pay less for your big day.

Look for off-season dates

Wedding-related costs are typically much higher in the peak season around summertime. If you aren’t too fussed about what time of year your wedding is, opting for one in winter or autumn could be a great way to bring a lot of your costs down. Venues will tend to be cheaper during this period, and you might find that some of the other services come cheaper too as companies are less likely to be busy.

Additionally, when looking at prices for your venue, try looking at how expensive it would be to get married depending on the day of the week. Saturdays will usually be the most expensive as they’re the most sought after, but if you’ve got no issue with which day you tie the knot on, going for a Friday or Sunday could be another super way to save money. If you decide to do this, bear in mind the impact of having your wedding on a weekday or Sunday (e.g. people unable to attend).

DIY decorations

Doing your own decorations is a great way to save money on your wedding. For inspiration, check out Pinterest for everything you’ll need on DIY wedding decorations. And if you’re concerned about not having enough time to get through all the work, asking family and friends to get involved is a brilliant way to save time and include more people in the day.

Set up a website

By setting up a website for your wedding, you can skip the process of writing and sending invites to your guests, as you can have them visit the website to confirm they’re attending and let you know of any dietary requirements. WeddingWire lets you build a website for free and comes with loads of great features, such as a registry and a system for collecting RSVPs.

If you want to spend a bit of money but not push the boat out too much, Greenvelopes is a fantastic way to get your invites designed and sent out. The website lets you design your invites the way you want them, and you can see all the responses on a dashboard on the website. You can send up to 80 invites for less than £60, and there are other prices for weddings slightly larger or smaller.

Avoid mentioning the word “wedding”

Plenty of suppliers and venues will often change their prices once they find out that the event you’re asking about is a wedding. This is because they know that they are very tough to organise and that if you’ve found your ideal match, you’re more likely to bite the bullet and pay up rather than start your search all over again.

So when meeting or messaging suppliers, try to keep your wedding between you and your partner during the opening exchanges and see if you can get a price that suits you a little better.

Looking for even more help budgeting? With a thinkmoney Current Account, we’ll help you take care of your bills each month so you can focus on what matters.

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