According to Bridebooks wedding report, the average cost of a wedding in the UK in 2019 is £17,674. While historically wedding spend has increased year on year, the 2019 figure is actually down 1.3% from 2018.
What’s down to this lower spend? Some might say it’s the looming shadow of Brexit and the country’s economic uncertainty. But a big part of the reason is that couples have become more savvy about saving money when they’re wedding planning.
Supplier costs are on the rise but you can still save money on your wedding with some careful planning and making smart choices. If you’re trying to plan your wedding on a budget, follow our tips for creating the wedding of your dreams with limited funds.
1. Book a Cheaper Date
When it comes to wedding planning, not all dates are equal. If you’re planning to get married during the “wedding season” months from May to October, be prepared to pay a premium for your venue and suppliers – especially in the most popular months of July and August.
Popular dates such as Valentine’s Day also get booked up fast and tend to cost more. Fridays and Saturdays are the most popular days for weddings, with over half of all weddings in the UK happening on a Saturday.
It’s true, your chances of good weather are better in the summer months, but a winter wedding can be beautiful too, and is likely to end up costing a lot less than a wedding date in high summer. Or if you can’t face the chill, at least opt for a weekday to get better prices.
2. Ditch the Designer Wedding Dress
There’s no denying that designer Wedding dresses can be beautiful. But they can also eat up a large portion of your budget, with the average bride spending £1,378 on her dress.
Today’s brides are spoiled for choice when it comes to budget wedding dress shopping. Not only do you have the option of buying a pre-loved dress on eBay or other selling sites, but several high-street shops have now launched their own bridal wear collections including Dorothy Perkins, French Connection, and Topshop. You could pick up a gorgeous gown for as little as £50.
Even Primark have got in on the trend – you can stock up on lingerie and wedding accessories for a fraction of the price it would cost you at other retailers.
3. Opt for an Alternative Venues
Popular wedding venues can be booked up years in advance, and often account for the largest chunk of cash when it comes to planning your wedding. You can make a significant saving by opting for an alternative venue that has a cheaper cost to hire, or might even be free.
Choosing an alternative venue also means you can save money, as you won’t be forced into one of the wedding packages offered by traditional wedding venues. By hiring your own caterers and organising the décor yourself, you can find suppliers that fit your budget.
4. Go DIY Where You Can
Hiring a wedding planner and professional wedding suppliers for things like decoration and wedding favours is easier and takes some of the stress away from you, but you can save a lot of money if you do some of these things yourself.
Apps like Pinterest and Instagram are full of inspiration for wedding themes and design and if you’re reasonably creative and have the time to plan your own table settings and venue decoration, it will work out much cheaper than hiring a professional.
Photography, your wedding cake, and hair and makeup are all other finishing touches that can add thousands to your final bill. It’s not always a good idea to scrimp on these things, but shop around to get the best deals and take advantage of “mates rates” if you know any professional photographers or cake makers. Some supermarkets also offer impressive wedding cakes, which are much cheaper than ordering from an independent bakery.
For more tips and ideas for how to cut your wedding costs by up to £10,000, check out this guide on saving for your wedding day from sunny.co.uk.