How to be a budget bride

04 Jul 2016

Want to prove your budgeting skills? Take some tips from Kayleigh Hughes, a money saving blogger at who planned her dream wedding for just £2,000

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Budgeting can be one of the most challenging aspects of wedding planning. You go in to the process with a budget in mind, yet it becomes quickly apparent just how hard it is to stick to a set amount.

Kayleigh Hughes reduced her £10,000 wedding day to a mere £2,000 by gathering her family and friends as assistants (and suppliers), applying her money saving skills and getting creative herself. Here are her tips to reducing the outlay without compromising on any aspect....


Kayleigh said: “For me my wedding was perfect; I couldn't have asked for anything more.

“Until I started planning my day I had no idea just how inflated the prices were and didn’t really appreciate just how much it was going to cost. I'd always pictured my dream wedding but when it came to putting it in motion, I realised just how difficult that would be to achieve on the money we had.

“I had to re-think, change my expectations, use all my money saving skills and call in a lot of favours.

“One of the hardest things is changing your expectations. I had visions of grand receptions and expensive dresses but I had to realise that with my £2,000, some of them weren't going to happen. Once I got over this and started getting creative it became a lot more fun.

“In the end my wedding cost just under £2,000, but with everything I had, it should have cost well over £10,000.”


The dress

When buying your dress be open minded and head for the sale rail. They are often end of line dresses and one offs and will cost a lot less than buying a design just out.  Remember to be open minded too and try on lots of different styles. A dress may look terrible on the hanger, but when you put it on, it looks incredible.

If you’re going to struggle to pay, ask the dress shop if they’ll let you pay in installments - with the balance cleared a few weeks before the wedding.



Suit hire can be a bit of a money pit so instead head for the high street and see what you can find. The wedding party doesn’t have to be dressed identically – as long as the suits are all the same colour, then you really won’t be able to tell the difference.

Bridesmaid dresses

Asking your wedding party to pay for their own outfits is a bit of a taboo, but most bridesmaids are more than happy to chip in. Providing they all have the same colour, any style goes and will add charm to the day.


Hair and make-up

Instead of opting for the best and most expensive in the area, find someone who’s just starting out and give them a go.

It doesn't mean they are any less capable as someone with 10 years' experience, it just means they haven't had the chance yet.

The cake

Why spend hundreds on a wedding cake when you can DIY it? Ask a good baker to make the cake for you and an arty friend to decorate and you’ll have a unique cake which will add a personal touch to the day. My aunt baked my wedding cake!

Wedding reception

Wedding venues are possibly the most expensive part of a whole wedding so instead look for unusual venues and even village halls. They are often a fraction of the cost.

Food can also be a major expense so keep the cost down by doing it yourself and keeping it simple.

Rather than supplying all the drinks, try hiring a bar instead. You’ll pay a nominal fee for the bar and they’ll make their money on drinks.


Wedding cars

Wedding cars can be an large expense when planning on a budget. If you know someone with a nice car then ask if you can use it.

Bouquets and wedding flowers

You can save money on flowers by buying them directly from a wholesaler and by picking things in season.

Rope in as many people as you can that are crafty with flowers and see what you can create.

The little extras

Once you have the big things covered don't forget to shop around, haggle and turn you attention to the little things. These are what will make your budget wedding spectacular.

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