Wedding budget planning tips

18 Dec 2013

Tips for planning your wedding budget

The price of a wedding can be daunting for newly engaged couples with UK couples spending on average £15.5k in 2011*. Over the last year the average WeddingSite member has spent £19,600. To help get you started with your planning, we've put together 11 ways to keep the cost of your wedding down

There are a few things you can do to ensure that you are spending money in the right way and not compromising on the lovely things you want for your wedding day. Read through our top tips below.

1. Plan your Budget

After sharing your good news with family and friends – but before you do anything else, it’s really important to plan your budget. To do this:

  • Decide how much of you & your partner’s savings you want to allocate to your wedding.
  • Decide how much money you could save between now and your desired wedding date. Take into account who else will help fund your wedding. (EG: will your parents contribute or will you take out a loan?). Next, you need to think about what Wedding costs need to be considered.
  • Did you know, WeddingSite actually helps you control your budget by proposing what percentage you need to allocate to things like venue hire, clothing, food etc. Outside of this – it’s always good to put aside at least 15% of your budget as contingency.

Doing this will mean that you are less likely to go-over budget, and forget important items!

2. Get inspired without spending money

It’s easy to start splashing out money buying bridal magazines and attending wedding events, but most magazines now have websites that showcase the same content and there are plenty of fayres that take place all over the country which you can attend for free.

3. Get married on a weekday

Mid-week weddings are a lot cheaper than weekend weddings. Many brides opt out of having a weekday wedding due the supposed inconvenience it causes guests. The people that care will be there, and if you know that there are some guests that will genuinely not be able to make the day ceremony, you have the option to invite them in the evening. Not only will you save money on the venue hire, it’s likely that there will be fewer guests (meaning less money is required for food/alcohol!)

4. Shop ahead

The sooner you start planning your wedding, the more time you will have to shop around for things you need for your wedding. Sales tend to take place at various points in the year, but the most popular are post Christmas and Valentines day where you can find a variety of items, at a fraction of the cost. Don’t forget to look out for bridal gown sales too!

5. Get a good credit card deal

Okay – so it doesn’t feel like an obvious money saving tip. With so many brides-to-be paying upfront for wedding goods and services, there is a lot of trust being placed onto wedding vendors. We’ve all seen the horror stories of vendors going bust and it is likely to cause not only a financial burden, but an emotional one too. Therefore, for items/services costing £100+, pay for it via credit card. It just means that if the worst happens, the credit card company will be jointly liable – so you will get your money back! NB: We are not suggesting you borrow money from your credit card – be good and make sure you pay back what’s owed at the end of the month. Shop around for the best credit card company as many of them have other benefits. (Like loyalty point schemes, cash back, interest free periods etc).

6. Make your own wedding invitations

With so many websites now offering a self service to design your invites, it’s easy to consider customised invitations at a lower cost. You don’t need to send printed save the date cards – an email, calendar invite or Facebook event is enough to ensure your guests will indeed save the date. And when it comes to RSVPs, get guests to email you their responses so you don’t have to spend money on self addressed envelopes!

7. Serve up your wedding cake as dessert to save money

It may seem like an obvious tip, but serving your wedding cake as dessert is absolutely okay to do. More contemporary wedding cakes are made up of individual pieces (like cupcakes, or even profiteroles!), so serving them can be easy. Failing that, just ask your caterers to serve slices of cake with single cream, or even fruits. If you do this – be mindful to have a cake that has a mass audience appeal. A chocolate cake or victoria sponge for example.

8. Ask about different options available at venues

When looking for venues, it’s worth asking if you can bring your own alcohol and pay a small corkage fee. There is nothing wrong with having a limited selection of drinks on offer. If guests want something that isn’t on the list, they can purchase that from the bar. Another tip is to serve cocktails to make your alcohol go further. Finally, yes, you might want to impress your guests with the finest champagne, but you could easily serve Cava in place of this. Most guests are unlikely to know the difference whilst your purse strings will!

9. Simple ways to save money on your honeymoon

Another common myth is that couples need to go on honeymoon on the same day/next day after their wedding. Wrong. If your wedding is taking place at a peak time of year (eg: Summer Holidays), you’ll be paying peak prices for your honeymoon too. You could wait until later in the year to go on your honeymoon, but if this is not an option, then at the very least, fly mid-week on red-eye flights which tend to come at a cheaper cost. (Make sure to let the airline and destination know that you are newly-weds, they may throw in some nice extras).

10. Look to the people around you

A wedding is one time that you can call on cheeky favours from friends and family and not have to worry so much. If you have an aunt that can bake, an uncle that has a beautiful car, a sister that can design, a friend that is a dab hand at photography – then you know what you need to do.

11. Those floral centre pieces

For many, flowers are one of the main parts of a wedding and can prove expensive. There are ways in which you can keep those costs down as follows:

  • Think about where your guests will spend most of the day and ensure that you proportion the majority of your floral decor there. Choose flowers that are in season if possible.
  • Bulk out floral displays with foliage or mix them in with artificial flowers.
  • Mix up floral centre pieces with another type of centrepiece. (Like lanterns for example)
  • Double up floral centre-pieces as thank you gifts. (Just put a little reserve tag on them so no one else pinches then at the end of the night!)

*Information from

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