The home of UK weddings

09 June 2014

Beating the Averages: How to Make Your Budget Go Further



With so many components making up a budget for your wedding day, it's no wonder that costs can quickly spiral above and beyond the figure you had initially planned for. For many, going over on the budget simply isn't an option and this can make the process of organising the big day incredibly stressful. Below are the average cost for various components of a wedding according to Bride Magazine, together with handy hints and tips to reduce costs even further and give you the perfect wedding day on a budget you are comfortable with.

Wedding venue: £2,223

The place where you say your vows and make a lifelong commitment to one another needs to be a special place, that much is for sure, but there are ways you can reduce this from the £2k+ price tag without compromising. A tradition of a church wedding often goes hand in hand with those dreaming of a big day, but from a budgeting perspective a church can also be a savvy choice. The cost of a church wedding in 2014 is £451, considerably cheaper than the average cost of a wedding venue. Those who are not religious and feel a church wedding would not be appropriate could consider the option of a registry office. You can get married in any registry office around the country, so if your nearest is not what you had envisaged, scope out some of the others in the surrounding areas.

Reception venue: £4,189

There are plenty of unusual reception venues you could choose from to shave off a considerable amount of the national average. From village halls decorated beautifully in bunting with tea pot centre pieces to a local pub that can cater to a smaller wedding, there are plenty of options for hiring space on a budget.

Catering: £3,063

An instant way to reduce the catering cost is to get married later in the day, meaning you only need to provide one meal for guest. Getting married at 3 means you can begin your reception at 5, with food served at 6. Opting for buffet over a set meal will also help to bring down costs and is a more social option that guests often prefer because you are providing them with choice.

Photography/Video: £1,399

Shopping around for a good photographer is a must as prices can vary vastly. To reduce costs even further, lean on friends and family to see if they have anybody within their friendship group that could provide the photography at a discounted rate.

Flowers: £560

An instant way to reduce the cost is to simply reduce the volume of flowers. As beautiful as they are, think about the amount of money spent on something that will ultimately end up I the bin, it's hard to justify for the frugal bride and groom. Choose fresh flowers for the bouquets and button holes, but opt for quirky, reusable centrepieces instead of flowers as a way to bring the price back down to earth.

Cake: £296

If you're not a master cake maker then the chances are the thought of making your own fills you with dread. There are budget friendly options out there and a great way to cheat the average cost is by buying plain iced cakes and decorating it yourself (or asking mum to!). A cake topper teamed with pre-made icing flowers or mini bunting is a great way to end up with a bespoke cake at a fraction of the price.

Entertainment: £682

The DJ, a live band or even a caricaturist all need to be paid and can charge hundreds for their services. Cut the cost by creating your own playlists for the day and check out the sound system in the venue well ahead of time. Go for a lesser known band in your local area over an established wedding band and get creative friends to provide the other bits and bobs such as drawing guests, balloon animals or anything else they can turn their hand to!

Dress: £1,340

There are plenty of options here from pre-loved bargains to the larger warehouse style outlets where wedding dresses are capped at just under £500. If you have been dreaming of a certain dress, get the full details and shop around online to get the very best deal. Alternatively, you can send the picture to dress makers in areas such as China who have been known create beautiful creations based on designer dresses at a fraction of the price.

Champagne/wine: £1,280

Avoid champagne and opt for Prosecco instead as this will really drive the price down and few people will notice the difference or even care.

Wedding rings: £647  

To reduce the cost, choose simple affordable bands for the day that can be replaced a few years down the line when the budget is not so tight. High street jewellers have wedding bands available from around £60 which will significantly help with your budget.

Honeymoon: £3,931

Choose a smaller "staycation" in one of England's many beautiful locations in the day after the wedding and then have your larger honeymoon the year after, when you've had a chance to breath, enjoy the first few months of married life and more importantly, save some much needed cash for it!  With the average cost of a wedding currently at around £25K, many brides and grooms are searching for better value alternatives and once you know where to begin, you'll soon find you can be a money saving couple without appearing like you've scrimped on the basics.

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