10 Ways To Keep Your Wedding On Budget

A Wedding Costs How Much!?

There's no such thing as a free lunch. Unless, of course, you turn up to a wedding without a present and start digging into the buffet...

In the age of the consumer - for better or for worse - everything has a price, and weddings are no exception. The average cost of a wedding in the UK is now an eye watering £17,853

Somewhere down the line simple ceremonies, sit-down meals and Sunday bests were swapped for photo booths, vodka fountains and garters stitched with virgin mermaid tears (that last one may very well exist on Etsy). 

Picking a budget isn't about prescribing how much you should spend. It's about working out what you can spend. Whether that's £500,000 or £500, by being smart with your spending you can make it go further. Nobody is saying that you shouldn't splash out on your big day; it's knowing where to draw the line. Marriage isn't about a single day, it's about the rest of your life, so don't be tempted to push yourself into poverty for a few "must-haves" because, take it from us, other than the registrar and the vows, there are no "must-haves" in a wedding.

To get you started, we've listed our top 10 tips for bringing your big day in on budget:

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  • When you're phoning around for quotes don't tell service providers that you're interested in booking them for a wedding as some will quote you a higher rate. Weddings are seen as premium events and there's an assumption that couples are willing to pay more. Once you have the quote, then you can let them know and see if the price changes. Some providers however, may set a higher price because their wedding packages offer a more substantial service. It always pays to ask, however.
  • Saturday is the most popular day to be married on and, as such, it's also the most expensive. Why not have your ceremony on a Sunday or Friday? Book a Tuesday for the best deal on prices.
  • Keep the guest list as small as you can. Remember, there's always the evening reception. Extra guests mean extra mouths to feed and it soon adds up.
  • Get family and friends involved in the planning: is Aunt May an amazing cook? Does Uncle Pete drive a brand new BMW? Is your darling sister amazing at hair and beauty? Do you have some crafty friends? Home-made chic is bang on trend at the moment, and it's a great way to get people involved. You could even ask for help instead of wedding gifts. Most things are at a premium when you're arranging a wedding: £400 for wedding transport, £60 bridal hair and make up etc. You might be surprised at how many people are willing to help you cut costs. Remember to ask politely and give people the opportunity to decline without feeling pressured. Equally, use Pintrest and YouTube to inspire yourself and save money on everything from flowers to table decorations.
  • Don't fear second hand (call it vintage if it makes you feel better) because it's never been so fashionable (apart from the first time it came round). Oxfam have a number of bridal shops that stock a range of unwanted, pre-loved dresses and suits. There's plenty of options for reception venues, too: cutlery, table decorations, linen and favours.
  • Don't feel pressured to have a large wedding party (or one at all) if you're trying to save some money:  dresses, hair, make-up, shoes and trial runs will all add up. For the men, suits do not always come cheap. It means extra mouths to feed and additional transport, too. If you've got your heart set on having friends and family form your entourage, then ask them to contribute towards the costs. So long as you're not having custom made Versache gowns, then they should agree.
  • It's tempting not to, but please, please, please consider taking out wedding insurance. Weddings can be years in the making and nobody can guarantee what's going to happen so far in advance: separation, death, financial worries or the failure of a venue or service provider to honour a booking could prove disastrous. Insurance really isn't that expensive, but it does give you peace of mind. Shop around for the best deals and make sure the policy covers all eventualities.
  • Have your wedding ceremony and reception in the same venue. Packages are invariably cheaper, and they're easier to plan for. You'll usually have the services of a wedding coordinator too who, if you get a good one, could be a God send on the day. When you've kicked off your shoes to Come on Eileen, it's nice to know that you're within staggering distance of a bed.
  • Ditch the DJ for an Ipod. It's not for everyone, but if it's a small reception then you'll probably save a fair whack by having your own playlist. Equally, if you contact a local music college, then you'll probably find a cheaper option for live music.
  • Don't let out-dated traditions force you into spending more money than you have. The wedding industry is designed to make you want to spend money. Modern weddings are crying out to be custom made, and so any wedding, whatever the budget, can be that one perfect day.
  • Finally, don't let tradition force you to spending money that you don't have. The important thing is that you're marrying your partner. Send your invites by Facebook; ditch the wedding favours, reuse the church flowers in your venue. It doesn't matter. The time of superstition and tradition is being eroded by common sense decisions. Make sure everything in your wedding is there because you want it to be - you'll feel better for it and you may even have some spare change left over.

How did you budget for your wedding? How are you budgeting for it? Stop by our Twitter and Facebook pages and let us know.

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