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How to plan your wedding on a budget

As Covid restrictions gradually ease in the UK, weddings are back on again!

From 17th May, the number of people who are able to attend weddings and receptions is anticipated to rise to 30, and from 21st June onwards there will hopefully be no further restrictions.

So if you had to postpone your wedding from 2020, or have been holding off planning it because of the pandemic, the next few months are beginning to look a lot more hopeful.

But that then raises another key issue to do with planning a wedding. The cost.

 

How much does an average wedding cost?

Believe it or not, according to a survey in 2019 by the wedding website Hitched, the average cost of a wedding in the UK is over £30000!

This sum includes items such as:

  • Stag and hen parties.
  • Wedding dress and groom’s suit.
  • Bridesmaids dresses.
  • Engagement and wedding rings.
  • Venue hire.
  • Food and drink.
  • Wedding cake.
  • Flowers.
  • Photographer and video.
  • Music/entertainment.
  • Honeymoon.

This seems a staggering amount of money. But is it possible to have a dream wedding without paying that kind of money? Can you plan a wonderful wedding on a budget?

We think the answer is yes!

In the rest of this article we will look at five ways in which you can keep the costs of your wedding down, but still have the best day of your life.

 

Five ways to cut the cost of your wedding


1. The ceremony

The wedding ceremony has fixed costs that you will need to pay wherever it is taking place. This is to cover the cost of the registrar and the marriage certificate. It is usually around £400. But you may be able to save a bit of money by having the ceremony mid week rather than at a weekend.

It can also cost less money overall if you have the wedding in the same venue as the reception. Or, if you are having a wedding in a church or other religious venue, see if there is a hall where you could have the reception afterwards. They may be able to offer you a good price.

You also need to decide what to do about a photographer and flowers. These can both be expensive, but to save money it would be worth either seeing if a friend could help out, or whether there is a local vocational college who could perhaps recommend keen and able students to do the job for you.

2. The reception venue

There are many possibilities for good value reception venues. These include church halls, village halls, community centres, pubs or even a home or garden if it has enough space.

Any venue can be made to look lovely if you get enough help to decorate it beforehand. The decor can be personalised to your own taste, creating the perfect ambience in which to enjoy your special day.

3. Catering

Food and drink can be one of the largest expenses of your wedding day, not to mention the wedding cake as well. But the most important thing is not how much money you spend, it’s how much you and your guests enjoy yourselves.

So rather than spend a small fortune on gourmet food, look at a few creative alternatives instead. These might include:

  • Having a self-serve buffet, BBQ or street food instead of a sit down meal.
  • Ordering food to be delivered, for example fish and chips.
  • Timing the wedding so that you can serve afternoon tea instead of a main meal.
  • Asking family and friends to contribute food or drink for the occasion.
  • Getting a celebration cake from a supermarket and decorating it as you wish, rather than having a cake baked especially.

5. The outfits

Wedding dresses do not have to cost hundreds of pounds. The first thing to do is decide the style of dress you want. For most venues, it does not have to be a traditional wedding dress, it is completely up to you. You can then explore ranges of wedding and celebration dresses from High Street and online stores.

If you would be happy to wear a used dress then explore second hand sites such as eBay and Vinted. Or another option is to see if there is a family member or friend who could make something for you.

The same applies for bridesmaids’ dresses. As for the groom, if he already has a smart suit and you are both happy for him to wear this, then just dress it up with a new shirt and tie, ideally that matches or complements what you are going to wear.

6. The honeymoon

If you want a dream honeymoon but can’t afford one you could ask for contributions towards it as wedding gifts. If you want to do this, it may be better to choose your holiday company and ask family and friends to give you gift vouchers, otherwise you may find the money disappears on other things. You can then spend time choosing your holiday and book it at a later date.

It’s also nice to have a break immediately after the wedding but this does not have to be expensive. A mini break in a hotel, or renting a holiday home for a few days can be very economical, especially mid week and off peak. It will give you a few days to relax and spend time together, and you will also still have your belated honeymoon to look forward to.

We hope that the above information helps you to plan a lovely wedding without breaking the bank. If you do need some additional funding for your wedding, Fair Finance is a direct lender and may be able to help you, so do get in touch.

Good luck with planning your wedding. Remember to check back here soon for more financial and lifestyle tips from Fair Finance.

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