Create a wonderful wedding on a shoestring
Getting married can be a very expensive business. The average cost of a UK wedding is estimated to be around £20,000 (source: Money Saving Expert), which can certainly put a dent in any newly-wed couple’s finances. However, with a bit of care and prior planning, you can cut these scary-looking costs down without having to compromise too much on quality and general fairy-tale atmosphere. Here are some areas to consider.
Planning a wedding day on a budget needn’t mean getting rid of all your dreams for wildly extravagant extras. Sit down with a list of everything you need to buy, plan or arrange for the wedding and identify the two or three areas you really don’t want to compromise on. This will help motivate you to make savings elsewhere and focus your mind about what you actually want to get out of your wedding day the most (apart from a long and loving marriage, of course!).
One area where you shouldn’t scrimp on the budget is the photographer. Your grandchildren may well enjoy poring over your wedding pictures once day, so you want them to look decent. Also, don’t cut the guest list down too far that you end up regretting it – if you have a large family or friendship circle, you may need to find a reception venue that can cater for extended numbers, and so you may decide to cut back on your flowers or car to afford that. Only you will know what’s important enough to splash out on and where you can reduce your spending.
Do you or any of your guests have special skills that could be pressed into action to help save a few pounds? Skills like dress-making, floristry, baking and cake decorating can all be used to create a beautifully personal wedding day at a lower overall cost. Does anyone you know own a classic car that could take you to the wedding venue? Perhaps you have talented singers or instrumentalists on the guest list who could perform at the ceremony or during the wedding reception. Often, people are very flattered to be asked and will happily help you out, perhaps in lieu of giving you a wedding present.
Thinking ‘outside the box’ can save you money too. Many wedding suppliers add hefty percentages to their charges, simply because it’s a wedding and they feel they can get away with it. Try looking elsewhere. Browse charity shops for vintage jewellery, unusual shoes, cheap table decorations and funky guest favours. Ask local colleges if their students would like to work on your wedding flowers, cake etc. for a reduced fee. Do not get stuck in the trap of feeling like you have to order the best there is, simply to impress. The day is about you and your partner and a huge debt at the end of the day could end up impacting badly on your married bliss. It might be fun to challenge each other to see who can find the best saving without compromising on overall quality.