The average wedding in the United Kingdom exceeded £30,000 in 2018.1 It’s no surprise that the wedding industry is an incredibly booming field, from videographers and photographers to planners, coordinators and designers.
If you’re getting married but are concerned about your financial future together, don’t let this deter you. There are many ways to host a beautiful, unique and affordable wedding perfectly suited to your personality.
While you don’t have to forego every custom to save money, there are certainly some areas to consider scaling down or omitting altogether. We’ve rounded up 11 of the best strategies for you to save some serious quid with a nontraditional wedding.
Avoid the “Wedding” Markup
Products, services and décor marketed towards the wedding industry often have a very steep markup. Almost all of the same items will be available through a wholesaler or other supplier. Make your own table centerpieces, carry single roses rather than elaborate bouquets and use simple, elegant candles for accents throughout your reception. Look for ideas, themes and inspiration on traditional wedding channels, but purchase materials elsewhere.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a temperate climate, you could host your own ceremony, dinner and reception al fresco. Even if it’s not summer, a beautiful outdoor spring or autumn wedding can save you thousands. Local parks are often very affordable options for events.
Consider an Off-Season Wedding
Wedding season typically runs from March or April through November, so vendors will be more willing to cut you a deal if you book an off-season event. From venues to photographers, you can use this non-peak availability as a bargaining chip for a lower bottom line. If you want to get married during wedding season, consider nontraditional days or times.
Omit the Expensive Rings
Look for antique or heirloom jewelry if you can’t live without the traditional symbol of love. Not only will you be making a more sustainable choice for the planet, but an inherited piece will have sentimental value you can pass down for generations.
Another way to save hundreds or even thousands of pounds is to forego the wedding gown (or tux) you’ll only wear for a day or less. Look for high-quality vintage pieces from consignment shops. You can often find like-new pieces or classic styles at an incredible value and it won’t affect your guests’ enjoyment of the event.
Skip the DJ
If you’re hiring a DJ to simply press “play”, you’ll save money by making your own playlists. For the reception, consider hiring local musicians from a university. If you’re worried that your guests won’t dance without a DJ, hire one for your reception only.
Save the Paper and Postage
Set up an event webpage for your event and send electronic invitations to your guests. You’ll be saving on postage, stationary and time.
Cut (Out) the Cake
A traditional tiered wedding cake may look and taste heavenly but it can be exceedingly expensive. Some venues will even charge you a fee for cutting, plating and serving your already lavish dessert, so consider serving an alternative like cupcakes or other bite-sized pastries at a fraction of the cost.
Ask for Help
Recruit your closest friends and family for assistance leading up to and on the big day. Utilise their talents for assistance with anything from food, service or decorations that will make your event even more intimate.
Provide Your Own Food and Drinks
Opt for a venue or location where you can provide your own food and drinks, or consider serving only light refreshments during your event. Whatever you decide, let your guests know what to expect.
Budget Your Honeymoon
If you’ve managed to save money on your wedding, don’t stop there! Reward yourself by making priceless memories in Europe’s best travel destinations.
Chances are, your guests won’t notice or mind the many ways you’ve cut costs while they’re having fun. Set a responsible wedding budget and avoid financial stress by sticking to it.
1Hosie, R. (23 July 2018). The average cost of a UK wedding has hit an all-time high. Retrieved 1 March 2019, from https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/love-sex/wedding-cost-uk-average-how-much-marriage-ceremony-bridebook-a8460451.html