ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Saving for a wedding: Financial tips for the Father of the Bride

Updated on January 15, 2011

Double Trouble

With my son getting hitched this year and my daughter getting married next year, saving for weddings is bleeping on my radar like an incoming missile. Hopefully there is a way to dodge the explosive without retiring to the nuclear bunker ("it's no good Dad we know you're in there").

The average cost of a contemporary wedding is around $20,000 in the US and a more expensive £20,000 for the UK. Traditional fiscal responsibilities means I could be down £12,000 for the daughter and possibly £5000 for the son - check out Simone Smith's excellent hub on traditional wedding costs and who pays what.

I'll assume for now that we are going down the traditional route for traditional functions. Where am I going to get £20,000 in twelve months... legally?


The Long Shot

I've been buying a Lottery ticket every week.

  • Total Expenditure so far £30
  • Income £0

Perhaps I should put my £2 a week in my piggy bank. £2 at 50 weeks = £100. That should be enough for the Groom's Button Hole Rose (I'm going to suggest Carnations, then his Mother could have one too).

There is always the casino. My son was born on the 13th (lucky for him) and my daughter has the same birthday as me 17th Feb (lucky for me). If I put £312.50 on thirteen and seventeen at odds of 32:1 that should bring in £20k no problem. Or perhaps Russian Roulette might be a better solution.

The horses - I can't believe my luck "Plucky Groom" and "Bride's Well" running at the same meeting. I'll have £2.50 each way double.

Well that's £40 down (the casino was only an idea... "no Dad!") - the 'saving for a wedding' isn't going too well so far.

Captain Sensible

The boring way to save is to set up a savings account. If you know it will be for a fixed length of time, usually minimum 12 months, then you can get a higher rate of interest. A fixed rate Bond account can yield about 3% which is £30 for every £1000 saved... now we are talking... that could get me a fancy silver helium balloon complete with ribbon and sandbag for the top table.

If you want to be ultra sensible then it might be a good idea to set-up a standing order to make a regular payment.

Another suggestion would be to put your HubPages earnings to one side as a way of saving for the wedding. In my case that could pay for my place card, I'll even write my own name on it.


Creative Accounting

Life offers a multitude of opportunities to either not spend money or to divert money you would have spent into the wedding coffers. Coffee is one notable opportunity. Starbucks is unlikely to go into liquidation if you forgo an expresso or two in the name of family unity. Five coffee's a week at £2 a go is £10 a week or £500 a year... wow, I've never done that math before. Now I'm torn between funding one tier of the wedding cake or taking a foreign holiday. Next time I have a Grande Latte I'll be sure to have a shot of guilt to go.

Shopping is another gilt edged chance to save a few shekels. Do I really need razor blades at £5 a pack. 12 packs would net a cool £60, well worth being preserved on the wedding photo's for all eternity as a ZZ Top look alike.

Could I abstain from a trip to the lunchtime Sandwich Van?? As catering is one of the most expensive elements of the wedding feast, depriving the mobile caterer of £3.50 a day for Tuna Mayo and Flapjack would be a blow against the enemy and save me a cool £875. Now we are talking - that means we can have biscuits with the cheese... what a posh doo this is turning out to be.

Haggle Haggle Haggle

We British are very poor hagglers; it's just not done old boy. Not that I'll have any say whatsoever about the arrangements, if I did then I'd have to brush up on my hostage negotiation technique and dust down the old loud hailer.

"Five hundred quid for a photo album, tell him he's dreaming. I'll knock one up with brown paper and cardboard for a tenner."

I'm not sure if you can divorce your parents in the UK but it's probably best to leave negotiation to the experts. But seeing as any supplier of wedding services adds an extra two zero's to any item, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for their best price. Especially if you are buying a package, there should be scope to ask for trade off's - "If alcoholic Aunt Maude is allowed to slip her own bottle of Vodka into her handbag then can we knock a hundred quid off the wine bill?"

Haggling doesn't just apply to suppliers. It's the father's duty to question whether the family tent in the back garden wouldn't do just as well as a Marquee at the Country Club. But then again "yes darling, whatever you want" is more likely to be the only acceptable suggestion.

Save the last dance

If saving £20,000 is completely out of the question, perhaps the happy couple could look at ways to save but still have a beautiful day they will cherish forever. A marriage certificate costs around £3.50 or a Mega Grande Mocha with cream and marshmallows and the Registry Office is about £100 or twenty Big Mac Meals. Everything else is tinsel and doesn't guarantee a happy ever after.

Dresses can be found in charity shops or Ebay, which is where my wonderful thrifty future Daughter-in-Law obtained her beautiful made to measure designer dress.

Stationery and Decorations can be home made or found at car boor sales or improvised from recycled materials. My son wraps all his presents in the Financial Times. He doesn't read it but it folds well.

Modern digital cameras take fabulous photographs and a bit of social networking can gather the best from friends and family then self published in stunning quality by online photo book businesses such as Blurb or Lulu.

If you have to have a venue, go for off peak or the local church hall. My partner's daughter got married in the Registry Office and her Mum did the catering back at the house - it was a fabulous day.

Where there is a will there's a way and a little creativity and inventiveness can mean a special occasion without a special price tag.

Top Five Divorce Rates by Country

Divorce Rate per 1000 people
Puerto Rico

Till Death Us Do Part

It seems all the rage to begin any kind of life changing project with a headlong dive into debt. You can't be a student any more unless you are happy paying tuition fees for longer than most modern marriages last. In fact getting married is only marginally cheaper than getting a degree. At least the degree can be seen as an investment. It would seem sensible therefore to avoid big loans to fund a wedding and to cut the marital cloth to suit the available budget.

I am absolutely certain my wedding invitation would be revoked if I dared to mention modern divorce rates. USA is currently top of the table with UK hot on their heels in fourth place.

When you consider the statistics, perhaps £500 on lucky thirteen doesn't seem such a bad idea after all.

And don't forget to pick the right Best Man


If you would like to share your experiences or write about your interests and earn some money then why not join HubPages - its free!

Wedding Budget Poll

How much would you spend on a wedding?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Johnny Parker profile imageAUTHOR

      Johnny Parker 

      7 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

      2 Patricia's perhaps there is some wisdom there, don't waste money on a wedding, buy a carpet!

      When I got married, the Mum's did the buffet, we got the local Labour Hall for nothing and everyone had a great time, and I still have the seven Fondue Set's to prove it!

    • 2patricias profile image


      7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      I was already laughing, and then I got to the video. (now wiping tears).

      When Tricia's daughter got married everybody tried to help, and some savings were achieved. The reception was in a church hall, and Tricia's wonderful husband bought a roll of extra cheap carpet to make it look more elegant. Afterwards some of the carpet was used in my garage. Tricia's daughter' marriage is now 8 years on and going strong - and so is the carpet. Best buy.

    • Johnny Parker profile imageAUTHOR

      Johnny Parker 

      7 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

      Cheers Om, the vid made me laugh but the bride didn't look too happy.

    • Johnny Parker profile imageAUTHOR

      Johnny Parker 

      7 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

      Thanks Simone. At least I can make one suit do two weddings - can't say the same for my partner ;-(

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 

      7 years ago

      Great tips! I also like your pics and video :)

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Holy moly, two kids getting married! I'd die of fright. I love your humorous approach, and love the tips!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)