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How to Cut Back Wedding Costs

Updated on November 28, 2012
cut back wedding costs
cut back wedding costs | Source

Ways To Cut Down Wedding Costs and Save Big

The average cost of a wedding in the United Kingdom is over £18,000 this is a staggering amount of money considering it's a one day event.
The cost of a wedding is also on the increase even though the United Kingdom has been in a recession for the past 3 years!

A recent survey showed 87% of brides do have an idea of what they want and expect on their wedding day, the most important factors are the wedding dress, venue, food and quite simply for all the guests to enjoy the day.

There are ways to reduce your costs when planning a wedding if you set a budget and stick to the plan it is possible to have everything you want plus more, Below I have put together some very cost effective ways to save money.

Five most important aspects of your day

First write down a short list of the five most important things you must have on your wedding day, It's your day so the list is personal to you, some people want the expensive wedding dress but others are more concerned about the food or wedding vehicle.

This list is now your priority however you do need to consider the practicality's of the day, it's all about the bride and groom but your guests may need transport and food, you will need a venue and marriage licence, something's are a necessity and need to be added in with the costs.

I obviously don't know what is on your list but here are my top tips and suggestions to save you money on your wedding day.

Your Wedding Day

What Is The Most Important Aspect of Your Wedding Day?

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Wedding venues

Getting this one right can really save you money, get it wrong and it's a costly exercise you may regret.

Don't pay! Sounds like a strange thing for me to start with but seriously if a venue is asking for room hire don't pay, the venue will make a good amount of profit just from the bar alone and possibly the food depending on your full requirements.

All in one package savings
Finding a venue that does it all can be cost effective and less stressful, a place where you can get married, have the reception and a night time party in theory should save you money.

DIY Venue Putting together your own DIY wedding "IS" stressful however this would be the most cost effective solution, the venue would be the biggest saving, if you have land or know someone that does then hiring a marquee is very cost effective and will instantly save you £2000.

Wedding invitations

Having wedding invitations created by a professional company can set you back over £500 !

To save money you can easily design your own on a PC and have them printed by any print company or if you have a decent printer simply buy a good quality card and print them yourself.

Wedding flowers

Flowers are normally a big part of the wedding day and it soon adds up how many you really need.

Flowers for every aspect of the day can be easily made the day before, most areas have a wholesale flowers import depot where you can purchase flowers on the day direct from the importers.

Check out and search for "aisle flowers" for inspiration and a guide of how to make your own.

Wedding Entertainment

Weddings generally have entertainment of some kind either during the day or at the reception and if you budget will stretch you could have both.

When working with a budget it's best to decide the priority and when you book the band or DJ ask them for a price then ask if you pay cash up front most will be able to discount this initial price.

Wedding Day

92% of weddings take place on a Saturday but if you decide this is not an important factor opting for another day during the week could save you money.

When booking a venue ask about prices for other days I've personally seen people save over £3000 by getting wed on a Friday it's worth considering.

Out of Season Weddings

Another way to save big is avoiding certain times of the year, the most popular time of year to get married is between May and October but if you opt for a wedding any other time of the year you will find the prices change dramatically.

In high season all the company's that offer wedding services increase their prices because this is the time of year they make most of their income!

Lets say you decided to have a winter wedding, all the company's are now available and may try to charge you summer prices but strong negotiations will half their prices easily as they have no other work anyway, in business it's better to make a little than nothing as nothing isn't going to pay the bills.

Wedding Food

This is where I can help you save the most amount of money because I have operated my own catering company for over the past 20 years.

In my opinion DIY weddings are the biggest money saver, you have control over everything unlike a hotel, stately home or wedding venue where you will be asked to choose from the set menu with very high prices.

Prices for the average wedding reception range from £50 to £250 per head and this can demolish even the big budgets.

Cost effective food ideas
Hog roast / Lamb roast / Carvery All of these options are ideal for summer weddings and are very cost effective ranging from £4 per head to £10 per head depending on added extras e.g. salad, potatoes or vegetables.

Hot and cold buffets Most caterers will let you create your own mix and match finger buffet, top tip add pastas, rice, chilli or chicken curry to the menu as they are all low cost and very filling. buffets range from £6 to £15 depending on your requirements

BBQ having a BBQ wedding is now a very popular option and it can save you money, create your own menu and adjust to match your budget you will be surprised how much this can save.

Above are just a few options that can save you money compare the cost average is £8 per head by using a catering company savings going into the thousands.
Take a look at this page from my own website for more options - Cost effective Wedding menus

Food stations Mainly a concept from the USA but can now be found in the United Kingdom, guests simply go to a service area to be served and minimum staff are now required saving money!

If you get married on the morning or around lunch time your guests will be hungry two or three times during the entire day but If you have a late wedding around 4pm guests will have already eaten before they arrive and you can combine the day and night time reception together leaving you to feed all your guests only once.

Work closely with your catering company they can give you a massive amount of help including venues, cost effective catering, suppliers they work with and deals in your area that can save you money.

Wedding Cake and Desserts

It always amazes me how much money is spent on wedding cakes, you really don't need a 5 tier wedding cake, granted it looks good but 70% of the cake will be wasted.
If you have an idea of how you want your cake to look reduce it by half in size, opt for a 8" bottom, 6" middle and 4" top even for large weddings you don't need a cake any bigger.

Wedding cakes are very expensive and it's a shame a large amount of it will not be eaten.
You can fake the bottom tiers and only have one tier of real cake and no one will ever know.

Desserts at weddings are also another waste of money, people will be eating and drinking all day and then you have your wedding cake so don't go over the top of desserts.

Wedding Favours

Top tip for saving on wedding favours is ditch the idea, instead have a centre piece for every table made with 1/4 of the items you would have put into the favour bag.

  • Over 25% of favours are unused
  • Over 40% of contents are wasted

It's a nice idea but it's your money that is getting wasted by having favours in the first place so I can't see any point in having them.

Wedding dresses

The wedding dress is normally a priority for brides, 96% of brides know what they want before they even step into the bridal shop.

You can buy cheap copies from the likes of Ebay that are imported in from China at a very low cost however I have seen five or six of these Chinese dresses and in my opinion they are a load of rubbish but lets not right off Ebay or the internet straight away.

You can find original wedding dresses on-line it's going to be difficult to find the exact dress you have your heart set on in the right size but if you give yourself enough time and are will to compromise a little then finding the right dress at a very low price is more than possible.

With Ebay you can set up notifications of new listings that match your requirements so you don't have to keep searching every day Ebay will do that for you and notify you by email.

I would suggest going to a bridal shop as this will give you a good idea of size you require and you can try on a style of dress you maybe surprised and end up changing your mind in a completely different direction, but the good thing is this will save you time in the long run.

Scrap the Wedding Planner

Wedding planners will tell you that because they are in the industry and have all the contacts that they can save you a stack of cash!

In reality hiring a wedding planning will increase your costs by a minimum of 10% and that's if you hire a good one, making phone calls, organisation, negotiating and planning will involve you anyway so you might as well do it all from the start.

From my own experience I have notice all the weddings that used a wedding planner have been some of the most unorganised events I have ever seen, trust me you don't need a wedding planner.

Share Me!

Please share this hub with your facebook fans and twitter followers it could be helpful to the people you know planning a wedding.

If you have any question please send me a message from my profile page I am happy to help.


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