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Ways to save money on your wedding

19 June 2019

According to research conducted by Hitched, the average cost of a UK wedding was £32,000 in 2018. For many of us, that’s a lot of money. Some couples don’t have access to that money, whereas others don't want to spend that much on their wedding.

The research identifies the main items that couples spend the most money on. These include food and drink, venue hire, the honeymoon, wedding outfits, the photographer, and the entertainment on the day.

Although a wedding can be expensive, it's important to remember that it doesn't have to be. The budget you need for your big day all depends on the kind of wedding you want.

What kind of wedding do you want?

Weddings can be as individual as the couple getting married. You can either have a religious ceremony, or you can opt for a civil partnership, or civil ceremony. Once the ceremony has taken place, it’s time for the big celebration!

Some of us dream of a big white wedding and will save to make that dream a reality. Whereas others can’t justify spending that much money on one day. The most important thing is to choose the right way to get married for you and your partner.

How to make your wedding cheaper

Knowing what kind of wedding you want upfront helps with both the planning and budgeting. Below we outline some options for the top wedding expenses outlined by Hitched. These include expensive, midrange and shoestring ideas, depending on the budget you have. They go to show that there are options, no matter what type of wedding you want, or what your budget may be.

Food and drink

  • Expensive - If you want to provide your guests with a luxurious three course meal, you’ll need to invest in catering. Catering is sometimes an option in the venue package.
  • Midrange - If you want to give your guests great food, but you’re working with a budget, buffets are a great option. Contact local catering businesses to see what options are available within your budget.
  • Shoestring - If you don’t have the budget to cover food and drink, ask your guests to each bring a dish or to help you make a buffet. This will give a community feel to the reception.

The wedding venue

  • Expensive - Whether you hire a castle, or jet you and your guests off to Malibu, you can have your dream venue with the right budget.
  • Midrange - A cost effective option is to have your marriage or civil ceremony separately, then host the reception at a local venue.
  • Shoestring - A venue option if you don’t have a budget, is to host the reception at your home. Depending on the weather and time of year, you could hire a marquee and hold the party in your garden.

Your honeymoon

  • Expensive - If you want to take the trip of a lifetime, invest in a luxury honeymoon package. This could be a world cruise or an all inclusive stay in the Caribbean.
  • Midrange - If you’re working with a smaller budget, you can find a whole host of holiday package deals online. Depending on what time you plan to go on your honeymoon, you may even find an off season deal.
  • Shoestring - To save the money but still have a honeymoon, you could get a last minute deal, or cheap flight to Europe online.

Wedding outfits

  • Expensive - If you want to look like royalty on your wedding day, invest in a bespoke tailored suit, or a couture wedding dress.
  • Midrange - If you want to look the part, but not pay more than you have to, you could rent a suit or dress for your wedding day.
  • Shoestring - An option for those with little to no budget is to wear something special that you already own. Alternatively, you could hunt for a new outfit in the sales or in charity shops, or borrow an outfit from one of your friends.

The wedding photographer

  • Expensive - Think about hiring a sought-after wedding photographer to capture your big day.
  • Midrange - There are now lots of affordable wedding photography options. Take a look at wedding photographers in your local area to see if they offer a budget option.   
  • Shoestring - Buy a selection of disposable cameras, then ask your guests to take photos. This way you get to see the wedding from their perspective.

Entertainment

  • Expensive - If you want to go all out on the entertainment, you hire a string quartet for the ceremony, then a professional band for the reception.
  • Midrange - If you want entertainment on the big day but you don’t want to break the bank, you could hire a DJ or a local band.
  • Shoestring - A cheap way of providing entertainment is to create your own playlist. Alternatively, ask your guests to bring their instruments to play during the evening. 

How to budget for your wedding

Depending on the type of wedding you want, it’s common that items like the venue and entertainment will need full payment upfront. In other cases you may be required to pay an upfront deposit, and the rest at a later date. Either way, you’ll need to have the right funds available at the right time.   

No matter whether you’re funding the wedding yourself, or getting financial help from your family, you need to decide on your wedding budget. If you need to start saving to reach your goal budget, you can use our budget planner to work out how much you can afford to save each month.

If you’re ready to start saving to cover the costs of your wedding, take a look at our savings accounts. We offer a range of savings accounts, designed for different savings needs.

You can either make regular payments, or deposit a lump sum. Then you can access your money when you need to, or if you’re prepared to wait until you have saved enough money to afford your ideal wedding, lock your savings away for a little longer for a guaranteed better rate of interest.

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