Sunday, February 14, 2016

10 Ways to Cut Costs & Still Have the Perfect Wedding

What a timely post for Valentines day! Thinking of tying the knot? I hope you enjoy this guest post with lots of creative ideas to save money on your wedding, and still have it be amazing. For more frugal wedding tips and advice, here's my post I wrote about how to make a dirt cheap wedding.

According to Brides magazine in 2015, the average cost of a wedding in the UK was anywhere from £20,000 to £30,000. And yes – that made our eyes water too! Doubtless you’ll have scoured the internet for the best deals on bridal gowns and diamond sites, but have you considered these cost-cutting ideas when planning your perfect wedding?

1. Wedding date
Get married on a Friday or Sunday in autumn or winter. Winter weekdays are cheapest of all.

2. Bridal gowns
While a bride’s dress is super important (and we wouldn’t pretend otherwise), why not buy a second hand gown? Sites like SellMyWeddingDress, Preloved and Confetti might have the dress of your dreams, and is likely to cost less than a brand new gown – even with alterations!

3. Seasonal flowers
Local, in-season flowers are fresh and cheap. If you’re tying the knot in winter, opt for year-round blossoms like roses and orchids, and whatever the weather, use greenery to bulk out arrangements.

4. Supermarket cake
A professional three tier cake can chew up a surprising amount of your budget, so if you want to do it cheaper, check out what’s available in the supermarkets. Or, better yet, ask a favour from your friends and family, or challenge guests to ‘bake off’ at your reception venue.

5. Quirky venues
Steer away from venues offering packages: convenience often equals cost. Instead, consider a reception venue in a town hall, restaurant, pub or National Trust property, and try not to mention the word ‘wedding’ until you’ve agreed a price. ‘Party’ or ‘celebration’ are safer!

6. Stationary and favours
Beware the trap of shelling out for things you don’t really need. For example, email your save the dates, make your own invitations and forgo the favours: no one will notice!

7. Photography
Hire a student or newly qualified professional - a photographer who’s new to the business will be cheaper than someone with tons of experience. Just check their portfolio first and confirm they’re up for the challenge.

8. Music
Ask a friend or family member to perform, ask a university student to play for you (earning them some publicity and experience), or hire a band for a limited part of the night only. You can always stream your own playlist for the hours in between the band playing!

9. Transport
Try to book your ceremony location and reception venue in close proximity so that you and your guests have less travelling to do. Skip the fancy cars as well – friends and family members will be happy to chauffeur the wedding party for the day!

10. Food and alcohol
Offer a buffet rather than a sit-down service, and marry later in the day. That way, you and your guests can dine in the early evening, meaning you won’t need to serve lunch like the couples marrying in the morning. It’s also worth buying alcohol in bulk (so long as your venue isn’t charging a high corkage fee), but bear in mind that you don’t have to foot the bill for an open bar.

Did you have a frugal wedding? What did you do to cut costs for your wedding?
In retrospect, are there any things you would have done differently to cut costs, or areas in which you cut costs but now regret and feel it is worth it to spend more in that area? 


  1. I bought my dress from a charity shop. A local bridal store had closed down and donated all their surplus stock, so I got a brand new, raw silk dress for 100gbp, plus alterations. I've lent it to a couple of friends (for free) since then.

    Also, I had the council's parks department do my flowers - a fraction of the cost of any florist we spoke to.

    We also passed on the flowers for table decorations. Glass bowls (bought in bulk from a cheap shop) with coloured marbles and scented floating candles did the job beautifully. I then used the bowls as gifts (filled with salads when we went out for meals, as a thank you gift for the host/ess).

    Our food was vegetarian, as both my husband and I are, so it meant we weren't the oddities at our own wedding, and the cost saving was a bonus.

    We didn't have a cake.

  2. My mom made my wedding dress from fabric from a shop that was going out of business; it ended up costing about $80. My sister just wore it for her wedding so we are getting good use out of it! We got expensive catering but did everything else on the cheap; my brother made 20 cheesecakes for the dessert :-) we loved it and came out married at the end which is what counts!

  3. I had both... A ridiculously expensive 1st wedding that needed to be done "by the book" because of groom nationality. 25 000$ and 2 years later we were divorced!! Now happily married for 6 years the entire thing cost us 3000$ and was just perfect!!! Money does NOT give you a perfect wedding, love does!

  4. These are all great ideas! I got my gorgeous dress on clearance for $187 and we found a very affordable seamstress to alter it to fit perfectly. We also did not have a DJ at our reception; instead, we made playlists beforehand on Spotify, set up our laptop with the sound system in the cafeteria where our reception was, and had our Best Man keep an eye on the music to make sure it was working (unfortunately, at some point, my laptop completely died even though it was plugged in, but that was after about 3 hours of reception anyway, so it was okay). Also, especially since my husband and I were both 20 when we got married, we didn't have any alcohol-a huge cost-saver right there! We also made the minty ream mints for the cake table, since they are super inexpensive and cheap to make!


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