Planning a wedding isn’t a piece of cake (wedding cake that is); it takes time and plenty of money. This is why the first step in your planning schedule should be setting a budget. A survey from Bridebook.co.uk has revealed the average cost for a wedding in the UK is £30,350. We have laid out an average wedding budget breakdown below. We also provided suggestions on where you can cut costs to make sure you stay within your budget.
Venue – £5,000
Your ceremony and reception venue(s) is one of the most important parts of your wedding day, and as such will definitely take up a big part of your budget. You will need to find something big enough to hold all of your guests while still following the theme/atmosphere you are looking to establish. But don’t worry, we know of several ways to cut down on the cost of your venue.
- Size – Instead of having a guest list of 200 people, try and cut it down to 100. This means a smaller venue and as such, usually a smaller price tag.
- Location – A wedding in London is going to be significantly more expensive than a wedding in Plymouth or Liverpool. You can also look into having a backyard or barn wedding.
- Day of the Week – The easiest way to cut down on costs is to pick the right day. Saturdays are the most popular wedding days (everyone has off and doesn’t have to worry about going to work in the morning) and because of that, they are the most expensive. Changing your wedding day to a Friday evening or Sunday morning will cut back on costs.
Catering – £7,500
Food and beverages will easily be the most expensive part of your wedding day. People need to eat (and they usually eat a lot) and they will expect to eat. This also includes your wedding cake (or dessert option).
- Size – The easiest option to cut down on costs is to limit your guest list. Less people mean fewer mouths to feed and less food to buy.
- Time of Day – A brunch meal is going to be cheaper than a dinner. Also, if you decide to have your reception after dinnertime you can get away with just finger foods.
- Type of Meal – A sit down meal is the most common option for a wedding. However, food stations and buffets will be less expensive than a sit down meal. You can also choose to have an ice cream bar or candy bar instead of an elaborate wedding cake.
- Cash Bar – Alcohol is expensive! Instead of having an open bar you can choose to have a cash bar or charge based on consumption (you only pay for what your guests drink). You also could just offer wine, beer and soda. This allows your guests to get everything from the bar without you having to pay for it.
Florist – £2,000
Flowers can easily make or break a wedding. Yes, it sounds dramatic. However, if you have a very small budget and skimp on the flowers, people will notice. Flowers are also a very easy way to take your wedding décor from good to great.
- Keep it local – Local florists will be able to tell you which flowers are going to be less expensive around your area. Whether that means you’ll have a lot of daisies or hydrangeas.
- Seasonal – Find which flowers are in season during your wedding. You can’t have peonies in September when they are in bloom in May. Unless of course you want to spend 5 times the amount.
- Use alternatives – Another option is making your own flowers. Many couples have decided to make their bouquets or boutonnieres out of paper or plastic flowers.
DJ – £1,000
Think you don’t need music at your wedding? Think again. Entertainment is the key to a great reception. You want your guests to have a good time and be able to dance the night away.
- Family Friend – Like the photographer, maybe you know someone who is in this field.
- iPod – There’s no rule that says you have to have a DJ or a band. An iPod is a great way to make sure all the music you love is played and it runs on it’s own. So you don’t have to pay to use it.
- After Dinner (Less Time) – You can also choose to have your entertainment arrive after the meal. Less time = less money
Wedding Attire – £3,000
What are you, your spouse-to-be and the rest of you wedding party, wearing on the day of your wedding?
- Rent – If you choose tuxes there are many places that offer rentals to help cut down on costs. There are also several websites that offer the same option for your bridesmaids.
- Family Heirloom – Do you love your mother’s wedding dress? What about a pair of your grandmother’s earrings? Borrowing something (or using something old) is not only good luck, but also a cheaper option.
- Sample Sales – Wedding dress boutiques offer sample dress sales often. They are looking to get rid of their stock so they sell the dresses they have in house at a discount.
Photography – £1,500
This is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when planning your wedding. Pictures are forever. You’ll want to have a visual representation of your wedding day and as such you’ll want to pick the perfect photographer. That doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to save on costs.
- Packages – Many wedding photographers offer different package options. Instead of taking the package with 10+ hours, try and figure out a way to take the 6-hour package. This might mean having a first look and doing pictures before the ceremony or skipping the late night pictures.
- Family Friend – Do you know a family friend who is a photographer? Is there an up and coming family member who is trying to get into the business? These options can be a little nerve wracking (hiring family or friends can cause problems) but this is a great way to save money.
Honeymoon – £5,000
All this wedding planning has you stressed and frustrated. You can’t wait for it to be over and spend the rest of your life with your best friend. When the wedding is done most people decide to go on a honeymoon. However, this can be one of the most expensive parts of the wedding budget.
- Vacation Deals – There are plenty of vacation websites that offer deals like last minute cruises. You can also get deals (extra nights, room upgrades, etc.) when booking if you mention it will be your honeymoon.
- Wait – While you may feel the need to go on vacation immediately after your wedding, you do not have to. You can wait several months until you have a little extra money that you can spend on your honeymoon.
- Local – Who says you have to go somewhere exotic for your honeymoon? Stay local instead. Go to a local hotel for a couple of nights and just have some newlywed time. Or spend some time checking out local sites you’ve never seen or even doing some of your favorites. Your honeymoon is what you make of it.
Other (Insurance, Gifts, Videography) – £4,000
Other wedding expenses can include insurance, gifts, or videographer (just to name a few). The easiest way to cut on these costs is by deciding what is absolutely necessary. Do you really need a videographer if you have photos? You are marrying your best friend, isn’t that enough or do you really need to give gifts?
You can also check if anything is included in other packages. Many wedding venues already have insurance. Wedding photographers offer packages that have engagement pictures included. Deciding what’s important is the easiest way to cut down on costs.