The average UK wedding costs a hefty £30,000; for anyone hoping to plan their wedding on a budget, that number may well throw you into a tizzy.
Luckily, while a wedding can cost a fortune, it really doesn’t have to!
So, how can you plan your wedding on a budget? All it takes is a little bit of savvy-thinking for you to have your dream wedding on a budget. From DIY invitations and decorations to savings on the hefty items, a budget wedding is totally possible.
We spoke to one of our brilliant Celebrants, Helen Williams, all about her top tips for planning a wedding on a budget. Read on to hear her tried and tested ideas!
Tip #1 – Suss out your cheap wedding venue ideas.
You can save a lot of money on your wedding by avoiding pricey traditional venues. Beaches, gardens and even village halls can be made to look spectacular. Likewise, if you fancy a destination wedding, sharing the cost of a luxury holiday-let with your tribe will save everyone money.
A luxury venue isn’t essential to having a beautiful setting for your special day. But, if you do want to keep it traditional, have a look at mid-week prices as some venues do discount days.
Tip #2 – Consider how to save money on your wedding catering.
You want HOW MUCH per head??
The zeros can rapidly build up when looking for wedding-style fine dining. To save money you could try festival style food trucks, a hog roast, or ask your guests to bring a dish to contribute. I even know a couple who sent out recipe cards to guests so that they had all their favourite food at their wedding. I also once led a wedding that was catered entirely from M&S sandwiches and cakes, with a pizza oven later on in the evening – and it was a total joy!
When it comes planning your wedding on a budget, we all know how much the big C adds to the final total. We also all know someone who’s bonkers about baking! Voila – a beautiful, bespoke wedding cake, made with love (and half the price).
If you do want your wedding catered think of local cafes and restaurants – they’ll likely be cheaper than a wedding-specific caterer, plus you’ll be supporting a local business.
Tip #3 – Plan your wedding on a budget by going to the register office (instead of the registrar coming to you!).
This is a no-brainer in Wales and England: getting the legal bit done at the register office before your ceremony can save a lot of cash for your big day.
At my local register office, a legal marriage can cost as little as £57. To have a registrar attend a venue costs between £400 and £500! That is a huge saving that can go towards a honeymoon, or other services that are important to you.
Tip #4 – Save money on your destination wedding.
Destination weddings are often thought to be expensive, but on average, they’re cheaper! These savings are partly due to smaller guest lists, and all-services-covered venues.
Don’t forget, a “destination wedding” doesn’t have to be overseas! I’m in Wales, where there are plenty of chic, boutique holiday lets available. Some glamping (not all!) venues could be an affordable alternative if you like the boho vibe.
PS – Check out our ‘6 ways to have a destination wedding on a budget’ blog for more ideas.
Tip #5 – Make your own wedding invitations and decorations.
Get out the glue-gun and paper for decorations and invitations!
Pinterest is super useful for inspiration; you can pretty much plan your entire budget wedding with the help of this handy platform, including looking at different DIY decorations and ways to craft and create your wedding invitations.
Another big saving comes with online invitations. There are loads of online services and most of them track RSVPs and things like dietary requirements for you, too. The website With Joy is a popular choice for this.
Tip #6 – Try cheaper alternatives to the wedding bouquet.
Wedding flowers can be expensive. Save money by selecting beautiful wild flowers and putting small, unique bouquets together with your bridesmaids. You could also have a chat with your Celebrant about starting your wedding with a flower tying ceremony. This way, you get a beautiful bouquet and it’s filled with love as well as flowers!
Tip #7 – Save money on your wedding music.
Hiring musicians and DJ’s can be pricey. But if it’s a “must”, look at local performers, rather than wedding-specific acts. There are some incredible musicians that perform in pubs near me and who are much, much less expensive (and, once again, this will mean you are able to support those living and working in your local community!).
If a live act isn’t essential, hire a sound system and create your own personal wedding playlist. Ask your guests to RSVP to invitations with their favourite song and include it on the playlist – it’s guaranteed to get them on the dancefloor!
There you have it – Helen’s top tips for planning a wedding on a budget.
Every wedding is different. Some people want a big wedding at a fancy venue, whereas others dream of beautifying the village hall with their nearest and dearest. Whatever you choose, the right Celebrant will bring together your ceremony perfectly, making your special day one to treasure forever.
Find the perfect Celebrant for you by browsing our Celebrant Directory.
Photographer Credit: Ariele Chapman