How to save money on your wedding

According to Money Helper, the average cost of a wedding in the UK is £31,974. With the UK’s average full time salary at £38,131, that’s a hell of a splash out on one – albeit magical – day. From the food to the flowers and everything in between, weddings come at a serious cost. And whilst many are opting for smaller, more intimate weddings post-pandemic, there are many other alternative, crafty ways to keep costs down. Here’s our expert led list of the best ways that can save you up to 19k on your wedding costs.

save money on wedding
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Think seasonally

While the venue tends to be the most expensive part, research from Bridebook recently revealed that when you get married can have a major impact: weddings in June cost an average of £7,300 more than those in January. Popularity comes at a price and summer weddings might mean you have to wait years for your ideal venue. Visiting multiple venues? Make sure to ask for their price ranges depending on different times of the year as well as mid-week dates.

Give the gift registry a miss

The average honeymoon costs couples around £4,645, so why not ask for contributions towards a trip that you’ll remember forever, instead of a fancy salt shaker you’ll simply hide in the back of a cupboard? Most partners have lived together before they tie the knot, so homewares aren’t a priority. With the average number of wedding guests at 78, and £50 the average recommended amount, that gives you £3,900 to play with for your trip.

Rent your wardrobe

Rental fashion is one of the most economical and eco-friendly ways to shop in 2022 and with apps like By Rotation, My Wardrobe HQ and Hurr providing dedicated areas for brides and bridesmaids, it’s easy, too. The cost-per-wear on a wedding dress is out of this world, so skip the designer dress or bespoke buy and rent it instead. Men have rented morning suits for decades, so why shouldn’t women, too? On My Wardrobe HQ, you can rent this beautiful Oscar de la Renta dress (worn by Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City movie) worth £12,430 for just £360 over four days.

Meals on wheels

A three-course dinner is a traditional touch, but thinking outside the box and using the food to express yourselves as a couple can be fun. Think themed food trucks or a help-yourself hog roast. Not only will you save up to half on costs (the average couple spends around £3,887 on catering), but you can also skip the cost of hiring tables, chairs, linen, cutlery and crockery.

wedding food truck
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Skip the second cousins

The more, the merrier? Not if you’re trying to stick to a budget. Does that long-lost aunt from Australia really need to be there? With the average couple spending £65 per person on food and drink, a wedding of 100 guests quickly racks up a £650 bill. Also consider only offering plus ones to those you actually know, or limiting the guest list to people you’ve seen in the last five years.

Go paperless

Printed invites can be a meaningful memento for the day – but realistically, most will end up in the recycling. For a set that includes invitations, a details card and an RSVP card plus a special finish, these can cost a staggering £500. In an age where we all live on our phones, and email invitations are no longer a novelty, why not make the most of free wedding websites such as The Knot or Getting Married?

Book by the hour

Hiring a photographer for half a day instead of the full day can save you an average of £489, according to Ocean Finance’s research. Ask your friends to fill in – candid iPhone or disposable camera shots can be just as charming as professionally staged ones – and hire the photographer for the moments you really want capturing.

wedding photographer
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Forget wedding favours

Sure, they only cost a few quid each – but even if you were only planning on spending £2 on each of your 78 guests, that’s £156 you could put towards fabulous food, the rental dress of your dreams, your partner’s favourite band or simply saving for your future life together. And let’s face it, no one will even notice at the end of a great wedding – they’ll be too busy talking about how happy you looked and how much fun they had.