Thursday, 30 June 2016

Your 5-point plan to getting married on a budget

I'm pleased to welcome Michael here on my blog today, giving some great advice on how to hold your wedding on a budget:

I always thought that I’d attend the most weddings while in my 20s, given that that’s when many of us and our friends seem to tie the knot. But whether it’s due to friends of friends, extended family or old acquaintances, it seems there’s no slowing down on the number of invitations and save-the-dates coming through the letterbox. I for one am not complaining - I love going to weddings, and they’re almost always a fantastic occasion.

But one thing that’s resulted from the various nuptials I’ve attended is that I rather see myself as a couch expert. I’ve seen so many things done well, a handful of things done badly, and too often seen people waste money where it could easily have been saved. When you consider that the average cost of a wedding has now inflated to over £20,000, it’s fair to say that, more often than not, there’s room to skim some pennies off the top.

Here are the five most common areas I’ve picked up where some cost-cutting can be done without compromising on the quality of the day itself…

A bout of realism

Perspective is the first step in the right direction. So many brides (and grooms) talk up ‘the perfect day’ concept in the build-up to a wedding. In reality though, the most enjoyable, memorable and fun-filled weddings I have been to have been notably imperfect. So the first thing to do is accept that something will almost certainly not go according to plan on the day, and that you need not throw a heap of money at things to frantically try and avoid this. Decide what’s important, and what’s less important, and begin your budgeting from there.


The first thing to do is know your prices. What should a photographer cost? Flowers? A DJ? Chairs and tables? A wedding planner? Cake? Once you’ve educated yourself and have a good reference in your mind, you need to take a deep breath and be willing to negotiate and bargain. It doesn’t come easily to all of us, and arguably isn’t the British way. But you have to remember that you hold the upper hand here. They want your business, and they have more than likely chanced their arm with the initial quote anyway. So don’t be shy to play competitors off against each other.

Going against the grain

A Saturday wedding in the summer, yes? No. Not if you want to save a bucket load of money anyway. Venues in particular will offer a significantly lower price if you get married during the week and/or in months outside of June to September. It might not be what you envisaged, but bear in mind two things… the weather in the summer is far from guaranteed anyway, and getting married in the week could have the added perk of naturally culling those who were borderline in terms of being invited. If they can’t make it during the week, then it works out well for everyone, without hurting anyone’s feelings.

A cunning helping hand

We all plan ahead for our big day, but the reality is that not everyone has thousands of pounds lying around to pay for a wedding. So if you and your partner are paying for the entirety of the day on your own, and need a helping hand with the costs, and that’s okay. But don’t stick it all on your credit card! Credit cards charge a fortune in interest, and, even though they’re convenient, can get you into a debt cycle. Low-cost, hassle-free personal loans are widely available, and can often be aconstructive way of financing your wedding. Not to mention the honeymoon too!

Get all the help you can!

Why not ask your guests to bring a bottle with them? Booze is the killer expense after all. Or bake your own cake? Be your own DJ? Be sure to get your friends to muck in wherever possible too, and fill roles such as master of ceremonies, or even officiant. And don’t be shy to ask your guests for money as a wedding present. It’s almost become custom these days, and everyone understands the costs involved with putting together a wedding. So, the lesson is… don’t be shy to ask, and take initiative yourself!

Thank you Michael for those useful tips.  Have you planned a wedding recently and have a great suggestion to share?  Or perhaps you've been to one and learnt a great budgeting idea?  Please share below.

This is a collaborative post.


  1. Funnily enough, we have two weddings to go to this year after several years with none! So there must be something in the air!

  2. I have a wedding to go to this own! And believe me it will be on a budget, it's good to reap tips from wherever I can, I'm definitely not getting married in the summer and will probably go for a week day too.

  3. We did our wedding on a budget. It was organised in six weeks and that helped massively as we didn't have time to overspend. We also got married at the end of December which also helped as the hotel we booked was so much cheaper than in the summer.

  4. These are great tips. I got married on 30th Dec and got a great deal because no venue was expecting to have a big party the day before New Years Eve and every place we approached was very happy to reduce costs. So often weddings get out of hand in terms of budget so it's good to have some tips.

  5. There are always corners to be cut if you shop around and are sensible. It is so tempting for a Wedding to cast practicalities aside though so good to have a plan to bring things in on budget.

  6. I agree - for us, the wedding invitations seem to never end! I do love a good wedding, though. The one we went to last year was great - loads of people pitched in to help, which made it extra brilliant.

  7. Great tips. I have always said if I ever get married, I would be more than happy to elope. It is all so expensive and there's a real sense of romance about just running away and tying the knot x

  8. I hardly ever seem to get wedding invites these days and even christenings are less frequent now. It seems to be getting ridiculously expensive though, but you're right there are ways to do it on a budget.

  9. One of the best weddings I have been to was very much a joint project with the help of family and friends. It meant a lot more than an impersonal venue with stacks of money thrown at it...Good tips! :)

  10. We did our wedding 21 years ago on a very tight budget. For us it was all about the people and not the event. I hope that my boys marry people who feel the same!

  11. We had a super cheap wedding which cost less than £250 for everything including my dress - we went to Gretna Green with about 15 family and friends, had a super cheap buffet in a pub over the road and bought our outfits on sale. The cakes were a gift and the rings were just plain bands and we had an amazing day. We'd just bought a house so we had no money and my parents had helped massively with buying the house so we didn't want to ask for any help with paying for this x