Weddings on a budget: the ultimate guide
Planning a budget wedding may seem tricky, but there are plenty of ways to get the wedding of your dreams for less. Whether it’s searching for affordable wedding venues or going on the hunt for cheap wedding dresses, there are clever wedding budget hacks to help you make the most of your big day. Here’s how to save money on your wedding…
Your wedding venue will take up a large amount of your wedding budget, so it’s important to start things off on the right foot by making sure you’re getting the best deal possible. We’ve shared some wonderfully affordable wedding venues in our Wedding Venues section, but if you’re struggling, here’s how to save money on your wedding venue.
Weekday weddings are always cheaper than opting for a Friday or Saturday wedding, with early weekdays (i.e. Monday to Wednesday) coming in cheapest of all. If you don’t like the idea of asking people to take holiday off work, then a Sunday is your next best option.
It’s also important to choose an off-peak season to help save money on your wedding. Summer is by far the most expensive wedding season, with December coming in a close second. Early Winter, early Spring and late Autumn tend to be the cheapest wedding seasons, so look at January to April and October to November.
Cut the guest list
The easiest way to cut your wedding costs is to slash the guest list. Keeping the numbers low not only reduces your wedding catering costs, but also means you don’t have to shell out for extra chairs or favours. Smaller weddings are always going to be cheaper than large weddings, so consider intimate wedding venues to keep the numbers down.
Choose a package
Hotels can sometimes work out as the most affordable wedding venues, thanks to their fantastic all-in-one packages. Choosing a cheap wedding package not only takes some of the stress off you by organising all your supplies such as catering, flowers and decor in one place, but means you’re more likely to save money too.
While cheap wedding dresses are often a false economy (aka awful knockoffs from China), there are much easier ways to save money on your wedding dress.
Shopping sample sales is the easiest way to keep your wedding dress costs low. Follow bridal boutiques in your area on social media to keep track of when their trunk shows and sample sales are, so you can get in quick and find your dream wedding dress for less. Even if your boutique isn’t holding a sample sale at the time, there will always be sale rails.
Another option is going pre-owned. Some boutiques (such as Bridal Reloved) specialise in pre-owned wedding dresses, and these are always a safer bet than looking online.
When it comes to cheap wedding ideas, one of the most creative ways to cut costs is on wedding flowers. Wedding flowers on a budget doesn’t mean having fewer blooms (although this can help!), so if you love flowers don’t despair. It often comes down to choosing cheaper types of flower; budget wedding flowers include gypsophilia, gerberas and carnations. Going larger with your displays and picking large flowers like sunflowers and hydrangeas can also help.
Potted plants and herbs also make great budget wedding decorations. They generally cost less than flowers, and can be taken home and repotted, or even given to guests as affordable wedding favours. Foliage is also another great way to bulk out wedding flowers at a cheaper cost.
Regardless of your wedding flower budget, be honest with your wedding florist and they’ll be able to help work within your costs.
We generally don’t advise that you skimp on your wedding photographer, but one way to keep your wedding budget down is to opt for a shorter package rather than a full day of wedding photography. Some wedding photographers will do half days for a snip of the original cost. Wedding photographers may also do great budget wedding deals on photo booths or combined videography costs.
Cakes are one area where the wedding budget can get out of control, with the average wedding cake cost coming out at £325. So how can you save money on your wedding cake? Opting for an unusual cake alternative such as cupcakes, Rice Krispie cakes or brownies is one way to get a delicious treat for less. Alternatively, if you love the traditional look, you can ask your cake maker to create an iced dummy cake for you to cut on the night, with pre-sliced wedding cake waiting behind the scenes to be dished out to your guests. If you’re dead set on a classic wedding cake, then keep your design simple to keep wedding costs low.
These days there are so many cheap wedding decorations that you’ll be spoilt for choice! Some of our favourites are balloons, which creates a massive impact without the need for expensive flowers, and bunting, which can easily be made yourself before the big day. For cheap wedding table decorations, why not consider colourful tablecloths, hand decorated glass jars and vases, and table confetti cut out from old romance novels?