The average cost of a wedding in the UK is £25,000. I remember reading that in a bridal magazine when I first got engaged. Suddenly my sunshine and rainbows attitude towards planning had been replaced with dark clouds and torrential rain. I even suggested that Bradley and I elope.
Thankfully we didn’t and after a few days of feeling sorry for ourselves, we managed to find a number of ways to make our wedding so much more affordable. So for today’s Wedding Wednesday I thought I’d share few tips on how to make your wedding day less harmful for your bank account
1) OFF PEAK
Most wedding locations offer on-peak and off-peak packages. The off-peak packages are usually a fraction of the price of an on-peak wedding. At our hotel, an off-peak wedding took place from the end of October until the start of June. It also had to fall on any day except a Friday, Saturday or a bank holiday.
Because I was desperate for a summer wedding, we chose to get married on the 31st May. It was a Tuesday, the day after the bank holiday. Choosing this date knocked literally thousands of pounds off from our total wedding cost.
It is a sacrifice as you’re asking your guests to take the day off work. However, Bradley and I only invited really close friends and family to our wedding day and so most of them didn’t mind taking the day off. It also meant that they could have a four day weekend because of the bank holiday!
Having the wedding on a Tuesday instead of a weekend also knocked off the price of other things such as my make-up, the chairs we rented and the hire of our fairylights.
2) USE DECORATIONS AGAIN
Our florist suggested transporting flowers and decorations from the ceremony over to the reception so that they could be used twice. We had two massive milk churns filled with flowers outside the church, which we then placed outside the barn for the reception. The flowers we had hanging from the ends of our pews were placed into small vases at the drinks reception. The jam jars and candles that were scattered around the church were used as some table centerpieces at the reception lunch.
With the right plans in place and making full use of your groomsmen, this is a genius plan that saves buying/ordering extra flowers and decor.
3) DON’T BUY RINGS FROM THE HIGH STREET
If you’re shopping for wedding rings and totally put off by the extortionate prices on the high street, fear not. Bradley and I saved so much money from buying our rings at the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham. The whole experience is much more pleasurable and personal and the likelihood of you having the same ring design as someone else is little to none.
4) A LITTLE HELP FROM FRIENDS
Bradley and I were extremely blessed by the number of friends that wanted to help at our wedding. My bridesmaid and her husband sang at the ceremony and the reception. My mother-in-law baked and decorated our beautiful cake. All of my bridesmaids helped to make and set up decorations at the reception. Our friend/florist blessed us with her many gifts of creativity. Both our mums knitted little crochet hearts for the tables. My friend asked her dad to chauffeur the bridal party. Bradley’s cousin was our photographer.
Don’t be afraid to ask your friends/family for help! It will not only save you money, time and effort, but it will be the biggest blessing to look back on and see how everyone came together to make the day so special.
5) HOME SENSE
Make this God-send of a shop your go-to stop for decor. Fortunately for me, a Home Sense opened in my hometown a couple of months before our wedding day. The majority of our decorations were bought from there. Their prices are aaaaamaaaaazzzzinggg and they pretty much have everything. Don’t be disheartened if you go and there isn’t anything you like, go again next week as this wonderful shop changes stock like there’s no tomorrow.
I found this wooden pallet with a Song of Solomon verse on it at Home Sense a week before the wedding. It cost £14!
6) HAVE A LEGAL WEDDING BEFORE THE WEDDING
This isn’t to everyone’s taste, but it certainly saves a lot of money. Bradley and I had a legal wedding a couple of days before our real wedding, in order to avoid the registrar costs. All this meant was that we had to sign the legal papers in the council office instead of having registered people come to the ceremony with the legal papers. I believe this saved us a few hundred pound, plus it was a fun day out with the family (and a good excuse to dress up!).