These days few grooms can rely on the bride’s parents footing the entire wedding bill, meaning that the wedding (and of course squeezing in a stag party!) can become a bit of a financial event.
Most grooms are taken aback by the average wedding costs. According to You and Your Wedding magazine the average cost is a staggering £20,273. However, with a few money saving tips you can keep within budget without scrimping on the day itself.
The first thing to do is to make a strict budget. It’s easy for certain items to slip your mind in the early planning stages, so here’s a reminder of everything you may need to take into account:
Bride’s Headdress and Veil
Bride’s Shoes and Accessories
Bride’s Beauty Treatments
Flowers (buttonholes, church etc)
Cars and Transport
Wedding Photos and Video Recording
Reception Venue or Marquee
Bride’s Going Away Outfit
Wedding Night Venue
You firstly need to figure out what is your overall budget, then apportion funds to each of these categories depending on your personal priorities and your own ideas of what the big day should be like.
There are certain costs you just can’t reduce or avoid – like civil registry fees. All other items you should treat as ready to be whittled down.
Perhaps the biggest saving you can make is on the venue. Two comparable locations can have radically varying prices. Shop around and be prepared to negotiate – venues are sometimes prepared to give a discount if you ask.
If you are having a small wedding, one of the best money saving tips is to consider changing to a weekday event – you can usually shave a third off the price. The same is true for a wedding in winter when demand is considerably less.
If you are planning a church wedding, one particularly crafty tip is to hold your wedding just after Easter or Christmas. The church will already be lavishly decorated allowing you to further offset the cost of the wedding by reducing your spend on flowers.
Another big area you can make savings is the reception drinks. If you’re based in the UK, you may wish to think about running a “booze cruise” to France – and you can pick up a little bit for yourself while you are over there!
When hiring a caterer make sure to look into using trainee cooks from respected kitchen schools – they will often be very promising, eager to make their name and come at half the price!
For the honeymoon the usual rules for finding a cheap holiday apply. Be flexible and look online.
More generally eBay can also be a lifesaver. You can dramatically slash the cost of everything from favors and invitations to veils and tiaras, leaving more money in the kitty to splash out in other areas.
Lastly, stores often have special wedding offers. A good example is Debenhams. If your wedding gift list is at their store they will give you a £50 gift card which can be handy to use for the essentials for the big day.
If you follow all these tips you should be able to shave thousands of pounds off your bill – perhaps leaving you with plenty of money for for the stag weekend!