Planning a Wedding on a Budget in Lifestyle

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Being a savvy spender can really help you keep the cost of a wedding down. 

Research from the Money Advice Service has revealed that one in three British weddings or civil ceremonies cost less than £1000.

More than ever before, couples are choosing to reign in their spending when it comes to planning their big day, some would rather spend the money on getting on the property ladder, some would prefer to spend the money on their dream holiday, some just don't want the unnecessary spend.  

In the past, it was common practice for parents to cover the entire cost of their child's big day, but as the Money Advice Service would suggest, nowadays only 1 in 7 couples are fortunate enough to avoid contributing towards the cost of their wedding.  1 in 3 couples get some financial help, but for those not so lucky, the financial burden lays with them. 

Jen's story


Jen, 21, from Glasgow married her fiancé William, 22, on the 1st October 2013 after getting engaged in March of that year. With Jen and William having to cover the full cost of their wedding, they had some really important decisions to make.  They had to think about what their priorities were and plan accordingly.  For them it was to be able to afford their dream holiday.  They continued to rent and put some money aside from their joint savings to plan for the wedding.  

Be firm but realistic with your budget 

Jen and William originally discussed a budget of around £2000.  However they had to be realistic about their guest list and after this had to increased they set a new budget of £5000. 

Avoid hidden costs 

 “The biggest financial shock was the photographer. For the basic service we were being quoted well over £1000 and we just never thought it would be so expensive”.

To avoid pricey hidden costs, be very wary when using voucher deal sites. Also, when it comes to photography, the big costs can often come when buying your pictures, some wedding albums can cost thousands, so always discuss and more importantly negotiate fees before finalising anything. 

Some unexpected savings 

The dress 

There were purchases that Jen and William found to be much cheaper than they originally thought, “My dress and my bridesmaid dresses cost a fraction of what I was expecting to pay. This was all because I shopped around first. For my dress, I tried one very similar one on in a bridal shop then I ordered it from a different supplier online, saving me £500.”

As for her bridesmaid dresses Jen found the ones she wanted but instead of snapping them up straight away she waited until they were in the sale, saving her half the original price.

The venue 

The venue is  normally most often the most the most expensive part of a wedding. However sometimes booking a package with a venue means you can bag a bargain - “We saved about £1500 by booking it all as a package with them.”

Don't be afraid to haggle

Shopping around a bit can be a great way to save and can also help you with your negotiating skills. Never be afraid to haggle. The worst they can say is no, and you could bag yourself a bargain for trying.

Our tips 

  • Getting married at the weekend will be more expensive.
  • This is also true for the time of year, being flexible with the date will save you money.
  • Try to avoid using the word wedding when shopping for your big day, this can hike the price up.
  • Go to a normal bakery instead of a wedding cake shop, often they can make the same cake but charge a lot less.
  • Don’t rush into buying anything, take your time and don’t be afraid to walk away if the price isn't right for you.