Most people have at least a rough idea of what their dream wedding looks like, whether it's a traditional church wedding with hundreds of guests, a simple ceremony at the registry office or an informal affair on a sun-drenched beach.
But with the average UK wedding now costing approximately £24,000, any savings you can make before the bill for the big day arrives is good news, regardless of the type of wedding you're planning. With that in mind, we've compiled ten top tips to help you plan a wedding on a budget.
An easy way to reduce your wedding costs is to get married out of season and/or not on a weekend.
The peak wedding season months are July and August; tying the knot in January or February is approximately £5,000 cheaper. Incredibly, arranging to have your big day on a Tuesday or Wednesday instead of a Saturday could save you as much as £6,000!
Traditionally, most people get married at one venue before heading to another for the reception. These days, however, numerous venues are licensed to carry out civil ceremonies, so now you can have the service and the reception under one roof, which also reduces the cost of wedding cars and your guests' travel costs
Speaking of venues, most will try and tempt you with a costly drinks package when you book. However, many venues have a 'no corkage' policy which allows you to bring your own champagne and wine with no extra charge. Remember to enquire about this before booking and you'll be amazed at how much you can save.
It's incredible how quickly your wedding guestlist can spiral out of control. Do you invite your friends' partners? Are children welcome? What about ex-colleagues?mIn order to keep costs down, limit your guestlist to close friends and family only.
If the cost of bespoke invitations is making your eyes water, you could always opt for digital alternatives instead. E-vites allow you to email invites to your guests, eliminating the cost of stamps and envelopes, while websites like Paperless Post allow your guests to RSVP online, making it easy to keep track of attendees.
While there's nothing wrong with wanting brand new, no-expense-spared dresses and suits, ask yourself this: how likely are you to ever wear them again? If the answer is 'never' then you could save a small fortune by either hiring your outfit, picking it up from a high street retailer - French Connection and ASOS have wedding dress lines; Next and Marks & Spencer have plenty of options for men - or getting a pre-owned one online.
Today, the average wedding cake costs approximately £350 but you could massively reduce this cost by baking it yourself, or asking one of your friends to do it for you. 'Bake By Numbers' wedding cake kits are easily available and have been designed for use by even the clumsiest bakers, while retailers like Waitrose and Marks & Spencer offer a variety of excellent - and comparatively cheap - options too.
Another wedding staple that can easily get out of hand in terms of volume and price, flowers don't have to cost the earth. Making your own bouquets that combine lots of greenery and foliage with a couple of large-headed flowers will keep costs to a minimum while also creating an eye-catching display.
One of your friends is bound to be a keen photographer, wannabe DJ or frustrated rock star so why not ask them to help out on the big day? Professional photographers and musicians aren't cheap so you'll be saving yourself a significant amount AND showing your mates how much faith you have in their abilities.
#10 Remember who you're doing this for
Not only is it impossible to keep everyone happy, attempting to do so can also be extremely expensive, so focus on having the right wedding for you and your partner and don't worry about pleasing all your guests. Yes, you want your mum to be comfortable and well fed but if she starts pressuring you with certain expenses, it's time to put your foot down and remind her whose wedding it is!
With a Leeds Credit Union loan, you could borrow from £250 to £2,000 to help you enjoy the wedding of your dreams. Click here to find out more.
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