Be Nifty, Get thrifty

Be Nifty, Get thrifty

It is a scary fact that the average wedding costs £15,764. This is a daunting figure for the average bride to be but on the bright side, you may not have to bear the financial burden of love alone; hopefully you will be able to rope your family into sharing the cost of the wedding. Either way, with some careful organization and research, you can have a beautiful wedding for less.

Regardless of your budget, the best way to get a handle on costs is to be organized. You need to sit down with your partner and decide on a budget. If members of the family have suggested they will help out with the costs, pin them down at an early stage so that you can confirm exactly what they intend to pay for, or you may find yourself in a sticky position when the final payments are called upon and your mum swears blind she never said she would pay for the wedding dress.

The budget can be broken into seven main categories: reception, music, photography, flowers, bride’s attire, honeymoon and miscellaneous.

As a rough guideline, about 45 percent of your budget should be allocated to the reception. This will include things such as site fees, food, drink, rentals, service and cake. About 10 percent should be allocated to each of the other six categories, however the honeymoon is as individual as the person booking it, so budgeting for that will vary. I believe this is a sensible way to budget, it is better to spend more on the reception as that is where you and your guests will be spending most of the day, and what people remember from the wedding.

Let us help you

Timely planning helps reduce fees and last minute expenses. Our Wedding planner will help ensure that you remember to book everything early. Use our Budget planner to work out the amount to spend within your budget on each item and supplier.

Peak Practice

Try to avoid peak times in the wedding industry. Choosing a less busy period will give you the power to negotiate better prices. It stands to reason that if there are lots of brides competing with you for locations and services, the price goes up. Obviously summer is the busiest time for the wedding industry because of the weather, but your never guaranteed a sunny day and if you are planning to have a wedding and reception that takes place at the same venue such as a hotel, then the weather isn’t quite as important as having a horse drawn open carriage trotting you halfway round town.

So the biggest wedding cost will most likely be the reception. Consider your alternatives. Having your Ceremony later in the day would enable you to skip the sit down meal and go straight to the evening buffet. Having the Wedding take place later in the day also avoids people becoming too bored/drunk.

If your names not down……

Cutting down your guest list will save you hundreds! Guests who are not in a relationship should be invited solo. You do not need to invite friends that you have not caught up with in the past 5 years. Limit family guests to immediate family and grandparents and not distant relatives. It is important to surround your big day with those you love not people you don’t know, stress this to your mother when she gets on about inviting Mrs Williams, who lived next door to you when you were 6 years old.

Purchase a pre-loved wedding gown

Remember you will only wear your Wedding dress once, they can cost a fortune. Buying a Pre-loved gown from UK Wedding Belles offers you oodles of different styles and sizes, at the fraction of the original cost. Alternatively, if you are having an informal wedding, choose a wedding gown that is not specifically a bridal gown so that you can wear it again.


Save on postage by ordering invitations that will only require one stamp. Remember you do not need an invitation for every person you are inviting; one invitation per household will suffice. If you have a decent printer at home, and you’re a bit arty farty, design your own invitations and buy plain paper and envelopes to match, printing them off at home.

Say Cheese

When it comes to your wedding photos, compare hourly rates and package deals to see which is more cost-effective. Save by having a photographer take formal shots and then ask your guests to take candid shots with disposable cameras.
Get a friend to do the wedding video; they tend to be better than the professional ones anyway, which can be a bit cheesy. Friends truly pick up the fun element of the day. Choose someone that knows many of the guests as they will know who to watch out for and who to avoid.

Bar Bar Black sheep

Unless you are really pushing the boat out avoid having an open bar. It brings out the worst in people encouraging wastefulness, greed, and excess drinking, if you are having an open bar limit it to certain drinks throughout the night or offer the first drink only to be free of charge. BE WARNED

When it comes to decorations, invest your money on items that people will see the most throughout the event. Guests will notice the bouquet more than the flowers that decorate the end of each pew. You do not need to adorn your wedding cake table with flowers or ornate items. The cake is where people’s attentions will be. Candles add style and elegance for a fraction of the cost of large floral centre-pieces.

Wedding favors are not obligatory and tend to be discarded by guests. In an ideal world they are great, but don’t be pressurized into paying out for things that are seldom missed.

When choosing your wedding flowers, it is always a good idea to choose something that is in season as they will be cheaper. Flowers such as gerberas, daisies, carnations and chrysanthemums are usually very reasonably priced. Choose irises, violets, daffodils and tulips in spring. Lilies are plentiful and most affordable in the summer months. In autumn, choose sunflowers and orange blossoms to reflect the season. Roses and orchids are usually quite pricey despite the fact that they are widely available throughout the year. See our article on wedding flowers for more tips

Instead of purchasing all your items, Hire things such as grooms wear, Bridesmaids dresses etc. ask friends and family if you can borrow things such as punch bowls, glasses and serving trays.

Listed below are the average costs for weddings. If you follow our wise tips and a little effort you will be able to achieve excellent results at a fraction of the cost

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