Weddings can be expensive. In fact, a survey by wedding site Hitched.co.uk revealed that the average cost of a typical big day was almost £32,000 in 2019 – and this was less than the 2018 figure. However, with the events of the last year, many couples planning their nuptials have decided to downsize and budget weddings have soared in popularity.
If you and your partner want to create a magical day without spending exorbitant amounts, there are ways to make it special on a shoestring. Here are some ideas to inspire you.
Limit the guestlist
Who do you really love? This is the big question to ask when creating your dream guest list. Instead of thinking about who you’re obliged to invite, from distant cousins to the uncle you haven’t seen since you were six, try listing the people you want there on your day and get your partner to do the same.
From there, combine the two lists and start narrowing it down. You might just want guests to attend the evening event, or you may want to whittle things right down to immediate family and closest friends for the full day. Another option is to have an intimate ceremony and then throw a big party later.
By limiting your numbers, you’ll save money. So, take your time and work out who you really want there on your day.
Rethink your invitations
Now you know who you’re inviting, you’ll need to consider your invitations. If your guest list is limited to 20-30 people, you will be spending less on invites than you would if you were inviting 100 and there are several ways to keep costs down here.
If you’re arty, you could make your own invites. This adds a personal touch, and you can make it unique to you and your partner. Alternatively, you can buy beautifully designed invitation bundles in a choice of designs and styles that are the ideal way to let your loved ones know that you want them there on your day.
Look around for the dress
You don’t have to head to designated wedding dress shops to find the perfect gown. There are plenty of stunning dresses available in high street stores, many of which coming in at under £200. Browse the collections at the likes of John Lewis, Monsoon, and ASOS to see what’s on offer.
Rather than paying for table decorations and seat covers, why not dress the room yourself? Find a venue that will let your imagination run wild and add your own centerpieces, lighting, and bunting to make space your own.
The venue itself doesn’t have to cost the earth. If you’re having a small ceremony, why not set up a marquee in your garden and invite your guests back to your home afterward? Or if you don’t have space, it’s worth seeing if your loved ones would be willing to host a garden party for you all?
Consider the catering
Wedding catering can take up a large chunk of your budget. If you’re opting for DIY nuptials, search for a venue that will let you have your own caterer. Or, if you’re having your wedding breakfast in your parents’ garden, shop around for caterers that can accommodate you – this can be cheaper than going with a venue’s catering team.
Also, if you have a friend who likes to bake, ask them to make your wedding cake. This could be their gift to you on your special day.
Spend on the photography
If you can all do your own makeup and hair, you’re saving on a trip to the salon. This means you’re perfectly placed to put the money you’ve saved towards a photographer. Get some quotes from local photographers and find the one that suits your budget. You’ll want to capture the magic of your wedding day, so this is a worthwhile investment.
Are you feeling inspired? What other ways can you cut back on your big day?