There are varying results when it comes to research, but having looked at a few sources, I was astonished to find that the average cost of a UK wedding is now somewhere between £20,000 to £25,000. Dependent on location, that’s almost the equivalent of a down payment on a decent house!
Not that I’m trying to undermine the importance of one of the most memorable day of our lives, nor advocating that you should make painful sacrifices for it in the name of money. But, suffice it to say, it’s clear that costs can spiral, and that a few cunning tricks to trim fat off the budget won’t go amiss.
So, although it’s been a few years since we tied the knot, I thought I’d share seven pearls of wisdom for you to help keep costs down, without compromising on quality…
Let’s face it, in this country having your wedding in June, July or August doesn’t even guarantee good weather. So why not do it out of season, and avoid paying way over the odds for it? You’ve got a decent chance of the weather holding up in May or October anyway. Also, it may well be worth looking into the possibility of not doing it on a Saturday. It may be an inconvenience for guests, but the ones who you really want to be there will make a plan.
Getting married on a Friday may actually help the ‘culling’ cause, but from your end, it’s also really important to keep the guest list down as much as is feasibly possible. Start by setting a target number, and then putting all potential candidates on a list. Whittle it down by 10 people at a time, ensuring that family and friends from both sides are fairly represented, until the remaining number of guests falls within your original target.
If you plan well in advance and know what you have in mind for the day, it’s a good idea to spend a few weekends at wedding fairs near you in the build up to your big day. If you know what you want, head straight to the stands that interest you, and if you make a decision there and then, there’ll be hefty discounts to be had.
It’s a bone of contention among a few of us married folk. Some swear a DJ is vital, others say it is a waste of money when a Spotify playlist for less than a tenner can do the job. I would cautiously advise skipping the cost of a DJ, but you’ll want to take some care over the music for the evening. Have a set plan for music, and perhaps designate a friend or family member to keep an eye on things. If every person and their dog goes up and changes it to a song they fancy at any given time, it can all become a bit disjointed and even disruptive.
This one’s easy – bake your own! Edible baked goods are a winner, but at £2 – £3 a pop can really become expensive. So make your own! Otherwise if you’re steering away from baked goods, how about lottery tickets doubling as a place name? It could be a very lucrative option indeed!
Having invitations professionally made can cost up to £7.50 each. Multiply that by the total number of guests, and you’ll see that it can really get away from you. So, get creative, and put together a lovely, personal card that will probably be even more appreciated by your guests – and cost you a whole lot less as a result.
Chances are that despite all this cost cutting, not everyone will have the money to pay for a whole wedding. So if a wedding loan is what you need, then shop around. Online alternative finance, particularly peer-to-peer lenders, have excellent deals with APRs on loans starting from as low as 5%. Have a look at price comparison sites to make sure you get the best deal you can.
PS: A bonus 8th piece of advice… Don’t mention the W-word when meeting with suppliers or venue representatives – it will succeed merely in inflating the price. As Martin Lewis from MoneySavingExpert.com says, call it a ‘party’ or a ‘celebration’. After the price is agreed, only then should you let slip what your real plans are.