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  • Charli May

How to save for & on your wedding

Weddings can be pretty expensive, with the average wedding in the UK in 2021 costing £17,300 according to Hitched. You may have your heart set on certain things that you want at your wedding, or you may be looking for areas that you could save. Have a little read of some simple tips for saving for your big day, and some ideas for where you can save a bit of cash.

Figure out your budget

If you have your dream wedding in your head, knowing exactly where you want it, what you want to be wearing and who you want to film or photograph it, then once you've contacted those vendors, you'll know exactly what you need to save. Or you can just work out how much you can save and want to spend in time for the wedding and find vendors that fit that budget. You'll find suppliers for whatever budget you have, it's just a case of setting your expectations.

Get your saving sorted

Make sure you’ve got a separate bank account or savings pot to keep your wedding fund in, but also so that you can track your spending - banking apps like Monzo or Revolut are great for tracking spending and creating pots. Also, it's a good idea to keep a spreadsheet of your wedding expenses where you can keep track of what and how much you have already paid, as well as dates that the balance is due by.

Some things don’t have to be paid for upfront so you might not need to have already saved up when booking it. Find out the price, figure out how much you’d have to save each month and if you can afford that - and then set up a direct debit to put that into your wedding fund.

Plan in a contingency fund for if you accidentally on purpose go over your budget...

Some suppliers may be able to offer discounts or payment plans, but please remember as much as you need to save money, suppliers need to make money - this is their livelihood!

Find ways to save

Work out how you want your day to look and feel and how you want to remember it - and therefore, what is most important for you to invest in. You might find things that aren't necessary to make your day special. Here are a few things you may be able to save on:

  • Cake - Wedding cakes are beautiful, taste divine and are worth the money if you have it, but they often don’t get eaten and are, for some, only there for one photo that you might never look at again. Can you make a cake yourself? Or perhaps your friend that started a baking hobby in lockdown. And on that note - is there anything else that friends and family can help with? Perhaps making name cards or table plans? Or making candles and table decorations?

  • Alcohol - Everyone loves an open bar, but this can be expensive and often just ends with people drinking a few too many anyway

  • Dresses - Consider pre loved for your dress/ bridesmaids dresses or suits. This will be a lot cheaper and is more sustainable, too. Try Recycle my Wedding from Rock my Wedding, or Bridal Reloved!

  • Invites - go digital using a website or social media page instead of posting. RSVP post cards are also a thing and don't need envelopes!

  • Flowers - can you or your parents or someone with a garden grow some of your wedding flowers? Perhaps instead of big centre pieces you can go for stems in vases? Or use your bridesmaids bouquets as table decorations?

  • Favours - unfortunately wedding favours often just get left on tables or cleared away when the wedding breakfast room is turned around for the reception. Perhaps you can make them yourself - or just do away with them altogether.

  • Confetti - you can make this yourself by collecting and drying flowers. Natural confetti is better for the environment, plus a lot of venues will only allow you to use this type of confetti anyway. Rather than paying for confetti cones, put all your confetti in a box and get someone in the bridal party to hand it out!

People always say to me ‘having been to so many weddings, you must know what yours will look like’, and although I am currently missing the boyfriend/ fiancé part, I do know a few things that would be important for me on my wedding day:

Flowers - I grew up on a garden centre and have always loved to be surrounded by greenery. But if you choose a venue that is already decorated and looks beautiful as it is, this is definitely a way to save.

The DJ or band - the reception for me is one of the most important parts of the day where the celebrations really begin and one that is defined by the quality of the music. If you want people to have fun and enjoy the dance floor, you need to choose this supplier well. If your musicians can play throughout

the day, this really helps create the atmosphere, too.

Disposable cameras instead of a photo booth - this is an idea I have seen at a few weddings and one that I love! I think it would be so fun creating a photo album out of photos taken by your guests - real candids in the spur of the moment!

The photos and videos - one day when your wedding is just a memory, your photos and videos are what'll take you back there and make you feel all those feelings again. Book someone who knows how to capture your wedding day exactly as you'll hope to remember it! You'll find these suppliers for all different budgets, so have a good look around!

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