If you’re planning the wedding of your dreams, but you don’t have an unlimited budget, here are 50 clever ways to save money (and time) without compromising on your big day.
1. Choose a less traditional time to get married: a Wednesday in March will be cheaper than a summer Saturday.
2. Agree on a fixed guest list. Just one additional guest could make the difference when it comes to your budget. Use the hitched guest manager tool to keep on track with how many people you’re inviting to your special day. Add guests now!
3. Never agree on the first price: get several quotes and negotiate on your favourite option.
4. Opt for a long engagement — you’ll have more time to check out the best deals and to save money where needed.
5. Sharing means saving: if you don’t mind another wedding going on at the same venue, you’ll avoid exclusivity fees.
6. Use an online invitation template to design and print your own perfect stationery.
7. Ask guests to RSVP to a special email address instead of paying for their return postage.
8. Hold your ceremony and reception at one venue to save on transport costs and possible duplicate venue hire.
9. Fork-out for just one meal by marrying later in the day.
10. Cut costs with a buffet — fewer serving staff are required.
11. Welcome guests with a champagne cocktail: they look stylish and stretch the fizz further.
12. Only offer arrival drinks and wine on the tables. Your guests won’t be surprised if they have to pay for additional drinks.
13. Add artificial tiers to your cake: it looks as impressive as costly confection, for the modest cost of some extra icing.
14. Choose a wedding cake that doubles up as dessert.
15. Skip pricey sugar flowers and decorate the cake with dramatic, fresh blooms.
16. For a unique wedding ring for less, melt down any old, unworn pieces of jewellery in the family.
17. Borrow two stunning and expensive items for your bridal outfit — they’ll count as your something borrowed and something old.
18. Cut your hair styling costs by going to the salon instead of bringing the hairdresser to you.
19. To avoid expensive shoes, choose a long dress — no one will even notice your bargain footwear.
20. Consider getting creative and designing your own wedding jewellery. You could do the same for your bridesmaids and give the jewellery as gifts to save you hitting the shops.
21. Weave a few fresh flowers through your hair instead of buying expensive accessories.
22. Get your bridal shoes dyed: it might not cut costs initially, but it’ll save you cash next time you need new party shoes (The Colour Studio has a dyeing service).
23. Ask close friends or family to be bridesmaids and ushers — they are more likely to offer to pay for their own outfits.
24. Keep bridesmaids on budget with a plain dress — they can add a funky, affordable sash or accessories to match your colour scheme.
25. If you give your bridesmaids the choice of their outfit or accessories, it’s more acceptable to ask them to foot the bill.
26. Go for prom chic with (budget savvy) wrist corsages instead of bridesmaid bouquets.
27. Choose local, seasonal flowers — they have more meaning and a smaller pricetag.
28. Get your money’s worth by decorating the reception with your church/ceremony flowers.
29. One dramatic floral display will make more impact than lots of little ones — and it costs less.
30. Save your budget for the bouquet: consider faux blooms for buttonholes and table decorations. They can also be re-used or sold after your big day!
31. Add affordable drama to a smaller floral centrepiece with a mirrored base and flickering tealights.
32. Pick up bargain second-hand jugs, instead of vases, for a genuine vintage theme.
33. Take advantage of the table planner tool in the members area of hitched.co.uk. Upload your guests’ names and simply click and drag them into a seat. This will save you hours and can even be exported to an excel spreadsheet and handed over to your venue! A printable PDF version is also available. Click here to visit the Table Planner tool.
34. Write guest names on favours so you don’t have to buy place cards too.
35. Make your own favours: homemade biscuits or personalised tokens work well.
36. Save on expensive sweets or sugared almonds by making a small donation to charity on behalf of your guests, instead of paying for individual favours.
37. Get bidding: eBay and the ‘For Sale’ forum on hitched.co.uk are both good places to find unexpectedly pricey little extras, like table decorations or pre-loved accessories. Visit the forums!
38. If your friends have a talent for cake decoration or flower arranging, call in a few favours.
39. Book a professional photographer’s basic package and ask artistic friends to snap and video the rest of the day.
40. Do you really need someone else to compile your photo album? It cuts costs to choose the shots and make your own. Check out the wedding story books available through hitched.co.uk before you make any commitments. Click here for further information!
41. Listen out for bands at your local college or university if you want live music for less.
42. DJs usually cost a fraction of the fee a live band charges.
43. Make your own playlist on your MP3 player instead of hiring a band or DJ.
44. If it isn’t offered as part of the wedding/reception package, ask your venue if they will throw in the bridal suite for your first night for free.
45. Always ask about complementary honeymoon upgrades: hotels offer everything from champagne to massages to encourage newlyweds to stay with them.
46. Rather than flying straight off on honeymoon after a weekend wedding, hang on for a cheaper weekday flight.
47. Book your honeymoon with a budget airline in order to spend a little bit more on luxury accommodation.
48. Save valuable time by registering for a hitched.co.uk wedding gift list. You won’t need to spend hours travelling to and from department stores and your list can be created instantly online. Create a wedding gift list!
49. Never scrimp on insurance — a small fee could save you a fortune if there’s a problem on the big day or during your honeymoon.
50. Register on hitched.co.uk and use the budget planning tool to keep on track and up to date with your spending throughout your wedding planning process. Register now!
And finally, be sure to register your details so that you receive a weekly special offers newsletter from hitched.co.uk. The special offers newsletter features exclusive wedding deals and offers to hitched.co.uk members only, so make sure you’re on the list!
Register with hitched.co.uk today