Also can’t help with the venue as we’re getting married in the midlands. However, I think I have a couple of tips that might be helpful. I think our estimated costs for the entire day is about £8.8K but that’s with quite a few added extras (10 min non-stop fireworks display, paying for an additional 5 hotel rooms for immediate family for the wedding night, upgrading menu to give guests a choice of 3 meals etc.) without all of those I think we’d be looking at more like £6K.
I know one top tip is to ask friends/family to help but we didn’t have anyone that would be able to!
1. Shop around. Different companies obviously offer different rates so make sure you get lots of quotes to see which suits you the best at the lowest cost. Some companies were quoting me £3k for a 10 min display, I ended up paying £1k for mine!
2. Look for deals/sales. I got my wedding dress from a bridal boutique during Black Friday which gave me an extra 15% off. The dress was already reduced as it was a sample sale so I got a one off £1700 dress for £510.
I also got my invites from vistaprint with a 40% off code so all of my wedding stationary will have cost around £100.
3. Don’t be afraid to get things second hand. I looked on gumtree and bought a couple of wedding bundles - both cost around £70 but got £200/£300+ worth of stuff. We got our bridesmaid dress (only have one BM) from eBay; it was second hand but came New with tags.
4. Try to buy things that can be sold on after. If you can, buy your own decorations rather than hiring a company to do this and rent their decor as if you buy them outright you can recover some of the costs after the wedding.
5. You can haggle. When looking at what companies can do with their prices it’s easier to get things added in the cost rather than reducing the cost if that makes sense. We got our venue (including meal for 50 etc.) for £3849 (they were originally charging us £3500). For the extra £350 we got 4 additional rooms the night of the wedding (usually £150 each, menu to include choices for guests, corkage for 15 bottles of wine and 2 1.5l of prossecco and DJ). We managed to get such a good deal because we paid the full price up front that day.
6. Look for new companies. We hired a fairly new photographer so got a much cheaper rate £525 for all day and usb after the wedding. Our videographer is also just starting out so is only charinging us for accommodation and travel expenses. You might also be able to find someone who is new to the industry to make your cake etc.
7. DIY. Do be careful with this one as sometimes once you’ve bought all the supplies it can work out cheaper to have just bought the thing you’re making. But I’ve saved money by DIY-ing my own sparkler tags, I will be making my table plan, centrepieces and I embellished my wedding boots too.
8. Work out what’s important to you both early on and make sure your priorties are where you allocate most of you’re biggest and if needed make compromises elsewhere. We decided right form the start that we wanted fireworks and knew this would be a big expense. In the end I didn’t get giant LOVE letters or a startlight dancefloor as these were low dontbon the list and wasn’t worth the extra expense in th end.
I think that’s all I can think of for now but will update if I happen to think of anything else.
9. I forgot to mention time of day/year. If you get married out of season late autumn/winter/early spring, venues will often offer discounted packages and some even do ‘winter specials’. Also, getting married later in the day can save you pennies too! My FMIL got married late afternoon as this was cheaper and it meant she only had to pay for one meal (buffet).