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£10,000 Wedding Budget: How to Break it Down

You can have the wedding of your dreams for £10,000. We've put together the ultimate guide to planning a perfect wedding with a £10k budget right here!

Bride and groom standing in a pile of colourful confetti

Bride and groom standing in a pile of colourful confetti

The recent Hitched National Wedding Survey revealed that the average wedding cost now comes in at £20,700, but with a few careful wedding budget hacks, there’s no need to feel pressured to match that – it’s easy to plan wedding on a £10,000 budget.

To help you organise your spend, the best thing to do is to divide your wedding plan into sections so you don't go off track – we've broken down the £10k budget, giving you pointers on exactly where to spend your money.

If you're still trying to figure out how to make a budget, this will give you a good idea of how exactly to break down a £10,000 wedding budget – but remember, it's just a rule of thumb. If you have things you want to skip or things you want to spend more on, feel free to adjust this £10k budget to suit your dream wedding!

Keep reading to discover super savvy ways you can easily save pennies without scrimping on style – from gorgeous wedding dresses you can nab for less than £750 to how to cut costs on your catering, our guide to planning a wedding for £10,000 or less explains it all.

How to Budget £10,000 for a Wedding

Here's how to break it down…

Wedding Venue – £2,400

Outdoor ceremony set-up at The Venue at Sandy Cove, Devon

It is possible to find an affordable wedding venue – there are some wonderful options out there that offer exclusive hire for less when you book an off-peak weekday wedding (Monday to Thursday) in the winter months (November, December, January, and February).

Some of our favourites include The Venue at Sandy Cove in North Devon, a gorgeous beachside location which starts at £2,250 for exclusive hire, as well as Sheen Mill, a quintessentially English waterside gem in Cambridgeshire that starts from just £1,400 including VAT.

Also consider local hotels as they usually offer package deals. If you’re open to the idea of a package option, you could save money as they usually include catering and some drinks, as well as the cost of room hire.

A brilliant example of this is The Plough Inn, in Cheshire. This foodie venue’s 2025 Winter Wedding Package speaks for itself – not only will you have full use of the beautiful 13th century oak barn, but you’ll have an amazing array of courses and canapés to choose from, too. The package starts from £3,025 and includes canapés, a three-course wedding breakfast, fizz for the toasts, wine for the tables and an evening buffet for 50 guests.

Catering – £1,600

If you decide to not go for a package at your venue, and have around 50 guests at your wedding breakfast, this will give you a budget of around £32 per head.

Skip the sit-down starter and go for canapés while the guests are mingling. They’re usually more affordable as less staff and equipment are needed for serving them. Switching from fancier options to crowd-pleasers such as mini fish and chip tasters could save you even more, too.

Then why not go straight into a simple but hearty main like pie and mash, and serve the wedding cake as your dessert? Afternoon tea-style receptions and buffets are other cost-effective options. Elizabeth Caton Food & Wine is one such wedding caterer who offers canapés from as little as £12 per head, while buffets start from £30 per head.

Finally, check with your caterer or venue if buying your own alcohol is an option. You may well be required to pay a corkage fee, but it might still work out cheaper. Plus, it’ll give you a good excuse to ‘try out’ new bottles… (ahem).

Ceremony Fees – £600

It doesn’t matter what your budget is or how big your wedding is, you’ll be required to pay anywhere between £500-£600 for your civil ceremony, or more if you get married on a weekend. This includes the cost of the registrar and the civil marriage license.

If you’re getting married in a Church of England church, the compulsory legal fee if you’re marrying in your home parish is £539. If you’re choosing to marry away from where you live, you could pay up to £641.

Stationery – £150

Floral wedding invitations

If you’re feeling creative and are working to a tight wedding budget, you could have a go at DIY wedding stationery to save money, but if you’re not that crafty, why not order printed wedding invitations online? You can find wedding invitations from as little as £2 per card on the Hitched Stationery Shop.

Of course, when it comes to your invitations, you could forgo paper invites altogether and email your save-the-dates, asking guests to RSVP via your wedding website. Swapping hard copies at £2.50 each could save you up to £125, and that’s without postage!

Meanwhile, when it comes to menus, why not go all gastropub and swap costly individual paper menus for a chalkboard menu at your venue instead?

Hair and Makeup – £250

One of the best ways to save money on your wedding hair and makeup is, of course, to only pay for yourself to have it done and either let the bridesmaids do their own or ask them to pay if they’d like to have it done.

Hair and makeup trials can also add a lot on to the cost of your bridal beauty budget (anywhere between £100-£150), so why not chat to your usual hairdresser about your options there? If they know your hair and style already, you may feel comfortable forgoing a hair trial. You could also save money by going to the salon, rather than asking the hair stylist to come to you – though we’d only recommend this if they’re nearby.

Hiring someone who can do both hair and makeup is often the more affordable option compared to paying for two separate experts. Oxford-based hair and makeup artist Sarah Wray’s bridal package comes in at £220 for both wedding-day hair and makeup – a bargain, if you ask us.

Keen to do your own makeup? Whilst wedding makeup is different to your every day makeup, it can be done. Check out our DIY wedding makeup tips to learn how to perfect your makeup look in time for the big day and consider the things you'd pay a pro for - stuff like how to make it last all day, stand out in photography and not reflect any flashes.

The Bridesmaids – £150

Obviously, the fewer bridesmaids you have, the more money you’ll save. If you choose to have three bridesmaids, however, you could allocate £50 per maid and opt for high street bridesmaid dresses they’d be able to wear again. Another good way to save on outfit costs is to ask them to wear shoes they already own – at least they’ll be comfy and confident in them!

Bridal Accessories – £110

Ivory satin wedding shoes with a ivory satin corsage from ASOS Design

This includes your shoes, jewellery, and veil if you choose to wear one. Online retailers like ASOS have a great selection of affordable pieces, but you could also browse the high street for shoes and accessories.

Ask a friend or relative if they have some jewellery you could use as your something borrowed. Not only is it more sentimental, but it’ll also help your budget go further.

Photography – £1,400

Talk to your wedding photographer about the packages they offer and see if there is anything you can trim from it to cut costs, such as a photo album, if you're on a really tight budget.

Another way to save money is to have the photographer there for less time – perhaps the ‘getting ready’ pictures are super important to you, in which case don’t have them stay throughout the meal and the first dance. Then they could just do the morning, the ceremony, and the group shots.

There are some super talented photographers out there who offer bespoke packages at great price points – South East-based photographers Eyes Closed Head First have full day packages that start from £1,200, while Yorkshire Rachael Fawcett offers a smaller wedding package that just covers the essentials from £750.

What we will say, is that while it can be tempting to ask a friend of a friend to capture your day (we all know someone who is a 'great' photographer, with a great camera, right?), we promise that this is one element of your day you won’t regret spending out on. When it comes to looking back on your photos, those perfectly captured memories will be priceless.

Wedding Reception Décor – £200

It is possible to stay within budget without compromising on style when it comes to your reception décor – you just have to think outside the box.

Consider reusing the bridesmaids’ bouquets in your centrepieces or use inexpensive foliage (such as eucalyptus and ivy) to decorate the venue instead of flowers – it’ll look and smell incredible.

Potted plants – like snowdrops or herbs – make great decorations for tables and mantlepieces, and you can also picked up plenty of inexpensive lanterns, candles, faux flowers, fairy lights and more over at the Hitched Shop.

Wedding Dress – £750

Bride wearing an off-the-shoulder wedding dress with lace applique and button detail

The dress of your dreams doesn’t have to cost thousands of pounds. Sample sales at your local bridal boutiques are a great way to grab a bargain.

Failing that, the high street is awash with ready-to-wear bridal gowns and separates (all of which could be recycled for a garden party, balmy summer meal or day at the races). Each season, the quality is improving, too, with all the embellishments, appliqué, and luxurious fabrications to meet the sartorial standards of contemporary and traditional brides alike.

Some of our favourites include Phase Eight, Whistles, French Connection and Monsoon, all of which have dresses that come in at less than £750.

Wedding Flowers – £400

The first thing to note is that seasonal wedding flowers will cost less than imported varieties, so be sure to check out our guide to wedding flowers to find out what’s in season when you plan to tie the knot.

Elsewhere, there are other ways you can get thrifty with your flowers. If you’re a keen gardener (or you know a family member or friend who is), speak to your florist about the possibility of picking your own easy-to-grow flowers and herbs – such as lavender, rosemary and heather – and then paying them to make up the arrangements, adding in some of their own statement heads, such as roses.

Also ask your florist about cheaper flowers that look great on their own en masse for bridesmaid and flower girl posies, such as gypsophila.

Remember, when it comes to table centres – the fewer tables you have, the less these will cost you. You could save on floral centrepieces (not to mention other things, such as linen hire) by putting as many people as you can around one table.

Wedding Cake – £240

If the wedding cake is threatening to leave a less-than-sweet hole in your wedding fund, the high street could be a good place to start.

Marks & Spencer, Patisserie Valerie and Waitrose all do a vast selection of single-tier wedding cakes which come in at less than £100 each and – with some carefully considered ribbon and coordinating flowers – would work with any theme. You may need two or three to feed all your guests, but arranged on a cake stand, these would make a beautiful alternative to a traditional wedding cake.

You won't have the same level of detail, quality and customer service as you would if you were working with an independent cake maker, but that is the compromise on the cost. 

If you’re looking for something different, consult your cake maker about alternative options – perhaps a tower of doughnuts or brownies instead? Crumbs & Treacle offers a range of custom options, including cookie walls and naked wedding cakes priced from £76.

Seek out local businesses with whom you can negotiate a bespoke creation and they’ll help you to stay within budget.

Entertainment – £500

Groomsmen bouncing on space hoppers in the gardens of a venue

If you haven’t gone for a wedding venue package that includes entertainment (usually a DJ), you can hire a DJ for around £500 for your evening party.

For background music in the daytime, a Spotify playlist will work just as well – keep things personal by asking guests to RSVP with their favourite tune and including it in your playlist. Just ask a member of the wedding party to keep an eye on it throughout the day.

Remember, as long as you’ve got enough food and drink to keep everyone satiated, you don’t need to pull out all the stops when it comes to entertaining your guests. Outdoor wedding games are great to have if your budget can stretch (you could even create your own… egg and spoon race, anyone?), while wedding table icebreakers don’t have to cost the earth either.

Groomswear – £250

If you’re in the market for a traditional suit, many groomswear hire shops offer great deals when you hire more than one. Check out hire options from the likes of Moss Bros, Slaters and Suits You.

If you have a large number of male wedding party members, you could always just hire suits for the groom and best man and ask any ushers or other members to wear their own suits or pick up one from the high street – Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and others do a great selection of stylish formalwear, coming in at a savvy £200 or less per outfit.

Honeymoon – £1,000

Allow yourself a budget of £1,00 for a honeymoon – whether that’s a last-minute all-inclusive deal on the beach somewhere, a European city break or a UK staycation. If you go for the latter, you might even find you have more money to put towards your photography or wedding dress budget!

There are some great luxury UK hotels that offer incredible minimoon packages. One such place is the Scarlet hotel in Cornwall where a two-night stay in a sea-view room inclusive of a three-course dinner on one night, two-course breakfast each morning, spa treatments and full use of the spa facilities and daily yoga, starts from £345 per night based on two sharing.

Otherwise, if you’re looking to go abroad for less, it’s worth booking with a tour operator that specialises in honeymoons, as there are always offers for couples – whether that’s a free bottle of champagne on arrival or money off accommodation. Tour operators such as Dream Travel Finder and Unique Hideaways know where to find the best deals.

Lastly, consider setting up a honeymoon gift list so that your guests can contribute to the cost of your trip. Many tour operators now offer this service.

Total Wedding Budget: £10,000

Keen to make your money go even further? Check out our list of the things to give up now to help you save for your wedding.