Wedding budgeting: Your ultimate guide in the build up to the big day


by Henrietta Richman |
Updated on

Sponsored by FSCS

Your wedding should be a day to remember, for all the right reasons. But that doesn’t mean it should cost a fortune. Here are some savvy tips to help you cut costs – and stay within budget – while still having your dream day.

1. Set yourself a budget

Before you fork out any money, set up a budget planner (here’s a handy one to get you started). You can tweak it to include all the various items you’ll be spending money on – just make sure that you include everything, including ‘cheap’ things such as confetti. It all adds up!

2. Have a weekday wedding

The date of your big day is the first thing to consider – and the first opportunity for you to save a considerable amount of money. Remember, any service provided on the weekend, and for a wedding, will carry a premium. So, instead of the usual Saturday or Sunday, why not get married on a Monday – it’ll slash the cost of the venue and will delay everyone’s back-to-work blues by another day.

3. Swap gifts for favours

If you’ve been living together for years, the chances are your home is packed to the rafters with stuff. So ditch the gift list (how many plates/toasters/vases does one couple really need) and instead, ask your guests to offer up a skill as their present to you. From getting a super-creative friend to design your invites, to divvying up the DJ slots after dinner, the possibilities are endless. Not only will this save you a fortune (have you seen how much wedding DJs charge these days?), it means that everyone will have contributed to your big day in a unique and memorable way.

4. Be crafty

Yes, it’s easier to pay someone else to manage the whole shebang for you. But by making your own bunting or floral arrangements, you can shave a considerable sum of money off your total spend. Get someone you trust to go to a flower market and bulk-buy enough for the table displays and your bouquet, if you’re having one. If you want to go down the traditional route of giving out wedding favours, consider making your own Insta-worthy version: fill jam jars with retro sweets and tie a handwritten ‘Eat me’-type note around them with twine – or dispense with them altogether.

5. Something borrowed, something saved

This is the one thing worth taking from the old saying. Go through the items on your budget planner and see if there is anything that you can borrow or hire on the day – do any of your friends have a wedding veil that would go with your gown? Or if you are not going to wear a bridal gown, you could hire a fabulous designer dress to wear instead.

6. Strip it back

Think about simplifying your day. For example, do you really need to turn up in a lavish car? Your guests probably won’t see you arriving at the venue – they’ll either be seated or too busy chatting and comparing outfits. And why get married in an expensive stately home, when there are so many other, more memorable (not to mention cheaper) options: from an art gallery to a coastal youth hostel, to someone’s garden or a glamping site. Make a list of all the wedding traditions – bridesmaid/usher corsages, bridesmaid gifts, wedding favours, multi-tiered cake – and cross out any that you don’t feel particularly strongly about. Each item you cross off will save you money. Less is more – especially if you go for a rustic, homegrown vibe.

7. Have a Bridal Bake Off

Wedding cakes are another potentially astronomical cost. If there are any star bakers among your guests, why not ask them to create a showstopper for your big day? They will love the challenge and you will have made another great saving (plus lots of delicious cakes to cut into on the day). Ready, steady, bake!

8. Go digital

While it is lovely to have some beautifully designed invites to send out on the day, they are a big expense, not to mention an extra hassle (when was the last time you bought a stamp? Or made a note of someone’s address?). Use an online invitation service for your save-the-dates and invites – not only is it cheaper, it’ll be an easier way for people to RSVP and for you to keep track of who is coming.

9. Help your guests save money too

Your honoured guests might also appreciate some top money saving tips for your big day. Guests traveling by train could save up to 80% of tickets by booking 12 weeks in advance – be sure to get them to check online well ahead of time for advance saver tickets. Plus, there are plenty more money saving tips for your guests [here]( &utm_medium=site-link&utm_source=bauer&utm_content=guest-saving-tips).

Whatever your money goals are, FSCS has an easy tool that will help you find out how much money you could save now and for your future. It's completely free and will show you how you could manage your money better in seconds. FSCS are the people who protect your money for free, from £1 up to £85,000 in UK banks and building societies and credit unions.


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