30 money saving tips: How to have an amazing wedding without the hefty price tag

Cngratulations, you're engaged! Now how do you plan your dream wedding day WITHOUT going into debt?


by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

We may not like to admit it, but many of us have been planning our wedding - in our heads, at least - for years, but we tend to forget about the cost of it all while we're busy fantasising.

It's mainly down to all those celebrity brides; Victoria Beckham's wedding dress alone cost a whopping £60,000 - and Wayne and Coleen Rooney's big day cost a reported £5 million. Zoinks!

But, while many of us may want to compete with the celebs on our big day, there ARE ways of doing it without breaking the budget.

Thanks to shows like Don't Tell The Bride and Four Weddings, which reveal that we CAN make our pound go further than we ever knew, there are plenty of money-saving tips for brides out there.

And, to be helpful, we've gathered them all together here. Aren't we lovely?

How to save money on your wedding day: 30 tips
How to save money on your wedding day: 30 tips

1. Make a budget

Easy-peasy, right? A lot of couples forget to set a budget before they start planning and costs escalate quickly. Don't fall into this trap.

2. Do your own catering

Are we crazy? Not at all; if you do it right, you can make this far cheaper than it would be ordering a sit-down meal. We've got plenty of tips and recipes on how to cater your own wedding (without spending a fortune or losing your mind!) here.

3. Visit TK Maxx

Yeah, we went there. TK Maxx feature plenty of gorgeous off-the-rack gowns that would work well for bridesmaids, as well as unusual containers and glassware that would hold candles or flowers. Perfect for anyone looking to cut corners and save some serious pounds!

4. Try Groupon

Did you know that Groupon sometimes offer ENTIRE wedding packages, at a fraction of the cost? Seriously, now THAT'S a good deal. Groupon is also great for jewellery, discount codes and holidays - so you can still secure a honeymoon, without worrying about spending a fortune.

5. Go off-peak

You can shave about 20 to 30% off the cost of a wedding by planning it for November through to April. Sure, it might be colder - but how beautiful would a winter wonderland theme look? Exactly. And, if you opt for a venue around Christmas time, they may even have their own festive decorations up already, making it even cheaper!

6. ALSO...

Try to ditch the dream of a weekend wedding, because Saturday is THE most popular - and therefore most expensive - day to get married. Ask about rates for Friday and Sunday-night weddings, give your guests plenty of warning and enjoy a huge shaving off the cost!

How to save money on your wedding: 30 tips

7. Don't tell vendors it's a wedding

Well, not at first, anyway. In a study by British consumer research group Which?, wedding vendors were found to routinely charge more for their services when told they were needed for a wedding, versus a "family party" - with many charging up to £650 more for an event room when told it was for a bride's big day.

8. Get thee to a computer

It's a good idea to go shopping at certain shops, to get an idea of sizes, and then waiting for an online sale. Or you could even try and find an online discount code, to help you shave extra pennies off your final budget.

9. Try some DIY

Rather than buying decorations and wedding favours, why not have a go at making them yourself? Check out our 40 Best DIY Wedding Tips And Ideas if you're in need of some inspiration.

10. Hit up eBay

There are plenty of wedding forums on eBay, where brides will be selling props they bought for their wedding day at a reduced price.

11. Get thee to the sales

Find out the dates of sample and designer sales; you can save up to 70% on wedding dresses, headpieces, veils and shoes.

How to save money on your wedding: 30 tips

12. Try the high-street

Plenty of high-street stores sell their own wedding dresses at a fraction of the cost of wedding couture - Monsoon, in particular, has a lovely range of gowns for under £200.

13. Get creative

You want to hear something crazy? It's usually cheaper to have a dress custom-made than it is to buy one from the rack. So find a seamstress you trust, try on a few wedding dresses in the shop for inspiration and get designing - it's one way to ensure a one-of-a-kind gown.

14. Embrace your inner philanthropist

Charity shops, such as Oxfam, also sell second-hand wedding dresses, all of which have been worn once. Why not give it a go and see what treasures you find? You'll be donating money to charity and gaining a gorgeous gown at the same time!

15. Defy expectations

Don't feel like you need to spend money on things you don't really need but feel like you have to have - it's YOUR wedding, after all. Ditch bridesmaids, if you don't fancy them, and skip programs if they aren't your scene. Go for a BBQ or buffet, if you don't fancy a sit-down meal, ask the groomsmen to wear their own suits… whatever you fancy!

Overall, just make sure you're planning the party you want and you're not including things just because everyone includes them.

16. Embrace the great wide yonder

You know what's cheap? Outdoor weddings. Oh yes, we know - you just can't rely on the weather in the UK - but if you have a heated marquee, warn guests to bring welly boots and plenty of cheap (try Primark) umbrellas on offer, we bet it'll be a memorable wedding for all the right reasons.

17. Cut the guest list

By cutting the guest list, you can save mega-bucks on things like flowers, tables, food and square footage. Focus on inviting the people who mean the most to you - make sure they're people you speak to on a regular basis, for starters - and you'll have a cheaper, far more intimate occasion. One where you can actually find time to talk to and thank everyone for being there!

How to save money on your wedding: 30 tips

18. Keep it in-season

If you're going for flowers, chat with your florist about which blooms will be in-season for your big day. They'll be cheaper and fresher - and, if you plan your colour scheme after your decision, they can become the focal point of your wedding theme.

19. Keep it simple

Ask your florist to use just one type of flower in your bouquet and wedding arrangements. It's a budget-friendly move, as your florist will only need to place one bulk order ahead of your big day, and it adds a chic, monochromatic look to your event.

20. Watch the clock

A daytime reception is generally cheaper - a wedding brunch or lunch will usually cost less than dinner. But a later wedding time could help you cut costs, as you could just whip up an evening buffet (see tip number two for more on self-catering).

How to save money on your wedding: 30 tips

21. Speak to your local takeaway

Have a favourite takeaway? Talk to them about catering; it will probably be cheaper to serve up an Indian or Chinese banquet than a traditional sit-down dinner.

22. Serve cocktails

Since most reception sites charge for every bottle opened, even if it's just one drink, why not choose a signature cocktail that uses one type of liquor, stock up on beer and wine - and serve just enough champagne for toasts.

23. BYOB

It's becomign more and more common for brides and grooms to request guests bring their own booze - or pay for drinks at the bar. Just focus on providing the fizzy stuff; nobody will blame you for cutting costs, as alcohol is one of the most expensive parts of any wedding.

24. Keep it personal

Maybe you could ask your dad to drive you to the wedding, for old time's sake? Maybe you could ask your gran to whip up a wedding cake - nothing fancy, just so long as her delicious chocolate buttercream is involved. You know the deal; ask around, make people feel special and help them get involved in your big day - it will make it prettier and more personal than ever.

25. Add your own touches

A wedding cake can, nowadays, cost almost as much as the dress! Bagsy a plain white creation from M&S or Waitrose - or ask a family member to make one for you - and add the finishing touches yourself.

Try using real lace or satin ribbon wrapped around each layer, or use a few real flowers here and there, scattered artistically - cheap, chic and beautiful.

How to save money on your wedding: 30 tips

26. Go for cupcakes

Why not serve cupcakes instead? You can stack them and decorate them until they look fabulous - and just have a cheap white cake on standby for the cutting. it'll make it easier to make sure everyone gets a piece too!

27. Skip the dessert

Why serve desert when you have all that cake on standby? Make the CAKE your dessert - simple!

28. Buy disposable cameras

Pop them on tables with a treasure hunt-style list of photographs that you want your guests to take. it means you can hire a photographer for a shorter period of time and let your guests supplement the photo album for you!

29. Haggle

We've all seen the grooms on Don't Tell The Bride haggle prices down to a snippet of the former cost - so why not follow their lead? Most suppliers are open to negotiation so it's worth making the most of it.

How to save money on your wedding: 30 tips


You need to stick to a realistic budget. Work out how much you can afford, how much your family are putting towards your big day and decide whether you want to take out a loan - it can be a hefty debt over your head, especially if you're paying rent or a mortgage. Why not check out Money.co.uk for some more information on the nitty-gritty of financing your big day - including the benefits of credit card use - before your big day.

Do you have any more money-saving wedding tips to share? Pop the in the Comments Box below and let your fellow brides know how to keep their big day from going into big money now.

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