Easy Ways To Save Money On Your Wedding (Without Compromising On The Overall Experience)

It’s estimated that the average UK wedding costs in the region of £27,000 – which is a huge amount of money to spend on a singular day, no matter how important and memorable. It’s no surprise that wedding planning can easily take over your life, as each of us brides-to-be look to juggle creating something that reflects our personality and is unique, with the ever impending budget spreadsheet that tells us we should really cut a thing or two out. I’m fortunate enough to have saved enough over the years to have the wedding I absolutely desire, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think twice about how much is being spent; when you start to think not in pounds but in hundreds and thousands, perspective can get a little lost. Personally I don’t want to scrimp and wish I’d opted for XYZ a few years down the line, but I also don’t want to be handcuffed to unnecessary costs that won’t enrich the experience of our day (or even be noticed by anyone but us.) This outlook has lead me to be able to identify what’s worth investing in and how I can cut costs – but without impacting the overall look and feel of the event, and certainly not getting hands on with a glue gun.


Our venue can host everything we need and more for the whole day, meaning there’s only one location people need to find their way to. Not only does this reduce on faff and travel time, but it means you don’t need to deal with the cost of two venues and the associated decoration, nor do you even have a need for expensive wedding cars. At £500 a pop to essentially take you a ten minute journey down the road, it’s an expense I can do without! By ensuring every part of our day is in the same place, it also means we can re-use our floral decorations and move them from one room to the next so we can maximise their impact and reduce the overall cost.


Blank canvases may seem like a good idea initially, but they take a lot of time, effort and money to bring to life. We’ve opted for a manor house and barn setting, which not only provides the perfect backdrop but means all we need is a few fairy lights to create some ambiance when the sun goes down. Decorations are always more than you think, so do take that into account when you’re choosing your venue. 


I had no idea how much wedding invitations cost until we started researching; because the quantities are usually quite low, each piece of card can set you back in the region of £2.00 if you’re not careful. Traditionally invitations also come with additional cards providing information on accomodation, travel and gifts, but we decided to skip the printing costs and build a wedding website instead. This means there’s no need for additional printing or postage costs, plus all the details your guest need (including RSVP-ing to the day) can be hosted in one digital place. We saved about £500 just on invitations alone – which considering most get thrown away straight after, is something I’m more than happy with. 


Cake is my friend and always will be, but spending upwards of £1000 on a few layers of Victoria Sponge was too much even for me. An easy saving to make involves swapping those beautifully intricate hand-crafted icing flowers for much cheaper and readily available real ones – and the price difference is hundreds. As you’re not paying for hours of hand crafting, you can make significant savings without impacting the overall effect; just swap the icing for fresh blooms and spend the money on your honeymoon instead. (To put it into context, we saved about £600 by opting for a simple white cake and floral blooms.)


They’re often able to keep overheads down and offer better value than huge suppliers, plus they can work within your restrictions rather than simply quoting from a spreadsheet. We’ve opted for local independent suppliers wherever possible because their prices were extremely competitive, but also their passion was so much more prevalent. I want to work with someone that’s going to get as excited about table decorations as I am! 


Oh my goodness I had no idea how much more expensive Saturday weddings were! They can be up to four times the price of a week day, depending upon your venue, so this was an easy way to cut out a lot of expense. We’re getting married on a Thursday which was about a third of the cost to book; it means we can have the full weekend to recover and have some downtime with our loved ones, but it also means we can have access to set up the day before. Bonus. I definitely found it was easier to book suppliers on a week day too, and some even offer discounts as a result. 


One thing I’ve never really understood about weddings is the need for canapes. Surely people eat breakfast and lunch before they come, only to be fed twice again before the evening is out? Those little faffy bundles of randomness don’t offer much in terms of tummy filling ability anyway, but they do cost a small fortune. Say no to the canapes, but if you’re desperate to offer your guests something to nibble on after the ceremony then a pick n mix stand or donuts will do the job much more effectively while being a fraction of the outlay.


Don’t want to end up with piles of gifts you won’t ever use? Instead of leaving your gift list ambiguous, or filling up your John Lewis bleeper with a tonne of random stuff you don’t really need, book your honeymoon and ask for contributions instead. The majority of people will want to give you something, so this allows them to provide a gesture that will actually go towards something you’ll always remember. We’ve booked our honeymoon via Virgin Holidays who offer a honeymoon gift list service; our guests can contribute up to two weeks after we fly, and any overspend or credit will be refunded back to us straight away. Easy peasy and a great way to save on your honeymoon so you can afford the trip of your dreams.

Have you got any other tips on how you can save money on your big day without compromising on the overall effect or experience?

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  1. Jodie Melissa
    May 16, 2017 / 3:30 pm

    I think without even realising I have pretty much done all of these things to cut costs, so many valid points that are so useful and I completely agree that without any of these things your day really won't be any less special. I'm having my wedding all in one location and I really love the idea of everyone being able to arrive in one place and not have the hassle of travelling else where! I didn't realise about the service that Virgin offer, that's such a good idea! We have been thinking about ways we can politely say we really don't want any gifts and I think that's a brilliant idea xjodiemelissa.com

    • Hayley Carr
      May 16, 2017 / 3:48 pm

      It's such a good gift plan isn't it? I've made most of these decisions consciously, but not to save money – more just because that's what we wanted. The money saving is such a bonus though!

    • last year's girl
      May 17, 2017 / 2:03 pm

      There were far fewer ways of setting up honeymoon gift lists even back in 2010, but given we'd been living together for years before the wedding the traditional "gift list" just seemed like a waste! Our incredibly generous friends ended up giving us dollars to spend on our New York honeymoon which meant we could have the trip of our dreams without having to worry about spending money.Lis / last year's girl x

  2. Rosa Fairfield
    May 16, 2017 / 4:26 pm

    I love the idea of asking people to contribute to the Honeymoon costs instead of giving gifts.http://ohduckydarling.com

  3. emmalcm
    May 16, 2017 / 7:16 pm

    We did ours with about £5000 and we were so pleased with how it turned out. We actually split it into two and had an afternoon tea after the ceremony and a party/ evening reception a week later. The main reason being that my mum used to do wedding catering for a living and didn't want us to start married life in debt by paying a hotel thousands for food. She actually did the food for the evening-she could because she had the day free before the evening. At first I thought it sounded a bit strange but actually I was so exhausted after the afternoon that I really appreciated having it not all in one go. People loved that they could leave their kids at home for the evening too without too much hassle. We didn't want a formal sit down meal anyway so we had a posh buffet with huge hams and things to carve. We decorated ourselves without a huge amount of effort and I made table decorations myself. I like making cards so I also made the invitations-hand made would cost you a bomb if you paid for it. My mum made our wedding cake as well. I even did one of those sweetie tables myself which cost me under £100 for and it was about £300 at a wedding fair we went to. And best of all our honeymoon cost us almost nothing because it was mostly paid for as wedding gifts. Loads of people commented on how personal it was and it really was because we did so much ourselves. I honestly don't think we we'd have had a better time if we'd spent more on it and it meant we could get on with saving for a mortgage deposit x

  4. Beky Lou
    June 1, 2017 / 7:16 pm

    I absolutely loved this post and found it so useful! I'm not engaged yet, but with a baby on the way it's something we've definitely been talking about and our budget has definitely been a big talking point. I never even thought of some of your suggestions like having the wedding on a Thursday to cut down on costs and a wedding website is such a fab idea, especially as most of our guests will know I'm always online anyway! xxwww.bekylou.com

  5. Ramblingmads
    June 3, 2017 / 9:14 pm

    We're setting up a website but will sit send invites to older relations who aren't very tech savvy like my grandparents who don't have the internet. I do like the fresh flowers on the cake idea especially as a friend is making the cake for ours and another friend is the florist!

  6. vanessamaxine.
    June 5, 2017 / 11:01 am

    I love this post! I did so much research as soon as we decided to start planning our wedding that most of these things popped up. Luckily we are in one place all day and our venue is also a barn setting. It works with all local suppliers that offer you really good rates for going with them. Win for the supplier and us! For the invites part, what sort of website did you use? We've been looking at nearly £4 an invite and I much prefer the idea of something digital! x

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