In the UK, it’s estimated that the average wedding costs around £20,000. While the picture perfect day is the dream, we believe the marriage itself should be the lasting result of a wedding day: and that you can have an amazing wedding day for less! We often hear of couples putting off the wedding while finances are raised, or spending years paying off the debt. So, what can you do to keep the date in the diary and the budget from breaking the bank? Here’s our top 5 tips:
1. Keep The Important Things Important
Every couple is unique and will have things that are important to them. Make a list, put it in order of priority and stick to it. Knowing what’s most important and agreeing between you on this list will help when making tough decision, especially when the budget comes into play. Here’s a list that might help you to get started thinking about what’s most important to you.
- Live Music/DJ
- Thank You Presents
- Table Decorations
- Wedding Night Accommodation
It might feel odd to order some of these things, but if you do create a list in order, it can make it easier to make decisions later if things conflict.
If having a great band play out your wedding reception is above an elaborate cake, then ask about and see if anyone can help decorate a small fruit cake from M&S: if having a beautifully decorated top table is more important than fireworks, then send your new brother-in-law to grab a few rockets and set them off as you leave.
2. Set A Wedding Budget – Stick To It!
This bit can be the greatest struggle for any engaged couple. Whether the money’s coming from savings, parents or loans, deciding on a wedding budget can feel like picking a number out of thin air… but that’s exactly what I’d be inclined to do. Don’t believe the hype – there’s no budget that’s ‘unrealistic’ for getting married. The quoted ‘average’ of £20,000 doesn’t make for an ‘average’ wedding – we’ve been to and played at weddings less than half that budget. If getting married is the aim you can do it regardless of the budget.
This can be where the above list of what’s important becomes really useful. If a great live band is the way you want to see your wedding day out, then compromise on those things you view as less important. If having your guests entertained throughout the day is key for you, cut back on flowers. If having everyone eat together is important, you might choose simpler food.
3. Be Creative
There’s no right or wrong for your wedding day – you’re the leading authority on your wedding day. Leave your drop-box account details so people can share their candid photos of the day with you. Make or design your own invitations. Hire a village hall for your evening reception, and decorate it with fairy lights. If you want to wear that dress you wore to a ball 3 years ago, rather than buy a new one – crazy though that might sound to many! – it’s your call!
4. Ask For Help
Sometimes being creative takes time – and engaged couples seldom have much of that. As such, it can be a great idea to get other people involved. Whether it’s making invitations, decorating a hall/cake/church, or doing something on the day like playing during the ceremony or DJing in the evening, people love to get involved in a wedding day. Again – keep the important things in place – and get help from friends with the rest!
5. Be Flexible
There aren’t many people for whom money is no object, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an awesome wedding day. If you’re keeping the important things in place, being flexible on the rest can help you not only keep to your budget, but not go mad with the details!
Weddings are great fun – we love playing at them – but it’s the marriage which is the lasting part. We hope the above advice helps you in your journey towards marriage. We’d also like to heartily recommend the Marriage Course as part of your wedding preparations. It’s a great way to spend some time investing in your relationship while making the lifelong commitment to one another. For more information, see our page on Marriage.