You don’t need to spend a fortune for a stylish wedding. We asked industry experts for their top budgeting tips.
In the midst of a cost of living crisis, we’re all looking to save money when we can. However, it’s easy to get carried away when planning a wedding and ending up with a big bill that you can’t afford.
The average cost of a wedding in the UK is now more than £17,000, and it’s easy for the price tag to go as high as £30,000 or more if you add in lavish hen and stag parties or a five-star honeymoon.
But it definitely doesn’t have to be so expensive, and, regardless of how people talk about the price going up as soon as you mention the word ‘wedding’, it is possible to save money on your big day without feeling like you’re scrimping.
We’ve rounded up our top 10 tips from industry insiders to keep wedding costs under control:
1. Be Strategic About Spending and Splurging
When planning your wedding budget, sit down and have a think about what is really important to you as a couple. Do you have your heart set on a particular venue? Or maybe you’re not that fussed about finery but want to ensure your guests enjoy an amazing dinner? Fine-tuning your priorities will make it easier to say ‘no’ to extra expenses.
2. Book a DJ with a Live Musician
A live band is a lot of fun, but expect to pay around £2,000 or more. A more budget-friendly option is to hire a DJ with a live saxophonist, vocalist, percussionist or even an electric guitar player. The live musician adds to the atmosphere by mixing with the crowd as they sing or play.
Always ask about package discounts – at Mint DJs, we offer discounts of up to 20% for packages such as booking a live performer for both a drinks reception and an evening event; or booking several extras such as uplighting, an LED dance floor and a selfie mirror.
3. Cut the Guest List
Ok, this one is controversial, but most couples realise after their wedding day that they could have saved hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds if they had been more ruthless with their guest list.
Will it really cause a family feud if you don’t invite the cousins you haven’t seen for years? Could you leave out work colleagues if you’re not super close? Unless there are strong family or cultural obligations, rethink inviting people you would struggle to have a conversation with.
4. Opt for a Weekday Wedding
Weekday weddings are typically cheaper, and you can also save money by planning your nuptials outside of the May to October wedding season. Winter weddings are decidedly chic and increasingly popular.
5. Skip ‘Save the Date’ Cards
While they look gorgeous, ‘Save the Date’ cards aren’t necessary. Heather, owner at ByBlossom Wedding Stationary in Gravesend, suggests sending guests a lovely text or WhatsApp to let them know the date as soon as you have your venue booked, then sending a beautiful wedding invitation later.
6. Cut the Cake – well, not all of it
You don’t necessarily need to serve cake to all guests as many will have enjoyed a full wedding breakfast. Shelley from Shelley’s Cakes in Chislehurst advises ordering the correct size to feed 60% to 75% of your guests. “That will still be sufficient to please most people and will cut down on wastage too,” she says.
7. Book a Shorter Day of Filming
A wedding day is usually long for everybody involved – but you can save significantly if you reduce the amount of time you require a videographer. Carol, owner and videographer at the Tunbridge Wells company Cut Above Productions, says you can make your budget go further by asking your videographer to capture the day from bridal preparations to first dance, and then requesting friends to send you clips of the rest of the evening.
8. Something Borrowed
Victoria, owner of Victoria’s Bridal Boutique in Orpington and Gravesend, suggests borrowing your veil or hair accessories from a married friend or family member. Most brides only wear their veil for a few hours and borrowing one can save you hundreds.
9. Stick with Your Favourite Lipstick
Kent professional makeup artist Elizabeth Joseph Love advises brides to pick a favourite colour from one they already have in their makeup bag, rather than buy a new high end product. “Lip colours are very personal to each client. It’s their favourite for a reason,” she adds.
10. Don’t Scrimp on Professional Services
While it’s tempting, it doesn’t pay to rely on an amateur friend or family member for services such as DJing, hair and make-up, photography or videography. Unless you know the person’s work well and are confident they will deliver, hiring a professional will make your special day so much more relaxing.
Mint DJs are a group of award-winning, highly professional wedding DJs who cover venues throughout the South-East of the UK. Contact us for a quote or to find out more.
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Writer: Dawn Gibson-Fawcett, Dawn Creative Media
Your wedding reception is the culmination of months of planning, love, and excitement. It’s the moment when you and your partner can let loose, dance