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With the average cost of a wedding day now creeping ever closer to £30,000, it’s no wonder that couples are looking for more and more ways to keep their wedding costs down. Luckily, there are plenty of tips and tricks you can use to whittle down your wedding expenses and keep track of that all-important budget! Wedding planning experts Guides for Brides are here to help with some of their best money-saving tips…
First things first – set a budget, and stick to it. Letting your purchases dictate your wedding budget is a surefire way to end up spending more than you’d intended, so sit down and work out the absolute essentials for your big day, and add up the total. Don’t forget legal costs and little extras like postage costs! Once you have this number, compare it to how much you can save (including any current savings and monetary gifts you’re likely to receive from family) and tweak accordingly. Knowing the number to stick to can help keep impulse purchases down, and save you money in the long run.
It may sound like strange advice, but the length of your engagement time can have a significant effect on your wedding budget! Having a short engagement, such as six months, means that you can take advantage of last-minute deals and late availability offers, particularly when it comes to wedding venues. If you’re aiming for this tactic though, be aware that you’ll have to be flexible, as many suppliers will already be booked.
On the other side of the coin, a long engagement means that you’ll not only have more time to save, but you’ll also be able to take advantage of more seasonal deals (Black Friday or Boxing Day sales, anyone?) and will have less pressure to make snap decisions. One thing to be careful of is making lots of small purchases over several years, as these small spends easily add up!
One way to immediately save thousands of pounds is to pick your wedding date carefully. Fridays and Saturdays in peak season cost significantly more when it comes to venue hire, so opting for an off-season or weekday wedding can instantly cut costs. In lots of cases, Sundays will cost less than a Friday wedding, so don’t rule this out. For reference, when it comes to weddings, peak season is considered to be May-September, as well as December. The cheapest months to marry tend to be January to March, October and November.
It can come as a surprise to many couples, but your guest list has one of the biggest effects on your wedding budget. Every guest you invite will bump the cost – not only of catering (which surveys reveal is one of the biggest wedding spends for most couples), but also of favours, furniture hire, stationery costs and wedding cake budget, as well as having a direct effect on the size of the venue you hire.
If you have your heart set on a large guest list then be aware that you may have to choose a caterer with a lower cost per head to fit into your wedding budget. Otherwise, cutting the guest list (at least to the day) is one of the quickest ways to save money – although, perhaps not the easiest!
Everyone knows that DIY can help you save money when it comes to the wedding budget, but you may not have thought of asking friends and family to pitch in. People are generally only too happy to help when it comes to weddings, so it’s always worth asking (politely!) if your loved ones would mind lending their talents to your wedding day. Whether it’s a graphic designer friend who can help design the stationery, the mother of the bride growing decorative flowers in her garden or a bridesmaid baking cupcakes in lieu of a traditional cake, these contributions can help keep costs down as well as lending the day a personal touch.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – there’s no point having a wedding budget if you’re not going to stick to it! Having everything written down and tracked is key to keeping an eye on your spend so far, and stops that sticker shock when it comes to paying final bills in the last two months. Having an app is an easy way to track this, as it means you can update your costs on the go.
The Guides for Brides Wedding Planner includes a budget tracker for all your wedding suppliers, so you can see the overall cost as well as what you’ve already paid. Being organised and aware of your costs ahead of time means that when your big day finally rolls around, you can relax and enjoy it!