It may be one of the most important days of your life, but getting married can be a drain on that old bank balance. According to a recent survey, the average cost for a wedding is somewhere in the region of £24,000.
So how do you watch the pennies and make sure you get value for money? Here are some of our best tips for staying out of the red:
1. Create a Budget
If you don’t keep track of the spending, you’ll soon find it getting out of control. The key to maintaining a hold on those wedding purse strings is to create a budget and nail down what you are prepared to pay for each part of your big day. The more you plan, the cheaper your wedding will be.
2. What Are Your Priorities?
There’s a lot involved in a wedding and some things are undoubtedly more important than others. Sit down with your soon to be partner and make a list of things that you definitely, categorically want and things that you’d like but could live without.
3. Choosing Your Venue
A lot of the cost for your wedding is going to be tied up in choosing the venue. If you opt for a place like a hotel or specialist venue, the chances are those costs will start to build up pretty quickly.
There are cheaper options such as booking a pub or even a town hall. Choice of food is also going to be important. Do you really need a sit down meal or should a cheap and cheerful buffet be the order of the day?
Some wedding planning experts suggest not even telling the venue that you are hiring for a wedding as they’re more likely to inflate their prices.
4. Start Your Prep Early
The longer you give yourself to plan your wedding day, the more you can afford to wait and shop around. When stuck for time, we tend to go for the first person who says they can provide what we need, including the venue.
The other thing you should be prepared to do is argue over prices. It’s something us Brits aren’t particularly good at but by the end of wedding preparation you should be aiming to be an absolute expert haggler.
Here’s where you can make quite a big difference. Of course, there are going to be people you definitely need to invite but do you really need to give Sal from the office and her husband you’ve never met a ticket to your most important day? Try to keep your list of guests down to the minimum, it makes things so much easier to manage on the day.
6. Do You Need a DJ?
What entertainment you provide for the evening is an important part of the celebrations. Some like to go the whole hog and hire a band, others simply settle for the old fashioned DJ. If you can’t afford either, build your own play list and get a decent sound system. You’ll probably find most people won’t even notice the difference.
7. The Outfits
This can be a little contentious and will depend on your point of view but there are plenty of ways to save on the costs when it comes to the outfits. Get the groom, best man and ushers to wear their own suits. You can also save a lot on bridesmaid dresses by buying high street rather than an expensive boutique. If you are not that fussed about the wedding dress, shopping online and buying second hand can be an option. And if you’re not a traditionalist, you don’t have to go for a wedding dress at all! Just wear something smart.