22 Wedding Saving Tips to Save You £5,000 (or more!)
Our 22 Tips to help you save but not sacrifice on the wedding day of your dreams
Here at Bridebook we firmly believe that you can have a gorgeous and truly special wedding without spending a fortune. If you’re struggling with how exactly to do this, you’re in luck! Thousands of couples nationwide use the Bridebook wedding planning app and our state-of-the-art wedding budget tool to keep track of their expenses. We’ve analysed this data to discover the very best ways to shave off a couple of zero’s from your wedding bill.
From saving £3,000-10,000 just by being smart when choosing your date and location to saving more than £5,000 with some DIY and clever choices with your wedding suppliers, there’s a saving trick in here for every couple.
Set the Date and Location Strategically
If you haven’t set the date yet, you can find HUGE savings by cleverly avoiding the most popular seasons, day of week, and city. Don’t be turned off by the idea of an off-peak wedding, it will be beautiful and lovely no matter when it is!
1. Save £1,679 by avoiding a Saturday wedding:
Join the 46% couples who hold their weddings on weekdays other than Saturday. Yes you read that correctly, almost half of UK couples are getting married on a day of the week other than Saturday. Friday is the next most popular weekday (17% weddings) followed by Sunday (11%) and Thursday (7%). You’re sure to save on almost every wedding supplier by choosing to hold your big day on any day other than a Saturday as suppliers are usually happy to provide reduced rates on days they wouldn’t normally be booked. Plus there’s the bonus that if you get married on a Friday you and your guests have 2 days to recuperate before work on Monday morning!
2. Save £1,571 by having a winter wedding:
About half of all weddings take place in August (18% weddings), July (16%) and September (14%). If you can avoid these popular months and embrace the coziness of a winter wedding, you can save significantly. Often venues bring out additional decorations for Christmas or winter, so you may be in luck and find your venue looking spruced up for your winter wedding day.
3. Save £7,344 (yes, £7k!) by avoiding London:
A London wedding is more expensive than a wedding anywhere else in the UK. Most savvy couples are figuring this out for themselves demonstrated by the fact that while 10% couples live in London, only 4% get married there. Get yourself out to the countryside and book your wedding far away from the M25. Your budget will thank you!
Still looking for your venue? Browse the UK’s largest wedding venue directory to find one that matches all of your needs and wants in no time.
4. Save £905 by choosing an all-in-one venue that includes in-house food & drink:
Couples save by booking all-in-one wedding venues that include food & drink versus those that offer separate venue hire and catering options. 70% of couples have already cottoned onto this saving and choosing hotels/venues with in-house catering so be sure not to miss out!
5. Save £493 by cutting a table:
A table of 8 is simply four couples, for which you’ll pay £62 per head for them to eat a lovely meal. Take a browse through your preliminary guest list and you’ll start to notice that not everyone is absolutely crucial…do you really need work colleagues at your wedding or your University friends whom you haven’t spoken with in years? If you can cut an entire table (remember, just 4 couples) then you’ll not only save an average of £493 on food and beverage for those couples, but will also save in table centerpieces, favours and more.
6. Save £370 by moving 6 guests from wedding breakfast status to evening-only:
The average number wedding guests in the UK is 77 for wedding breakfast and 83 for evening. Notice the difference? Most couples are realising the savings of 6 guests by inviting them as evening-only. Shifting just 6 of your guests to evening-only, as most couples do, will save yourself some cash in a second! Don’t forget you can handle all of this from your Bridebook guestlist manager.
7. Save £2,166 by offering a paid bar:
Who’s going to pay for that round of shots at the end of the evening? Do what 65% of couples are doing, and let the guests pay for their own bar drinks. A paid bar is the most popular option for bar services (compared to open-bar, self-provided drinks, and venue-provided drinks) and can reduce your drinks budget by thousands!
Eager to get menu tasting? Explore and contact the best wedding caterers in your area.
8. Save £258 by going digital and forgoing the album:
Half of couples book photography packages with a USB stick, but only 20% book packages that include a printed album. With all the amazing self-service options for printing albums, why not forgo the professional albums that cost a pretty penny and scale down your professional photographer fees in doing so. As long as you love the photos, it doesn’t matter what form you get them in!
Find a wedding photographer to suit you today.
9. Save £1,056 by forgoing a videographer:
Only 26% weddings include professional videographers, which just goes to show you that three quarters of wedding couples are satisfied with a DIY movie created from your friends’ and family members’ phones. Could you be satisfied with that too in exchange for a thousand pounds savings?
Wedding Dress & Bridesmaid Fashion
10. Save £707 by finding a vintage of second-hand dress:
If you can find a dress that’s been pre-loved, you can most likely find a deal you’ll love just as much. Updating a vintage or second-hand dress can save you hundreds compared to buying a new dress at either a specialist or high-street retailer. Only 5% brides are buying second-hand which means you won’t face much competition if you opt for second-hand, and the amount of gorgeous second-hand dresses out there shouldn’t be underestimated!
11. Save £303 by asking bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses:
While 81% of brides purchase their bridesmaid dresses for them, 19% are finding savings by asking bridesmaids to pay for their own bridesmaid dress, which average £87.46 each. With an average of 3.5 bridesmaids, costs can creep into the hundreds quickly. Just be mindful of your bridesmaids’ budgets before deciding on your dresses!
12. Save £87 by reducing the number of bridesmaids:
If you do feel the need to purchase your bridesmaids dresses for them, considering having fewer bridesmaids (or none at all) and you’ll end up saving in a flash!
Find ‘the one’ in no time by searching bridal boutiques near you.
13. Save £898 by choosing a DJ over a Live Band:
71% of budget-savvy couples hire DJs to provide music for their wedding, compared to 44% who hire Live Bands. You can save significantly by listening to ‘Celebration’ by Kool ‘n the Gang being pumped through a speaker rather than sung by a crooning lead vocalist.
Find your jamming wedding DJ in your area.
14. Save £520 by forgoing a kids’ entertainer and creating a DIY kid’s table:
Non-music entertainment such as magicians or children’s entertainment can be an unnecessary expense. Put together a collection of colouring books, crayons and a box of Lego on a kids’ table and they’ll be able to entertain themselves. You might even find one or two eager adults building little airplanes along with the kids. Built-in babysitters!
15. Save £184 by asking a friend or family member to make your cake:
38% of couples have a wedding cake that’s homemade / from a friend which can cut cake costs by more than half. This can be a very sweet and personal touch that a keen baker in your circle might enjoy. If you don’t have a ‘Mary Berry’ in the family, don’t forget you can also find great value in purchasing a lovely professional wedding cake from a large retailer (e.g. M&S). These cakes are beautiful and usually less expensive than specialty cake makers and you can ask your florist to spruce them up with some flowers. Guests will never know the difference.
16. Save £290 by going digital and skipping paper invitations:
29% of couples are not using paper stationery (e.g. menu, invitations), so why should you? Go eco-friendly and opt for sites like Paperless Post or design your own beautiful digital invitations to email to your guests. At the wedding, a decorative chalk board can explain the menu and agenda for the day – beautiful and cheaper than paper which will end up in the bin.
Beauty Hair & Make-Up
17. Save £337 by doing your own make-up:
Some women (like Princess Kate Middleton, purportedly) prefer to do their own wedding make-up which can look great and save your budget! Spend some extra time practising and watching tutorials so you don’t have to be shy about doing your own on the day.
18. Save £557 by having the men wear their own suits:
If the men in the bridal party are likely to have their own suits for work or special occasions, it may be worthwhile to ask them to wear their own well-fitting clothes and purchase matching ties rather than hire entirely new outfits.
Still want to treat yourself to a fancy suit? Check out wedding suit tailors near you.
Wedding Rings & Jewellery
19. Save £1,058 by going vintage with family jewellery:
Before you and your partner purchase new jewellery, it’s worth asking older relatives if there are any family jewellery pieces that they might like to pass down, even if just temporarily for the big day. A vintage ring, necklace or decorative pin can add charm and nostalgia to your wedding fashion, not to mention massive budget savings.
20. Save £470 by borrowing a friend’s unique ride:
Do you have a friend with a nice car? Ask them to borrow their car or drive you to the wedding! Often friends are delighted by the compliment and happy to share for the special day.
Decoration & Hire
21. Save £732 with these 3 letters: D-I-Y:
Decoration & Hire can be one of the most fun areas of DIY for your wedding. Once you’ve settled on your inspiration, enlist your closest family and friends to help make centerpieces, signage, chair dressings and more to personalise your day and cut costs. Just be sure to leave enough time to get it all done!
22. Save 15% by using Bridebook.co.uk, the free wedding planning app and website, to plan your day:
A professional wedding planner typically costs 10-15% of your wedding budget. Save this amount by planning your wedding the stress-free and smart way, with the free Bridebook.co.uk app. Use the app to research and message the perfect venue and suppliers, and to keep track of your checklist, guests, budget and more. By keeping everything organised on the Bridebook.co.uk app you can stay in control and relaxed on your wedding day – without the assistance of a paid wedding planner.