The average UK wedding cost £30,355 in 2018 — an all-time high, and up by £3,365 from the year before, the Independent reports. From venue hire and decoration to transport and food and drink, weddings are, of course, an expensive affair. But, fortunately, there are plenty of ways couples can save money while preparing and planning for their big day.
As most of you know, I will be getting married in 2021! So I’m super involved at the moment when it comes to looking at money-saving hacks, cost-cutting tips, and everything in between.
So much so, I thought I would share a couple that I found myself when researching…
Couples typically spend an average of £5,862 on food and drink. If your venue allows it, you can save money by organising an alternative to onsite catering. There’s no need to serve a traditional meal with several courses. A wedding buffet, for example, is a cost-effective option.
Think simple, crowd-pleasing food like grilled burgers (£10 for a pack of 20) and salad. Buy your own plastic utensils, paper plates, and cups for under £40 at a wholesale store (depending on the number of guests). A self-serve system is fun for guests and also minimises the catering help you’ll need.
Consider a cruise for your honeymoon
By this, I don’t mean that cruise holidays are a cheaper option, but rather a more enjoyable and affordable way to visit many different far away locations without plane-hopping.
A cruise holiday is one of the most luxurious holidays you can venture on, and what better excuse than for your honeymoon? The main reason they can save you money is because the beauty of cruises is that they stop off at various locations, and often many far away destinations, too. For example, a Caribbean cruise will sail around places like Aruba, Montego Bay, St Lucia and Barbados to name a few. You get the luxury of exploring each place, while having your on-board accommodation and travel all inclusive!
We’re going to be looking at world cruise holidays for our honeymoon trip, as there are so many options of incredible places to stop off and discover!
Credit card offers
Shopping around for credit card offers is a useful way of saving money. For example, some credit cards offer impressive welcome bonuses as long as you reach a minimum spend threshold within the first few months. This threshold tends to be several thousand pounds, which is perfect if you’ll be doing a lot of shopping before your wedding. Plus, you can always set up direct payments from your account to make sure you pay off any debts or credit cards monthly.
See whether a direct debit or standing order setup would work for you. You ideally only need to set this up once, so check the difference between standing order and direct debit and see what suits you best.
If you’re planning a honeymoon abroad, it would be wise to shop for credit card deals which offer discounts on flying, rental cars, hotels, and cruises. Alternatively, any card that gives you cashback on all purchases, as well as cash back when you pay off your balance, can really help you out with wedding purchases.
Ask friends and family
It never hurts to ask for favours from skilled friends and relatives — they’ll be happy to help out and be part of the wedding (and you can also offer to provide them with favours in return). For example, ask around for flowers, plants, or decorations you can borrow so you don’t have to buy expensive new pieces.
Chances are, someone you know was recently married and has some of the items you need, like table settings or numbers, available for reuse. Perhaps relatives can make simple decorations like chair drapes, streamers, bunting and table runners, which will save you both time and money. You could also ask for help setting up and cleaning up at the beginning and end of the day, so you won’t need to hire a clean-up crew.
Be ruthless with numbers
That guest list has got to get lower if you want to save some pennies. When it comes to quick tips for whittling your guest list, think about omitting children and co-wokers (making cuts categorically is less likely to cause rifts). Children is an obvious one and fairly common, and co-workers might not always be in your life. Then think about couples: a couples, spouses, fiancés, and live-ins only.
If you really want to cut costs, it’s handy to cut down the people in your bridal party. Do you really need 8 bridesmaids? And 8 groomsmen? If you have less, it means less money spent on bouquets, boutonnières, presents, and transportation.
Weddings typically aren’t cheap, and it’s easy for couples to go over their budget quickly. However, with these clever tips, you can save money and make your big day more affordable!