17 Ways to Get Your Wedding Budget Under Control Today

Wedding budget potWedding budgets are notorious for spiralling out of control and once there it can often seem as though there’s no way back. How on earth do you have a great wedding and keep all of the costs involved within budget? Is it really possible to get back on track once you seem to have lost all budgeting control?


Well, today I’m going to make the answers to these questions easy for you – all you need to do is to put aside some time and take action and you will be able to see instant results in your wedding budgeting today.


With the average UK wedding costing around £20,000 and $26,444 in the U.S it’s time to get started and get saving!

ACTION#1: Get Given Tax Free Money to Spend on Your Wedding by Using the Right Type of Account.

Put the money that you will be using for your wedding into a high interest savings account. If you did have the UK wedding average of £20,000 in one account for a year earning interest you would gain a reasonable return and this, from April 2016 in the UK, is tax free. Lump together as much of the money for the wedding for as long as you can into the one account to get the best return.


Money Super Market Image



How to do it:

  1. Decide on a method for recording your budget (see Action#3). This might be a simple book with columns, a spreadsheet or you could go online and do a search for “weddings costs spreadsheet” and use a free online facility. Whichever you choose you need to be able to record basic income (where the money is coming from) and also plan and keep track of your expenses and when the money will be going out.
  2. List where all of the money to pay for the wedding will be coming from. This might include savings, parent’s contributions, a portion of your monthly wages, gifts from guests etc etc.
  3. Go onto Moneysupermarket and/or Compareandsave and look for the right account for you. Bear in mind that the higher the interest rate the more notice you will probably have to give to get money out. Also look out for monthly fees and other terms and conditions whilst balancing this against the highest rate of interest you can get for the amount of money that you are likely to have in the account.
  4. Once you have decided on the right account then hit apply and go through the application process. You will need to provide ID at some point, often a passport and or driving licence and this can mean actually going into the banks branch even if you are applying online.
  5. Get the money together and stuff it in the account and leave it there as long as possible! So, this means asking if anyone who is going to contribute will give you the money earlier rather than later, putting all of the bits and pieces together to make a larger more interest earning whole and making sure that you pay your wedding related bills and invoices as near to the big day as possible to maximise their interest earning potential. (Use a credit card as below)

Now, this might all seem like a lot of hassle for not much money because you may well not have a lump sum to have sitting there for a year or more and there will be money filtering out of the account all of the time.


But, just imagine this:


If you have say an average of even just two grand in that account for a year or so you could earn £60– FOR FREE! If I had a free £60 in fresh crispy notes in the grips of my sweaty hand right now I’d be feeling pretty chuffed. It could very easily be much more than that if you do this right and you will most probably be able to buy a bridesmaids dress or two for free money!


ACTION#2: Get Cash Back and/or 0% Interest on Every Wedding Purchase

Use a carefully chosen credit card to pay for your wedding purchases. Don’t just use any old card or your current card as it probably won’t be the most cost effective – decide how you will use it and plan accordingly. Depending on your circumstances you may well be able to borrow money by paying on a 0% card for a period of time for free or, if you are able to make regular payments now you may well be able to earn cash back on every purchase.


How to do it:

  1. Go to Experian.co.uk and get a credit check to find out your credit rating. Obviously the better your credit rating is the better deal you will get and, if you have an idea of this before you start applying, you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle.
  2. Decide on the type of deal you want – you might go for a long 0% deal or you might be looking for a card where you get cash back on every purchase you make. The 0% cards can be really helpful as you are basically borrowing money with no interest but you must pay off all of the amount before the deal ends or you will be hit with a high interest monthly bill. You can, of course, switch to another 0% deal card at this time to borrow for longer if you haven’t paid the card off but you will need to organise this at the right time as the card company won’t remind you that the 0% deal is ending. There will also be a balance transfer fee to pay at that time as well if you do decide to transfer the money to another card.
  3. Use moneysavingexpert.com or uswitch.com to find the best card for you and you will be able to apply online.
  4. Make sure that you remember to actually use the card for every wedding related expense and that you also remember to keep up with the payments.
  5. If you are using a long 0% deal create a reminder for yourself either in a diary or electronically on your phone for a month before the deal expires so that you can avoid paying interest on any remaining balance.


ACTION#3: Feel in Control – Sort Out Your Current Position and Get Organised

Wedding organisationIt can be temporarily comforting but, eventually, the head in the sand position starts to become a bit of a problem! In many ways it’s often better and ultimately less stressful to be in possession of all of the facts and to confront problems head on than it is to be kept in the dark and just hope that everything will be ok.

This is particularly true when keeping on top of your wedding budget and planning. You might have a sense that things are slipping out of control and you will at sometime have to confront the enormity of the situation. It’s far better to pull the reigns in sooner rather than later, realistically confront your position and then plan accordingly. At least with this approach you regain some control and stand a much better chance of getting the wedding you want within the budget that you have set.


How to do it:

  1. Look online and download a wedding planning checklist and spreadsheet. You can find one here, but if you do a search for “wedding budget planner” or similar you will find a huge number of helpful tools. Have a look at two or three only and commit to using one of them from now on.

  2. Look through the receipts you already have and enter on the spreadsheet all of the financial commitments you have already made. This may well include deposits and fees that you have already paid to secure various services as well as entering financial commitments that you have agreed to pay before the wedding arrives. You may well have paid a booking fee for your caterer for example and need to pay them the outstanding balance a month before the wedding.

  3. Forget about all of the things that you still need to organise and buy (for the moment) and enter into the spreadsheet all available finance that you have in place to fund the wedding. This might include a lump sum of savings, regular monthly savings amounts, money given by parents, guests and friends, money raised by selling items etc. Some of this may, in reality, arrive in your account at different times but, for now, ignore the timings and just concentrate on the size of the pot as a whole.

  4. You now know exactly the amount you have available to fund the wedding and also the amount that you have already committed to paying. Take one from the other and you will then be left with your current financial position and the amount of budget that you still have available to complete your wedding planning and purchases. This is a good thing! Even if it is nowhere near what you were expecting you are now part way to being in control of your budget and to being able to make informed and considered financial choices rather than simply stabbing in the dark and guessing.

  5. It’s absolutely vital that everytime you make a purchase for the wedding from now on you enter the payment into the spreadsheet so that you can keep tight control and always have an accurate picture of your financial position.

  6. Assuming that you’ll have money going in and out of the wedding fund over the next few months it will probably be very helpful to create a cashflow forecast. You can download a simple spreadsheet to do this on here. For each month you are able to enter the money you are expecting to be put into the wedding fund and also the money that will go out. This is extremely helpful as you will be able to pinpoint crunch points and plan accordingly as well as allow yourself to responsibly spend before money physically arrives in the fund if it is necessary. It is a perfectly reasonable strategy to use a 0% credit card to help you through  troughs or an overdraft facility if you have an accurate cashflow forecast that shows how you will be able to pay the money back again. Remember you are looking at the overall position and rather than making knee jerk decisions on a day to day basis based on how much you have available at the time.

  7. Now you have an accurate figure for the amount of money you have left, a cash flow forecast to help you view the wedding finances over the long term it’s now time to see how much you can actually save!



ACTION#4: Get a Free £50 by Using Amazon Wedding List

Wedding gift listApparently the average cost of going to a wedding for a guest in the UK in 2015 was £400 per person. This is made up of the cost of buying a new outfit, hotel bills, travel and also the average cost of giving a wedding gift which is £50. Now, I’m not wanting to sound mercenary here but, if your guests are planning on giving you a £50 gift each then you might as well make it easy for them to do so and also financially advantageous to you as well. Here are some  ideas to make that money really work for you.


How to do it:

  1. Use the Amazon Wedding list . Once your guests have spent a total of £250 you get a completely free £50 gift card! It’s a no brainer!

  2. Make sure that, if you are expecting gifts, that you do actually make a gift list of stuff that you actually want and need. There’s nothing worse as a wedding guest than having to work out what to buy and you will end up with a lot of duplicates and things you don’t need. Make it easy for your guests and productive for you by actually making a list – again it can feel a bit presumptuous and awkward but it’s the only way to go!

  3. Consider asking for hard cash as a gift. Again, it can feel a bit awkward but you are planning an expensive wedding, you need the cash, your guests want to give a gift so why not? You could ask for cash towards certain aspects of the wedding so that the guest knows what they are contributing to so that it is a little more personal.

  4. Ask for skills as wedding gifts. You will be surprised at how keen people are to offer their time and skill instead of money to contribute to the big day. Start by making a list of the guests and their possible skills and then designate an organised bridesmaid or usher to contact people and put the plan into action. You could easily get a cake, video, dessert course, transport in a classic car, photography, make up, hair, table centres etc etc etc for free or at least very little.

  5. If and when you do get unwanted or duplicate gifts be completely unsentimental. Either ask the giver to return or change them or sell them on Ebay.


ACTION#5: Easily Save Money Towards Your Wedding Every Day.

The chances are you are wasting money on a daily basis and, after having a personal financial clear out you will be able to save money every single day and put it towards your wedding budget. The sooner you get started on this the more money you will gain so let’s get going with that right now.


wedding rings and money


How to do it:

  1. Go through your bank account and check every single standing order and direct debit to check that there aren’t any duplicates, any old ones you have forgotten about or any that you simply don’t need any more. Things to look out for are mobile phone monthly payments that could be reduced, insurances that have auto renewed, subscriptions you really don’t need any more.

  2. Be ruthless and cancel everything from the list that you don’t need.

  3. Find out exactly how much you earn each month either from your payslip, your employer or from your bank account.

  4. Add up all of your current outgoings that you actually need to continue to survive – things like rent payments, transport to work costs and other non negotiable payments. Include only absolute essentials here, things that can’t be changed and that you need to pay to actually survive!

  5. Take the living essentials figure away from your monthly income figure and you should be left with a surplus. (If you don’t have a surplus I would seriously suggest that you seek financial advice and consider your whole position very carefully. You will need to make some large changes to your long term situation to survive.) Look at the surplus and make a rough estimate of how much you could live on each month and how much you could potentially save and put towards the wedding. Maybe you save £2.50 a day by not buying a coffee – that would be £50 per month or £600 per year! It doesn’t matter how much it is but start by being realistic and transfer that amount into your wedding savings account at the start of each month.

  6. Now comes the radial bit. At the start of the month take out all of the surplus money from your account in cash. Leave in only essential survival money, this will probably come out of your account over the month automatically if it is rent for example or, if you need to take it out yourself you know that the only time you use your card to take money out of your account is for your essential living money that you have already pre agreed with yourself. This means that, at the end of the month, your actual bank account bank account should be on zero.

  7. Divide the cash into a weekly amount, stash it somewhere very safe and use only cash for your day to day payments. This includes food, entertainment – everything. Retraining yourself to use cash makes you much more money aware, you will find it much easier to stick with your budget and at the end of the month you should end up essentially on zero but with money saved towards the wedding as well.

  8. Adjust month to month. You may need to readjust your figures by trial and error but you are at least now in control on a monthly basis and making controlled and informed decisions about your money. You are also putting aside a regular amount each month towards the big day. Think of each month’s savings as being maybe a bridesmaid’s dress per month or maybe five people’s catering costs – thinking in terms of physical assets will be more motivating than just thinking of cash figures only.



ACTION#6: Create Cash Both Before and After the Wedding

Wedding rings and cashOnce you have had a financial spring clean get on and have a physical one as well. The chances are that you have all sorts of bits and pieces that you don’t need that you could potentially sell. Similarly, try to be unsentimental about it and think about what things you bought for the wedding that you could sell after the wedding as well. You could potentially plan to resell your wedding dress for example and, if you are using a 0% credit card you could reasonably loan yourself it’s resale value before the wedding to be used for other wedding purchases.


How to do it:

  1. Make a list of rooms, cupboards, shelves and other storage places around the house that need a clear out and make a plan for systematically going through each one. Possibly do this over a period of days or weeks so that you stick with it and do a thorough job on each area.

  2. As you tidy and sort make four piles. One pile for stuff that you are going to keep, one for stuff that you are going to throw away or recycle, one for giving to charity and, most importantly for our current mission, one pile of things that you could potentially sell.

  3. Make a big pile of everything that you can potentially sell and have one big photo session where you photograph each item ready for putting online for sale. Make the photographs well lit, so photograph by a large window, on a neutral background maybe like a table top and make sure that you take lots of in focus and clear images of each object.

  4. Sign up for an account on Ebay if you don’t already have one and also GumTree.

  5. Sell items that can easily be posted on Ebay and those that can’t on Gumtree. The key is to write a clear, detailed and friendly description for each item and to include lots of photographs. From experience I know that items that are well described and illustrated sell much more easily. You can look to see what similar items sold for to help decide how to pitch your auction but generally speaking a week long auction starting at a low price works the best. Remember to include a realistic postage and packing charge so that you aren’t out of pocket. Hermes is usually the simplest option as they will collect from you as well.

  6. Do not be discouraged by small sale prices. Remember that this is essentially money for nothing in that you are selling your unwanted items. Remember that lots of small sales quickly add up to a larger amount and again think in terms of raising money for one particular aspect or item for the wedding and this will help with your motivation!

  7. After the wedding use the same process and sell, sell, sell. There are thousands of budget conscious brides looking online for a bargain just like you were so go ahead and convert as much as you can back into cash. Use Ebay as above and for wedding dress resales go to www.sellmydress.com



ACTION#7: Save Money by Buying Second Hand

This one is really simple and you will also use it after the wedding to recoup some of your money back. Simply buy as much as you can second hand. Obviously Ebay is a great source of wedding related material but there are specialist sites such as sellmyweddingdress.co.uk, bridetobride.co.uk, sellmywedding.co.uk where you can buy good quality used wedding items. Use your 0% credit card to buy and you can then sell them back on the site to pay off the credit card – you might even make a profit if you can photograph and describe the items well to improve the listing and get a higher price for each item.



ACTION#8: Save Money by Haggling

We are often slightly embarrassed by haggling. I think that, in some way we think of it as being rather rude or indelicate despite the fact that in many other cultures it’s more or less expected. Many wedding providers will be open to talking about costs and may well be flexible and it is a strategy that could well save you several hundreds of pounds from your whole budget.


stressed bride


How to do it:

  1. Make sure that you are fully aware of your local pricing benchmark for each of the wedding services that you are going to purchase by getting pricing details from at least three wedding providers.

  2. Ensure that you have an accurate figure in your mind for exactly what you are prepared to pay for the service and what you are expecting to get for this figure.

  3. Make sure that you meet all of your providers in person as it makes it much easier to haggle and much more likely that you will gain some sort of discount if you have built up a personal relationship.

  4. Decide on what sort of concession you are prepared to make to give your provider an incentive to reduce their costs. It might be that your wedding is on a non peak day for example or that you would like to have the service for an hour or two less. You may be able to offer immediate payment in full or be confident enough to say that you will book their service on the spot for a certain price.

  5. Decide what your course of action will be if your reduced price suggestion isn’t agreed on. Will you pay full price or look elsewhere?

  6. Once the subject of pricing comes around say that you really like what they are offering and say why you feel that you would be such a good fit together. Say that you are extremely keen to book them and would like to go ahead but you were wondering if there may be any leeway on price based on one of the reasons you will have decided on above.

  7. At this point stop talking and wait for a response!

  8. You may well be lucky and the provider might agree or at least come back with a compromise. It really is a case of not getting if you don’t ask but you must be prepared for the fact that some providers will simply not budge on price and, if you really want them to be at your wedding, you will have to pay! If you have handled the situation sensitively and reasonably there’s no reason for either party to feel hard done by though and, if you follow this through for several providers you should be able to save several hundred pounds.

  9. If you have already booked a number of providers go back through your list and see if they can provide you with any complimentary products. Venues, for example, often offer a complimentary bridal suite, an upgrade to your table linen or additional lighting for free. Wedding car hire companies will often give you complimentary champagne or add a free journey to transport bridesmaids of you ask. Maybe your caterer would provide a small lunch as well.


Again, you won’t get it if you don’t ask and you need to get over the fact that you might be seeming cheeky or rude. If you ask nicely and respectfully and particularly if you then go on to give great recommendations and feedback you are doing nothing wrong and you have everything to gain.



ACTION#9: Save Cash and Stress by Using a Wedding Planner

It might seem a bit counter intuitive to consider actually paying someone to help plan your wedding but there can be a number of financial advantages to this approach. Firstly, in terms of actual hard cash saved a good and well connected wedding planner will be able to negotiate a discount from a wide range of suppliers and this in itself could save you an appreciable amount of money. Will it be enough to cover the planner’s fees? Well possibly not but it is possible to employ a wedding planner to help with only certain key areas so the fee may be not as much as you are thinking. You also need to think of their financial advantage in terms of time saved – depending upon your work and financial situation a planner can save you hours and hours of organisational time, thinking time and stressing time. If doing this sort of work yourself is going to impinge on your own work time and impact your own productivity then it could have a negative impact on your finances as well. In this type of situation a good planner can be an invaluable and financial godsend!

wedding planner

How to do it:

  1. First of all have a look at this video where I interview three well known wedding planners and find out exactly what they can offer and how it can be a huge advantage to employ one.

  2. Decide on the areas of your wedding where you think that you could do with a helping hand. This could range from coming up with design ideas, looking for suppliers or making actual bookings. You might also want to consider if you will need help and coordination on the day – it can be so reassuring to have someone there that you can rely on to ensure that the day runs smoothly!

  3. Do your research. Look for three wedding planners in your local area. As you are reviewing their websites look for recent work, a style and flow that appeals to you and also some indications of past client testimonials and satisfaction. A large number of UK wedding planners are in the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners and this can be a good place to start to get a feel for who is available in your local area.

  4. Once you have got your list of three possibilities make contact and have an initial phone/email conversation. You will soon get a feel for the person who you think would be a good fit with you and your wedding and you can then go on to arrange a more detailed face to face meeting with a shortlist before making your final decision.



ACTION#10 Change the Time of Your Honeymoon

Particularly if you are getting married in the summer or during the school holidays your honeymoon could well be cost a fortune. Be creative and look at other times of year and destinations as this could well save you hundreds if not thousands of pounds. There is always the expectation that you will go on honeymoon straight after the wedding but you might be feeling exhausted by this point and it’s just another thing to organise and pay for. Why not make it something to look forward to in a few months time? You might well have more energy to enjoy it and it could well be far more cost effective.


Honeymoon beach


How to do it:

  1. Look at the accurate prices for going away to your dream honeymoon destinations straight after the wedding. Remember to get quotes from a number of different travel operators or airlines to see, realistically how much it will cost. Don’t forget to budget in spending money and any other transport and accommodation costs that you may have in getting to and from the airport or main destination. Think about insurance costs, car hire costs etc etc.

  2. Look carefully in both of your schedules and see realistically what times you could go away in the few months following the wedding. Try to find two or three periods that might work and write the dates down so that you remember.

  3. Now go back to the same source that you got your original costings from and see how much the exact same holiday/honeymoon would cost at different times of the year.

  4. Again, write this down. Do the maths and write the figure for the amount that you could potentially save next to each potential date.

  5. Before making your decision bear in mind that you may well want to do a “mini moon” or something similar immediately after the wedding. This could be as simple as a completely unplugged week at home, a spa or hotel break or some other romantic stress free activity!

  6. If you are dead set on going on honeymoon directly after the wedding consider being flexible on your destination and making a late booking. Check on laterooms.com to see what deals are available. If you decide on this strategy you need to get a good feel for what late deals are available when by keeping an eye out on the sites for a few months before booking. This will put you in a much stronger position for them making your purchase at the optimum time.



ACTION#11: Work Out Your Financial Priorities

This is a really simple technique but can be difficult to implement as it may well require some good communication and compromises but it will also give you a clear guide as to how to allocate your budget and will also help to ensure that you get the wedding that you really want. Essentially, it’s about working out where your financial priorities are, what are the things you are simply not prepared to compromise on and what are the elements of the wedding that you could spend less on or lose altogether? Gone are the days when couples splashed out on the very best of everything for their wedding days. In the current financial world compromises have to be made and priorities worked out.


How to do it:

  1. Make a list of every possible wedding expense that you can think of. You may already have a budget checklist from the previous steps but if not you can download a checklist here.

  2. Make a strong cup of tea or chill a good bottle of wine and sit down together with your computer/laptop.

  3. Make a spreadsheet with three columns 1, 2 and 3. Column 1 is top priority ie items where you want to allocate most money and are the most important, column 2 items are less important and column 3 items are not a priority at all.

  4. Talk! For each expense you need to talk and negotiate on and agree which column it is to go in. Don’t think about actual costs or numbers just negotiate on how important it is to you as a couple, for your wedding.

  5. Aim to get the least number of items in column 1, more in column 2 and the most in column 3.

  6. Once you have got all of the items into all of the columns put the items in column 1 into descending order of importance.

  7. Leave column 2 but do the same with column 3. Most important in column 3 at the top and least important at the bottom.

  8. Be brave – delete a proportion of items from the bottom of column 3. Don’t have them at all, don’t spend money on stuff you don’t really want or need.



ACTION#12: Go for Quality Over Quantity

champagne glassesThe problem with economising is that often the quality drops and, particularly with something like a wedding, you really don’t want to feel as if you are having a budget experience! The answer can often lie with going for the best quality but going for less of it! It’s a bit like buying a small luxury car rather than a large mid range car – same price different spec and feel!


How to do it:

  1. Start by referring to your financial priorities list and set aside the things that you just aren’t prepared to compromise on. These are your must have priorities and will be the main areas that you will spend most of the budget.

  2. Using items from priorities 2 and 3 look for items where just having one or two less will save you money. As usual just losing one or two small things won’t make a big difference to the budget but the culmination of several cuts will be effective. For example, would it be possible to have one less floral decoration at the venue, one less thank you gift to hand out or one less wedding favour. What about being a bit more drastic and cutting one course from the wedding breakfast and having two amazing quality ones instead? One less bridesmaid or usher can mean one less outfit to hire or buy and having one less tier on the wedding cake whilst ordering from a high quality cake maker will make a small but significant financial difference.

  3. Now turn your attention to time. Your venue and suppliers may well be charging by the hour. Will that fantastic band or DJ you want charge less if you cut the end of the party to an hour earlier? What about having the perfect photographer or videographer but try to negotiate a shorter amount of coverage? Will your venue charge you less if you can arrive a little later or set up a little more quickly? It’s all about having your cake and eating it! It may well be a slightly smaller cake than you really wanted but it will be an absolutely awesome cake and won’t leave a bitter financial after taste in your mouth after eating!



ACTION#13 Save by Cutting the Guest List

One of your biggest expenses is often feeding your guests. Therefore one of the quickest ways to cut down on your outgoings is to invite less of them! This is a tough one but sometimes tough decisions need to be made in order to keep things on track!


How to do it:

  1. Make a spreadsheet with three columns A,B and C.

  2. Put the people from the guest list into the columns. The A people are people who absolutely have to be at the wedding for the whole day eg close friends and family. The B list are people who you would like to be there and the C list are people who, well, don’t make it onto the A or B list!

  3. Take a long hard look at the C list and remove some people from it! If they have already been invited the chances are that there will be some people on there who you have invited because a parent or relative wants them there. If that is the case ask them to pay for them. It’s your wedding and you should be paying for people you really want there yourselves. Any extras should be paid for by whoever is inviting them!

  4. Write down the times of the day that are most expensive in descending order so, for most weddings providing the full wedding breakfast will be the most expensive, maybe providing the evening buffet the second most expensive, the drinks reception possibly following that and then maybe the ceremony itself being the least expensive for you in terms of expense per person. Put theses times into columns on the spreadsheet as well.

  5. Copy and paste guests from each list into the time column that you want them to go to. It’s very reasonable for some guests to be invited to the evening only, some to the ceremony and reception only and also for you to decide not to invite some at all! People expect this type of situation these days and don’t automatically expect to be invited for the whole day. A list guests will probably go into all of the time columns, B guests probably into fewer and C list guests into maybe just the reception or evening time slots.

  6. Jiggle this around until you have something that works and has saved you some cash!



ACTION#14: Avoid the Word “Wedding”

Have you ever noticed how a “wedding” something is much more expensive than a non “wedding” something? It’s as if by adding the word “wedding” the item suddenly gains some mystical other worldy aura that demands a higher price tag. There are a huge number of items that you can buy that are perfectly fine to use at a wedding but aren’t specifically wedding items.


wedding words


How to do it:

  1. Make a list of all of the items and services that you are going to need or still need to buy for your wedding. Try to make this as comprehensive as possible and put the list into a column on a trusty spreadsheet.

  2. Do your research and find out the price range for each of the items – look for the standard “wedding” price and put the price in the column next to the item.

  3. Add the column up giving you a grand “wedding” total.

  4. Now research online again and this time substitute as many non wedding items as possible, for example use ordinary rather than wedding flowers, dresses rather than bridesmaids dresses, umbrellas rather than wedding umbrellas. You get the idea! Be creative and frugal and put your new price in the next column along from the wedding price for each item.

  5. Add the column up and look at the difference. There will obviously be some items that you won’t be able to substitute for non wedding ones but you will be able to save money doing this!



ACTION#15:Leave it Really, Really Late.

This might be a slightly risky strategy and may well be quite stressful to implement but, by booking your services very close to the wedding you may well get several last minute bargains. This works particularly well for weddings that are slightly out of season or are on weekdays rather than at the weekend.


How to do it:

  1. Decide on some services that you would like to have at the wedding but ones that you are prepared to be flexible on in terms of financial commitment and final outcome. For example you might quite like to have a proper wedding cake but would equally be happy to buy a ready made one. You might like the idea of arriving in a vintage car but equally wouldn’t be too disappointed if you had to just book a taxi.

  2. Don’t try to book any of these services until as close to the wedding as you dare.

  3. Ring up asking if, on the off chance they have availability. Many will not and will be fully booked but there will also be some that do have last minute availability and will want to have your custom rather than none at all. If you had contacted them many months previously they would have held out for full price. However this close to the wedding they may well be willing to cut their losses and offer a reduced price service.

  4. Be prepared to be disappointed. This is a high risk strategy but also one that, with some luck and persistence, could well result in a magnificent last minute bargain.



ACTION#16: Hard Core Money Saving Swaps

wedding money boxSwap for less expensive alternatives! Some of these 10 ideas are pretty cheapskate but others you may well think are worth a little sacrifice for. They will all save you money and, within the broad realm of things you will probably have forgotten all about them within a week after the wedding!


How to do it:

DIY the details – make all of your reception decorations by hand and put them up yourself rather than paying for your venue to do it.

Use the cake as dessert. Do people really need a dessert course and then cake? Often the cake hardly gets eaten so save money and use it as the dessert.

Send out electronic invitations rather than paper cards in the post. You will find that people respond more quickly and have you seen the price of postage!?

Don’t have a sit down dinner. A buffet or hog roast or similar has the advantage of being very sociable, very relaxed and informal and potentially cheaper.

Make your own stationary – yes, you heard me. Start early and make each piece an individually hand crafted work of art.

Don’t have an open bar. You are already feeding everyone, do they really expect you to pay for drinks all night as well?

Make your own playlist and don’t use a DJ.

Use large reception tables so you need fewer centre pieces and tablecloths.

Borrow as much stuff as possible rather than buying. Once you know you need something make your default first thought be “where can I borrow this from” rather than “where can I buy this from”.

Swap a big wedding for a tiny civil ceremony and have a big knees up party afterwards in your favourite pub/restaurant.



ACTION#17: Save Cash by Keeping it Simple.

All you really need to get married is your partner, an officiant and two witnesses. This currently costs from just £46! Bear this in mind. Don’t start from the big massive all singing and dancing wedding and work downwards as this is much harder than getting the vital bits in place and then adding to it as you feel you can afford it. Work out your priorities. Also try to avoid comparing your wedding to others. It really doesn’t matter – it’s not a competition, it’s your day to celebrate your love with your friends and family in whatever way suits you. Wedding magazines and blogs are great for inspiration but remember they are literally selling a dream. Too much exposure to them will result in feelings of inadequacy and financial depletion!


Remember that doing one of the above actions will save you some immediately. You might not feel that it’s really worth the effort though as it’s a relative drop in the ocean. You can, however, make a real difference if you take action on a number of the points above. They are cumulative, one alone may not be much but five together can be significant. If you are able to action all 17 you will save a huge amount of money!


Don’t keep your head in the sand, the longer you put it off the more money you will waste and the further your budget could slide. Take action now, choose just one of the items above and start getting your wedding finances on track right now!


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