It’s probably fairly widely known by now that the average cost of a wedding in the UK is in the region of £20,000. But what really took my breath away the other day was when I read an article in which a wedding dress cost £7.5 million! Each to their own, I suppose.
I don’t believe in skimping on the essentials, and when it comes to the magic that is your wedding day, you should feel entitled to spoil yourself so that it resembles the dream day you always had in mind. But, contrary to popular belief, doing so does not need to cost you an arm and a leg, and there are many ways to make it the best day of your life for a fraction of the cost.
If your big day is on the horizon, and you’ve got a budget to stick to, perhaps the below will help your cause:
Make a budget!
It’s all very well having an overall figure in mind. But actually sticking to it is a complex and difficult task. The best thing to do is break it down into different categories of spend, and research the going rate for each. How much are you willing to spend on a photographer? DJ? Flowers? Food? Drinks? Dress? Rings? Once you have a ball-park figure in mind for each, you can have a clear idea of what you need to stick to as you go along.
Be brave with the guest list
One of the biggest cost inflators of all is a, well, inflated guest list. True, being ruthless when it comes to inviting people is arguably the hardest job of all when planning a wedding, and you will inevitably disappoint or even upset those who don’t make the cut. But when you consider the cost of invitations, food, drink and all other indirect costs associated with each body being there, the guest list is something you’ll need to trim down where possible.
Since the sands of time, it seems as though it’s been ingrained in the psyche that weddings should be on a Saturday. But one of the biggest savings of all can be made by getting married on a weekday. The big saving will be on the venue, but you’ll probably also find a few other associated costs drop off too. Added to that, if you get married outside the summer months, you’ll save a bucket load too.
Good financing nous
According to recent research, nearly a quarter of couples borrow money in order to pay for their wedding. There’s nothing wrong with that, and, let’s face it, not everyone has thousands of pounds lying around. However, there are good ways to borrow money and bad. High-cost debt, particularly credit cards, can leave you mired in hefty repayments for years to come. Instead, you’d probably be better off considering low-interest online lenders in order to finance your wedding more shrewdly.
Become a cashback expert
This may seem contrary to the above, but there is actually a way to use a credit card to your advantage. Almost any credit card in the UK these days will offer cashback of some kind (or other perks), sometimes with a return of up to 5 per cent. So that means, the more you spend, the more you earn – and, given that you’ll likely have a number of sizable payments to make for the wedding, it makes sense to put them on your card. But only – and I mean ONLY – if you pay it off at the end of the month. Otherwise the high interest that accrues will nullify the benefits.
Be a haggler
It comes easier to some than others, and not everyone likes to rock the boat or ruffle feathers. But believe it or not, the wedding industry is immensely competitive, and when it comes to prices for wedding planners, photographers, florists and the rest, there is almost always wiggle room. At the end of the day, they’ll generally prefer to take a slight pay cut than lose your business. So use it to your advantage!