Written by Hamish Shephard
Hamish Shephard is the founder and CEO of Bridebook, the UK’s leading #1 wedding planning app. A qualified wedding planner, Hamish is considered one of the UK’s most prominent wedding experts. View Hamish’s full author bio here.
We all know that as soon as a couple starts to plan their wedding, costs can start to spiral out of control. Luxurious celebrity weddings start to sneak onto your mood boards (hi, Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas – how did you get there?) and suddenly, things you never knew you wanted become non-negotiable. Next thing you know, your budget – and your stress levels – are sky-high.
But here’s the good news. First of all, we’ve created an incredibly powerful Budget Calculator to help you get your budget straight from the start. And secondly, here at Bridebook, we’ve been doing this for a while. We’ve got hundreds of money-saving hacks up our sleeve to help you create the wedding day of your dreams – without making your budget a nightmare! Here are some of our top tips:
If you’re a couple on a tight budget, there’s no two ways about it: it’s time to start bargain hunting. The harder you look and the more creative you get, the more you’ll save. Did you spot some cute plants at a friend’s house that would be perfect in the corner of your marquee? Ask them where they found them – or better yet, see if you can borrow them for the day! Looking for accessories to take your wedding party’s outfits to the next level? Find out what they already own, then hit up the charity shops to see if you can complete their looks at cut price. And always be upfront with your venue about your financial situation. You never know – they might already have that perfect statement piece you’re searching for and be able to rent it to you at a competitive rate.
Depending on what sort of wedding you’re dreaming of, DIY might be cheaper. Search our fantastic wedding venue directory for “blank space” venues. These are venues that don’t have any particularly prominent features so they’re super versatile. They’re literally a blank canvas for you to do whatever you want with. While you might think that would end up more expensive, it can be the opposite. You won’t need to spend any extra money hiding features you don’t like or battling against a pre-existing style. Instead, you have all the freedom to bring in your own elements and create a wedding that’s truly unique and truly “you.”
Hit up the sales! Remember, alcohol doesn’t go off – so whenever you’re having your wedding, we recommend buying any alcohol you need just after Christmas or around the summer bank holidays. It’s also worth keeping your eyes peeled year-round for bargains on wedding fashion, decorations and favours. Elbows at the ready!
Read through all your contracts carefully. Watch out for hidden costs before you sign anything – and make sure to ask for clarification of anything you’re unsure about in writing. You don’t want to have a nasty surprise when you get the bill through after your big day and find out the service charge wasn’t included…
Consider taking a punt on a supplier who’s just starting out. More established suppliers will charge a premium since they have more experience and are likely in higher demand. New suppliers, on the other hand, will tend to offer you a good deal since they’re looking to get their name out there. Remember, they could be the next wedding superstar – and you could get them at a cut price before they’re booked up for the next decade!
Consider hiring a wedding planner. Adding in this extra cost might sound counter-intuitive but it could work out in your favour in the long run. Wedding planners have invaluable industry connections and a knack for haggling down prices – so they’ll have likely have access to deals us mere mortals can only dream of!
It’s a bit of a sneaky one and won’t save you money now… But if you’re using a credit card for your wedding purchases, make sure to get one that lets you collect air miles. By the time you’ve bought everything for your big day, you’ll be well on the way to getting your honeymoon for free!