What you wear on your wedding day is one of the most important decisions for any bride or groom. Whether it’s a white dress with an elegant, flowing train, or a sharp suit with a neatly pressed shirt, it all helps you to look and feel fabulous.
However, it’s your accessories that really bring your outfits together and tie them into the overall look and feel of your wedding. The trouble is, with the average wedding costing £19,184, it can be difficult to justify the average amount that couples also spend on accessories, which is around £400.
But, accessories can be just as important as the dress and suit themselves. For the bride, this includes your veil, handbag or clutch, shoes, jewellery and a headpiece. For the groom, it’s your shoes, cufflinks, watch, pocket square, tie and belt. You may want all of these, or you may want none (although we recommend shoes unless your wedding ceremony is at the beach). But, you’ll probably want at least a few of these – which means it’s likely to cost.
But, there are ways you can save money on wedding accessories and still complete your outfit. In this post, we’re going to explore the different ways you can spend less on accessories so you can keep safely within your wedding budget.
No, you don’t need to buy new accessories, including jewellery, for your wedding. While you may want to treat yourself and your spouse-to-be to some shiny new bling for your big day, this can add to an already eye-watering cost.
Instead of buying new accessories and jewellery, you more than likely already have a few pieces that will be more than suitable. Jewellery such as earrings, a bracelet and a necklace will often go with a wide variety of outfits, including a wedding dress. Why not try them on before committing to buying something new? Similarly, you more than likely have a pair of comfortable footwear that will be more than fitting (not that anyone will see them if your dress is floor-length).
For the groom, you may already own a nice watch, and a nice pair of shoes can be tidied up with some shoe polish. That means you’ll only have to worry about a tie and pocket square that matches the theme and colour scheme of your wedding.
As well as wearing items that you already own, there are plenty of other ways you can save money on wedding accessories and jewellery.
Because they’re so delicate and intricately made, a veil can be incredibly expensive when purchased at a bridal shop, especially if you’re dreaming of a long one (If you’re unsure of the different lengths, check out our introduction to wedding accessories). For many brides, veils are symbolic of the day, but they’re often taken off fairly quickly after the ceremony as they can get in the way. So, you could consider ditching the veil, which could save you as much as £250, and spend that part of your budget elsewhere.
When asked about veils, Nathalie Neuilly, founder of Dressarte Paris, told us: “We often do custom veils adding custom messages, initials etc. But it’s true that more than 75% of our brides decide to go without veils. Instead, they prefer to add fresh flowers when styling their hair, or upcycle their mum’s veil and create a custom accessory.” So, if you decide to ditch the veil, you won’t be in the minority.
If you’re keen on wearing a veil, check with your mum, grandma or another female relative to see if anyone has a beautiful veil tucked safely away from their own wedding. If they do, double check it matches the colour of your dress and you’re good to go – it also counts as your something old and something borrowed.
If you have the time and creativity, you could have a go at creating your own accessories, or repurposing something you already own. There are plenty of tips, tricks and inspiration available on Instagram, Etsy and other platforms. Just make sure you’re not pressed for time and that you have enough (good quality) material to have at least a couple of goes at it. It also makes for a fun and unique activity during your hen party!
While there’s a chance that you might not be able to borrow a veil, there’s a great chance that someone close to you will have an item of jewellery that you can borrow for your big day.
Asking your in-laws-to-be is also a great way to further strengthen the union between your two families, and will no doubt mean a lot to them.
A fun and exciting way to find some incredible (and cheap) accessories is by attending auctions, either in-person or online. It might take time and a bit of effort, but you’ll likely be able to find some unique, vintage and affordable pieces that will complement your outfit perfectly. Just remember not to get too carried away during the bidding process.
As well as attending auctions, searching local charity shops and antique stores is a great way to find hidden gems – literally!
Instead of spending money on lots of different accessories, why not go for one big central piece that will pull your entire look together? This works well for both brides and the whole bridal party. For example, consider going for a show-stopping hairpiece or a stunning statement necklace, instead of a collection of smaller (and potentially more expensive) pieces.
Many online retailers offer lower prices than high-street stores, but make sure you shop around. There are plenty of specialist retailers that have large collections of wedding accessories and jewellery. Online stores also often have deals and discounts, so make sure you search for voucher codes before making a purchase. Just bear in mind that photos aren’t always a true reflection of an item, so double check the retailer’s return policy in case your order doesn’t look quite as you expected it to.
Keep an eye out for local craft fairs and markets. Independent jewellery makers and artists will often have stalls at these events, and chances are you’ll find incredible hand-made pieces that will perfectly match your outfit. Plus, they’ll be both unique and more affordable than pieces bought from jewellers or other retailers.
Believe it or not, you can rent wedding accessories and jewellery to use on your big day. Rental companies will usually have a huge range of choices to suit any style, colour scheme and taste. You can rent everything, including necklaces, earrings, bracelets and cufflinks. It’s a great way to wear an extravagant piece while not having to pay extravagant prices. Just remember to pay attention to the terms of your rental so you don’t have to fork out due to additional fees or charges.
Start browsing for your accessories and jewellery early so you can keep a look out for offers, deals, discounts and end-of-season sales. You never know, your favourite piece could suddenly be discounted, saving you a ton of money.
Here at Bridebook, we have all the tools and information you need to help you plan your wedding and save money. Sign up today and start planning your dream wedding!