Don’t know what you should spend money on for your wedding? Well, luckily for you, Bridebook is home to the most powerful wedding budget planner available.
Simply enter your total wedding funds, give us a few basic details, and in one click you’ll have your very own expert breakdown of your wedding costs. You’ll know exactly where to spend your money for your special day – and the real fun of planning can begin!
Want to get started with ballpark figures? Below you’ll find a complete wedding budget breakdown, based on the average total costs of UK wedding suppliers. The average amount spent by UK couples on their wedding in 2023 actually comes to £23,885. If you want to find out how to stay on budget, take a look at our other articles for some of our top wedding saving tips. We’ve got advice on how to save on entertainment, flowers, invitations and more.
Now, let’s break it down…
Creating a wedding budget breakdown is one of the most important steps to tick off on your wedding planning checklist, whether you’re planning a more affordable DIY wedding on a budget or a more extravagant celebration. In this video course, Bridebook founder (and qualified wedding planner) Hamish Shephard explains how to set and manage your wedding budget, and reveals how you could save thousands on your wedding venue, catering and other suppliers.
Your wedding venue is easily the single most important part of your planning – so it’s no surprise that it’s also the most expensive part of your wedding budget! Choosing your wedding venue really is step one of your wedding planning journey, and it affects every aspect of your big day.
Not sure where to start when it comes to choosing your venue? Well, don’t worry, we’ve got you! We don’t mean to brag, but we’ve the largest wedding venue directory in the UK.
With our wedding venue search tool, you and your partner can find your dream venue faster than you can say, “I do!” If you know exactly what you’re looking for, you can kick things off by searching by name, location or style. If you’re just getting started with your venue search, try using filters such as “barn” or “city” and “budget” or “luxury” to get an idea of what’s out there.
£5,000 (80-90 guests on average; varies on the number of guests)
As you might expect, the total cost of your catering will be 100% dependent on the number of guests you invite to your wedding. Your guest list will have a big impact on what you’ll spend on your wedding overall as well, so we recommend making some rough decisions about the size of your guest list as early as possible in your wedding planning if you can.
Since caterers usually charge by the head, cutting some co-workers or +1s from your guest list might be your first move if you’re looking to save a few hundred pounds on your wedding. Another easy way to cut costs is to go for food trucks, sharing plates or a buffet over a set menu or traditional sit-down meal. Not only is this a great option for couples planning a wedding on a budget, but it’s also ideal for those wanting a more relaxed atmosphere on their big day.
For even more ways to save on your wedding catering and make your budget go further, check out our top tips on slashing the price of your wedding breakfast.
Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life, so it’s important that those memories last forever. That makes choosing the right wedding photographer one of your key decisions. After all, you’ll be looking at their photos for years to come, so it’s absolutely worth the investment!
Not sure where to start? We’ve pulled together some expert tips on choosing your wedding photographer, as well as some key questions to ask before booking them for your big day.
How much you pay will depend on the photographer, the service you want and the specific package you choose. If you want to cut costs and make your budget go further, ordering a digital album instead of a hard copy can save you some serious cash.
You might be asking yourself, “Why do I need a wedding videographer when I already have a wedding photographer?” Well, while a photographer can capture the key moments and highlights in a few snapshots, we’re betting you’ll want to remember every second of your wedding day – and having a designated wedding videographer will allow you to do just that.
As with wedding photographers, some videographers cost more than others. If having an absolutely jaw-dropping video is a priority for you, consider cutting back on some of your other suppliers to make room in your wedding budget.
If you don’t know how or where to find wedding videographers in your area, try using our wedding supplier search and then selecting the “Videographer” category. And be sure to check out our top tips on choosing your wedding videographer before you book yours!
How much do wedding flowers cost? Well, that depends on the type of flowers you want at your wedding. Though, in our opinion, our best bet is to go with seasonal flowers. It’s a great aesthetic, can mean big savings if you’re on a budget, and can even bag you some sustainability points! But whatever you do, never, ever underestimate how much flowers can transform your wedding!
If your heart’s still set on elaborate floral decorations but you’re worried about breaking the bank, check out our top wedding flowers penny-saving tips. You’ll be amazed how much you can save on your wedding flowers without sacrificing the “wow” factor.
£1,000 (decorations) + £3,100 (marquee)
Decoration isn’t just about the flowers! Don’t forget that many venues require you to hire all your furniture and other decorative features (especially “blank canvas” venues). This might be from the venue itself, your caterer, or a third party – but either way it’s an additional cost to factor in.
Something that can also eat up a big chunk of your wedding budget is marquee hire. If you’re hiring an outdoor venue for a winter wedding (or, let’s face it, probably for summer too!), you’ll definitely need one. If marquee hire isn’t included, this extra cost will add a few hundred pounds to your budget. So our top tip? Aim to book an all-inclusive venue which offers a two-in-one decoration and hire package. That way, you won’t have to worry about extra costs later on!
There are two main things that will affect the cost of your wedding cake. The first is the number of tiers you go for. This comes down to how many people you’re trying to feed and what kind of look you want. At the end of the day, more cake means more money…but one sneaky way to cheat the system if you’re on a budget is to order a cake that uses dummy layers.
The second factor is whether you want a traditional fruit wedding cake or a more modern sponge with fresh fruit. While the former can be made further in advance, the latter will need to be baked the night before or even the day of the wedding itself, which makes them that bit more expensive.
If you have a baker in the family, why not ask them to bake your wedding cake? They might offer you “mates rates” or even make it for free as their wedding gift to you. Then you can use the money you save to invite a couple more guests…or put it towards your honeymoon!
£800 (non-music entertainment) & £1,000 (wedding music)
With a million-and-one amazing options to choose from, deciding on your ideal wedding entertainment is no easy decision. You’ll want to think carefully about three things. Firstly, what do you and your partner want? Do you see yourself and your partner swaying to a romantic live band, or is techno not something you’re giving up on your big day? Secondly, what will your guests enjoy? And finally, what will fit in with the style and vibe of your wedding?
When it comes to pricing and budgeting, the first question is whether or not you have your heart set on live music. A DJ is almost always cheaper than a live band and can be just as good.
There’s a breathtakingly beautiful wedding dress out there for everyone – and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg! Our handy list of wedding dress saving tips will help you find that dress of your dreams…even if you’re trying to avoid the (shockingly large) average dress cost of £1,424!
Not included in this total are your bridesmaids’ dresses! Whether you’re taking the hit yourself, splitting the cost or asking your main girls to pay, you can find our favourite places to buy your bridesmaid dresses here. From budget to luxury, your girls will look fabulous no matter the choice!
£200 (wedding shoes) + £400 (other accessories)
Don’t overlook the shoes! You want to look both fabulous and comfortable — and that comes at a price. Some brides will go with simple ballet flats so they can take the dance floor by storm, while others are comfortable in stiletto heels for all eight hours of their wedding day. If you want to save on shoes, just go with the favourites in your wardrobe. But if that perfect pair of brand-new wedding shoes is something you’ve been dreaming of since your engagement, why not step into Jimmy Choo’s wonderful world of weddings shoes guide right here on Bridebook.com?
And don’t overlook the other wedding fashion accessories! From the classic bridal veil to belts and sashes or hats and capes, accessories are a great way to make a statement, especially if you’re on a budget. A bit of sparkle is a sure-fire way to liven up a more affordable, simple gown.
£350 (hairdressing) + £300 (makeup)
The way a bride envisions her wedding is simple: she looks drop-dead gorgeous next to her prince or princess. And who makes all of this possible? Trick question! All you need to look absolutely stunning is a beautiful, happy smile…but yeah, a little hair and makeup will help too!
With thousands of fantastic hair and makeup artists all over the UK, we can help you find your dream wedding make-up artist and hair stylist no matter your budget.
When it comes to figuring out how much you should spend on each part of your wedding, most couples overlook the groom’s attire and menswear But the groom and groomsmen will want to look gorgeous on their W-Day just as much as the bride and bridesmaids will, so why not let Bridebook help you decide on the perfect groom and ushers attire for your wedding day?
Our top tip? Communication. Make sure both your ushers and your bride are comfortable with what you choose to wear. You don’t have to be all “matchy-matchy”, but when your wedding comes together as a whole, the groom will be one of its central pieces…so keep that in mind!
£2,000 (engagement rings) + £1,000 (wedding rings) + £1,000 (other jewellery)
Factoring your wedding jewellery into your budget is just as important as the wedding dress itself, as it can really add up. From necklaces and earrings, to bracelets and hairpieces, sourcing the dreamiest jewellery is crucial if you want to look fabulous walking down the aisle.
And as small as they are, don’t forget your wedding rings! They might just be the most significant detail of your wedding. After all, they’re a lasting symbol of your love and commitment to your partner, and will be with you both for the rest of your lives. Just like engagement rings, they’re also an added cost to your overall wedding budget…but definitely one you shouldn’t cut! Having trouble deciding on which metal and design to go for? We’ve put together a handy guide on all the different types of wedding bands available and their pricing.
You may feel a bit overwhelmed when it comes to choosing your wedding stationery. After all, when there’s everything from save-the-dates and invitations to programmes and place cards to consider, it’s not easy to know where to start. But, luckily for us, Papeterie Eugenie (who did George Clooney’s wedding stationery) shared their insider knowledge with us to help make picking out your stationery a piece of (wedding) cake, no matter your budget.
Do also keep in mind that this figure can vary widely depending on your unique needs and preferences. While both DIY or online invitations (such as those from Paperless Post) can cost next to nothing, bespoke and handcrafted stationery can cost closer to £800 or more.
£300 (registry fees alone) / £1,000-£1,300 (registry office wedding)
Yes, yes, we know…organising your registrar isn’t exactly the most exciting part of your wedding, but it is very much one of the most crucial. Despite that, they’re an often overlooked expense that can come as a bit of a shock if you’re not expecting it! Even the royals have to pay their registrar fees, and it’s the one cost on this list where there are no sneaky loopholes or cost-cutting measures.If you’re looking to save money on your wedding, or simply want an intimate legally binding affair, a registry office wedding is by far the cheapest option.
£1,800 (wedding planner) + £450 (celebrant/toastmaster)
If you’re on a budget, 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 likely have access to deals us mere mortals can only dream of!
If you’re looking for a less traditional and more personalised wedding ceremony, you’ll want to hire a celebrant. They’ll give you the freedom and flexibility to truly personalise how you celebrate your love with your partner. Just bear in mind that celebrant ceremonies aren’t legally recognised in England, Wales and Ireland (but are in Scotland). So hiring a celebrant will be an additional cost – you’ll still need to make provisions for the legal paperwork to be done at a registry office.
To ensure your wedding day runs smoothly, consider hiring a toastmaster as well. A lot of couples overlook toastmasters, but they play a vital role on the wedding scene. In addition to working with fellow wedding suppliers, they’re responsible for announcing toasts and introducing the speakers, and making sure your guests are in the right place at the right time. Hiring a toastmaster may eat up some of your budget, but it’ll leave you to enjoy your big day stress-free.
Who doesn’t like wedding favours? They’re a great way of giving your guests something to remember your special day by. We’ve kept the number on the lower side, based on 2023 average wedding costs (check out our ideas for affordable wedding favours), but favours can be as big or as small as you like, depending on your budget and preferences (and how many guests you have.
And remember, you don’t have to give favours at all! A lot of couples wonder whether or not wedding favours are a necessary cost – and honestly, it depends! For many of your guests, attending your big day will have been enough of a gift. But if you have money left in your budget…go for it! We actually get this question a lot on our Bridebook Instagram page, which you should follow immediately if you want wedding tips, inspiration and a little bit of Bridebook silliness.
Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you organise taxis for your entire guest list! But whether you’re thinking of making a low-key arrival or even planning on flying down the aisle (no, seriously, it’s been done before!), don’t overlook your own wedding transport. From vintage cars and carriages to tandem bikes and trucks, you’ll find the wedding transport to suit you on Bridebook.
When making decisions about your transport, a key consideration is how far your ceremony is from your accommodation and the reception venue. So maybe don’t choose to make your entrance on a tandem bike if you’re getting married five miles away from your wedding breakfast! And if you’re looking to cut this cost completely, why not ask a friend or relative if you can borrow their super cool car? Not only will they be flattered, but you’ll also save some £££!
£4,200 (honeymoon) + £1,500 (other hidden costs)
Don’t forget your honeymoon, and any other hidden wedding costs (think organists and choirs, delivery costs, accommodation for your guests and suppliers, service charges, feeding your suppliers on the day, insurance, VAT). Your main focus might be on the wedding day itself, but it’s important to budget for any post-wedding spending too, as these costs can be significant. For example, you might need to dry clean clothing, buy thank you notes for your guests, and so on. For a more complete list, check out our post on hidden wedding costs every couple needs to know about.
The honeymoon is understandably a big post-wedding cost, especially now that international travel is back on the map. With beach honeymoons remaining the most popular honeymoon style (47% of couples married in 2022 chose a beach honeymoon), this is hardly surprising.
So, that’s how a wedding breaks down for the average couple in 2023. Now it’s time to find out what your personalised budget breakdown will be, so you can get cracking with your planning!
And if you’re looking for ways to save money on your wedding, we’ve got plenty of cost-cutting hacks, so you can have your dream wedding without going over your budget. From venue saving tips to guest list considerations, we’ve got you covered.