Getting married is one of the most expensive events in our lives but financing a dream wedding is not impossible but it does take commitment and organising.
With the average wedding now costing £20,000, according to research firm Mintel, it’s no longer the preserve of the bride’s father to pick up the bill with many couples now paying for their own wedding.
However, the pressure of finding the money to pay for a wedding as well as a honeymoon can lead to anxiety and stress for many so careful financial planning is necessary to prevent the costs from spiraling out of control.
1 Set a budget
It’s a simple tip but also the best one so setting a financial goal will be helpful and, this is important too, stick to the budget that has been agreed.
In reality, it’s unlikely the couple will be able to afford everything that they have hoped for so careful planning for what is necessary and what isn’t at the very beginning is crucial. Remember that wedding dresses and designer dresses will be expensive.
2 Decide what you want
Money can be saved with save the date cards as well as things like professional programs, welcoming glasses of champagne as well as favors for guests. Not all of these are necessary.
Some brides would like a professional make-up artist on the day but this is something a friend can help with and save money and some thought about how much will be spent on wedding dresses and designer dresses should be made.
3 Trim the guest list
One of the biggest expenses is having lots of people for a big wedding and while this will be an excellent day out it’s also a costly one. It’s a great way to significantly reduce costs since most of the expenses will be calculated on a per guest basis.
Competition for weddings is fierce among hotels and banqueting locations but the wedding does not have to be in an expensive hotel for it to be memorable; lots of venues are now available including art galleries and other more unusual, and cheaper, destinations.
Don’t forget too that many wedding venues will offer big discounts for marrying ‘out of season’ or on a Friday, for instance.
5 Forget brands
Careful thought needs to be given about paying for wedding outfits, including the bride’s gown, as well as other merchandise from branded retailers; there are lots of other suppliers also available and money can be saved.
6 Bulk shopping
Sit down and calculate where buying items in bulk will save lots of money, for instance, placing vases on every table can be done cheaply when bought in bulk. Remember too that some suppliers will give discounts for bulk orders.
While favours for wedding guests are a great idea, there’s no harm in creating favors and the table centerpieces yourself. Friends and family will also be willing to help.
Does the bride really need a fancy limousine or a horse and cart to take them to the church or wedding venue? Perhaps a family friend has a nice vehicle that would do just as well, particularly if it’s a classic car.
9 Flowers and decorations
This is a surprising expense for weddings and many florists will provide discounts and deals for supplying flowers on the big day. The trick is to shop around for the best offer.
Many couples are saving money by not hiring a professional photographer and simply having friends and family supply their own images; many couples also decide to supply disposable cameras for people to take pictures with during the wedding ceremony and at the reception.
In addition, there’s also a trend not to hire a DJ for the day with many people supplying their own music and venues often have a PA system that will accommodate smartphones with a playlist.
Essentially, by planning effectively for a wedding means it doesn’t have to be a hugely expensive day – though the wedding dresses and designer dresses don’t come cheap! – and the finances could be better spent on a honeymoon or in furnishing the couple’s first home, if that’s what they want.
It’s also important to remember there’s no reason for couples to fall out and argue over wedding planning and the potential costs and by following these financial tips, the happy couple will have a day to remember.