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20 Cheaper Wedding Ideas & Money Saving Tips

Thrifty Thinking


We all know that weddings don’t come cheap so here’s WJ’s best money saving wedding tips to ensure you have to the day you’ve been dreaming of!

The average wedding is said to cost a staggering £20,000. Who knew a party could cost that much? Well here at Wedding Journal Online we don’t believe that a dream wedding means parting with a nightmare sum of cash. that’s why we’re unveiling the top 20 money saving tips, so you can have your fairytale wedding on a back-to-reality budget.

Off Peak Wedding Date

Choosing an off-peak wedding date is the best-known money saving trick in the book but shouldn’t go unmentioned as it can effectively cut your wedding venue expenditure. Have your wedding in November or February and on a weekday to avoid elevated Saturday prices. Have a shorter wedding reception in the evening, just serving one meal rather than two as lunch menus are often an unnecessary commodity.

D.I.Y Wedding Stationary

For invites, use free fonts found online, in one colour and print yourself to really decrease costs. Phone or email guests rather than sending out save the date cards or replies. You could also set up a wedding website with details about dress codes or the gift list, rather than posting it out.

Same venue for ceremony and reception

For civil ceremonies, have your wedding and reception at the same venue to eliminate transport costs. For church weddings choose a reception venue nearby. Consider the need for wedding transport. No rulebook says you can’t walk to the church.

Opt for less traditional wedding food

A wedding buffet is a much cheaper alternative to a five-course meal. It also provides variety for fussy eaters and ensures that no one goes hungry. Be sure to choose a caterer who can supply the added extras such as cutlery and plates. Be wary of hidden costs such as wine corking and cake cutting services.

Borrow wedding shoes and jewellery

Wear items you already have or buy things that you’re likely to wear again to increase value for money. Integrate jewellery and accessories into your old, new, borrowed and blue tradition. Rummage through old family wedding albums and see if relatives still own certain veils, jewels and headpieces that stand out.

Prioritise your budget

Spend on the most memorable parts of the day and scrimp on finer details. Food and entertainment will linger in guests’ memories whilst chair covers and decorative centrepieces risk going unnoticed. Develop DIY skills in the run up to your wedding, create things like sweetie favours for yourself to eliminate certain décor charges altogether.

Keep and eye out for competitions and discounts

Sign up to the mailing list of every wedding dress designer, hotel, florist and bakery you can think of. Keep an eye on your inbox and spam folder to scout for any discounts or packages they may be offering

Size of flowers

Carry large wedding flowers to lower the number of stems in your bridal bouquet. One single flower gives an elegant, minimalist finish. Advise the florist on a colour scheme rather than specific flowers, make sure everything is in season and transport the arrangements from wedding ceremony to reception.

Hair and Makeup

If you’re doing your own bridal makeup, visit beauty counters to trial products and ask for free sample sizes to use on the day. If you want to hire a professional, opt for someone with talents in both hair and make-up.

Wedding decor

Explore the sales after Christmas and Valentines Day to get your hands on fairy lights and romantic decorations at cut prices. Substitute centrepieces for favours and offer one per couple when possible. Seat wedding guests at bigger tables to tighten the room décor budget.

Friends and family

Put your faith in job-hobby professionals. Certain friends or family members might have a part-time photography interest or a cake-making hobby that they’d be happy to showcase. As it’s not their livelihood, prices will be more reasonable and they’ll be flexible with dates.

Get creative with your wedding cake

An elaborately decorated tiered cake can account for a large section of your budget. Instead, think about having one decorative tier to cut into with complementing cupcakes to satisfy guests. Swap desert for wedding cake to eliminate an unnecessary course.

Guest list

Be absolutely ruthless with your wedding guest list. Including twice removed cousins you’ve never met may quash your fears of offending the family but will quickly increase your spending. Try to curb your guests to a round number that’s easy to manage with regards to table plans and transport. Simply decreasing from 150 to 100 can have a dramatic impact on your catering or bar bill.

High street bridesmaid dresses

Buy your bridesmaid dresses after formal/debs balls to scoop this season’s trends at last season’s prices. Explore high street stores, which have formalwear lines. Often these will interpret key designer cuts. Flower girl dresses should be purchased from department stores in the Christmas sales.

Serve a signature cocktail

Alcohol bills can burn a hole in your pocket as you try to provide a variety of beverages to suit everyone. A signature cocktail will add a personal spin whilst also allowing you to buy the same items in bulk without deviating from the ingredients list.

Leave out the W word

Don’t mention the word wedding until you have to. Certain vendors have wedding packages up to 30% more expensive than conventional party pricing. When quoting venues, cakes and room decoration, give the impression that you’re organising a party or formal gathering.

Bridesmaid dress as a wedding dress

For a less formal wedding, search through bridesmaid dress collections for your own wedding gown. Bridesmaid styles tend to be much cheaper than a wedding dress and subtler, but nonetheless sophisticated. Most can be ordered in white or ivory. To cut wedding dress costs further, don’t be wishful about your sizing, as this will save on alterations in the long run.

Save the pennies

Keep a money jar to support a certain part of your wedding budget. Some couples keep a swear jar topped up to pay for their cake. Others add some pennies when they hear a Rihanna song on the radio. Some throw loose change into a piggy bank every now and then. After a few months, a little goes a long way.

Get married sooner

Less time to plan means less time spending on things you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of. With a specific time limit, you’re more likely to concentrate on the end goal, rather than constantly changing your mind and subsequently going off budget.

Wedding entertainment alternatives 

Use your iPod rather than a DJ to guarantee your favourite tracks make the playlist. Stage cost-friendly games such as bingo or a table quiz to build on the energy and create a memorable experience.