Budget Wedding Advice

Budget Wedding Advice

Wedding season is almost upon us, and with the average wedding in the UK costing £18,400, we’re here with some advice for nearlyweds!

”Do We Really Need It?”

A budget wedding is incredibly do-able, but it does require you to prioritise and compromise! Before you start planning, or even if you’re in the final stretches, its a good idea to write down your “must haves” and “would be nice, but not necessary”s as a couple. It’s important to make sure you’re on the same page here – which is where compromise comes in!

It’s very easy to get caught up in expectations and seeing perfect inspiration photos – so asking “but do we really need it?” Became quite important for us!

Favours and Borrowing

Fvslb, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re good friends with makers, it may be possible to borrow or bargain to get an item that seems necessary but is out of your budget. When I was younger I was a keen amateur photographer, and did a friend’s sisters wedding photos as a favour. Whilst they weren’t as good as a professional wedding photographers would have been, that was an area they were willing to compromise on and we got all the shots on their must list!

If you have a skill, could you trade with another maker to get goods or services for your budget wedding? Could you get a cake in exchange for your marketing expertise? Or flowers in exchange for designing a new logo for a florist friend?


Virginia State Parks, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s so easy to blow your budget on entertainment! This was an area where we compromised for our wedding. We really wanted to hire a karaoke set up for our reception, which we were able to do by creating our own playlists for the dinner and drinks portion of the day instead of having a DJ. If this isn’t your area of expertise, this is another occasion where a friend could create this for you as their wedding gift.


Belinda, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Bespoke wedding stationary is so incredibly expensive – and for good reason – you’re commissioning an artist to do a one-off design for you! If you don’t have a budget for this, there are lots of really beautiful inexpensive templates on Etsy for most tastes, and if you’re creative you can have a go at making your own using a free design program like Canva.

Printing and postage can also be a big cost – so decide if you could save money by sharing some or all your invites online. Often older relatives may prefer a hard copy invite, but lots of couples these days opt for paperless stationery with wedding websites and email Save the Dates.


State Library of Queensland, Australia, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons

The cheapest way to get married is the registry office. I would really suggest looking around at your local registry offices, as some are more photogenic than others!

Whilst I’m sure most of us dream of a fairytale castle wedding, the venue costs would be astronomical! After falling for a venue that turned out to be completely out of our budget, we compromised and found a lovely local pub that was very charming and within our price range! The pub near our ceremony location with an historic function room that was completely separate to the rest of the venue – which gave us the privacy and feel we wanted.

Wedding Favours

https://www.pexels.com, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wedding favours are a big “do we really need it?” For me. I have been to my fair share of weddings and would struggle to remember what the wedding favours were – aside from the Greek wedding we went to that gave away glass bottles of local olive oil! We had a small wedding, with 30 attendants, so I decided to make a big batch of cookies to serve as the favours. This went down really well with our guests, who doesn’t love a cookie?!?

Wedding Attire

3steph14, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This is an area it’s hard to compromise on. Whilst you can find some absolute bargains second hand, if you’ve got your heart set on a specific design that can make it quite difficult. If you’re planning ahead, you can set alerts on most reselling websites for keywords, which can be a good idea to find your dream dress for a great price.

It’s also a good idea to think about hiring your wedding attire – are you really going to wear it again? Alternatively, high street retailers have really upped their game on wedding attire and you may find the perfect thing in their bridal collections.

We had a more casual wedding, so we didn’t wear traditional wedding attire. Instead we opted for what we’d wear to someone else’s wedding, because we wanted to look and feel like ourselves on a really good day, and not uncomfortable. If you’re having a more quirky or unique wedding, consider if there’s a dream non-wedding dress you’ve always wanted to wear, but never had a reason to? Often a beautiful designer dress can work out cheaper than a traditional wedding dress, and you’ll still feel special.

Wedding Party

brookenovak, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Having a wedding party (bridesmaids and groomsmen) was an area we really cut costs on – by not having one! As it was a small wedding, we’d have ended up having most of our guests in the wedding party!

If you’re having a budget wedding with a full wedding party, it’s a good idea to be flexible. In the UK, the couple are expected to pay for the bridesmaids dresses, however most will be happy to pay for their own if they are able to choose what they wear. In this circumstance, most bridesmaids are given a colour or theme to pull them together.

Guest List

It’s really unlikely you’ll be able to have an unlimited amount of guests on a budget. Really think about who you’re inviting. I was given the advice of asking myself if I would pay for their meal if we went out to eat. If the answer is no, they’re probably not making the list!

What is your budget wedding top tip?

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