Getting married can be one of the most expensive things you ever do. The celebrations might last only a day, but in 2013, the average cost of a wedding in the UK was £18,000. Many couples have to choose between having their dream wedding or having a deposit to put down on a house. But does a wedding really have to cost so much? No one forces you to book an extravagant venue, spend a grand on a dress or cater for 100 people. But, of course, if you want the wedding you’ve been dreaming of for a lifetime, you’re probably not looking to compromise with a smaller affair. Even so, it doesn’t mean you can’t save money in several areas. Have a look at the real cost of your wedding day and these options for cutting back without losing the magic.
The average cost of the venue, including the ceremony and reception locations, in 2013 was just over £2,100. At this price, it’s one of the biggest expenses for your special day. And it doesn’t include catering. But the venue is one of the most important aspects of your wedding. After all, you need to set the scene. If you have your heart set on a particular place, keeping the number of guests to a lower number will help. You should also shop around, and don’t be afraid to negotiate. It’s your day, so try to bring down the price or get extras thrown in.
Catering costs even more than hiring the wedding location does. In 2013, it averaged at £2,770 per couple. Catering could include a wedding breakfast, evening food, canapes and drinks. Again, keeping your guest numbers low can help you reduce the expense. But if everyone on your guest list is essential to your happiness, you need to find other ways. There are lots of small ways to save, including ordering seasonal food and not splashing out on expensive drinks. If you choose to have a buffet, don’t go overboard offering too much.
Decoration, Flowers and Cake
Although you might think people spend a lot on the wedding cake, together with the flowers and decorations it only comes in at just over £700. But this is still a lot of money, and somewhere you can cut back. For the flowers, there’s no need to have enormous bouquets everywhere. Be selective with how many you give everyone in your wedding party. If you click here, you’ll see some excellent examples of great value wedding signs, showing that you don’t have to break the bank. For the cake, go with a local baker or, even better, someone you know.
The bride’s dress is often a huge expense, but it doesn’t have to be. This is one occasion where you may need to learn to let go a little. You don’t have to have the most expensive dress available, even if you do think it’s the perfect one. Shop around for cheaper options, buy out-of-stock dresses and look at secondhand ones too. You can even find gowns that aren’t sold as wedding dresses.
Remember that your wedding is just one day. It’s the marriage that should last a lifetime. And keep in mind that a lot of couples sell things like dresses and gifts to try and claw back the costs.