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How to plan a wedding on a budget

Updated: Apr 9

Weddings are pricey, that's no secret. But what we want to debunk here is the idea that the amount you spend on your wedding signifies your love for each other, because it absolutely does not. Budget weddings don't have to be "cheap". There are plenty of ways to keep costs down while still hosting the day of your dreams. And at the end of the day, if you married the love of your life while surrounded by friends and family, you've have the richest day.

a bride and groom embrace in a leafy wooded area

So how can you plan your wedding on a budget? We've asked some real brides about the things they cut back on, as well as the things they'd choose to cut back on if they did it all over again.

Ask your venue about external suppliers

Some venues only allow certain suppliers so it's definitely worth asking the question before booking. It may seem the venue is very reasonably priced until you see the quote for catering! If you're able to use external suppliers, especially for catering, spend plenty of time researching and reading reviews before booking. Food plays a big a part in your day, and you're feeding a lot of people so you want to get it right, without breaking the bank. Some options to consider include:

  • Food vans and al fresco dining!

  • Hot food buffet including curries and chilli (especially for winter weddings)

  • BBQ or hog roast

  • Greek style gyros

Shop on the high street

Shoes, wedding dress, suits, bridesmaid dresses, handbags, and jewellery are all things you can buy on the high street and still look a million dollars. A simple search on Google for bridesmaids dresses brings up stores such as Asos, Debenhams and Next. Beautiful wedding dresses can be found on Chi Chi London, Phase Eight, and Monsoon, especially if you're looking for a sleek or whimsical design.

Ask friends and family for help

Gone are the days where wedding gift lists included essential items like cutlery, plate sets, and duvet covers. Nowadays, with couples mostly living together pre-marriage, the perfect gift could be as simple as offering a helping hand on the big day. If your aunt is an avid baker, or your cousin is in the beauty industry, see if they'll offer to provide their services on the day or get you a good deal for you instead of bringing a gift. Ask family members to save jars you can decorate, or keep petals from their garden that you can dry and turn to confetti.

Hiring isn't always cheaper

It's often assumed that hiring your wedding decor will work out cheaper than buying new, but that's not always the case. Chair sashes, and flower walls and table plans are all lovely touches to add to your day and there's no reason to go without just because you're sticking to a tight budget. While considering the upfront cost, also think about the resale value of anything you buy. People are always on the lookout for second-hand items so you could end up spending next to nothing in the end!

Skip the open bar

Yes it'd be lovely to offer your guests an abundance of free drinks but in reality no one expects it and a few reception drinks are perfect treat for after the ceremony. Fancy champagne isn't always necessary either, especially if you don't even like it. Soft drinks, bottled beer, Pimms, or Prosecco are all choices your guests will love.

Budget wedding photography options

If you're planning a 2024 or 2025 wedding on a budget and would like to talk about bespoke photography packages that cover smaller portions of your day, we'd love to chat. We offer options from 2 hours up to full day coverage. Get in touch to find out more!

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