How to save money on your wedding

Jun 24, 2020 | Wedding advice & ideas

Money-saving tips when planning your wedding

Inspired by a recent conversation with a bride-to-be I wanted to share these money-saving tips with all my wonderful readers. Weddings are expensive and before you know it expenses can start getting carried away, that is why I wanted to make this blog post because some of these tips I am sharing are super easy to implement and can save you some money too. 

One of the most important things when beginning your wedding planning is setting a realistic budget for what you’d like to spend. To be able to set the budget, you may have to do a bit of research to get some rough prices and slowly start adding them into your spreadsheet. Some of the usual wedding expenses would include:

  • Venue
  • Church/registrar
  • Preparation locations
  • Outfits (this may also include bridesmaids/groomsmen)
  • Makeup
  • Hair
  • Transport
  • Catering 
  • Cake
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • Florist
  • Stationery – save the dates, invites, signage, seating plan, place names
  • Entertainment – DJ, live music, magician, etc.

Ideas for how to cut costs and save some money

Considering a weekday/off-peak wedding

Lots of venues do some really great deals for couples wanting to wed in the week or during the colder season. 

Opting for shorter photography coverage

Lots of photographers offer shorter photography coverage (me included!). If you are having ceremony later in the day you’d be amazed how much you can have photographed in 4/5 hours. For example one wedding I did shorter coverage for, included the following: bridal prep, ceremony, couple photos, group photos, candids, and reception details. If you plan your timings carefully you can actually get quite a lot in! Think about what is most important to you and what you’d like from your wedding photos, this might be an option.

Doing the legal ceremony on a different day

Okay so you might think I’m a little crazy with this one, but you can save quite a lot of money doing this! For example if you do your legal ceremony at for example 9am on a Monday morning you can save a lot of £££ (usually when this is done just witnesses/parents come along). This means you could opt for a ceremony blessing on your wedding day instead of a legal ceremony, a bit like Joey in F.R.I.E.N.D.S did for Phoebe in the snow, remember that episode? The blessing could be conducted by a close friend/family member similar to what a celebrate would do. This would make for a much more personal ceremony.

Making your own confetti

So this is not a massive saving but any saving is a saving right?! Spring/summer is the best time to make confetti, I am always making it because it is easy and fun and smells lush if you dry out scented roses. Here’s a little blog I wrote about making your own natural confetti.

Doing a wedding bake-off

A bit like the bake off but instead it’s the ‘wedding bake off’. Guests make and bring along a cake, the bride and groom pick their favourite and that’s the one they cut. This is great fun for your guests and can even get a little competitive! This saves the cost of the wedding cake and is a really personal way to involve all wedding guests.

Opt for greenery rather than flowers

Greenery is a much cheaper alternative to flowers and even cheaper if you can forage from someone’s garden, just find a friend with a massive eucalyptus tree and you’re sorted! 

Use things you already have as decorations

A big trend at the moment is used gin bottles, I’m sure gin pals can save them up for you ;-). I’ve see wine corks saved up and made into a seating plan board or to hold place names. Get a little creative and start collecting early.

Opting for a later ceremony

Having the wedding starting later in the day (e.g 3/4pm wedding ceremony) means you don’t have to feed guests for as long, saving £££ on food and drink. In recent years I’ve seen such a thing as a ‘twilight wedding’ on a summer evening and I think that sounds lovely, just make sure you allow time for photos before sunset if you do this ;-).

Supply your own drinks

Most couples might assume that they can do this but this isn’t always the case. Some companies charge ‘corkage’ which is an extra fee on top of the drink. Be sure to speak with your bar/catering company if they charge corkage prior. 

Also don’t feel obliged to have an open bar, this costs a lot. If you do put money behind the bar just know that £500-£1000 will go very quickly. What works well is doing drinks tokens as it is fair because everyone can get a free drink in their own time.

Outfits

  • Guys – opt for a suit you can wear again
  • Ladies – consider pre-owned/high street 
  • Bridesmaids/groomsmen –  there are always sales online, keep a lookout. Alternatively, allow them to provide their own suits/dresses. 
  • Bridal shoes – realistically no one sees your shoes and they can get dirty, comfort is key because a wedding day is long, just remember that when shopping ;-). Alternative buy a shoe you know you’re going to love to wear again!

Transport

Got a pal with a nice car? I’m sure they’d be honoured to drive you. 

Live music

The same kind of goes for live music too, if you’ve got a friend that plays an instrument you could ask if they’d like to be involved. It certainly makes it more personal.

Gifts

Gifts from family/friends could be contributions towards wedding costs. It is always lovely to know where money is spent so be sure to let guests know ‘your money will be going towards ____’.

Favours

One of my favourite wedding favours last year was a little sign on the table saying that a contribution had been made to a charity. This is eco friendly and might also be cheaper than doing individual favours for each guest.

Doing your own makeup 

If you enjoy doing makeup and feel confident enough to do your own wedding makeup, consider a makeup course/one-to-one with a pro. Doing this will give you some extra little tips and advice come the big day, also see it as an investment in yourself as a lifetime skill. You could even have a makeup themed hen party to learn! 

Wedding stationery 

There are so many beautiful wedding stationery DIY’s you do. Alternatively, you could do a wedding website, this will save money on postage, printed goods and it is easy and quick to update.

I hope you found these tips helpful, if you have any suggestions to add to the list feel free to email them to me on info@gemmagiorgio.com I’d love to hear them!

GG