How to plan a fairy tale wedding on a shoe string budget

Money 2018-8-16
How to plan a fairy tale wedding on a shoe string budget.jpg

Our ultimate guide to planning your dream wedding, even on a budget.

With the average wedding now costing a whopping £30,111, it’s not surprising that more and more couples are trying to be financially savvy when planning their special day. Here at Hitachi Personal Finance, we have put together a money saving guide to help you plan your fairy tale wedding while still keeping the pennies in check.

Decide on your budget and stick to it.

Sit down with your partner and work out exactly what you can comfortably afford and then stick to it. Make a list of everything you’ll need - from flowers to catering to a photographer - then allocate a budget to each.

  • Hitachi Top TipThere are some great guides online to help you understand what percentage of your overall budget should be allocated to which element of the day.

Once you begin researching local suppliers, you may have to jiggle the amounts or even eliminate certain aspects altogether to stay within budget. If you’re not keen on the idea of compromising and you need a helping hand, check out our low cost wedding loans which start from just 3.3% APR Representative between £7,500 and £25,000.

Don’t invite everyone – It’s not the Royal Wedding.

Even though you might be tempted to invite anyone and everyone out of obligation, it’s not necessarily a good idea. The more people you invite, the more expensive it will become and the less intimate if will feel. Why not write out your initial guest list then revisit it again a few days later to try and reduce it by 10-20%? If you’re feeling ruthless, try another 10-20% until there’s nobody else you can remove.

Don’t mention the W-word until you HAVE to.

This is the secret to getting the best price you can on any service you’re purchasing for your wedding. When ringing up to get a quote NEVER say it is for your wedding as they will instantly mark up the price. Instead you could try asking for a tasteful cake for 100 people (this could mean any number of things - from a corporate event to a charity day) or that you need a photographer for a 5 hour outdoor event. At some point you will have to tell them it is for your wedding but for initial contact, it’s best not to then you will get a more accurate price to negotiate.

Get the right venue.

Choosing a venue can be tricky on a strict budget but it’s not impossible - if you’re willing to be flexible that is. There are a few factors you need to consider if you want value for money such as the time of year, whether it is mid-week or a weekend and the popularity of the venue. If you chose to get married at your local registry office, that would only cost you £46 compared to £1,500 for a beach wedding. If you opt for a different venue for your reception, websites such as ‘Cancelled Weddings’ are a great place to start looking for cheap deals.

Ask for favours instead of gifts.

If you have friends or family with special talents such as, flower arranging or cake making then why not ask them to help you out with aspects of your wedding rather than buy you a gift? For example if you have a friend that is an amazing baker, then ask if they would make you a cake for a small fee. This is a great way to save money but also they are more likely to know what you like and will also go the extra mile for you as they want to help make it a special day.

Clever catering.

Catering can be costly for any wedding with the average bill coming in at £4,000 (£40 per head based on an average guest list of 100), but there are ways you can reduce your overall spend. Instead of going for a tailored wedding package with the venue, why not see if there are any small family-run restaurants in your local area who are willing to cater for you? They are more likely to charge you a reasonable price as well as ensuring that everything is perfect, as it’s good publicity for their business. Food vans are also a good option as they are used to catering for large crowds and will definitely be a novelty for you guests.

Fewer flowers.

Sometimes more is less – you don’t need to need to spend a fortune on flower arrangements that will wilt and die shortly after the wedding reception is over. You can still have elegant flower displays by going minimal. For example, try a single rose for the bridesmaids and cactus or succulents for the centre pieces. You could even go the extra mile by rallying the troops and creating your own arrangements with flowers from your local market or florist.

DIY invitations.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on fancy stationery or custom-made wedding invitations when you can make your own for a fraction of the cost. All you need to get started is a printer and some inspiration from Pinterest or Instagram, so get crafty with your other half and create your very own bespoke invites. You could even go the extra mile by creating place cards, save the dates and thank you notes too. If you don’t have the means to print out your invites at home, websites such as Vista Print are a great, cheap alternative.

Buy your dress off the rack AND on sale.

Unless you’re Meghan Markle, you don’t need to spend a six figure sum on your gown, but you can look just as glamorous on a small budget if you shop smart. Check out all your local wedding dress shops and see what’s on sale or alternatively you can shop online.

  • Hitachi Top TipIf you do choose to shop online, make sure you have your measurements correct, and double check the companies returns/exchange policy before committing.

Another option is to shop pre-loved as many dresses have only been once. You may even pick up a beautiful vintage number.

Affordable wedding rings.

The cost of wedding rings can vary hugely depending on size, elaboration and material. On average a white gold ring will cost anywhere between £150 and £400. Places like ‘Hatton Garden’ in London or ‘The Jewellery Quarter’ are great for striking a bargain and haggling a price to suit you. Other options are to buy pre-owned wedding bands either online or at dedicated pre-loved jewellery stores which are great options for saving some pennies.

However you decide to plan your big day, remember it is all making memories and having a wonderful time with friends, family and your partner no matter how to choose to do it.


Brides Magazine’s ‘Wedding Venue Finder’

Hitachi Hints and Tips is intended to be informative and interesting. It does not constitute financial advice, and you should always do further research when making any financial decisions. All information was correct at date of publication.


Live chat

best live chat