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

Money 2019-2-26
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. Not the absolute maximum you can save - remember you will still need something to fall back on on a rainy day. And remember, the longer your engagement, the longer you'll be saving, so don't over commit.

Make a list of everything you’ll need - from flowers to catering to a photographer - then allocate a budget to each.

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 3.1% APR Representative between £7,500 and £25,000.

Keep your numbers low

A great way to save money as well as keeping your ceremony intimate is to invite as few people as possible.

Put your guest list through vigorous stress testing. Make a list - look again a week later and aim to reduce it by 10%. Do that until you can't reduce it anymore. 

A good way to decide whether someone should be at your wedding or not is by pretending your invites were going out right now. Do you know their address? Would you be seeing them in the next couple of weeks to give it to them in person? If you answer 'no' to both of these questions, you should seriously consider whether they're close enough to invite.

Don’t mention the W-word 

This is the secret to getting the best price you can on any wedding supplier. 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.

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 as well as having a day that really is personal to you.

Opt for 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.

Get your dream dress at a sample sale

If you know what your dream dress is, or at least who your ideal designer would be, keep your eye out for a sample sale at a local stockist. You can get a great price when buying at these events compared to the full price.

If that doesn't work out, remember that designers generally release new lines for spring/summer and autumn/winter, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to find 'the one'.

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 your partner, family and friends.


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.


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