Smart Ways to Throw the Perfect Wedding on a Budget

how to plan a wedding on a budget

With the average cost of a wedding in the UK now a staggering £24,000, if you’re planning on getting married any time soon, you’re no doubt panicking about the cost and how to impress your family and friends without completely draining your finances.

And, if you’re like us, the idea of a “budget” wedding… well, it’s just sounds so… cheap.

Nobody wants their special day to look cut-price when all their friends seem to be having stylish, expensive weddings.

However, it’s not necessary to break the bank in order to have the wedding of your dreams. A budget wedding can still look lavish and classy.

There are a few tricks that will convince your friends and family that you haven’t skimped on the on the price.

The first step is to sit down with your partner and decide what you want to spend. Be as detailed with your budget planning as you can.

Make sure you include where all the money will come from and what it will be spent on.

Once you know how much you can spend, decide on what your priorities are and what you want to spend the most money on.

For some, a top photographer to capture the magic of the day is important, while for others a dream location may be the top priority.

This isn’t a fun step, but it’s necessary – you’ll no doubt have heard horror stories from people who kinda-sorta made a budget but then ended up paying triple that amount for their wedding.

Don’t be that couple! Get your numbers straight right from the start.

Top Tips to Plan a Wedding on a Budget

Now you have the budget sorted, here are five tips – plus a few bonus ideas — on how to plan your wedding on a budget….

1. Save on Your Vows

how to plan a wedding on a budget nuptial

If you want to save a tonne of money, why not make the exchange of vows as simple as possible and get wed in a registry office?

In England and Wales, a wedding in a registry office will cost you just £119, meaning you have more to spend on the reception.

If you prefer to be in the presence of family and friends, consider exchanging your vows at a place that will also allow you to host a reception.

2. Location, Location, Location

How to plan a wedding on a budget venueMany people end up blowing a chunk of their budget on the reception venue. This is not necessary at ALL!

Get creative here and we bet you can come up with a killer location that will make you the envy of your friends.

Here are some ideas to get you going: do you know someone with an amazing back garden who wouldn’t mind you using it for the day?

If not, maybe you could consider places that don’t usually host receptions, they are bound to charge less. Have a look at church or village halls, or perhaps sports halls or public parks.

What about a trend-setting ‘rustic wedding’? You could even consider asking a local farmer if you can rent out his field for the afternoon!

He may even throw in a few hay bales for free, something that many people planning rustic weddings have to fork out money for (see what we did there?!)

Once your location is decorated as you want it, it will look as fancy and cool as any hotel or other conventional venue.

If you do end up going for a pricey venue, try to avoid getting married on a Saturday. Saturday is the most popular day to get wed, so you’ll be charged more than if you got married on a Friday or a Sunday.

Some venues will cut as much as 50% off the price to get people to use their location on less popular days. So do your homework!

3. Get your Friends to Help!

How to plan a wedding on a budget friendsIf your friends and family are a talented bunch, don’t be afraid to ask for help with everything from the cake and flowers to the DJ and more.

You could suggest they help in lieu of a present, meaning you could potentially save thousands of pounds.

Plus, this might reduce the risk of you ending up with multiple kitchen tools and knick-knacks that you’ll never use.

4. The Dress

How to plan a wedding on a budget wedding dressThere are many ways of getting your hands on the dress of your dreams for a lot less than you’d pay in the shops.

This could mean borrowing one from a friend, renting one or buying one preloved from eBay.

It’s worth keeping an eye out in the charity shops too. It may sound less than desirable, but we heard of a woman who recently scored herself a stunning Jenny Packham wedding dress in her local branch of the British Heart Foundation!

It needed a bit of love to get it to how she wanted it, but she saved herself hundreds of pounds in the process.

If you choose a dress from a wedding shop, the best time to buy is in the Autumn. This time of year is ‘off peak’ for many shops and many will want to shift any unwanted stock at cut price. You may just score yourself a beauty for a fraction of the cost.

5. Get your Friends and Family Snapping!

Hiring a good wedding photographer for your big day can set you back at least £1,000. Instead, consider buying a few disposable cameras and let your friends and family snap your day for you.

Or if you have any amateur photographers with a good camera, ask them to cover your day for a bottle of champers.

Everyone’ll think you’re being cool and edgy with your approach, and probably won’t even consider you’re just doing it to save yourself a bit (or a lot) of money.

With the amount of photos you’ll receive, there are bound to be a few that you love that capture the day perfectly.

A Few Bonus Ideas!

1. Skip the fancy florists.

Instead pick wild flowers and place them in small glass jars. Or buy flowers in bulk and do your own whimsical arrangements nd buying in-season flowers can save cost too.

2. Do your own makeup!

Pop to a department store a few weeks before your big day and see if you can bag yourself a free bridal makeover. Watch how the sales assistant applies your makeup and practice at home so you can get your makeup just as you want it. You can even get a friend to make you up too.

Consider buying the key pieces from the sales assistant, perhaps a good foundation and lipstick, and then find duplicates in Boots for the rest.

3. Ditch expensive meals

Instead of serving an expensive sit-down meal, go rustic and serve fish and chips in newspaper or hand-crafted organic pies in lovingly wrapped cardboard boxes. Or why not hire a food truck? This on-trend idea means you can serve your family and friends lovely street food while saving yourself some money at the same time!

4. Check for hidden fees

Always check for hidden fees such overtime cleaning up cost or overtime charges by DJ or photographer these fees can add up quickly. Some venues even charge additional fees for cake-cutting and toasts.

Now it’s Over to You!

Do you have any creative ideas on how to have a wedding on a budget? We’d love to hear from you!
























Money Nuggets

Similar Posts


  1. 24 grand on a wedding is insane, love all your ideas – especially the photography one! People always look uptight in photographer pics and relaxed when family take it so you can get some really good shots that way x

  2. Great ideas – one of the big reasons whey OH and I have never married is the fact I can’t bear to spend all that money on one day – £24,000 is the average yearly salary in London!! Just insane when you think about it that way. x

  3. What a great post, we are supposed to be getting married next year but everytime I start looking at venues I get so disheartened by the prices.

  4. I do often think people lose their senses when they spend so much money on one day and you have made some good pointers on where money can be saved x

  5. Hubby and I paid for our wedding ourselves, it still wasn’t cheap at £10k but definitely cheaper than £24k. My Mum bought my dress and my in-laws gave us a donation but on the whole Hubby and I did extra work at a weekend decorating our employer’s offices for less than a professional would have done it for and a few car boot sales. I bought bridesmaids dresses from TK Maxx, made all the invites, table decs myself. We decorated the venue ourselves with some Topiary Trees we borrowed from work that I had woven cream roses into, we made table decorations our of wine glasses, cathedral candles and glass beads which looked amazing and we still drink from the same wine glasses today. We saved wherever we could and felt proud of how well our day came together. The biggest part of our budget went on food but thankfully it was great food 😉

  6. Wow 24,000 pound on a wedding, that is a lot of money!! Great tips on saving money 🙂

    1. Absolutely! Scheduling your wedding on a weekday could help save you more money.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

fourteen − 6 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.