Weddings are no small feat. There are several factors to think of, right from the venue, to the wedding dress to catering and entertainment for the guests. All these factors are tied together by one common thread, the budget for a wedding.
Do you know that couples choose long engagements so that they can save enough money for the wedding expenses? Are you one such bride, meticulously planning and organizing every detail to stay within the budget? Do you want to have a comprehensive idea about how much an average wedding would cost?
Many firms conducted surveys and researches to understand the budget for a wedding in the United Kingdom, especially in and around London.
The survey found that the average wedding cost (including the honeymoon and guest expenses) was around £30,000, a definite increase from £26,000 in 2018. Another survey stated that by expanding the horizon further across the country, the average came down to around £16,000. While there have been high-budget weddings worth more than £100,000, the percentage is quite less. Most couples have got married within £5,000 and £15,000.
A good number of couples have decided not to get married due to the wedding expenditure. But with some planning and control over the finances, every couple can indeed make their wedding dreams come true. There is no reason to let finances hinder the special day if you are willing to be sensible about spending money.
Shall we see the average cost you can set aside for different elements of the wedding? You’ll have to remember that these prices are estimates and can differ from the actual amount. It would be great if you create an excel sheet or a budget table with estimated costs, proposed costs, and final payments. This will help you keep a note of where your finances stand at any given point in time.
Tips on how to Budget for a Wedding
The venue you choose is going to create a great impact on the overall budget for a wedding. A good portion of the money will go to the venue, and it is important that you find a place that provides everything you need. No point in paying £6000 for a place and then having to spend more on hiring tables, chairs, heating, or ACs, is it? Also, the sooner you book the venue, the lesser you will have to pay. Last-minute bookings will push the price upwards.
Holidays, wedding seasons, and Sundays tend to be reserved way in advance. The cost of the venue is almost always high during these days. That’s one of the reasons, many couples are now getting married on Friday evenings or better yet, on week-day noon.
- Caterers (Food, Cake, and Wine)
The venue may or may not offer caterers, which means you have to pick one yourself. Don’t forget the cake! If you’ve got friends or acquaintances known for their baking skills, talk to them. If the cake lady (or gent) offers to take care of welcome drinks or appetizers, by all means, go ahead. You’ll end up saving a few pounds. Make sure the wedding menu is not too complex with too many items. Sometimes, a simple menu provides the best food.
You will need to set aside anything between £1000 and £1300 for the photographer. They charge based on the number of hours and also the location. If you want the photographer to come to another city, you will have to include the travel expenses (and hotel expenses, if required). You might get a friend to take up wedding photography, but do you want to compromise on something that’ll capture the special day’s memories forever?
On average, your bridal gown will be around £1100, while the bridegroom’s suit will cost about £400. While you can easily go over the budget for a wedding, you can also cut down the cost to less than a thousand by checking for any special bridal discounts that boutiques offer at times. Make sure you include the cost of your underwear. You can get the hair and makeup done for another £400-£600. Of course, if you are good at makeup or like the minimalistic look, you’ll save quite a bit here.
- Entertainment for Guests
Live bands tend to charge a lot of money, although you can hire acoustic duo’s who can perform at different times of the day to maximise that budget. The acoustic guitar could be the perfect background music for record signing and while guests are waiting for the ceremony.
Alternatively, you could consider a DJ as an alternative to live bands. It’s essential to understand what sound system is in place if you plan to use your own music.
If you want fresh flowers for the wedding, you’ll have to pay a thousand pounds or more. If the venue offers a few basic decorations (without flowers), see if you would like to take it up! You can always add a bunch of flowers at random places instead of going for complete flower decoration.
Invitations and Stationery
We like to call these sneaky costs as they tend to pile up with each new addition. You can use the internet to order stationery, invites, and gifts for guests. Instead of getting them packed by professionals, ask your friends to come over and help you with it. Anyone you know has great handwriting? Awesome! You don’t have to spend on a calligraphy expert.
The average cost of the honeymoon is about £3000. The prices seem to be increasing each year. If you cannot plan your honeymoon to your favourite destination within the budget, you can wait for off-season travel deals. Or you could have a UK honeymoon that costs way less an start saving for your dream trip.
Whether you want to ask your parents or family to help with the expenses or not is your choice, but we did notice that parents seemed more inclined to help when the budget was limited and fixed. However, there will always be exceptions.
Keep a firm eye on the extra expenses (no matter how small they are) and set aside a separate amount for emergency expenses (in case you can’t avoid a particular cost). As for the rest, hold the purse strings close and think with your brain.