How to make the most of a wedding budget

wedding budget

Every bride dreams of an endless Wedding Fund, but as this is very often not the case, but ‘counting pennies doesn’t mean scrimping on style’.

There are many elements of your big day that can benefit from savvy spendings such as handcrafted details and cost-effective catering, here are a few of my top tips:

Focus your efforts

Don’t spread yourself too thinly on your wedding budget, rather than slashing costs on six different areas, pick three priorities that you absolutely must have and do those really well. So depending on what is super important to you, you could consider splurging on a stunning wedding cake by forgoing the decorative charger plates at each place setting.

Getting the right fit

Found your perfect wedding dress? It is important to remember that alterations are generally not included in the ticket price. It is likely that you will need to attend at least two further appointments where the seamstress will ensure that the dress fits you absolutely perfectly – the price for this service depends on the initial cost of the dress, but I’d wedding budget around £150 to £200.

Feeding your team

Many of your suppliers will be there for the majority of your big day, in particular, these include the photographer, the band and your planner; usually around 10 people in total. You will need to ensure that they are all well fed and watered throughout the day, and this cost needs to be taken into consideration. To reduce the cost, I ask venues to prepare something like lasagne and chips which is cheaper than the wedding breakfast but filling – this option is usually charged at around half the price of your guests’ meals.

Is service included?

The expectation is yes, but I did work with a venue this year that added a 12.5% gratuity to the bill. I would strongly recommend that you double-check your contract for any ‘surprises’ prior to signing it.

Blank Canvas

When planning your wedding day, hiring chairs, cutlery, linen and crockery can really pile on the pounds! At approximately £15.00 per head for full rental, this would add £1,500 to your burgeoning wedding budget. A far more cost-effective method is to use the venue’s default items and just customise one item, such as glassware, for a far more purse pleasing £300.

Hefty Corkage Fees

Sourcing your own booze can be a huge cost-saver, but many venues and caterers will add a corkage charge onto your bill. Even if you have found wine for £5 a bottle, versus the £20 wines on the venue/caterers list, it might cost you £15 per bottle in corkage. Alcohol is where they make their profit (we all have to make money somehow), so they will discourage you from bringing your own. My recommendation, don’t go crazy in the Majestic Wines champagne aisle until you have checked their policy!

Tweak your aisle style

Flowers can runaway with your wedding budget, so rather than expensive pew-end bouquets, use colourful ribbon trails. Another cute and cost-effective option is to line the aisle with candles and scattered petals; many florists will include fresh confetti for free with a large order.

A mighty big thank you

Remember to set aside some money to purchase thank-you gifts for your bridesmaids, ushers, parents and anyone else who has gone that extra mile whilst organising your big day; it’s really important to show your appreciation

Something borrowed: Renting over buying

When organizing your wedding you have to put on lots of different hats – planner, designer, peacekeeper, accountant, wine taster (a personal favourite!) and many more. If you are recently engaged, mid-planning or about to make that all-important walk up the aisle, keeping control of your wedding budget, let’s face it, is not the most fun part of planning your big day; but it is super important.

Being a savvy spender in one area can usually mean that you can splurge another; however, have you considered renting key wedding items? It really could allow you to have your cake and eat it!

Let’s start with a girl’s best friends…Bridesmaids…as they come in many beautiful shapes and sizes, the trend for bridesmaids choosing their own dresses, tied into your theme by either colour or style, is a firm favourite to keep everyone happy.

Now let’s consider your other best friends…Diamonds… Choosing to rent your wedding jewellery could enable you to drape yourself in diamonds, pearls or sapphires that would usually break the wedding budget – how divine!

Have you been weighing up the possibility of purchasing Louboutins for your big day? This is often a dilemma; will the colour and style be wearable after the big day? Consider contacting renting your shoes for glamour without the price tag! A gorgeous rental pair of Louboutin Prive Riga or Jimmy Choo Brent heels could be perfect for you to strut down the aisle in style and perfect for the budget.

Should you be planning a retro wedding, another area of your wedding that can benefit from rental is your crockery and decorations. This rental option is not only cost-effective; it is very ‘green’ which will leave you with a warm glow too! Why bust the wedding budget on buying table decorations which you’ll never use again when you can rent. Often they will drop them off at the venue and then pick them up too!


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