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Your Guide to a Cheap Wedding: How to plan a wedding on a tight budget

We’re here to help you plan the wedding of your dreams on a budget. With these tips, you’ll be able to save money wherever possible and still have an amazing day.

Going for a smaller wedding guest list

It might not be what you want to hear, but this is the place to start.

The number of guests you invite to your wedding can make a big difference to the budget. There are two main reasons:

  • less guests means a smaller venue is possible, which (usually) means a cheaper wedding venue
  • catering (food and drink) is one of the largest wedding costs, and it’s usually variable – so less people means less expenditure

Cutting people out is difficult, but if you want to do things on the cheap it will make a huge difference.

If you’re using an indoor space like a hotel or restaurant for example, then it’s best to keep the number under 150-200 people regardless as these venues usually won’t allow more than this amount anyway. If it’s an outdoor location like an amphitheatre or park with plenty of space however then there are no limits… except the cost! Anyway, who’s got more than 200 friends?!

Do It Yourself

DIY! If you want to save money, then wherever possible when it comes to planning your wedding, you should be choosing to do it yourself.

This is not a new concept, but it’s one many people don’t appreciate until they’re on the other side of their wedding planning. As you get closer to your big day, it may seem that every single person you know has an opinion about how much money should be spent and where. That’s why going DIY can be so freeing. You’ll have total control over the details and can save money without feeling guilty or as if someone else is dictating your choices.

It’s also a great way to make your day unique—and who doesn’t want that? With all of the pressure these days surrounding weddings being elaborate affairs with extravagant moments, sometimes it feels like there isn’t room for creativity or personalization anymore. But when you’re doing almost everything yourself, your wedding will feel much more like your own!

Book your cheap wedding venue in the off-season

While the wedding season is in full swing, it’s not always the best time to book your venue. The off-season—the time between November and February when most people are enjoying winter days indoors—is a great opportunity to save money on your wedding. During this period, many venues offer discounts on their services or even waive certain fees altogether.

As an example, if you wanted to book your ceremony at a church during peak season (April through July), you might pay £1,000 for an afternoon ceremony and reception or £3,000 for an evening event with cocktails beforehand and dinner afterward. But if you waited until January or February and attended one of these same ceremonies in off-peak hours during those months instead of late afternoon or early evening respectively? You could save up to 50%!

Many venues will also offer off-peak days at a reduced rate, so avoid Friday or Saturday – and look to book your wedding Sunday to Thursday instead.

Opt for low-cost food and drink options

It’s important to think about the food and drink options you’ll have at your wedding. Some venues allow you to choose your own caterer, while others will automatically provide catering services. If you can opt for a venue that lets you choose your own caterer, do so—it will save you money in the long run.

Of course, it means more effort – co-ordinating with the caterer and making sure they’re happy to work at your venue and have everything they need, but it will be cheaper and also means you’ll have much more control!

If you do choose a venue that allows you to take charge of the catering, you could even look at taking care of this aspect yourself, or getting a friend or family member to do it. Just be mindful of what you’re asking. If you’re having 100+ people it might be nigh on impossible for a novice to cater for them. It’ll also take up a lot of time for them on the day!

However if you only have 20-50 guests, a huge one-pot chilli might be more of a possibility!

Shop second hand for your wedding dress, decorations and more

Wherever possible, shop second hand. You’re probably not going to find your dream wedding dress in Oxfam (although never say never!), but there are plenty of options for second hand wedding dress shopping. Bridal Reloved is one such chain, which specialises in second hand dresses.

Another option is to use Facebook Marketplace. There are also countless local wedding groups on Facebook which you might find useful. People will often sell their used wedding decorations and clothing on there for a fraction of the original price. But you’ll have to act fast!

Have friends film your wedding

Having a videographer at your wedding is a non-negotiable for many, but it’s also a huge expense. Finding a cheap wedding video isn’t easy, however there is a way… [enter Filmed On Phones!]

We provide affordable wedding videos – your guests film your wedding (either we can send out equipment and video cameras as part of the package, or they can use their phones) and we then professionally edit the final video.

Not only is this cheaper, it also means you’ll end up with a much more personal video. If you’re interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

Keep the reception cheap

Let’s not forget, really the most important part of the wedding is the ceremony itself. The reception is optional, and doesn’t have to be extravagant. Keep it cheap as much as you can.

This isn’t practical for everyone (or even many of us) in the UK, but if you have any friends or family with a large house or garden, consider asking them to host your reception. Renting a marquee for the garden is a hell of a lot cheaper than almost any wedding venue.

Bear in mind that it’s quite a big ask, and many people might not be comfortable having this amount of people in their space, even if it’s outside.

Getting married can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be!

It goes without saying that weddings can be expensive. Even if you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of ways to get married without breaking the bank.

The first step is to plan ahead. If you’re planning a wedding in less than two months, this may not be possible. However, if your wedding date isn’t set yet or has some flexibility built into it, try and take advantage of this.

The most important thing is to try and enjoy planning your wedding, and don’t let the finances stress you out. Now that you’ve learned your options for how to plan a wedding on a budget, it’s time to get cracking. Remember: don’t let money be a factor in deciding where or when or with whom you get married. Take our tips above into consideration and you’re sure to have an amazing day with all of your friends and family around you.

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