Friday 18 May 2018

Finance Fridays – 10 ways to have a wedding on a budget

We were looking at the cost of moving for last week's Finance Fridays. This week we are thinking about weddings. Tomorrow will we see the biggest and most expensive wedding in years. Whilst none of us have the same budget as a royal wedding the average cost of a wedding in the UK is now around £18,500. There are many ways to have a wonderful day on a budget so let's have a look at some ways to keep the cost down.

Keep the invitation list short – Much has been made up of who has not been invited to the Royal Wedding. However, do you really need to invite all of your relatives? What's the point of paying for relatives you haven't seen in 10 years. For most people second and third cousins are classed as distant relatives so don't feel bad about not adding them to the guest. Your work colleagues may feel that because they see you everyday at work it means they will be invited as well. Unless they really are your best buds then don't feel obliged to have them at your big day.

Make your own invitations and stationery – There is lots of free design software you can use and then print off. If you know the email addresses of the people you are inviting then send the invitation that way. Simple ceremonies don't need an order of service. If you are getting married in church ask for the hymn books to be put out and the hymn numbers displayed on the hymn board.

Dress – One of the biggest decisions for the bride is the style of dress. Depending on the design and make of the dress the cost can be anything from under a £100 pounds to thousands. You may not want to save money by buying secondhand but you can buy new dresses at a discount. Many wedding dress shops have sample sales or sell-off discontinued designs. Often this is after September as this is after the big wedding trade shows and companies have placed their new stock orders.

Cake – You can have a go at making your own – take a look at my lemon and elderflower cake. The cake can be made in advance and frozen for when you need it. Alternatively many of the supermarkets sell plain white cakes which can be layered up. You can then decorate them yourself by adding ribbon and cake toppers.

Cut the photographs – I don't mean all photographs entirely but all the extras. A wedding photographer will be wanting to spend most of the day with you but this will cost extra. The most important photographs are of course directly before and after the wedding ceremony so make sure you get those professionally captured. As most people have smart phones now with good cameras on them you will find there will be plenty of photographs taken throughout the day. Make sure to ask your guests to share them with you afterwards. Whenever I go to a wedding I take lots of photographs throughout the day and print them off to send them to the newly weds.

Pick a weekday wedding – Sometimes this isn't a popular option with your guests as many will have to take time off work to attend. Remember though that many people work at weekends so would have to do the same for a Saturday wedding. A weekday wedding is usually much cheaper when it comes to the reception costs and you might find it easier to find a free date.

Four seasons – The prime time for weddings is May to September plus Valentine's Day and St. George's Day. Autumn and winter weddings are often much cheaper as venues are keen on getting bookings in. If you are bothered about the weather remember this is the UK and any time of the year can be wet and cold!

Feeding time - A formal sit down meal with three or more course plus wine can easily start from around £60 per head. If you get married in the morning or early afternoon you may feel like you need to organise an evening buffet as well. Therefore it makes sense to get married in the late afternoon so you just need to pay for one meal. If want a more informal but cheaper meal think about having a help yourself buffet or an afternoon tea. If you leave after the food you won't need to worry about evening entertainment either.

Forget the favours – In my experience sugar almonds, personalised packets of sweets and packs of playing cards get left on the table. They may look pretty but they are a huge waste of money so save your cash.

Ditch everyone – Not everyone entirely as by law you need two witnesses but you could drag two strangers off the street! Some authorities offer a very basic and simple ceremony for a low fee. For example in Harrogate if you get married on the second Tuesday of the month in the office of the superintendent registrar the fee is just £50 for the service. This compares to £275 for a ceremony on a Saturday or £525 to ask the registrar to perform the ceremony at an approved licensed venue.

If you want to join in with this week's Finance Fridays then add your link to the linky below. Any post concerning financial matters is allowed. Full details here. It doesn't have to be published today as you have until 23.55 on Tuesday 22nd May 2018 to join in.
Finance Fridays

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