Setting your wedding budget at the start of your engagement will ensure that you’re both on the same page about what’s important on the day and avoid any arguments down the line. According to this article from bridesmagazine.co.uk the average wedding costs just over £30,000. I don’t even want to spend £3k on my wedding. However, I’ve come to accept that some things cannot be done for cheap without scrimping on quality.
If you can save during one part of your wedding then you can spend during another. We were never interested in having the whole formal affair and having a budget actually suits us perfectly. Read below on how we’ve restructured our wedding to keep well below the national average wedding cost.
Below are the average cost for each part of a UK wedding and I’ve added how I’ve set my budget up to pay less.
National Average Price of a Wedding Venue: £2,790 National Average Price of a Reception Venue: £3,919
Unless you have money to spare, there’s nothing to be gained to having your venues separate. My finance and I decided a while ago to combine to two and save thousands. We’ve booked a 3 night stay for a 25-bedroomed home for £2,800 (inc VAT). We will be having the ceremony in the garden on one of the days and it’s perfect for the commercial wedding we both want.
National Average Price of Catering: £3,959
We are choosing to self-cater for the 3-night weekend. Thankfully 2 members of our family are cooks so we are looking at a budget for the weekend of £1000 including breakfast, spreads, dinners and the wedding food. So far we are under budget and I don’t plan on over spending.
National Average Price of Photographer: £1,046
This is something I think cannot be saved on as we want quality. My theory is that this is the thing that lasts. We mentally put aside but ended up spending only £900 for everything we could want.
National Average Price of Flowers: £638
I have purchased some faux flowers that look stunning for less than £30. The best part is that I will be using these again as table decorations. If you do want real flowers then M+S do a range of bridal bouquets and bridesmaids bouquets for just £150 and they look gorgeous.
National Average Price of a Wedding Cake: £300
We’ve decided to buy plain cakes and have syrups, sprinkles, jelly beans and other fun things dotted around. Should cost us around £100 and be a lot of fun!
National Average Price of Music Entertainment: £773
Spotify + speakers at the location = £0. Why pay for a corny DJ these days? Most summer weddings I’ve been too don’t even have people on that dance floor – they’re outside enjoying the sun.
National Average Price of a Wedding Dress: £1,378
I spent £600 on my dress which I was quite happy with. Mum paid for £500 of that costing me a total of £100.
National Average Price of Wedding Shoes: £161
Heels and myself do not match however I’ve purchased some white heels for £40. I didn’t want to pay more as part of me knows I’ll kick them off
National Average Price of Stationery: £271
All my invites will be via email and so it’s a grand total of £0. I also think it’s a lot less faff as you can have them RSVP directly into a spreadsheet with dietary requirements and names of plus ones.
National Average Price of a Wedding Veil: £138
My veil was very lovingly donated by my best friend and is perfect for my outfit too. Price = £0.
National Average Price of Bridesmaid’s + Groomsmen outfits: £436
Very and Asos (to name just 2) have amazing bridesmaid dresses for under £50 so I’m looking to bring my dresses in under £100 for all. The groomsmen will be asked to wear just a plain black suit and we will give them waistcoats to wear. Total price £200.
National Average Price of a Mother-of-the-bride outfit: £349
Sorry Mum! £0
National Average Price of a Groom’s outfit: £439
We will likely buy a new black suit so it can be used again for funerals, weddings, interviews and events. Estimated cost including tailoring: £200
National Average Price of Bridal Beauty: £301
I’ve written here before about why you should at least attempt to do your own bridal make up so that’s the route I’m going down. £0.
National Average Price of an Engagement Ring: £3,037
Don’t be afraid to buy second-hand. My ring is valued at a lot more than my fiancé paid and I couldn’t be prouder of him for getting a deal. I’ll do a post soon on how to get your ring cheaper.
National Average Price of Wedding Rings: £809
We are looking to spend around £500. We know we can get this cheaper however we want to do this experience where you spend all day at a forge and create each others wedding rings.
National Average Price of Other Wedding Jewellery: £176
No need for other jewellery – everyone has enough to wear to bring from home! £0.
National Average Price of a Honeymoon: £4,413
We’ve not discussed honeymoon yet but I wouldn’t feel comfortable spending over £1000 on it – and that seems like a lot. Thankfully we will ask our friends and family to pay for things to do on our honeymoon as a wedding gift so that number should shrink!
National Average Price of Favours and Gifts: £2,400
We would love to spend that kind of money on our friends and family but I know they would prefer a sincere present of something that means a lot to them like gift cards to a spa day or something for their home. Our top budget for all our bridesmaids, groomsmen and parents are £500.
Leave a comment below if you have anything to add and follow my wedding journey here.