Experts Reveal How To Get The Most Out Of Your Wedding Budget
2023 is the year of the budget wedding with our ultimate wedding survey showing that 30% of people are looking to spend less than £5,000 on a wedding, and more than half of Brits want to spend less than £10,000. With the current financial climate, alongside people trying to cut costs in their day-to-day lives, it’s no surprise that wedding budgets have taken a hit.
In this blog post, we have collaborated with 9 other industry experts to provide you with some top tips to get the most out of your wedding budget.
Industry Leading Tips For A Budget Wedding
From jewellery to venues and dresses, a wedding can be a costly affair. Our survey revealed that almost a quarter of people want to scale black on wedding flowers, more than a third of people are looking to spend less on transport and more than 20% of people want to scale back on their overall wedding budget.
“When it comes to wedding ring shopping, one tip is to look at 9ct white gold pieces as they have a similar appearance to 18ct white gold and platinum but are a more affordable option.
Depending on your wedding dress, you may want to let your engagement ring and wedding band do all the talking. High-neckline dresses don’t always need a necklace, so don’t add jewellery if it isn’t needed. ” ~ Robert Cuomo, Managing Director of Hatton Jewellers
Need a little more inspiration on what jewellery styles you should opt for on your wedding day? Take a look at our blog which explores popular jewellery styles for the bride and groom.
“Consider serving your wedding cake as dessert to cut the cost of an extra course, or skip having a cake entirely if you’re not even big cake people. It’s your day, so make it about you, not what’s expected of you. Once you remove the pressure to book the things you think you should book, you’ll have an awesome wedding and you won’t resent forking out for the stuff that isn’t you.” ~ Zoe Burke, leading wedding expert and editor of Hitched.co.uk
“Many venues are half the price if booked Monday-Thursday and a lot cheaper if booked off-season in months like December or January too. Everyone thinks they want this beautiful springtime or summer wedding, but autumn and winter weddings are just as special, and often less than half the price, saving a couple potentially thousands of pounds of wedding spend.
And, if you have a dream venue in mind, ask them what is available for your budget. Lots of places offer tiered packages, so they might be willing to remove some details of a package to make it work for your budget.” ~ Zoe Burke, leading wedding expert and editor of Hitched.co.uk
“Set your budget early on, but be reasonable about how much your dream day will cost. Once you have your budget, work hard to stick to it. Make a list of what you need for your day. Put what is most important to you at the top of the list and less important things below. That way you will get what is most important booked and if you run out of budget it will only affect the less important elements.” ~ John Kennedy, Kent based wedding photographer from Shot By JFK
“Toast drinks are not required! You often welcome your guests with Prosecco, and then they go on to wine or drinks from the bar, we serve the toast fizz….and it gets left on the table! Although it’s tradition to raise a glass of bubbly, we are finding more often than not, couples are choosing to encourage their guests to raise a glass of whatever they’re already drinking.
Ensure that you also have a sale or return on any drinks that you purchase. It’s great to pick up wine or fizz when it’s on offer in the supermarkets however you often end up with mismatched wine that can’t be returned. If you use a wine merchant, not only are you supporting an independent or local business, but they often accept sale or return per bottle so you are only paying for what you need and use.
If you’re thinking of stocking a wedding bar yourself to save money,t’s not always the most cost-effective! You need staff to serve and clear, glassware, equipment (bottle openers, measures, ice buckets etc), garnish, ice, straws, and the list goes on! Also, you will more than likely run out of a drink or have overstocked on others that you think will be popular. Having a mobile bar company provide you with a full service means you only pay for what you need and use, your guests can pay for their drinks and you benefit from a professional service. You don’t need to worry about guests free pouring spirits or who is going to tidy up all the glasses as the night goes on!” ~ Giles Stagg, Partner at mobile bar company, Sip ‘n’ Swig
"Entertainment can make or break any event and a wedding is no different. To ensure you get the most out of your budget, think of how this can be carried through for different moments or aspects that make up your wedding day.
When it comes to musicians you will often find that the same artist can entertain at different moments of the day by adapting their music genre/repertoire; for example, a string trio/quartet can play a more classical repertoire during the ceremony and then for the reception play your favourite pop tunes. Of course, the additional time on site will be priced accordingly but bringing a different performer just for a small portion of the day will likely result in a higher investment overall. As a wedding planner, I also try as much as possible to source professional artists based within commutable distances from your chosen venue - fees for extended travel time and overnight stays can drive up costs so researching local artists is a great way of maximising your budget." ~ Monica Russo, Destination Wedding Planner at Dandelion Celebrations
“How about hiring a bus for your wedding travel? Wedding bus travel can be a great way to help you get the most out of your wedding transport budget. Hiring a bus means you can have a single mode of transport for the whole bridal party which can also transport the wedding party to the reception venue. Having a vintage bus also makes a perfect unique backdrop for photos making the wedding budget work even harder. This unique transport method gives your guests something memorable to look back on from your wedding day.” ~ Zoe Stroud, Senior Marketing Executive at Southern Vectis
“Make the most of your floral arrangements and where possible repurpose/move designs from your ceremony to the reception to get full use out of them. Remember, you don’t have to follow traditions, do your wedding your way even if that means no buttonholes!
Also, trust your florist. Don’t get hung up on specific flower varieties, create a colour palette and let us curate the best combinations with seasonal flowers available to us that work with your brief. Even we have wonderful surprises with what’s available from our suppliers for that extra special touch. Freedom and flexibility create magic!” ~ Emma Richardson, Floral Designer at Rosemary Blooms
Wedding Makeup Artist
“Like any wedding-based service, makeup has a bad reputation for inflation when “wedding” is prefixed. The reality is a wedding look and wedding morning entail more hours and expertise than most in the industry. When you are booking a wedding makeup artist, you are getting an experienced professional who will seamlessly bring your wedding beauty vision to life for the whole bridal party.
My top tips to get the most out of your makeup budget would be:
- Schedule your trial makeup on a day when you can really make the most out of your look such as the morning of your hen party or a dinner date with friends. By fitting this in with other wedding beauty services you can get a feel for your whole wedding look - and by heading out after, you can see how the makeup looks and behaves over the course of the day or evening.
- Listening to your artist is key to maximising the longevity of your makeup look on your wedding day. Taking on board your artists' tips and advice is paramount.
- Don’t spread your budget too thin! Resist the urge to treat members of your wedding party too. Sometimes booking an artist exclusively for you can make for a more indulgent experience.“ ~ Ruby Jones, Professional Makeup Artist rubyjbeauty.com
“When it comes to the budget it is key to do your research before you start shopping around for dresses. Try to get an understanding of the cost of gowns you like the look of first. For example, a heavily beaded, appliqué encrusted gown will cost more than a sleek satin or simple crepe style due to the workmanship involved and the cost of materials to produce it. Look at shops around your area and see if their website shows an indication of the price of dresses within the boutique. If not give them a call as boutiques vary in price, so it’s key to make sure ahead of a visit that the store in question is on budget to avoid falling in love with something you simply cannot have.
Alternatively, if you have found a specific brand or dress you adore, find a local stockist via their website and that way you can ring the store ahead of visiting to assess if it is within budget. If that brand or designer is then out of budget, don’t panic! Keep your eyes peeled for sample sales or ask the store can advise you of similar more budget-friendly versions of your dream gown. Sample sales are a great way to bag a designer dress with a top-end price tag of up to around half the original retailer price. You may even spend less than what you first budgeted for and be able to add more money into other aspects of your big, such as some fancy shoes or extra diamonds in your ring!” ~ Sophie Coulthard, owner of Ivory White Bridal