Epic Thrifty Wedding Tips For Budget Savvy Brides

tips for a budget wedding get married for less

In the past nine months, I’ve discovered just how cost-effective I can be. TBH, if you commit to getting married in twelve months then you’re gonna have to get your thrift on. And if you’re reading this thinking, snore, I’m not getting married – hold on a second, because I reckon some of these tips can easily be applied to everyday life.

But if you are getting married (congrats BTW), you’ll be well aware of how much £££ a wedding sucks from your bank account/credit cards/life savings. In the beginning, when we first sat down to do our budget we had all kinds of cute ideas to save money, and we came up with a hilariously ambitious budget.

I’m laughing at my former, naive self. Why? EVERYTHING costs more than you think. And not only that, there are tons of tiny add ons that you didn’t think of which actually end up amounting to a ton of extra £££.

So, without further ‘I do’ (see what I did there), here are some moneysaving wedding tips to help you actually stick to your budget, or better still, come in below it!

Moneysaving tips for low cost nuptials

1. Get real folks

So my first piece of advice for coming up with a wedding budget, or any budget, is – be realistic. Don’t try and make yourselves feel better by underestimating everything. This will only come back to bite you in the beeehind. I promise.

2. See who might be able to lend a £££

I’m not saying go to your parents and your partner’s parents and be like, ‘hey folks, can you just both split the cost of our wedding. We’ll love you forever and give you lots of grandchildren.’ 

We have got far more help than we first anticipated and also from unexpected places, and we’re so eternally grateful. We’ve paid for a huge chunk ourselves which has been so hard, but our wedding wouldn’t have been possible without people buying the odd thing for us here and there (thank you, you know who you are).

3. Ask for physical and creative help

If you don’t feel comfortable asking for a few wedding donations from relatives, then don’t feel afraid of asking for physical and creative help. And by that I mean making shit. Carrying shit. Transporting shit. Borrowing shit. Just basically getting a wedding army and giving them as much stuff to do as they can.

You literally can’t do everything yourself. There’s only so many decorations one person (or two if your partner is up for a crafting spree) can cope with. Thankfully, my sister is an artist and oh so creative. She’s making a ton of stuff, as is my mum. I’m blown away by some of the cool shizz they’re making.

Everyone knows making stuff yourself is going to be cheaper. Especially when it comes to weddings. Because whenever you mention the word wedding an extra £4762910 is added onto the average cost of something. Booooo.

4. Exchange of services

When you’re trying to come up with thousands of pounds, literally any way you can make the overall sum go down is a win, and a small relief. So, if you have skills to offer, why not do an exchange of services? It’s what I’ve done for certain parts of my wedding, and to be completely honest, it’s an absolute lifesaver.

Sure, it may take up my time doing writing work for some of my wedding suppliers, but at least I don’t have to fork out the actual money. Plus, I get to build a good relationship with the suppliers that I’m helping and everyone’s happy all round. Fantastic.

5. Get married off-peak

Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s an obvious one. But I beg you, take some time to consider it. You might want that summer wedding on a Saturday but no word of a life, the likelihood is you will end up paying almost a third extra.

All suppliers are way more expensive, so are venues and practically everything related to your wedding. This is the best way to make a huge saving and put less pressure on your limited budget. We’re getting married on a Friday, in December. What’s also lovely about going off-peak is most suppliers actually have availability, so you get more choice.

6. Switch up your wedding breakfast

You don’t have to have a three course sit down meal these days, unless of course it’s all you’ve ever dreamed of. More couples are opting for slightly laid-back food options which don’t cost a ton of money, like having a BBQ or hog roast for example, or going all out on an epic afternoon tea. Not only will you save money, but you’ll be offering something different that people perhaps haven’t had before.

7. Say yes to the second-hand dress

Hold your horses. I’m not suggested you go on ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’ (but if you want to, fair play, that’s your wedding budget covered). It would break my heart to not have ANY say in my wedding plans.

But I am suggesting you consider second-hand dress and even, dun dun dun, charity shop garments. If you’re not brave enough to buy your dress from a charity shop (I think Oxfam have a vast selection on their website btw), then at least consider keeping an eye out for accessories.

Plus, there are slightly more upmarket ways of getting second-hand dresses, with websites like Still White and Bride to Bride. You can get designer dresses for less than half the price.

I also went to a special second-hand wedding dress shop near Sevenoaks, I think it was called Brides Revisited and has such a lovely experience. 

I found a few amazing dresses but they weren’t quite right for me, though I highly recommend going. It seems such an epic waste to let all these wedding dresses go to waste.

8. Have less bridesmaids/groomsman

Oops I chose six. I love them all to bits so couldn’t cut mine down, but if you can, perhaps just go for one or two. Oh and the same goes for groomsman/ushers. 

We’ve only got one because we’ve got two best men, so three suits to buy in total, which seriously helps us out. We actually didn’t think about this when we were deciding but it’s worked out for the best!

9. Don’t feel pressured to buy every single thing – ignore tradition

Yes it’s a wedding. But you don’t have to buy everything that’s expected at a traditional wedding. In fact, if you opt for a less traditional day then you’re gonna save tons. Why? Because you don’t have to buy all that stuff, some of which you probs don’t really need anyway.

Many brides say there are some things you really notice on the day, and other things you thought you would really care about, you end up not giving a crap. So have a long, hard think about what’s really going to matter on the big day. Do you really need a pudding or could you just opt for an enormous cake? Is that £1000 photo booth really worth all that budget? Don’t be scared of switching things up a little to suit your budget.

Photocred – Kristina Gasperas

Hair by Kasia Fortunia.

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