It is every little girl’s dream, well many little girl’s dream, to have a fancy, lavish wedding showing the world her and her partner’s love for each other.
Weddings are special!
They bring friends and families together for a couple of days to celebrate the joining of the couple, and in the end bring the friends and families together for a lifetime.
Unfortunately, all that excitement and joy of everyone coming together comes with a price tag, and not a cheap price tag.
Depending where you look and who you ask, on average weddings here in the UK can cost upwards of £20,000, with some stating the average wedding costs over £30,000!
Of course this pales by comparison to some of the more famous and expensive weddings we have seen and heard abut over the years. Just look at the past couple of Royal Weddings we have witnessed.
As to where the money is going for weddings, the costs can be broken down into various categories, and as we will see and note, not all weddings have to have each and every expense. Some expenses can be cut in order to bring a wedding in or under a set budget.
Where Does The Money Go?
Wedding expenses can be broken down into various categories:
* Venue: £2,000 to £5,000 or higher
* Reception: Including food and drinks can be £5,000 or more, depending on the number of guests
* Wedding dress, shoes, outfits: £1,300 to the sky is the limit
* Engagement ring: £2,000 to whatever 2 to 3 times the groom’s monthly salary is, if we believe that rule
* Photography: £1,000 to £1,500
* Flowers: £500 or more
* Cake: £200 or more
* Entertainment/music: £1,000 or higher
* Honeymoon: Anywhere from £2,000 to £4,000 or more
And this is not an inclusive list. What about the Stag and Hen parties, grooms clothes, hotels for guests and the bride and groom.
As we can see, it can all add up.
Who Pays For the Wedding?
For many couples their wedding can be a melding of finances, contributions from both the groom and bride’s family.
In 2018, 25% of all couples paid for their own weddings.
If we look at the more traditional financial roles, the bride’s family pays for the wedding, and the groom’s family pays for the rehearsal meal and can also pay for the honeymoon.
But traditional roles have been changing.
Some parents may pay for the wedding in full as a wedding present. Some couples may accept contributions and monetary gifts from all family members to cover the expenses.
There are no set rules these days on who pays.
With weddings becoming so expensive, and for many couples it may be difficult to save for the big day, or expect family to pay for the wedding, many couples opt for wedding loans. Loans with the specific purpose of covering the expenses or part of the expenses of their wedding.
It would seem that wedding loans are becoming used more and more as 10% or more couples are financing all, or part of their wedding. This adds up to hundreds of millions in loans.
And with some of the expenses associated with weddings, such as the cost of a venue being a high percentage of that cost, a couple may wish to just finance the venue or the venue and catering.
Sarah Allard, Editor at wedding site Hitched states, “It’s clear to see that the venue really is the most important part of a bride’s big day, with couples opting to spend 16 per cent of their total budget on their favoured place to say, ‘I do.’”
“It’s no surprise that barns have claimed the top spot as the most popular venue either; not only do they offer a more relaxed and comfortable setting for the celebrations but they lend themselves perfectly to the rustic trend so many couples are looking for.”
Now onto some money saving tips for your wedding.
Tips to Save
1) Limit Guests: Naturally when we get married we want to invite all our friends and family, and for some weddings that may not be catered, or the bride and groom are not footing the bill for food and drinks, you can invite one and all.
However, if you are planning on food and drinks as a part of the reception, limiting the number of heads there is a way to save, and save big.
If you are having the event catered, the cost will be per person, so the more per persons you have, the higher the bill.
Some couples opt for a small meal reception for close friends and family, and then open the party up a few hours later to everyone.
2) DIY Your Buffet: Many a wedding has had the food buffet cooked and created by friends, and family members. All contributing to the snacks, food, and drinks being offered.
In addition, keeping the alcohol a cash bar, where people by their own drinks also saves big.
3) Wedding Venues: As we have noted, where you hold your wedding and reception can be a huge part of your wedding budget, but there are ways to save:
* Marry in off-peak seasons
* Use local clubs, pubs and halls
* Consider friends and family’s homes, properties, or if they have a space large enough to donate to you
* All-inclusive venues offering to cater the event in some instances will provide the venue for free
4) Have friends and family take photos: All of us have mobile phones, and some of us nice digital SLR cameras, and we are going to be taking photos of your wedding anyway, so why not use those as your wedding photo album.
5) Bake the Cake: Someone you know may bake cakes and wish to make your wedding cake as a contribution either to the wedding or as a gift. This can save money, and make the cake special.
6) Heirloom Rings: With wedding rings and engagement rings costing in the thousands, using a family heirloom ring or rings, is a nice way to save money, and keep the rings in the family and moving forward.
7) Pre-loved Wedding Dress: Wedding dresses are usually only worn once, then put away. There are a few web sites set-up to specifically sell wedding gowns and dresses that have been previously worn. Some sites even buy old wedding dresses. A great way to recycle wedding gowns.
8) Flowers: Real or Fake: Flowers for weddings can add-up to a large expense, by using silk or fake flowers, they not only last longer, but are less expensive.
9) Gift the Moon: For some couples, the honeymoon can be as expensive as the wedding. Having guests contribute to the honeymoon as a part of the gift registry, if you use one, is one way to reduce the couple’s costs.
There are web sites to help with this.
In addition, honeymooning within the country, and not going abroad or to some far off destination, can be a huge savings as well.
There are many relaxing places here in the UK, beaches included, that fit the bill. And after all, isn’t the honeymoon a time for just the two of you to relax and spend time together.
10) Wedding Insurance: While wedding insurance is an expense, it is not a large expense, and the protection it offers is invaluable.
There are a variety of reasons a wedding could be postponed, delayed, or need to be rescheduled. Venues may have an issue or not be ready on the date you have requested, and you have paid a deposit. And unfortunately some companies go out of business, which can leave you out of pocket.
Wedding insurance is a must when you think about the cost and investment of your wedding.