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The Ultimate Guide For The Budget Bride

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Most people want to have a bit of luxury on their wedding day, but you don’t necessarily have to spend hard to get this luxury. There are many creative ways of lowering wedding costs whilst still keeping to all the traditions. If you’re strapped for cash, here are a few ways that you can afford that dream wedding.

Timing is everything

Summer is the most popular time to get married because of the slimmer chance of rain. It’s also the season that wedding professionals choose to hike up their prices. Getting married out of season could be far cheaper. May and September are both out of season and could still bring warm weather.

The day of the week you choose to get married is an important cost factor too. Saturday and Sunday are traditionally the most expensive, followed by Friday, then Thursday and then the other week days. By not getting married at the weekend, you could save major costs. Choose an afternoon wedding and some guests may only need to take the afternoon off work.

Morning weddings are often cheaper. Often, they can be a great way of affording a weekend wedding – a Sunday morning ceremony may be just as much as weekday afternoon ceremony.

It pays to plan early

By planning your wedding early, you’ll give yourself more time to save up the funds needed. It can also have many other benefits such as preventing friends and family from creating conflicting plans, as well as giving you more time to shop around. You’ll also have more choice when booking specific professionals to work at your wedding – the most affordable photographers and registrars may be fully-booked if you start organising last minute.

Get creative with the venue

Many people like to get married in a place of worship. But if you’re not particularly religious, you could save a lot of money by having a ceremony elsewhere. Stately homes and old buildings may still be expensive to hire out, but they can double up as a venue for the ceremony and the reception. Hotels meanwhile can give guests somewhere to stay for the night.

Outdoor venues may be riskier when not in summer but can be some of the cheapest. This may include a beach wedding or a wedding on a local green that may only need permission from a local landowner (some may charge, but it won’t be a lot). Hiring a few marquees could help to guard against the threat of rain.

Another option could even be to have a home wedding, or to get married at someone else’s home (such as your parents’ home). This will give you a free venue with indoor space. Of course, not all homes are suitable for a wedding-load of guests, but it could be an option for some people.

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Consider a second-hand dress

You wear a wedding dress for one day of your life. Yes, it’s a very special day – but do you really need to fork out thousands for the perfect dress?

One option could be to buy second-hand. By buying from a specialised trader, you can ensure that the dress will have been thoroughly dry-cleaned and checked for condition. Such an option could allow you to buy your dream dress for half the value.

An even cheaper option is to rent a wedding dress. You won’t get to keep it, but given most people abandon their dress in the attic to gather dust, why would you need to keep it? There are many specialist rental companies such as with premium dresses for sometimes as little as a tenth of the sales price.

Hiring professionals vs hiring friends/family

It’s possible to forgo hiring many wedding professionals in order to save costs, instead relying upon friends and family to fill the gap. By doing this you may be able to save costs on wedding photography, DJ hire, chauffeur hire, the wedding cake, the flowers, the decorations and even possibly the catering.

That said, you should think strongly about which friends/family members you choose to assume these roles. Is your DJ uncle going to play the appropriate music? Will your photographer best friend get too drunk to take decent photos?

If they’re already professionals within the industry then there’s no reason not to save money by taking them on. However, DIY-ing everything yourself could add to the stress and take away from the feeling of luxury.

Don’t hire a photographer for the whole day

If you are hiring a photographer, consider whether you really need them there for the whole day. A few pics of the ceremony and a few outside may be all you need. There are other moment such as cutting the cake and the first dance, but you may be able to rely off guest photographs for this part.

One nice touch could be to put disposable cameras on every table during the meal. You’ll end up with lots of surprise photos at the end of you and all your guests – it can be a nice thing to look forward to after the wedding.


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Be frugal with flowers

Many people go overboard on wedding flowers and blow their budget. There are lots of ways to save money in this department. Instead of having flowers everywhere, you could reserve them for one big flower feature that is more likely to be noticed. This could be near the entrance of your reception or by the wedding cake.

The types of flowers you choose can also make an impact, which you can research using sites like Gerbera daisies and carnations can be relatively affordable, as can roses surprisingly enough. You don’t even have to get real flowers. Many fake flowers could do the job just as well. Compare multiple florists as rates can vary.

Consider a buffet meal

Sit-down meals are a nice touch, but you’ll have to pay extra for the waiting staff required. A buffet meal will eliminate this cost, allowing everyone to go up and get their own food. Many wedding catering companies will still provide top quality food when opting for a buffet, so you don’t have to worry about getting party snacks.

Alternatively, another option could be to have chefs cook at the table. Again, waiting staff won’t be required as the chefs do this job instead. This can also serve as a form of entertainment whilst you eat.


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Limit the drinks

We’re not suggesting for a minute that you limit the amount of glasses people can have. However, only offering a set menu of specific drinks might save the bar some money as they won’t have to stock up as many different drinks. If you’re putting money behind the bar for your guests, this might also prevent certain guests from blowing through it by picking out expensive wines and whiskies. The open bar will last longer as a result.

Be careful borrowing

It’s possible to take out an entire wedding loan, but consider the fact that you could be spending years paying this off. Big debts may make you regret your special day in years to come, which is not what you want.

Save up as much as you can and then if this is still not enough, consider a loan to help extend your budget. Be aware that some lenders may reject those with a bad credit rating. Specialist sites such as can help to provide loans in such cases. These will have higher interest, but could be useful to have if you’ve reached the end of your budget and need the money fast before the wedding day.

Sell what you don’t need after

It’s possible to make back a bit of money after the wedding by selling certain items. Decorations such as drapes and tablecloths could be sold on a second hand site such as There’s then the wedding dress itself – which many people sell after realising it won’t get any more use.

You should also consider the gifts you may have received at their wedding. Whilst you should thank any guests that bought you gifts, it’s likely you won’t need all of these gifts. A hint that you need a new kettle may have resulted in receiving three kettles, two of which you may as well sell.

Photos may be enough to provide the memories you need, so don’t hang onto every random item of wedding paraphernalia and make some money out of this stuff.