Weddings are meant to be the most magical and memorable day in a person’s life. A ceremony where they commit to the person they love surrounded by their most cherished friends and loved ones.
Unfortunately, that day does come with a hefty price tag so knowing how to cut wedding costs, especially where it either won’t be noticed or you don’t find much value can significantly reduce the cost of the day.
You can cut wedding costs in quite a few places, although targeting a few of the higher ticket items first like catering and the venue can generate some quick savings. Negotiating on price and getting free extras thrown in can also be great tactics and in this post, I’ll run through some other options.
Off-Peak Weddings – Bargains
Opting for a wedding that is either mid-week or off-season, such as from November to February can save you a fortune on the cost of your wedding.
When most people picture their dream wedding, they picture a warm day with blue skies which leads the majority of people to choose a summer wedding. Just remember, especially in the UK, even booking a summer wedding doesn’t guarantee good weather, and with some venues costing \almost double to hire in the summer, this one decision can mean you can either upgrade your venue or dramatically cut costs.
Mid-week weddings can be a bit more of a pain for your guests having to book time off work, although are definitely worth exploring to see what savings are available. Even going for a Sunday could help save you money and then people have the option of taking off the following Monday or not.
Negotaition with the Venue & Suppliers – Freebies
When booking your wedding, you’re about to spend a significant sum of money with whichever venue & suppliers you choose. Negotiating can help save you thousands or uncover additional freebies that can either enhance your day or save you money elsewhere.
For example, your venue may be able to offer things such as decor, dancefloors, free DJs, plastic flowers and much more. You may also be able to get them thrown in for free as part of your negotiation.
If you were planning on paying £400 for a DJ to come in the evening, but the venue can offer that service for free it can be a quick and easy way to cut costs.
How to Cut Costs on Wedding Flowers
One of the main reasons why wedding flowers are so expensive is because of their short shelf life. Opting for a mix of plastic and real flowers can significantly reduce the overall cost of wedding flowers.
The best way to add in this mix is if you are going to have any flowers a long way away from guests. For example, if you have any flowers above doorways, at the back of the alter, or above head height. You’ll be surprised how amazing plastic flowers can look, and at a fraction of the price!
Only choosing one or two types of flowers can also make quite a difference when trying to reduce costs as well as only choosing flowers that are in season.
How to Cut Costs on Wedding Catering
Wedding catering can be painfully expensive and make up a significant portion of your budget, second only to your venue unless it’s part of the total venue cost of course!
Obviously, the easiest way to reduce catering costs is to reduce the guest list that I touch on more below. However, when it comes to actually choose what you offer your guests can lead to some excellent savings.
Only giving your guests one menu option, other than a vegetarian or vegan option for a few people, can dramatically reduce the cost per head as it makes it a lot easier for the kitchen staff to prepare.
Another easy way to cut costs is to reduce the size of the buffet in the evening. Depending on when you had the wedding breakfast, if it was after 4 pm, most people won’t want another full meal at 8-9 pm, especially if they’re drinking and having cake. Reducing this down to finger food such as sandwiches or canapés can significantly reduce the cost per head and will also mean a load of it won’t be wasted.
Reduce the Guest List
A lot of costs are scalable to the size of your guest list. For example, you may have to opt for a bigger venue, catering costs are done per head as well as all the individual accessories like invitations and place cards.
It might be a challenge, although removing people from your guest list can be an easy way to save thousands. You could also just choose to invite people to the evening portion of your day, reducing the catering bill.
Do You Need Wedding Favours?
Traditionally, wedding favours are small gifts that you give to your guests as a small reminder of the day. However, you do not need to provide wedding favours and can be a really quick and easy way to reduce costs.
Usually, wedding favours cost between £2 and £8 per guest, so depending on the size of your wedding can save you hundreds of pounds and no one will really even notice. Have you ever heard someone going crazy over their wedding favour? No, cut them.
Optional Extras That Really Are Optional
People sometimes get carried away with providing additional entertainment for their guests. For example getting a photo booth, dessert bar, sweet table, doughnut wall, the list goes on.
A lot of the time these just sit unused as if they’re food-related people are often too full with all the other food being offered or if they’re not people just end up talking to people and forgetting to use them.
If they’re not adding much to your wedding and sometimes even go unnoticed, they’re an excellent way to cut costs.
Reduce Costs of a Wedding Cake
Wedding cakes can be very expensive although one simple way to reduce the cost is to add in some fake layers, often made of styrofoam, creating the illusion of an amazing cake at a fraction of the cost.
Some people try and go down the DIY wedding cake route. Whilst this can save you a lot of money, just make sure you know what you or your generous guest is signing up for as can be quite a stressful experience, especially if they don’t have access to an industrial oven.
Digital Save the Dates & Invitations
Traditionally, save the dates and formal invitations are professionally made and sent through the post. Whilst they do look amazing and stick to tradition, they do come at quite a high cost when you include postage on top.
Going with digital e-invites can be a free alternative that’s also environmentally friendly. You can also include additional information like maps, directions and pictures of the venue so can be more useful to your guests too.
Music Entertainment Choices
Hiring a DJ instead of having a band can save you quite a lot on the cost of entertainment. You can also ask them to come at the end of the evening ready for when your guests are ready to let their hair down. If you need music at any other point in the day using Spotify, Apple Music or someone’s own compilation can work very well and be practically free.
Hire Amateur Musicians
If your heart is set on live music, hiring some amateur musicians can come at a fraction of the cost. There are loads of places to look for excellent musicians including music colleges, schools and local societies that will play for a fraction of the cost of an established person or group.
Just make sure you sample their work beforehand, either by going to watch them play somewhere or asking for an audition so you don’t have any nasty surprises.
Wedding Budget Breakdown
Of course one of the easiest ways to cut costs is to make sure you’re properly tracking your budget. Knowing what you value and what you’re not too bothered about can mean you can spend extravagantly where it matters and cut costs where it doesn’t
To have a full picture of all of the costs that are needed when planning a wedding, make sure to read this wedding budget breakdown post I’ve written. Having a full view of all the costs in one place can make it easier to see even more places where you can cut wedding costs.
Overall, as you can see there are quite a lot of ways you can cut the cost of your wedding. The key part is, the more open you can be to exploring different ways of doing things, the easier finding ways to reduce the costs will become. Good luck hunting for those savings and I hope you have a fantastic day.
Also when you’re spending all this money, make sure you’re insured if the worst were to happen. I’ve written a post that you may find useful on post how to find the best wedding insurance including when you should get it!
Hi, I’m John. I’ve always had a keen interest in Finance, so much so that I’ve made a career out of it! This site is a place where I can share everything I’ve learned as well as give me the excuse to research certain topics.
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