Would you be willing to get into debt for your big day?
So many brides are spending money on things like flower walls, tree centrepieces, selfie mirrors and all the other wedding trends that are about at the moment. That’s fine for those that can afford it, if I had the money I’d probably do the same but my budget is limited. If yours is too, stop and think if it is really worth spending money you don’t have on these gimmicks.
Yes, they look amazing and your guests would be impressed, but is that a reason to get yourself into debt for one day? If you’re still thinking it would be worth it, think of all the weddings you’ve been to in the past. What is it main thing you remember? Maybe it is the food, the atmosphere or simply how happy the new married couple were? Whatever it is, that is what you should focus on for your big day rather than trying to have it all.
I know I sound a bit miserable and cynical, but the reality is that we see amazing wedding ideas and pictures on social media and we are left wanting it all. We get carried away wanting that same glossy, Pinterest-worthy wedding, regardless of the cost. Around 25% of couples are willing to get in to debt for their big day. Having spent years paying off my debts, I know exactly what it’s like on payday when a huge chunk of cash goes straight to debts rather than towards the future. It leaves you feeling miserable, not exactly the feeling you want in your first year of marriage!
That’s why it is important to make your wedding budget work for you rather than the other way around. Of course we all want the perfect day – myself included – so before you book anything, sit down and work out what you can afford. You can use this free printable Wedding Planning sheet to help. Then, use some of my Thrifty tips to help keep costs down and your credit card safely in your purse whilst still getting the wedding day of your dreams.
Have a registry office ceremony: We’re having the legal bit of our wedding at the local registry office for just £144 including the certificate which is around a third of the price of having a registrar travel to your venue.
Book at a non-wedding venue: We have booked a local country pub that is free to hire as long as we use their food and drinks services. Our three course wedding breakfast is costing us £20.95 a head plus, our guests get a choice of three dishes per course. It’s worked out far cheaper than any other venue we looked at, most places were quoting around £60-£90 a head for the same thing.
Get creative: If you really want a doughnut wall or flower wall have a look at some DIY tutorials. There’s a growing trend of people making some amazing accessories for their weddings that would otherwise cost hundreds of pounds. I’m going to have a go at making a hoop soon after seeing this amazing one on Instagram created by Jade, it was shared by a fantastic account called CheapWeddingStuff that has so many amazing DIY and budget friendly ideas.
Search online: You’d be surprised how many companies are eBay and Shpock. If you’ve got your eye on blossom tree centrepieces there are loads of companies renting them out for around £15-£25 a tree rather than the crazy prices of £100+ per tree that the big companies charge. Of course, I would advise people to make sure they get contracts with anyone you book with just in case something goes wrong. Whilst of those sites, keep your eye out for people selling on their own DIY wedding creations at bargain prices.
Use small businesses: I know a few local cake makers who charge around £80-£200 for a wedding cake. That’s a huge saving compared to the hundreds or even thousands of pounds that a well established baker would charge. Not only are you saving money, you’re also helping a local business so it’s win win.
Scrap the sit down meal: You don’t have to have a traditional wedding breakfast, you could have a hog roast, a BBQ or a buffet. I’ve even seen some people have a food truck at their wedding serving fish and chips and wood-fired pizzas! I’d be happy with any form of catering at a wedding and I am sure your guests would be too. My friend Lisa has managed to sort out her wedding catering for 100 people on an amazing budget of £400, you can read more of her tips on how to get the best quotes here.
Find a BYOB venue: If you hire out a church hall you will often find that as they don’t have a licence, they can’t sell alcohol. What that also means if that guests can usually bring their own booze or you can provide it for your guests at a fraction of the usual bar prices. Always check if this is okay and if there is a corkage fee or additional licence needed.
Elope: Keep it simple and run off somewhere with your significant other. A lovely lady I follow on Instagram called WannaBeDebtFree did this, she had been saving for a wedding and then decided to elope to New York. Have a look at her NYCWedding highlights for all the feels and read here debt free wedding post here.
Go artificial: There are some amazing fake flowers out there that look just as good as the real thing but for a fraction of the price. There is the added bonus that they last forever! I’ve got all the flowers for my wedding for just £70 from Country Baskets, you can read more about them here.
Book out of season or midweek: Lots of places offer the same wedding packages at lower prices for a Thursday and sometimes even a Friday. Winter weddings can sometimes be cheaper too or you could also try your luck with a late booking. Cancellations are usually offered at a cheaper price too so it’s worth asking your dream venue is they have anything like this before you pay the price.
Dummy cakes: It’s not just flowers that can be fake, your cake can be artificial too. I know a few people who have used a dummy cake to have on display and used in photographs. When it’s time to cut the cake, they’ve posed for a picture with the cake knife then handed out tray bake style cake that is far cheaper.
Say Yes to the Dress for Less: My dress has cost me just £190, it’s the exact one I wanted and it is brand new! You can read more about that and how to find the dress of your dress here.
Side Hustle: If you really can’t find a way to do your dream day for less, why not try to get a second job or extra hours at work to pay for it before the wedding? That way, you’re not having to worry about debt or credit card repayments after you special day. If it’s something you really want, the extra work will be worth it.
Ultimately, it’s your big day and your choice about how and what you spend. I would always urge everyone to avoid debt if possible, especially for something that’s meant to bring joy and happiness. As far as I am concerned, those are two words I do not associate with debt.
Remember, your wedding is about you and your partner and the commitment you’re making to each other. Your friends and family will love your big day whether it’s done on a tiny budget or no expense spared.
Let me know your thoughts and money saving ideas in the comments below.
Happy Wedding Planning,
Thrifty Clair x
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