Funding a wedding can be a headache. There’s so much stress and pressure (normally, pressure that you put on yourself!) to get the day exactly how you imagine it. The last thing you need is the added stress of how you’re going to pay for it too.
But – take a deep breath – the average cost of a wedding in the UK is £20,500. Take a minute to process that. Twenty thousand pounds. That’s almost as much as the average yearly salary in the UK. For one day!
However, it doesn’t have to cost that much. In fact, there are ways to make the day significantly cheaper without spending even close to this amount.
Here are our top tips for funding a wedding and for planning your dream day for less – without sacrificing any of the wow factor.
Funding a wedding? Work out your budget
The best way to work out how much your wedding is going to cost – and to keep the costs down – is to work out in advance how much you want to spend and to not go above that. Once you have this figure in mind, then it’s much easier to work out how to make your dream day as perfect as you can within this budget.
Without a clear budget in mind, it’s easy to spend out on things that you don’t really need – or even particularly want.
But with a clear number in mind, you’ll know what you can and can’t afford. Yes, you might have to be creative to get a few things you want and do some thinking outside of the box, but it’ll be more than worth it in the end. You won’t stretch yourself and you won’t be worrying about paying off your wedding for years to come – plus, having a strict budget is a great bargaining tool when it comes to negotiating prices on venues, dresses and other wedding bits and bobs.
Write a wedding list
A good way to do this is to write down a list of everything you would like at your dream wedding – the perfect venue, a dozen white doves or a five-tiered cake – and a rough idea of the price each costs. That way, you’ll be able to say ‘Well, I definitely want this venue, but I could probably go without the doves.’
Being able to see the cost of things, and to work out how many of the things on your list you can afford, is a great way to set realistic expectations from the off and to see what you both really care about having on the day.
Get creative with the smaller details
When funding a wedding you need to be very well organised and never miss the little things that add up at the end.
After writing your list, get as creative as possible with some of the things on there. Know somebody who is a photographer? Or is a keen baker? Or who is handy with a needle? Or has a fancy car? Getting a friend to make your invites, dress and cake, or who is willing to take photos or drive you to the venue can save – quite literally – thousands of pounds.
Plus, things like making your own decorations and centre pieces for the tables can save a lot of money too. Plus, you can make something that is exactly how you’ve always imagined, rather than as close as you can find in a shop.
The key to a frugal wedding? Thinking outside of the box
Ok, we’re sure that you’ll be able to find a few exceptions, but we feel confident in saying that there’s almost no part of the wedding that you can’t save money on if you’re clever about it, very dedicated and think outside of the box.
The dress? As well as sales rails, there are second hand sites for wedding dresses as well as lots of Chinese made-to-measure dresses available on eBay.
The venue plays a big role in funding a wedding? On average, the venue eats up at third of your budget in one big gulp. But it doesn’t have to be so.
If you’re clever about it, you can find deals that include the venue, entertainment and food for less than £1,000. Plus, if you get married on a weekday or out of season, you can make huge savings and still get married at your dream venue.
The rings? Well, Martin Lewis has a clever trick for this. Use Tesco vouchers. If you’ve got a Tesco clubcard, you can trade your vouchers using Tesco Boost to be worth three times their value in Goldsmiths jewellers. That means you can nab yourself a £600 ring for just £200 in Tesco vouchers. Can’t say better than that!
If you’re after more thrifty ideas, check out the Money Saving Expert’s guide to saving money.
If you still can’t fund your dream day, consider taking out a wedding loan
If, even after scrimping, cutting and being as clever as you can, it still doesn’t look like you can afford a day that is going to make you happy, then it might be worth considering taking out a wedding loan.
Of course, loans should only be used as a last resort, but they can be a great way to fund your dream wedding – or even top up your budget to stretch to a few of the things you’d initially ruled out.
And at Bamboo, you can borrow from £1000 to £8000 to make sure that your wedding day is exactly how you always wanted it to be. Plus, the money could be in your bank account on the same day, so if you run into a bit of wedding funding trouble – we’ve always got your back. Representative 49.7% APR. A guarantee may be required.