Cutting wedding costs

Oct 2, 2017

I’m sure I don’t need to point out that weddings these days can be extremely expensive! We can easily be talking £20,000 +. Cutting wedding costs sounds a wonderful idea, but how practical is it?

Of course, much depends on what your budget is. In addition to the sheer quantity of suppliers you may want to hire, be aware that some put their prices up as soon as they know it’s a wedding!

Are there any short cuts you can take (apart from, say, looking for a second-hand wedding dress on e-Bay?!)?

It’s not easy to be draconian. And you don’t want to spoil your wedding either for yourselves or for your guests.

Incidentally, cutting down on the guest list is a good way to cut costs!

Maybe you decide not to bother with a limo, but you do want to be sure of punctual and comfortable rides on the day.

Bargaining with suppliers is sometimes a possibility. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, here are some other suggestions.

Time of day

Even if you’re choosing the Dorchester or equivalent for your reception, you might be able to get a better deal, if you hold your ceremony at lunchtime, rather than in the evening.


Another good way of saving money (not just with the venue) is to marry out of season. Suppliers want work year round, and they can be faced with yawning gaps between October and May. Therefore, they may look sympathetically at (or even spontaneously offer) a reduced rate. If you’re a good haggler, you may even manage to improve on these!

Note that reductions should not be expected at certain festivals, especially Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

Using flowers that are in season is another way to cut costs.

And consider weekdays (although that may have issues for employed guests). That’s normally cheaper.



There are ways of reducing this major cost. Although it would have to be well-organised, a buffet will be cheaper than a silver-service meal. Fewer staff are likely to be involved, so costs should be less.

You may well offer canapés and drinks. Prosecco is increasingly accepted in place of champagne, and this normally works out considerably cheaper.

You should provide a generous amount of wine and soft drinks to accompany the meal. Once that is over, I would suggest operating a cash bar. (It’s worth preparing guests for this when the invitation is sent out!)

Cup cakes, rather than a wedding cake, can be another acceptable way to save money.


Whether or not you have a theme, this is an important area. If you are holding a small affair, you may feel able to DIY. Be absolutely sure that you know what you’re doing, and get prepared well in advance!

Otherwise, discuss costs with your supplier at the outset, and ensure you are in control.


Of course, the scale and cost of this aspect will be down to you. It is worth getting referrals from people you know before you book anybody, and do ensure you understand their Ts & Cs.

Planners and Celebrants

If you decide to use a planner, it will obviously cost you more – but consider the peace of mind she will give you! Similarly, don’t cut corners with your celebrant. Ensure you see testimonials and speak to your supplier beforehand so that you have confidence in them on the day. You do want to feel at ease with the person who will marry you!

Your wedding is – or should be! – the most important day of your life. You want to get it right. Yes, you pay for what you get, but, as you can see, there are some ways to cut a few corners successfully, without compromising on quality.