budget bride, Finance, Wedding Planning

How to cut costs on your wedding budget

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on December 14th, 2012

Unless you (or your parents) have been saving for this amazing day since forever, chances are that after that blissful moment of accepting the proposal, you’re faced with the harsh reality of how much your nuptials will cost. If you’ve been together for a while, you might have set aside some funds for the eventuality of a wedding. But for many young people finding a way to pay for rent (or mortgages if lucky enough) and simply living is priority number one, with no or very little money available for the celebrations.

It is estimated that that the average UK wedding will cost around£16,000 in 2013. The mere thought of could make many roll into a little ball of panic, but it’s not all doom and gloom. There are ways to save pennies and still have a wonderful wedding day experience. Here are some of our top tips on how to cut costs on your wedding budget.

Write your who to invite list and check it twice

The sheer size of your wedding party will have a massive impact on your costs. The more people to feed at the reception, the higher your outgoings will be – simple maths. As soon as you start thinking about planning your wedding, write down the names of those you would like to have present. The number might be higher than you expect, but don’t worry about this now. Leave the list for a few weeks, then return to it with a new look and remove those that aren’t essential. Repeat this again if necessary and you’ll eventually end up with a manageable list.

Think of alternative venues for your wedding reception

It really doesn’t need to be the fanciest town hall or ballroom; the most important about the venue is to find a place where you can feel comfortable and that can house everyone on your wedding invite list. Alternative venues could be your local pub, an unused commercial space (let’s start a pop-up wedding reception trend), or the garden at your parents’ or friends’ house.

Your dress

Yes, we know that most of you will already have found the perfect wedding dress already – or have a really good idea of which designer you’d like to go for. But if money is tight, head to your local charity shops to see if there are any to get hold of second hand. If they haven’t got any at the moment, pop back often or kindly ask the person running it if he or she could call you if a wedding dress comes in. Alternatively search for new and upcoming designers, you might be able to get a gown at a good rate.

DIY decorations

If you’re a crafty type, why not consider making your own decorations for the wedding. Shop around online for suppliers of things like tissue paper in good time ahead of your wedding – you’ll be surprised how many good deals are to be found – and make your own paperpoms (those are pom poms made from tissue paper if you’re wondering).

Go on a mini-moon

If you haven’t got the funds to go on a two-week honeymoon straight after your wedding, why not treat yourself to a weekend mini-moon close to home and save the real honeymoon for later. Or – if you already have everything you might want for the home – why not ask for contributions to your honeymoon instead of wedding gifts.

Any tips on how to cut costs on your wedding budget that you’d like to share?


Finance, Gallery, Gowns, wedding dresses, Wedding Gown Photos

Floral fancy: Claire Pettibone 2013 wedding dresses

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on October 18th, 2012

Claire Pettibone 2013

Picture 1 of 18

It was like taken out of A Midsummer Night’s Dream when Claire Pettibone’s models emerged on the rose petal covered catwalk for her 2013 showcase. A romantic display of floral crowns and necklaces, the flower bomb didn’t overshadow the beauty of the gowns. Some had intricate lace detailing and floral embroidery,while others have a hint of colour to set them aside from the traditional ivory. A great choice for romantic summer brides.

Finance, News

Fit for a queen? The increasing cost of wedding celebrations throughout the Jubilee years

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on May 30th, 2012

Many of today’s brides and grooms have a desire to turn back time and opt for 1920s or 1950s styled weddings, so we though what more fitting for The Queen’s Jubilee to look at how things have changed since the coronation.

The cost of weddings has increased a whopping 300% since Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1952. So have OTT celebrity shindigs and recent royal weddings, added more pressure on couples today to put on a spectacular wedding compared to their lace-loving predecessors?

New wedding planning website,, believes there definitely is. To prove this they have spoken to three couples who share their weddings with The Queen’s celebratory reign, and have kindly shared them with us.

The first couple, Rebecca and Adam are getting married during the Jubilee celebrations this coming weekend and have a £18,000 budget that reflect perfectly the extraordinary budgets brides work to nowadays. Couple two is Jackie and Chris Collins who were married in 1977 and whose psychedelic wedding pictures certainly reflect the era. And finally the 1952 couple, Peter and Jean Mercer, whose family all chipped in to help make their wedding day more affordable – hang on doesn’t this happen now??!

Geeta Randev, Chief Planner at WeddingSite says, “The notion around marriage has significantly changed in the last 60 years. In the 1950’s weddings were formal affairs, held in local town halls, with close family and friends, and a buffet dinner. Marriage signified an approval to cohabit with your partner and start a family. Today, weddings come with the need for wedding planners, endless choices for wedding dresses, individuality and a strong influence from celebrity weddings. Weddings have simply evolved – and are now big business.”

Take a look at the gallery below to see how the times have changed since 1952…

Cost of wedding

Picture 1 of 3

2012- £18,000
1977- £800
1952- £70

Finance, News

Third of British couples planning wedding abroad to cut costs

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on May 10th, 2012

A record number of British couples have decided to get hitched abroad in an attempt to avoid the rising costs of UK weddings, according to a new study.

Over one third revealed that they have already taken the plunge and booked their wedding on foreign grounds. This is a 15% increase on the average figure for previous years, meaning that as many as 80,000 Brits are shunning the British Isles in favour of sunnier (?) climes in the coming year.

One of the biggest reasons for this exodus (be it just temporarily) is seemingly the possibility to save money on the happy occasion. No Kim Kardashian’s in Britain then… It really comes as no surprise as the average cost of a UK wedding has toppled over the £18,500 mark and the CoE increasing their rates which will see 40% added to the cost of church wedding from January 2013.

A Mediterranean beach wedding sounds good right about now…

Are you getting married abroad in the next year or so? We’d love to hear from you.

The study was conducted by Travelex.

Finance, News

Brits spend £1.8 billion each year attending overseas weddings. Are you? [poll]

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on March 31st, 2011

Planning your wedding overseas may just be as romantic as it comes, but have you thought about your wedding guests and the expenses they occur when they fly abroad to see you exchange vows?

New research by Sainsbury’s Travel Insurance has found that nearly 8 million Brits have travelled abroad to attend a wedding in the last five years, spending an average of £1,139 each on travel, accommodation, gifts and wedding outfits. This adds up to a staggering £1.8billion each year!

As the trend for weddings abroad appears to continue with nearly 500,000 Brits saying they have made plans to have their own wedding overseas in the near future and over 1.5 million people saying they’ve made plans to attend one as a guest.

Not surprisingly, Londoners are the most likely to go abroad for a wedding. Living in the capital means you do end up meeting people from all over the world, and if you’re lucky you get to celebrate their wedding day with them.

Oddly enough the same survey has found that despite the, to some, high costs of attend an overseas wedding, almost a third of those travelling do not take our travel insurance – sometimes even the bride and groom! Sure it does add a little more money to the total, but what if you suddenly fall ill or something stops you from travelling. What then? All the money you’ve spent on hotels and tickets will be lost. What would you do?

Feature, Finance, Know How, Wedding 101, Wedding Etiquette, Wedding Planning

Wedding Planning 101: The Budget

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on February 1st, 2011

The engagement photos have now been taken, you’ve got your wedding planner book close at hand – with the date etched in as the now looming deadline – and you’re ready to focus on the task ahead: actually planning your wedding. How exciting!

If you have a particular venue in mind it’s best to get this sorted as soon as possible, as some popular venues get booked up months, if not years in advance. If you haven’t decided where you and your love will say the “I do’s” don’t worry, we’ll focus on venues next week. But before you start planning centre pieces, Krug Champagne or doves to be let out as you depart the church, there is one thing that needs to be sorted: the budget.

You and your husband-to-be have to sit down and figure out exactly how much you both have to spend on your special day. No doubt, you’ll by now invested in a few bridal magazines and scoured the bridal websites and blogs for inspiration – ours included we hope! Perhaps your man will let you take care of all the little details and is happy as long as his suit isn’t pink, but remember that there are two people sharing what will be an amazing day, so make sure both are involved from day one (this way it will also be easier to share responsibilities at a later stage). And if you’re like me, you’re easily distracted by pretty things that eventually could end up costing you a fortune. So a budget – even if horribly tedious – is essential.

We suggest making a night of it. Buy in a few bottles of wine, have some nice food to nibble on and arm yourself with pen, paper and a calculator. Only when you know what you can spend, the quotes you collect will start making sense.

Your trusted friend, the wedding planner, will most likely have a budget template so that you can easily list all items you can think of that need to be taken into account. Otherwise, there are many free templates available online, which a quick Google search and printout will take care of.

What is your overall budget?

OK, now you can start looking at how this should be divided across the budget categories. We find it works to compartmentalise. First think of the bigger picture: bride, groom, outfits for your wedding party, venue and ceremony, food and drink, on the day expenses (e.g. photography and music), and honeymoon. These are now your budget categories. Now you can tackle each category at a time. Most likely you as the bride will have a bigger piece of the cake so to speak compared to your groom, as you’ll need a dress, new shoes, professional makeup and hair, perfume, jewellery, and a head piece (if this is your thing) just to name a few.

Think about your guest list

The size of your wedding party is a huge factor that will determine the costs. Are you thinking only close friends and family or a 200 plus party? Who will attend just the ceremony, just the reception or both? More invites equals more invitations, more gifts, more food and more drink. Aunts and uncles ok, but does Daisy from university really need an invitation if you haven’t seen or spoken to her for months even if you were inseparable at the time? The best way to tackle this would be to decide on an overall size: small, medium or large and stick to it. List the immediate family and friends that are a given, then allocate a number of friends each that you can invite (keep in mind that each might come with a plus one ) and stick to it. If not, your wedding will be super-sized before you know it.

Money, what money?

It is also wise to set up a separate bank account to use for all wedding related expenses and to pay any monetary wedding donations into. Also set up a standing order from both of your bank accounts that will add to the funds on a monthly basis.

Divide and conquer

Whatever your budget is, start writing down what you’re estimating to spend on each element. If you’re afraid of scribbling all over your beautiful wedding planner, use Post It notes and a big board or your wall, and make a big wedding chart. Not only will it add some fun into budgeting it could also make a nice feature for your wall.

It could take a lot of toing and froing to get to the right sum that fits with your budget – and most likely you’ll end up going over it either way *hush hush*. But also think about what means the most to you. Want to get married by a castle but it costs double as much as your local church? Consider what you can save on. If you’re not too bothered about your wedding dress being made especially for you as you’ll only wear it once, consider heading to a charity shop near you – you might find a perfect second-hand dress for a fragment of the price of a new one. Flowers look amazing, but as most will be cut off flowers they will dwindle a few days after the ceremony. Think about other things that can adorn your reception area and tables: candles, bowls of water with a sprinkle of flower petals or even items that hold a sentimental value. Did you and your groom spend time travelling at some stage in your relationship? Why not place items you gathered when travelling or photos as the centrepiece? The possibilities are endless!

Believe us; putting the budget together doesn’t have to be as dreary as it sounds – make it fun by being creative.

How are you getting on planning your wedding? We’d love to hear from you!

Step 3: Venue

Images from


Is it worth taking out wedding insurance?

By AbiSilvester on July 13th, 2009

jilted-bride.jpgLike pre-nuptual agreements, wedding insurance is one of those nasty things we don’t like to talk about when we’re planning our big day. The prospect of anything going wrong is unthinkable at this stage, and you’re likely to jump to the fevered conclusion that nothing could ever pay you back for the distress caused by any disasters that happen on the day – so why try to put a value on it?

A more sobering argument against taking out wedding insurance is that while many eventualities are covered (caterers going bust, flowers delivered to the wrong address etc), the most common reason for wedding disasters is not: you won’t be covered if – heaven forefend – you or your betrothed should get ‘cold feet’. The odds are in this sorry situation that you’ll still be eligible for most costs, especially if it’s a last-minute jilting.

So what can you do to get some peace of mind?

Read the rest of this entry »

Finance, Wedding Planning

Bridalwave Interview: Wedding planner Sarah Haywood on keeping your wedding costs down

By AbiSilvester on July 1st, 2009

sarah_haywood2.gifOne of the positive sides to the recession is the way it’s made all of us think a bit more carefully about our own wasteful behaviour. Weddings are notorious for promoting it, so for those not wanting to spend a fortune it’s good to know that it’s OK to draw the line before you start massively over-spending just because you feel you have to at your wedding.

Sarah Haywood, who is working with bettermoneyskills to help couples budget wisely takes a tough line on this culture of over-spending, and firmly believes that if you don’t want it at your wedding, you shouldn’t have to pay for it.

Read on over the jump for her advice on how to afford the wedding you want!

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Finance, Yay or Nay?

YAY OR NAY: white weddings in the red

By AbiSilvester on June 17th, 2009

deep-debt.jpgIn the past year, the number of people borrowing to pay for their wedding has risen by a mammoth 43 per cent, giving the phrase ‘something borrowed’ a whole new meaning. It’s a figure that is even more surprising when you consider that this is the same year in which we’ve all been made painfully aware of the dangers of taking financial risks.

Around 13,600 people borrowed a total of £113 million to pay for frocks, booze and venues, but will you be doing the same when it comes to your big day? Remember, you can do the entire deed no-frills style for just over £100…

Cheap vs Chic, Columns/ Opinion, Finance

Top 5 least popular ways to save money at a wedding

By AbiSilvester on March 4th, 2009

no-alcohol.jpgBudgeting will always be an important part of wedding planning, and never more so than now. But you can’t put a price on friendship, and nobody wants to start married life sent on a long honeymoon in Coventry. So here’s some advice on how not to go about holding a cut-price wedding, with suggestions on how you could do it better!

1. Hold a ‘Dry’ wedding

Booze accounts for a large part of your wedding expenses, so it can be tempting to try and cut costs here. But unless you’re part of a strict religious sect, the odds are at least some of your guests will be looking forward to a drink or three at the reception, and will be decidedly unhappy if you announce on the day that it’s OJ and mineral water only. As a serial wedding attendee, I can honestly say you’d gain more popularity serving beans on toast at the wedding breakfast…so how can you make it affordable?

Read on after the jump for some solutions to this and more cost-cutting no-nos…

Related: Budget Brides: surviving the credit crunch

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BW Polls, Finance

BW Poll: Who is paying for your wedding?

By admin on January 26th, 2009

Traditionally the bride’s parents paid for her wedding but we know that certainly isn’t always the case anymore. Changing family set-ups, the couple’s own earnings and potential power struggles between the cheque-wielder and the couple have all played a part in changing how weddings are financed.

Who’s paying for yours? I’ve left an ‘other’ slot open if you want to add any other comments.

Related: Past polls

Cheap vs Chic, Finance

75% of brides will cut their wedding budgets in 2009

By Andrea Kiliany Thatcher on January 20th, 2009

David's Bridal bride.jpg

Are you one of the 25% of brides that became engaged between Thanksgiving (the last Thursday in November for your Brits) and New Year? If so, statistics say that your wedding budget is probably less than that of the brides that have recently come before you. In fact, according to one survey, 75% of all brides will cut their wedding budgets during 2009. Not an exciting prospect.

Of those surveyed, 53% do not plan to spend more than $25,000, and 34% do not plan to spend more than $10,000. So what’s a bride to do? Here’s some tips.

Prioritize your spending

45% of brides were willing to sacrifice on the number of guests, 45% on food. The dress (37%) and wedding bands (45%) were the areas brides were least willing to scrimp on. Apparently when you’re told “this is your day” enough, the selfish impulses take hold.

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Dates for your diary, Finance, Wedding Planning

Lakeside Wedding Fair to have ‘credit crunch’ theme

By admin on January 7th, 2009

Lakeside fair.jpgSorry for two ‘credit crunch’ themed posts but what can you do, eh? Lakeside Shopping Centre are hosting their annual wedding fair on 21st and 22nd February 2009 with GMTV’s resident wedding guru Siobhan Craven-Robins offering cost-cutting advice to couples.

There will be catwalk shows with the latest bridal trends and gowns and tips on styling for prospective brides, grooms and in-laws-to-be. Siobhan will then host a 10 minute seminar at the end of each show. Show times are after the cut and entry is free.

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Finance, Wedding Planning

Budget brides: surviving the credit crunch

By AbiSilvester on December 9th, 2008

Whatever your budget, keeping costs from getting out-of-control is always an important aspect of wedding planning. But with temptation at every turn and pressure to create the perfect day, most brides-to-be will find they overspend to some extent — and nowadays, that’s less of a trivial hiccup than it once may have seemed.

Aware that there have always been couples who’ve gone out of their way to stick to a ‘budget wedding’, I decided to investigate some of the secrets of the most frugal brides and grooms around. Take Chris May and Odette Fenwick (above) for example, whose wedding cost them £600. Once considered mean, these thrifty couples are now looked up to as trendsetters, yet the savings they make are small sacrifices that could make all the difference.

Read on after the jump to find out more.

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Finance, Gowns, Know How, Wedding Planning

Ten most common ways to ruin a wedding dress

By admin on December 9th, 2008

insurance.jpgI’m sure a few of year have had a nightmare or two about ruining your dress but what are the things you should avoid? Wedding specialist Ecclesiastical Insurance have revealed that one in five wedding claims they receive pertains to the dress and though many dresses can be repaired they do receive some dresses as salvage, some of which they are able to sell on.

Ecclesiastical have revealed the top 10 causes of ruined dresses based on the claims they have received this year. Can you guess what they might be?

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