One of the most important things to address early on in wedding planning is your wedding finance – as of 2017, the average cost of a wedding is now £27,161. According to a survey of over 4,000 UK brides last year, the three most expensive areas are the venue hire, which came in at an average of £4,354, the honeymoon at £3,630, and the food at £3,353. These prices change depending on whereabouts you live in the UK though, with Londoners spending the most (their wedding costs averaged £33,884 in 2017), and more frugal Midlands couples spending the least with an average cost of £25,915.
As most couples don’t have this kind of money lying around, it’s crucial to address up front how you intend to finance your wedding. Whether it’s with savings, a loan, or help from parents, getting your wedding finance sorted early will save you hassle in the long run, and prevent you starting married life in debt.
These days, plenty of UK couples choose to finance their wedding entirely by themselves – in fact, 32% of couples go down this route, as of 2017. The easiest way to ensure that you have time to save is to have a long engagement and plan well in advance, or, if you don’t want to wait, you can take advantage of last-minute wedding venue deals to try and save both money and time. Get plenty of quotes from suppliers in your local area to ensure that your budget is realistic, and read up on money-saving tips to help your savings stretch.
As of 2017, 51% of engaged couples are paying for their wedding with a little help from family members. If you think either of your families would be happy to contribute, then it’s important to bring up this topic as soon as possible so that you have a better idea of your wedding budget. Whatever you do, don’t book anything you can’t afford until you have this sorted, and bear in mind that unless your parents are paying deposits themselves or have put the money into your account, then they may suddenly have to take back their kind off if there’s a financial emergency.
Although some people will warn against taking out loans or credit cards to pay for your wedding, for some engaged couples it’s the only viable option. The key is to be realistic with how much you can repay, and to factor in any existing debts to avoid getting yourself into real financial trouble. Money Saving Expert recommends that you opt for a 0% spending credit card with a long interest-free period, and pay it off before the 0% period ends for a clever way to spread out wedding costs.
Need help saving ahead of the big day? Here are some of our best tips for getting the day of your dreams for less…
Marry off season. The quickest way to cut down the cost of your venue (and likely your suppliers too) is to marry in less popular months, or on a weekday, as demand will be a lot lower. These days Fridays and Saturdays are likely to cost the same, while Thursdays and Sundays are increasing in popularity. The cheapest months to marry are January, February, March, October and November.
You can always ask your suppliers for a discount, but we find the easiest way to save money with suppliers is to let them know how much you’re working with up front and ask them what changes can be made to keep costs down.
Keep 10% of your overall budget back for emergencies or unexpected costs. Over 50% of brides end up going over budget, so if you keep a little pot handy, you can deal with things that pop up without going into debt.
Check out the Guides for Brides Offers page! You can sort by county and find everything from late availability deals to free engagement shoots or discounts on packages.
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