A couple in wedding photographs sitting on a stone wall.

Planning a Wedding on a Budget? Here Are Some Savvy Tips…

A bride and groom standing in a field at sunset.

Planning your dream wedding doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. Here are some money-saving tips to make your special day just as magical without draining your wallet.

  1. Trim your Guest list – We know it’s hard to consider celebrating without certain friends and family members, but cutting your guest list is the easiest way to reduce your budget. It’ll lower everything, from your catering to your invitation costs and your venue size. The average couple spends £80-£150 per guest, if you invite 100 guests instead of 150, you’ll save £4000-£7500!
  2. Have a smaller wedding party – A lot of expenses comes with your wedding party outfits, bouquets, boutonnieres, hair &. makeup, gifts, etc. If you can swing it without offending anyone, the fewer bridesmaids and groomsmen you enlist, the less you’ll have to spend.
  3. Consider an At Home or Back Garden Wedding – If you have the space, throw your party at home and save on expensive venue costs. Do be mindful of adding a lot of work and stress for yourself, so be sure to enlist helpers to get everything ready for your big day.
  4. Consider Eloping – You can spend a fraction of a big wedding budget on a luxury elopement experience and then throw a party to celebrate with family and friends where you can share with them all of your beautiful photographs and films. More on this here!
  5. DIY Decor: Get creative with decorations! DIY projects not only add a personal touch but can significantly cut costs. From centrepieces to signage, your personal flair can shine, although be mindful not too put too much pressure and stress on yourself leading up to the day – enlist friends and family to help!
  6. Off-Peak Timing: Consider getting married during off-peak seasons or on weekdays. Many venues and vendors offer discounts during these times.
  7. Second-Hand Finds: Explore thrift stores or online marketplaces for wedding attire, decor, and accessories. You might stumble upon hidden gems at a fraction of the cost and they’ll also add to the uniqueness of your day!
  8. Digital Invitations: Save on paper and postage by opting for digital invitations. There are plenty of elegant designs available, and it’s an eco-friendly choice.
  9. Have a buffet-style reception – Skip the sit-down dinner and opt for a buffet
  10. Limit your bar – Alcohol is a sneaky surprise expense—and a top-shelf full bar can be a budget buster. It’s perfectly okay to limit your alcohol offerings. Instead of a full bar with a dozen pricey spirits, serve only beer and wine, and one signature cocktail, or some combination of the two.
  11. Skip the Champagne – Your love will be no less legit if you skip the Dom Perignon. If you’re set on a toast moment, all that matters are your designated drink’s bubbles and drinkability. Let people say “cheers” with whatever cocktail they’re holding, or opt for one of champagne’s more affordable cousins: Prosecco, Cava or other sparkling wine.
  12. Buy your own alcohol – Some venues will allow you to purchase your own alcohol for the big day, which can mean big savings. Just make sure that a licensed bartender will be doing the serving.
  13. Keep the menu simple – Fancy preparations and premium cuts of meat (lobster, filet mignon, etc.) are certainly delicious, but can be very costly. Keep your menu simple and focus on local and seasonal ingredients – your caterer can guide you in the right direction to help keep things affordable.
  14. Consider a ‘Potluck Reception’: Host a potluck-style reception where guests bring a dish. It not only adds a personal touch but also helps cut catering costs.
  15. Borrow or Hire: From attire to decor, consider borrowing or renting items. Many items are used only once, so why not share or rent them?
  16. Have a Minimalist Cake: A small, beautifully decorated cake for cutting combined with a more affordable sheet cake for serving can be a budget-friendly yet delicious choice.
  17. Local Flowers: Opt for in-season, locally sourced flowers. They’re not only fresher but often more affordable than exotic blooms. or choose foliage over flowers, not only is greenery gorgeous, it’s super popular right now too. Use garlands to fill your tables and drape your altar.
  18. Student Photographer or Friend: Consider hiring a photography student, an emerging talent, or maybe a friend with a camera. They may offer great rates while bringing fresh and creative perspectives, but beware of the pitfalls with lack of experience, equipment & correct insurance etc. More advice on this here…
A wedding ceremony capturing the special moment of a bride and groom walking down the aisle.


Why You Shouldn’t Skimp on your Photography

While cutting costs is essential, your wedding photos are timeless memories. Investing in a skilled photographer ensures that every magical moment is captured with artistry and professionalism. A seasoned photographer knows how to navigate various lighting conditions, capture genuine emotions, and create a visual narrative that lasts a lifetime.

Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and your photographs are the enduring keepsakes of that special day. Choosing an experienced photographer is an investment, ensuring they are captured beautifully and authentically so you can relive your cherished moments over and over.

Remember, your wedding budget should reflect your priorities. While it’s possible to save on various aspects, investing in a skilled photographer is a decision you won’t regret.

How to Save Money on Wedding Photography

Your wedding photographer and videographer are among your most essential pros, and certainly worth every penny (the average couple spends £2,500 on photography).

If you don’t want to risk your memories by hiring a student or friend, there are other options for saving money on your wedding photographer.

  1. Have the photographer you love for a shorter time – Found someone you love but they’re out of budget? Ask if you can book them for a shorter time. Ceremony coverage, plus a limited amount of hours at the reception will cover the heart of your day, without costing as much as all day coverage.
  2. Build Your Own Photography Package – Whilst many photographers have a set fee, lots will create you a bespoke packages to fit your plans and budget. Book by the hour (usually a minimum 2/3 hours start), don’t include albums or prints, keep it simple.
  3. Hire a local photographer and videographer – Many photographers and videographers charge additional fees if they have to travel more than a certain distance to your event. Find a photographer who is based near your venue to avoid extra expenses!

Happy wedding planning!

A recent wedding with a bride and groom standing in a field with string lights.


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