Planning

You want to save money on your wedding. Of course, you do! They can get a little spendy after all. Lucky for you, we've seen thousands of weddings over the years and are excited to share all of the beautiful budget wedding ideas we've found along the way. If you haven't decided on a budget for your wedding yet, we have an excellent article all about how to allocate your budget. You can also find lots of inspiration at the end of the article too where we round up some gorgeous weddings that were all under 5k!

And as if that wasn't enough we have two podcast episodes where we talk about your wedding budget. You can listen to Episode 4, Ways To Save Money On Your Wedding, and episode 8, How To Budget For Your Wedding.

Budget wedding ideas for your food and drink

  • If you have a Mum/Uncle/Cousin who loves baking then ask them to make you a cake, nine times out of ten they will be really flattered and accept your request with gusto.

  • Instead of having a wedding cake, have a Bake-Off style dessert table - ask people to bring cakes and desserts instead of presents or have a cake of cheese so you don't need to provide an evening buffet.

  • Consider your menu choices. Opt for a BBQ or even a picnic if your venue will let you. Think grazing tables and sharing platters as these might come in at a lower price.

  • Buy booze in bulk throughout the year when it's on offer at the supermarket or cash and carry and display in an old bathtub/wheelbarrow/bin.

  • Calculate exactly how much alcohol you need so that you don't overspend. You can listen to Episode 16 of the podcast where we talk all about it.

  • Want ideas of how to make the most of your wedding menu too in order to get value for money? You can check out Episode 39 of the podcast where we interview Recommended Suppliers Caviar & Chips and talk all things wedding menus.

Wedding fashion on a budget

  • Have you heard of Recycle My Wedding? It's our pro-planet, pre-loved wedding items marketplace. Consider wearing a second-hand wedding dress. Not only is this one of the most sustainable ways to shop for your wedding but it could save you up to half the price. On Recycle My Wedding you can buy more than just a pre-loved wedding dress. There are accessories and decor on there too! Saving you money all over your wedding. If you're not sure about buying a second-hand dress, here are a few things to consider. In all likelihood, the dress has been worn once before and dry cleaners are very experienced at looking after such precious items. If there is one item of clothing that will have been treated with the most love and care, it's a wedding dress. Most will come to you in excellent condition and if there are any issues, they are firmly stated on the description of the dress on Recycle. Buying pre-loved really is a great way of not only saving money but also doing good for the environment. So not only will you feel great in your new dress but you will have that extra satisfaction of knowing you've done good too.

  • Use social media wisely, follow the Instagram accounts of the bridal designers and boutiques you love as this is where they will announce their sample sales. Don't be afraid of getting in the car and driving across the country for one - if you're saving 50-60% on the cost of your dream dress then a tank of petrol is nothing.

  • It's all about how you wear it, so finding your dress on the high street or in a more budget Bridal boutique is a savvy idea.  There are examples of highstreet dresses in the gallery below and you can read our high street dresses FAQ which you might find helpful if you're considering hitting the high street.

  • Give Bridesmaids a strict budget to buy their dresses with. If they want to spend more or contribute extra for a dress they really love and will wear again then that's a bonus.

  • Likewise, for the boys, ask Groomsmen to wear their own suits.

  • Use what you already have. Chances are you will feel 100x more comfortable and confident in the fashion you already own. Why not wear your favourite shoes? OR throw on your favorite leather /denim jacket instead of splurging on a new cover-up.

  • Similarly, what can you borrow? Does your best mate have a veil you can wear for the day? Maybe that could double up as your something borrowed if you want to add a touch of tradition.

Wedding decor Ideas for a budget wedding

  • Use wild and seasonal flowers displayed in stem vases, jam jars, and tin cans. This looks really pretty and can be done yourself (or with the help of family and friends).

  • Opt for lots of foliage instead of flowers, essentially you can just chop this down from your garden, so it's completely free!

  • Give single flower stems as favours - they serve as decor and will smell lush. And who knows, maybe your guests might choose to wear them in their hair. Favours, florals, AND making your guests blend in with the overall aesthetic. We're kind of joking but kind of not.

  • Ask guests to send you photos of themselves with the RSVP - interactive guest decor that is also really inexpensive.

  • Have a menu board instead of menu print outs, saving you money on your stationery budget. The same goes for the order of the day and anything else that everyone needs to know.

  • Wooden palettes and crates can be made into all sorts of things. Signs, somewhere to display your table plan, your cake, your flowers etc. People often give these away for free, so keep an eye out at local shops and businesses or farms. You can also find decor items like these on Recycle My Wedding. And not to be discarded... card. As excellently modeled below by real wedding couple Araitz and Joe.

  • Repurpose. Move flowers from your ceremony to your reception venue. Put your bouquets into vases for centerpieces; it will both look beautiful and stop them from wilting. 

Budget wedding ideas for your wedding venue

  • Look at alternative wedding venues like village halls, parents' back gardens, holiday homes. Even YOUR home...It really pays to think outside the box when it comes to the venue. Investigate all ideas - whether that's speaking with local farmers, charities based in amazing buildings, or woodland trusts. Don't think anything is off-limits until you know for certain that it is.
  • Compare the difference between a dry hire wedding and having a wedding where some or all of the suppliers are specified. Can you save money hiring your own catering instead of using a venue's caterer?
  • Guest numbers can significantly impact the cost of your wedding. If you go for a smaller venue you will be limited on guest spaces so this could be one way to bring down your overall cost.

Entertainment for budget weddings

  • Hiring a band or DJ can be quite expensive and a well-considered Spotify playlist is guaranteed to keep people dancing.

  • If you do hire a band try and make the most of their time and also try and stick to their existing playlist as you may have to pay extra for them to learn a song that isn't in their repertoire. 
  • Ask friends and family members if they know any local musicians such as buskers or students, often people do and they will be more than happy to play at your wedding for a small fee.

Budget wedding transport ideas

  • Do you have a friend or family member with a fancy car that you love? Ask them to be your transportation on the day. Most people would be thrilled to have a part to play. Failing that, catch a cab! Or have a parent drive you. There is no rule to say that the bride must appear from the back of a wedding car. 
  • Do you need to drive? Is your venue close enough that you could walk? You might want to pack your wedding shoes to put on when you arrive.

Budget wedding FAVOURS (OF BOTH VARIETIES)

  • We hear lots of people saying to simply ditch favours, and that's fine if you're not bothered by them. But some couples want to give something to their guests as a gesture of thanks and we totally get that. Instead of splurging out why not look at the homemade route? Can you whip up some tasty biscuits or jam? Or how about going inexpensive but memorable... Terry's Chocolate Orange anyone?
  • Ask people for help! You've probably picked that one up by this point already, but people are always really happy to be involved in your big day. So if you can't make the jam you so desperately would love to give, we bet you Uncle Bob can and he'd be more than thrilled to help make your day special.

 

Wedding stationery ideas for a budget wedding

  • It's certainly not easy to create your own stationery, but it can be done. Watch the budget as it can be easy to get carried away with all the 'bits'
  • Consider going paperless and having a wedding website. Or maybe creating a digital video invite for your guests. Something they will remember and can also keep.
  • Use large boards at your wedding to display menus and orders of the day. This will save on costs for individual menus and orders of service/the day. 

Hair & beauty for a budget wedding

  • Ask your bridesmaids to do each other's hair/make-up. There is usually someone who is a whizz with the blush brush and hair tongs. Make sure you practice first to make sure you're happy with the results.

  • Book a professional from your local area as you will save on travel costs and potential overnight stays the evening before the wedding. You can search our Recommended Suppliers by county so you can get someone really close by.

Wedding order of the day

  • Consider getting hitched later in the afternoon so you only have to provide one serving of food, like a hot buffet which would work out cheaper than a sit-down meal.
  • Find out all about alternative orders of the day in Episode 36 of the podcast.
  • Consider getting married on a weekday - Thursday is the new Sunday...and November is the new May. Although this isn't new and the wedding season does seem to run endlessly now, lots of venues still run special packages for weekday or winter weddings. And we love a winter wedding.
 

We've mentioned our podcast a lot in this article. It's a really great way to consume more content on the go. We have over 40 episodes for you to make your way through and you can find them wherever you usually listen to your podcasts, just search for Rock My Wedding. Visit the Podcast page to see all the episodes that are available.

Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

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