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How to budget for a wedding

Your big day should be special, not stressful. Our simple guide to budgeting for a wedding will help make it easy to manage your money.

    Published: 4 May 2021

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    How much money should I set aside for my wedding?

    The average wedding budget in the UK is around £30,000. If that sounds like a scary number, don’t worry. You can easily plan a wedding on a much smaller budget, particularly if you do some careful planning.

    Before you start contacting venues and suppliers, try to come up with a rough figure of how much you want to spend. You should also think about how many guests you want to invite, and what kind of venue you’d like to book.

    Make sure you factor in every cost – no matter how small – and, most importantly, be realistic about what you can afford.

      The costs of a wedding

      The biggest expense of your wedding could well be the venue. Renting a dedicated space for the day could take up a good chunk of your budget. Some other costs to think about include:

      • Food & drink
      • Photography
      • Music
      • A wedding cake
      • Outfits for the wedding party
      • Flowers

      The important thing is to decide on your essentials. Do you want lots of fresh flowers? Are you keen on having live music all night long? Do you prefer champagne to prosecco? Whatever your preferences, making a list of your must-haves will let you prioritise your spending.

      With that bit done, you can research venues and suppliers, and create a detailed budget.

        How do I create a wedding budget?

        Start by visiting a handful of venues and talking about hire costs. Some will offer package deals, where you get the venue hire, food and drink for one all-inclusive fee.

        Other venues will simply charge for the space, which means you’ll have to hire your own caterers, and possibly even rent your own tables, chairs, cutlery and crockery.

        Once you’ve chosen your venue (but before you’ve made a booking) you can start creating your detailed budget: a document that lists every single cost associated with your big day.

        Start by subtracting your venue hire from your budget, and then split the remaining money, prioritising anything that’s especially important to you and your partner. Using a spreadsheet will be handy here.

        If your budget doesn’t look like it will stretch, start looking for places to cut costs.

          How can I save money on my wedding?

          You could save a lot of money by editing your guest list. It’s not always easy to cut back on guests, but a good place to start is limiting plus-ones.

          You could also save money by switching the date of your wedding. Aim to have it in the low season (November-April), and avoid the weekend. This should save you money on your venue, as well as on suppliers such as caterers, photographers and musicians.

          Other money-saving tips include:

          • Organising a half-day rather than full-day photographer
          • Combining live music with a playlist
          • Having a cash bar
          • Buying a second-hand or sample wedding dress
          • Setting up a wedding website rather than sending out paper invites

          Can I take out a loan for my wedding?

          Applying for a wedding loan could give you a dedicated pot of cash to spend from, which means you won’t need to dip into savings or wait for your monthly wage to come in before you pay a supplier.

          Just remember that taking out any kind of loan is a personal commitment, and you’ll have to be prepared to pay it back in monthly instalments, with interest.

              Newly married-couple

              Find out how much a wedding loan could cost

              We offer a range of loans from £1k to £35k over terms from 1 to 10 years (interest rates vary). Use our loan calculator to quickly work out how much a loan could cost and start your application.

              Available to UK residents aged 18 and over. Rates will vary depending on loan amount and individual circumstances. Subject to status.

              Important information

              The content on this page aims to offer an informative introduction to the subject matter but does not constitute expert financial advice specific to your own situation. All facts and figures were correct at time of publication and were compiled using a range of sources.

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