If you're recently engaged, a huge congratulations from all of us, or if you are now starting to plan your special day don't be overwhelmed by all the areas you need to organise and make sure you have a clear idea of your wedding budget.
Last year an average UK wedding cost £24,000 - this may fill you with dread or be a figure you were roughly expecting. We've created a list of key elements we feel any couple should consider and be sure to remember to have a budget put aside.
Once you have a good idea of the head count of guests and date, be sure to snap up your venue of choice. If you're looking to get married in a Church you will want to get this organised, especially if your not local and looking to get married at a different parish.
If you have decided to get married at a hotel, or a barn for example you will need to inform your local registrar. Please be aware this is a legal requirement and will cost. Double check with your venue as they should have all the information and contact details for the local registry office.
Next, secure your reception venue - if you're having the ceremony at a separate location. Some venues have recommended suppliers, from florists to caterers, so make sure each element is right for you. There are lots of great venues out there, especially where we (Event Style) are based, and we would be more than happy to discuss with you our recommended venues. Do be aware all venues have different packages and pricing schemes so shop around. We would recommend seeing a few different venues and compare - see what's included and what you think works best for your purse, as well as what you would like for your special day.
We have to say that the food is one of our very favourite parts of 'wedding planning'. Your venue may have their own in house kitchens or you may need to select a catering company. If you are planning on creating your own menu then make sure you book a venue that will allow you to bring your own food. To save money check to see if the catering can be flexible with your evening food to help with your budget. It's unlikely all your guests will eat the evening buffet - they will hopefully be having to much fun on the dance floor.
Are you a keen foodie? Peruse wed-ready food and drink trends to impress guests. A mobile bar or food truck can be a good way to slash costs and are very popular - pop up catering works perfectly with marquee and festival themed weddings.
From budget to style, there's lots to consider when you pick your photographer. We feel photography is really personal and you have to choose someone you really get on well with - especially as they will be with you all day. Photography is the service that captures your day and you are not able to re create your photos - budget is important but we wouldn't want you to compromise on the quality of your images.
We love flowers - we can't deny the more flowers and splashes of colour at a wedding the better. However, we know that flowers can be very expensive and they are an area you may wish to snip when it comes to the budget. To help with the cost we recommend recycling and re using your ceremony flowers. Aisle flowers can become centerpieces and altar pieces can be moved to the buffet table. The ceremony usually only lasts about half an hour - it's a shame to see so many flowers only being used for that amount of time when they could easily be incorporated into the reception decor. Ask one of your strapping Groomsmen to grab the flowers ,whilst your having your photos, taken and have them re arranged in your reception venue.
Most brides find that flowers are an important part of their day but forget to include them in the planning from the start, this is why we have included them in this handy blog. It's also very popular for Brides to DIY their flowers and this maybe something you wish to consider. However, we have known brides to purchase dozens of glass vases for centerpieces, only to become overwhelmed. We have received frantic calls, asking to take over the stress of these DIY projects, which often becomes more expensive than hiring a professional from the start. Even when our Event Style florist tries her very best to stick to the orginal budget.
This may sounds silly but seasonal flowers can also be a great way of keeping to the budget. Ask for seasonal, locally grown flowers which cost less than exotic varieties from abroad. A few large blooms surrounded by lots of greenery can look striking, so consider using less flowers and more foliage. If you’ve got your heart set on an expensive flower use it sparingly – perhaps just in your bouquet or keep pieces.
From invitations to escort cards and menus, be sure to get the details just right with your stationery. Choosing your wedding stationery we believe is important because the invite will be the first insight to your wedding that a guest will receive. We would suggest choosing a style or design that matches the theme of your wedding, but making sure that you order something within your budget is also key. Set that budget before you start designing as it is easy for stationary prices to spiral once you start adding expensive ribbon and paper. Choose and place the order for the invitations at least 6 months in advance. Ordering the invitations at the last minute can be stressful, not to mention the worry of not getting your guests to respond in time.
Order extra invitations - why we hear you ask? Bulk orders at one time will cost you less than having to get extras made later down the line. Ordering extra wedding stationery will also allow for you to invite extra guests should you receive any regrets. If you plan on making your own wedding stationery, be sure to consider all costs before you start — including your time. Search for special offers and deals when it comes to placing your wedding stationery order. Some suppliers may offer a discount depending on what you purchase.
Selecting the perfect dress for your big day is no small feat. The Wedding Dress search has equal parts of exciting and daunting. For most of us this is the first and only time we'll be looking for a wedding dress, and it's not the same as picking out an outfit for work or drinks with the girls. To make sure you don't run away with the moment make sure you set a budget - the average wedding dress from a bridal boutique costs around £1000 -£1500. There are cheaper ways to find a dream dress, and you can also blow the bank if you want to. Agree an amount with your husband-to-be and stick to it. (Also remember to budget for shoes, accessories, underwear, alterations etc). Make sure you also look into all the options, bridal boutiques, high-street shops, online, rental, sample sales, second-hand and charity boutiques.
Will you pay for your 'maids dresses and cover suit hire? This is of course a personal choice and something you may wish to discuss with your bridal party. When it comes to your mother you may want to show her how much you care and take her for a shopping trip to find her a chic big day outfit. However, if your budget doesn't stretch that far then hiring outfits might be a more cost effective option. High street stores also have some beautiful bridesmaid dresses that start from as little as £20 - £50.
Every bride wants to look (and feel) like the most beautiful version of her self on her wedding day, and that is no different for our very own Event Style planner Kelly who gets married next year. Now in order to help make that happen, potentially this means growing out our locks so we can have an up do, consume nutrient-rich foods for glowing skin, and schedule hair and makeup trials well in advance. But beyond those simple beauty commandments, it can be confusing to navigate all of the prettifying options that exist for brides.
Do we really need to get monthly facials? whiten our teeth and have laser hair removal?
Again there are lots of treatments you can do at home and you don't need to be spending hundreds before the big day - we suggest making a list of what is really important to you and make sure you have the appointments all booked and confirmed. In regards to your make up and hair this is important and if you don't want to do this yourself we would highly recommend having a trial before the big day.
There’s so much to consider when it comes to hiring your wedding entertainment. If you’re thinking about hiring a band, DJ or even dancers for your wedding, make sure you get the most out of them to guarantee your wedding party is unforgettable. We would recommend booking early as popular acts can be book a year if not two years in advance. If you book your wedding entertainment nice and early you are not only more likely to get your first choice but you may also bag yourself a bargain. Quotes will often be provided on current prices and they rarely go down. Also, the more popular acts become the more they will charge – it’s supply and demand, but if you book them early they are contracted to the quote they provide.
If your heart is set on entertainment that is killing the budget look for off-peak reductions. Have you considered booking a weekday wedding or even in the off-peak months? Now if you have already booked your venue this may not be possible but during the weekends in summer, the majority of the bands and acts could easily book themselves 15-20 times over with the amount of enquiries they receive. Yet during the weekdays or in October, November, January and February, the same acts will struggle to fill their diaries. To help combat this they will offer reduced rates and for a wedding band you can save on average £150 - £200.
Let’s face it, not everyone has a limitless budget when it comes to the honeymoon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a fabulous honeymoon. There are still plenty of affordable honeymoon getaways where your pound can be stretched a lot further. We would suggest spending some time in the travel agents to source out those little gems. Or there can be little bargains that can be found on sites such as Groupon - especially if your not restricted by time or just looking for a mini moon straight after the wedding.
PLANNING YOUR WEDDING STARTS HERE:
First off, sit down with your fiancé, or with your parents if they're going to contribute, and work out what you can afford to spend and the realistic budget for your wedding. Unfortunately this might not be the wedding you have on your Pinterest board. To keep track of your big day spending, write down the estimated costs in a budget planner and then regularly review the costs as you confirm with suppliers to ensure you stay on track. You can create a fancy excel spread sheet if that is your sort of thing or grab yourself a nice handy notebook to make sure you are taking notes and keeping on top of costs.
If your budget is looking to be tight we recommend asking yourself which elements are important to you and your fiancé? Then adjust these average weddings costs to suit your needs - don't forget, it's completely up to you where you decide to save or splurge. Pick that one area that will make the day extra special for you. It's all about finding the right balance.
If you are creative then why not help to keep the costs down and grab the sticky back plastic and glitter. If you have plenty of time DIY can be a brides best friend when looking to save money. There is lots of DIY inspiration online
Spend some time with the Event Style team and book a Wedding Workshop. We go through all of the planning and budgeting to make sure you are all set to make all those important decisions. Also you'll have full access to our little black book of suppliers so we can get you the best prices and help as much as we can with your wedding budget.