I suppose I should of looked at budgeting first, but oh well. So when I thought about weddings and the organisation and money that went into it, I honestly thought that this was all you needed. Dress, Suit, Venue, Cake, Food, Flowers. Wedding stationary completely left my mind, and obviously chairs, tables, table gifts, ceremony, caterer,decorations, chair covers too!! I know your probably thinking, jeez have you be living under a rock? The truth is I am the first out of my close friends to get engaged, so it’s a learning curve, plus my mum piped up and knocked some sense into me.

Ok so lets look at the facts.

According to Brides magazine the average cost of a wedding is £23,305. I took out the engagement ring from the budget, as in my eyes that’s already been brought., otherwise it’s £24,716


But even so, that’s a lot of money, that’s a healthy deposit for a house. Or maybe you are reading this thinking, jeez that’s quite cheap.. realistically, me and Richard could never afford that budget, even with my parents helping out, so do we get a loan? Or do we find ways to save money… Richard has already made his views clear on not wanting to start our marriage life in debt, so lets see how much we can do to save money first. I am not criticising anyone who gets a loan, sometimes there is no choice. If my parents hadn’t offered to pay for at least some, much to Richards dismay a loan would be our only choice.  But we haven’t even picked a venue, and until then I have no idea what ‘extra’s’ we will need. So we could still end up needing a small loan. But lets look at the wedding budget according to Brides Magazine. FYI, Brides magazine looks at all different budgets, and I am a little bit in love with the magazine. Has so many good ideas so go check it out.

Wedding venue: £2,223 Ok, so same with the reception venue, getting married on an off peak month can save you a lot of money, also getting married on a week day. Saturday’s in August, are peak, Fridays in November not so much. 

Reception venue: £4,189 Doing your own decor, chair covers, table cloths..etc.

Catering: £3,063 Depending on your reception, if you can bring your own caterer you have more choice on cost. If we pick a venue that allows your own caterer I will ask my cousin who is a chef. But beware, having your own caterer may incur extra costs from your venue. 

Photography/video: £1,399 So I would say that to me this is quite important. Being a photographer, I have seen some terrible photos been done by some amateur photographers. Don’t get me wrong, some are amazing, but some have no concept of Photoshop. I have an idea on who I will be using/asking. I went to uni with her and she just started her own business, and her photographs are amazing. But ill talk more on that when I have asked her. When it comes down to it, I know she is a good photographer, and I trust her. If your looking to save a little bit of money, go to some art uni’s and put a note on a board. A few people did this while I was at uni, and believe me students want experience, and they will know how to use a camera and they won’t cost you £1000’s. Try this with film students too. As a note, we wont have a videographer, I sound like a child on camera..

Flowers: £560 Ok so my mum mentioned how on the day she went down to her local flower market and did her own table flowers. Great for Summer and Spring, may be difficult/pricey for Autumn and Winter.But regarding your bouquets and the bridesmaids? Maybe look at doing an arrangement course, this sounds super fun, plus adds a personal touch when doing your own wedding flowers.

Cake: £296 Depending on the cake you want, maybe try a catering school. The best thing about students, is they want the experience, so are willing to try most things. Or do something different, and make a cup cake cake, making your own cup cakes, for a fraction of the price.

Entertainment: £682 Friend’s who are musicians? Special day sorted!

Dress: £1,340 Second hand dresses are always just as good, let’s remember most brides wear them just once. Or maybe you have a friend who is a keen sewer, or maybe a dress makers student…ooo that’s a new idea..students.

Shoes: £107 As much as I would love to walk down the aisle in Jimmy Choo’s it’s not going to happen. Firstly I have never been good with heels, secondly it’s not in my budget. I’m pretty tempted to wear just plain ballet flats, or maybe a vintage pair of shoes.

Champagne/wine: £1,280 Just do your research, look at different wines. Also let the waiters serve the wine rather then have the bottles on the table. Guest won’t drink as much, saving you a little bit of money.

Headdress/veil: £108 Second hand again, charity shops always have veils in. Believe me. Or DIY it. There’s a link later on for a cute veil fascinator DIY.

Attendants’ outfits: £465 Ask your bridesmaid, grooms men to chip in.

Mother-of-the-bride outfit: £337 Offer you mum a compromise, maybe you buy her accessories if she buys the dress?

Groom’s outfit: £313 Second hand, vintage, possibilities are endless.

Beauty: £220 Once again, look at students, especially with treatments and beauty, most schools have a little salon, and the price is a discount your pockets will love.

Engagement Ring: £2,451

Wedding rings: £647 Shop around, get something that means something to you. Family rings? Vintage?

Other wedding jewellery: £191 Ask your grand parents, your mum, and mother-in-law to see if they have any jewellery (vintage is always great) that they wouldn’t mind lending you! Brilliant if it’s something old, something borrowed and something blue.

Honeymoon: £3,931 This to me is quite important, me and Richard have an idea of what we would like to do for our honeymoon, and as we have a lot of furniture, and bits and bobs. (in fact our house is bursting with things), I like the idea of asking for donations towards our honeymoon. My mum went to a wedding where the guests could go on a site and sponsor an activity for the bride and grooms honeymoon. Mum got them a hike. I love this idea plus helps you financially towards your perfect honeymoon.

Gift List: £1,954 So you have groom’s gift, Mothers, Bridesmaids, grooms men and table gifts. What’s wrong with little handmade gifts. Which have a lot of thought, and might save you a little bit of money. We have looked at sweet carousels, but have decided it would be cheaper (and slightly more creative) to go on the hunt for old sweet jars in charity shops, go to bulk food shop and buy big pots of assorted sweets. Get some cute bags, make some signs, there’s your sweet shop for a fraction of the price.

Total: £24,716

What I have been thinking about is ways I can save money, and the certain things I especially want that might cost a bit more. Photography, honeymoon, the dress. To me these are quite special and are worth the money. Let’s be honest if you find that perfect dress, how are you going to talk yourself out of it? Things that are important to Richard? The food. He’s particular about good food, which I think will probably be quite costly. But like I said that’s fine, that goes on the important list.

The wedding stationary, well we will probably play around with doing it ourselves. Or maybe barter with our graphic design chums. Regarding table cloths, I like the idea of mis-matched plain cloths. Same with plates. ( I am looking forward to looking for a range of sets, so each table is a little bit different). For these I will be heading to the charity shops.The decor? Well we all know how popular pom pom’s are so this paired with hand made gifts, and handmade decor, I like to think I could save some money. There are so may cute ideas out there and believe I am going to try as many as possible and review them for you! Together we will all have the perfect wedding without going into too much debt…hopefully. 


I have included some pins of DIY wedding ideas which look fab and could save money, and make your day just as special.


These are cool table numbers I have seen, which are so effective.


From Polka dot Bride. There’s a tutorial there on how to make them! soo cute.



From Eat Drink Chic. Slightly more complicated, but so effective. She has downloads of her fonts which you can use, and a tutorial of how to do this.


This is such a cute way to decorate the chairs instead of sashes. This is from Style me Pretty. And it’s such a fun and inexpensive way to do decorate.


These are awesome, and can be put all around your venue. Just match the flowers to your wedding colours. From Once Wed.


After looking at how much a veil can cost, I think this make your own looks soo pretty, and is a fraction of the cost. From Wedding Chicks.


Instead of having an open bar, why not pre make some cocktails for your guest, plus they look awesome displayed like this. From Buzz Feed.


I love this idea of using washi tape on old books and we all know I have a lot of old books. It just looks sooo effective. This is from Once Wed too.



Forget the big centrepieces, why not get some pretty glass bottles and pick some wild flowers, obviously this is done easier during spring and summer. From Country Living. 


I am really looking forward to planning and messing around with DIY ideas for the wedding. If you have any money saving tips email us or leave a comment! Would love to hear them!!


Want to get in touch? Here’s how (ask for Sophie, unless it’s a question about steak then Richard is your guy)

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  1. Tiny Tang

    This was a really interesting read – I’m not in anyway near to getting married but it’s been enlightening reading about the many tiny thing that need to be considered! Weddings are so expensive but I guess it’s a once in a life time thing but the main thing is spending the day with the one you love and your other loved ones 🙂 x
    |Life as a Petite || Fashion, Crafts & Lifestyle Blog|

  2. caveofcraftedwonders

    Great post 🙂 you can definitely save by doing some stuff yourself and it’s lovely if you can get friends and family involved in certain aspects, makes it more special in my opinion. Our wedding was incredibly handmade and cost less than £3000 but it’s definitely all about identifying what’s important to you 🙂 students are a brilliant idea!

    1. Sophie Post author

      aww thank you! that is impressive!! I am looking forward to doing a handmade wedding, just sounds much more personal and fun anyway xx

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