Where you can save money on your wedding

Everyone knows weddings are expensive, so you want to save money on your wedding where you can.

It’s not just the shocking venue and food costs but all the little extras: favours, jewellery for the bride and bridesmaids, gifts for family.

So how can you save money on your wedding, cut the cost and still have an incredible day?

No favours

white and yellow themed wedding table decorations

My mum said that when she got married, favours weren’t a ‘thing’. Your guests didn’t receive any little gifts or presents.

I budgeted in £400 for these ‘little’ gifts. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought, what’s the point? I’ve spent thousands so everyone can have a wonderful three course meal, free drinks and a large evening buffet. I’ve paid for everyone’s entertainment like the flautist and the evening DJ.

Why do I have to fork out £400 to say Thank You for Coming when I’ve paid for their whole day?!

Even small favours, like chocolates, can cost around £1.20 upwards. For 80 guests, that’s £96. Just for two chocolates in a little box.

You might be calling me stingy, but every little bit you can save really helps over the whole day.

Will people sit down and exclaim angrily “Where’s my favour?” Probably not.

Money Saved: £100 minimum

Minimal entertainment

photo booth image

When I sat down with my schedule for the day, I worked out that there is around 30 minutes where guests might be milling around doing nothing.

I’m not forking out £300 for a photo booth just to keep guests entertained for under an hour.

Any moments that may have been empty or boring I’ve filled with things, such as cutting the cake, tossing the bouquet outside, etc. Save money on your wedding by doing these free activities. They add interesting moments to the day and it’’s a chance to get all the guests together for a special moment.

I’ve still got a DJ for the evening, as obviously you do need some form of music/dancing. But I didn’t feel the need to have a DJ AND a caricaturist, or a band, or a magician, etc.

If you’re trying to save more money, rather than having a DJ, you could create a CD full of dance and chart music that plays all night over the venue’s speaker system.

You’ve just got married. You are the entertainment.

Money Saved: £300-400 for additional entertainment

DIY what you can

If you have the time, spend a little time DIYing some bits and pieces. I made my wedding invitations for a total of £88.

Most companies charge around £3 per invite. For 90 invites, that’s a total of £270. My invites cost £0.97 for printing, ribbon and a stick-on bows, and totalled £87.30.

save money on your wedding by making your own invitations

Another way of DIYing your wedding is to save any empty jars. Finished a jar of coffee, or jar of pesto? Save these and buy some lace to wrap around them.

Jars filled with candles cost about £100 from a wedding venue dresser. Do it yourself for nearly nothing, and just buy the lace and candles

I managed to find 20 jars already wrapped in lace at a car boot sale for £3.

Money Saved: £270

Use cashback sites

I hark on about cashback sites to my family, but I don’t understand why people wouldn’t use them.

If I’m ever online shopping, I’ll search TopCashback to see if the shop or supplier is offering cashback. I earned £0.60 back on my wedding shoes, £2.40 on confetti and a huge £50 on our wedding rings. Save money on your wedding day by at least receiving some money back for what you’re buying.

wedding rings on pillow

Cashback is obviously more beneficial for big purchases. Some things like suits are too risky to buy online. But your wedding shoes, jewellery or even wedding decor from Not on the Highstreet could see you gaining back some of what you spent.

Money saved: £100

There are loads more ways you can save, but these have been the easiest for me without taking away from the day. It means we don’t have to feel guilty about overspending on the bridesmaids dresses, or going slightly over budget on the videographer.

These ways to save money on your wedding can all help. They’re all small amounts, but with these four things combined, you’ve saved £870!

Do you have any other tips that you would add to the list?

Where to Spend Your Money on Your Wedding

Planning a wedding can be massively overwhelming at times, and how do you know where to spend your money on your wedding?

There is so much to consider and think about what you want from your special day. It is understandable that, at times, it can all get too much. Budget can be a real sticky point for any couple or family planning a wedding. Whether it’s a small budget or something more substantial, it isn’t easy to ensure that you stay in budget, or know exactly where to spend your money on your wedding day. I wanted to share with you some of the top areas you should be spending your wedding fund on.

 

bridge and groom having photo taken

The photographer

When it comes to your wedding, it is important to ensure that you spend your money wisely, and the one thing you are going to refer back to in years to come are your wedding photographs. So it is important to ensure that you choose the right photographer for you. You may want someone who specialises in modern wedding photography, or perhaps someone who is more traditional. You may have your own ideas thanks to the many wedding websites filled with inspiration, or are open to new approaches from the professional. Don’t be afraid to spend your money on this. After all, you want something amazing to look back on and memories can fade.

 

Thornton Manor wedding venue

The venue

The venue is hugely important for the wedding. It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular or the most expensive, but the venue itself needs to feel right for you both as a couple. Whether you have a church or a civil ceremony, make sure you are happy with your choice. A venue is the place that you will be spending your time in, so it needs to tick all of your boxes. It can be the most expensive part of a wedding, but it can often be the most important as well.

If you’re trying to save money, just hire out one venue. I’ve chosen to get married in a church, and then move on for the wedding reception. But this is easily adding £1000. Save that by staying in one venue for the day.

 

planning a wedding - food

The food

If you are planning on having a meal or providing food for your guests, then ensure that you are providing the very best your budget can afford. The thing is, food can be expensive, so it is essential that you get quality food for the money you are spending. However, thanks to websites like Pinterest, you can be really innovative with food options. Consider having food trucks or buffet style alternatives. I hear hog roasts are all the rage.

 

where to spend your money on your wedding - Bride in lace wedding dress

Something special for you

Finally, make sure you have an element of your day that both you and your partner want. Don’t be afraid to spend your money on it. It is your day, after all. You could consider a band if you and your partner love live music. Maybe a photo booth if you love to capture memories in different ways. Perhaps even thinking about the food element or a signature drink if you consider yourself foodies.

 

It’s up to you where to spend your money on your wedding. But make the day unique to you in your own way and ensure you enjoy every moment of it.

Saving (and living off) a pension

People of my age tend to forget about their pension, or they think it’s not important.

We’re young, and I’m not going to retire anytime soon. I’ve got fifty years to save money for my pension. These are just some of the things that stop youngsters from saving.

But I did some major calculations using The Money Advice Service, and my results have really made me think about the importance of saving for a comfortable future.

First, the website asks for your yearly salary before tax. You can then select the wage you’d like to live on when you’re retired. It automatically calculated that I should aim to live on £11,000 per year. Sounds doable.

My work has a pension scheme, and I don’t know many workplaces anymore that don’t offer one.

It asked me how much I currently have in my pension savings. It currently stands at about £200 – I’m only 22!

I then told the system I’d like to retire at the age of 73 – a bit specific, but then 75 sounded too old.

So based on my current salary, the amount I should be saving, and a retirement age of 73, I could be left with £274 per month. If I keep saving the amount I currently am, I would be living on less than £11,000 per year.

Using the handy slider tool, I could choose to take out less than 25% as a lump sum, therefore gaining more spends per month.

But could I really live on £234 per month?!

Let’s pretend that I’m still living with Jay, and we’re mortgage free, because we will have downsized by then. We only have bills to pay at £200, and then £100 on food. The car insurance needs to come out, as does petrol costs. This might be £100. That’s already £400 which, split between the two of us, is……..£200 each. So I have £34 left which definitely won’t cover house and building insurance, life insurance, or council tax.

The above is only the essentials. It doesn’t include meals out, new clothes, birthday presents for others. You can forget about saving for Christmas. It’ll be scratch cards for everyone.

Obviously, this is based on my work pension scheme only. I’ll be adding to it myself at some point, once we’re settled in the house and know our finance position much better.

Say I had £60,000 in my pension pot. That’s a huge amount of money that will only last me about 5.5 years.

How have you saved for your pension?

 

*This is not a sponsored postI just wanted to discuss pensions and The Money Advice Service happened to have a good calculator.