Have a Great Wedding - For Less

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Sep 09, 2014 by Smart Blog

Statistics just released show that the average UK wedding now costs around £21,000 - and that does not even include the honeymoon or the rings. While there is some variation - an impressive 23.6% of weddings cost less than £5,000 but 0.8% cost more than £40,000 - there is no escaping the fact that getting wed is expensive.

With the average British bride being around 28 years old and the average groom around 30, engaged couples now tend to be financially independent and most pay for their own weddings - although contributions from family are often gratefully accepted. Most couples have already lived together for two or three years before they wed.

 

Love Weddings

The hefty price tag does not seem to be putting people off getting married, however. One British couple, travelling the world for more than three years, have got married in a local service at every single location, racking up a total of 66 weddings (although none was legally binding). People simply love a wedding, which is just as well considering they tend to cost almost as much to attend as to arrange.

Since the law around wedding venues was relaxed, Britons have moved away from tradition (now, only 33.5% of weddings are in church) and it is possible to get married in a tree house, in a hired Arabian tent or underground in Wooky Hole Caves in Somerset. It is now easier than ever for couples to arrange exactly the wedding they dream of, however quirky it may be.

 

Reduce The Cost

Nonetheless, weddings cost a lot - but with a little thought it is often possible to reduce those costs considerably. Here are some ideas on how to do just that.

  • Negotiate with suppliers. This is key - many suppliers charge far more for wedding services than they do for comparable services on other occasions. Some people have found that not mentioning the word 'wedding' in conversation with suppliers can work wonders - try referring to a 'party' or 'celebration' instead. Regardless, most suppliers will have some room for manoeuvre on prices - and it never hurts to ask.
  • Get married during the working week and/or later in the day. Around 60% of weddings are on a Saturday, so weekend bookings attract a premium price. Getting married on a weekday can cost much less, while getting married later, for example around 4pm, means that guests only have to be fed once, reducing catering costs.
  • Marry in the winter. Around 40% of all weddings are in July - September. While December weddings are relatively popular, very few people marry in January, so bookings for that month are often cheaper (and easier to arrange - summer weddings in popular locations can involve a waiting list of 12 months or more).
  • Use comparison sites where possible, and/or look for discount codes online.
  • Have a buffet rather than a sit-down meal (this also tends to be popular with guests, who get a wider choice of food), or a tea party rather than a wedding breakfast.

Using just some of these ideas can save literally hundreds of pounds (if not more) without compromising on the wedding's quality. The quality of the marriage that follows, of course, is something that only the couple involved can organise...