With the average wedding costing £17,674, getting married is an expensive business. Thankfully, there are lots of ways to cut your costs without compromising on making your day one that you and your partner will look back on and cherish forever. With our tips, you could reduce your spending by up to £10,000!
Read on to find out what you can cut out of your day to save money, how to make some décor and accessories yourself, and where to find the perfect wedding dress for less.
There is such a thing as the wedding season - the time of year brides and grooms are most likely to tie the knot - and it usually coincides with the warmer summer months when good weather is more likely.
It is also the busiest time and therefore the most expensive for your nuptials. With this in mind, we’ve taken a look at the cheapest times of year to consider planning your wedding around to save some money while still creating the perfect day.
According to research by Bridebook, 44% of people get married in the summer, 26% in autumn and 22% in spring. As such, you can expect to pay more for a wedding in these seasons as venues and suppliers are in higher demand.
Only 8% of couples opt for a winter wedding, so if you’re keen to keep your nuptials on a budget, winter months are likely to come with the best venue availability and the most opportunities to secure better deals from your suppliers. Take advantage of the winter season and plan a festive themed wedding or look forward to spring with easter vibes featuring daffodils and pastel colours.
Having a weekday wedding could help you land a much cheaper price for your venue and suppliers. Extend the weekend with a Thursday night party and head off on your honeymoon the day after, or plan an intimate Monday wedding with a small dinner after a ceremony with a few friends and family.
Did you know?
Research suggests that the 9th September and 26th August are the two dates brides and grooms want to get married on the most. Perhaps this is because these dates coincide with when the kids go back to school - so you may find cheaper honeymoons and even venues.
Only a quarter of couples get married in religious buildings these days, so when it comes to where you say ‘I do’, there’s an awful lot of choice.
If you prefer a more hands-on approach - and are looking to save a lot of money - consider booking an alternative venue. We’ve featured some inspiration below: from back gardens to village halls to forested areas, the world is your oyster when it comes to that special ceremony and the celebrations after.
You may need to ask permission from whoever owns the venue if there is no set way of booking it. You’ll also need to check if there is anywhere people should specifically park or, if it’s a field, if the owner allows people to camp there.
If you want to have a ceremony at an unlicensed venue you can do this, but bear in mind it won’t be legal and binding.
Humanist celebrants can conduct a ceremony that looks and feels exactly like a “real” wedding: you can exchange rings, say vows and sign a certificate but you will need to organise a separate legal ceremony at a register office if being legally wed is as important to you as a symbolic marriage.
This can be done relatively cheaply if you arrange to have a ceremony with just yourself and your betrothed, and two witnesses present.
Local village halls and more unusual venues that require permission may not automatically provide you with a contract or written agreement confirming the date of your wedding. Make sure you get written confirmation that you are allowed to use the venue, along with the duration you can use it for, and any restrictions that may be in place.
This could be your own, your parents or a family or friend’s back garden. It’s free to use (hopefully!) plus you’ll have basic requirements close by such as toilets, a power supply, and running water.
It’s a great location for an easy going wedding. You can have a marquee set up to keep everyone under cover, organise a caterer to come in and cook a delicious meal and play music until late for everyone to dance to. Plus, set up an arch and lay out the chairs and you can even have your ceremony in the space.
Village Hall or Community Centre
These spaces are made for parties and if they’re big enough can accommodate a ceremony, dinner and reception. Before hotels stole the show, the local village hall was all the rage as a wedding venue in the 70s and 80s. A wedding in a village hall will definitely be a more hands-on affair, as you’ll need to decorate the venue and set up the chairs and tables, but get your wedding party involved and you’ll be done in no time.
Village halls typically cost a couple of hundred pounds to hire out and you can ask for access the day before and the day after to set up and pack away. Plus, if it’s local you can walk to and from the venue! No need to worry about expensive wedding cars and transporting guests.
Field or Piece of Land
An empty field is a perfect base for a festival inspired wedding. Encourage guests to turn up in their best festival dress, wellies and play the music loud once the evening rolls around.
Hire a marquee to shelter everyone for dinner and host the ceremony outside featuring fun streamers and plenty of glitter.
What could be cooler than getting married in a museum or gallery venue, perhaps somewhere you and your partner went on a first date? Say ‘I do’ on magnificently tiled floors, surrounded by art, history and maybe even dinosaurs!
There are a wide range of museums in the UK that offer wedding packages; we’ve listed a few that you might not have thought of below.
Fan of train rides with your loved one? Host your wedding in this stunning setting. For those with large families, it can accommodate up to 500 people!
Get married under a T-Rex in this stunning location with a gorgeous dining space and room for 400 guests. It’s a licensed venue, too.
This quaint museum is ideal for smaller weddings and sits on the River Thames, offering a gorgeous backdrop for those all-important photos on the day.
A ceremony under a natural canopy of trees and birdsong as the accompanying music can be incredibly romantic. Bring in a bar and a caterer that can set up anywhere, and you have a party after you’ve said ‘I do’.
You could organise an intimate humanist ceremony, with just a few close family friends in a wooded area near your wedding reception location. You’ll enjoy the natural beauty in a place that is special to you and your partner for a lower price than a traditional venue.
Who says you have to hire out a whole hotel for your wedding reception? Once the ceremony is done - whether you’ve opted for a religious venue or a register office setting - you can simply head to a restaurant you love for dinner with your nearest and dearest.
Many restaurants offer a private room to rent out with everything you need, so you won’t have the public encroaching on your celebrations, but it may mean a reduced guest list. If you’re inclined, you can then move onto a bar for drinks and dancing in your fancy clothes. Plus, you won’t need to worry about background music, decorating the tables or elements like linen and cutlery as it is all provided for you.
Whether you love Italian food, prefer to tuck into a Mexican feast or like to keep it traditional with pub grub, speak to your favourite restaurant about how they can accommodate you.
Chances are they’ll be delighted that you want to celebrate such a special occasion with them! It’s likely that the price to rent out a space at the back or a large table is much cheaper than a full wedding reception location. Then you can meet up with everyone else later and celebrate!
Pinterest is brimming with gorgeous wedding photography and lots of inspiration but some of those magnificent table settings or elaborate backdrops come at a pretty steep price. Here are some of the most popular themes on Pinterest and some tips on how to recreate the theme of your dreams for a little less.
Nothing is more classic and chic than all white linen on tables outside, twinkling lights as dusk draws in and lots of gorgeous natural greenery. Garden themed and outdoor weddings are rising in popularity so if you’re having your special day in a large outdoor space, such as your parent’s garden or even a field, here are some tips to help you create that stunning scene for less.
Woodland vibes, natural greenery and lace embellishments make rustic wedding themes timelessly popular. Hessian fabrics, chopped wood and wildflowers create a theme inspired by the shabby chic and natural world.
Are you and your partner big gaming fans? Love comic books? Or are you major film buffs? Adding a personalised touch and creating a theme doesn’t have to be expensive - here are some ideas for cheap ways to introduce a theme into your special day while still sticking to the budget.
Rainbow themed weddings are rising in popularity as more and more couples want to celebrate their sexuality or add vibrant colour to their big day. If you’re erring towards featuring a wide palette of colours within your theme, here are some ways to do it for less.
There are a range of Pinterest trends you can do for less; here are three of the most popular to try.
Many of us have an idea of what our dream wedding looks like and while flying in by helicopter or having a Maserati deliver you to the church door sounds great, budget doesn’t always allow it.
The average cost of a budget UK wedding now sits at around £17,674 - a large amount but not quite the astronomical figures of recent years. Weddings with all the trimmings can be as much as £27,000. When it comes to cutting costs, there are some elements that can definitely be taken out to save you some pennies.
These savings could mean you have enough to expand your dinner options or add some fun activities to your honeymoon plans. Check out our suggestions below.
Many people conjure up images of grand barn venues, magnificent skyscraping teepees and extravagant hotels with manicured lawns when they think of weddings. But, your wedding doesn’t have to take place in one of these. The average cost of the venue alone in the UK is around £2,790.
Now with humanist celebrants allowing you to conduct a ceremony wherever you have permission, the options for wedding venues has really opened up. But bear in mind that you will need to organise a separate legal ceremony beforehand at a register office. This won’t cost very much if you take along two witnesses - the cost to give notice of your intention to get married - this is a legal requirement that notifies your local authority that you're getting married - is around £35 and £50 for a small ceremony.
We’ve explored this in-depth in our alternative wedding venues guide, but here is a quick list of just some of the options available:
You could save: £2,790
Sure having all your bridesmaids in matching, personalised dressing gowns or silky robes looks great in photos, but they can set you back a fair amount.
With most weddings featuring around 3-5 bridesmaids, the costs can quickly add up when you’re giving out fancy, personalised robes for them to wear in the morning to get ready.
This means if you have three bridesmaids and the robes you choose cost £15.99 each, you could be spending nearly £50 for them to match in a few snaps. That’s money that could definitely be better used elsewhere in your celebrations!
Ask your bridesmaids to wear their best (cleanest) pyjamas or ask them to wear a certain style of PJs if you’re worried about how they’re going to look in the photos. That means leaving the trackie trousers worn during Netflix and pizza marathons at home.
Alternatively, simply ask them to wear pyjamas in the same colour.
If you’re set on buying those robes and they’re doubling up as your thank you gift to your bridesmaids for being there on the day, here are a few options to consider to get them cheaper:
You could save: £50
Maybe a controversial suggestion, but don’t have any bridesmaids or groomsmen at all - or maybe just your sister or brother if you and your partner have siblings.
Your friends will be there to celebrate for the whole day anyway, they can still help you organise your hen party or stag do celebrations and being part of the wedding party is a big responsibility that many people feel obliged to take on out of love for you, but would actually prefer not to have.
Plus, no bridesmaids or groomsmen means no dresses, suits or shoes to buy, you don’t need to think about their hair and makeup and you won’t need to find the cash to purchase thank you gifts. Less stress too!
Average cost of all three bridesmaid dresses:
Average cost of all three groomsmen suits:
You could save: £485
You can save some money by booking your photographer for just the ceremony and to take some pictures after. The average wedding photographer cost in the UK, for a full day, is £1,560. Reducing their time could see you paying around £400 for three hours. .
You can still get the classic cake cutting snap, the posed wedding car shot and plenty of pics of you and your loved ones in this time - plus there will be no awkward dinner shots of people eating or of grandparents frowning when the best man tells a particularly rude story about the groom.
You may need to discuss this option honestly with your photographer and some may be more inclined to agree to this smaller time slot in off-peak seasons. We’ve pulled together a guide to ‘haggling’ here featuring tips on how to approach it and save some money.
Leave disposable cameras on the tables. You can pick up a batch of disposable cameras and have the films developed after the wedding for nostalgic physical pictures to keep in a classic album. Want to share snaps from the day on Facebook? Simply scan the pictures into your computer.
Cost of disposable cameras for weddings:
So if you have 10 tables and decided to pop two cameras on each one, you would be spending around £100 - enjoying a massive saving of £1,060 for the day.
You could save: £1,160
Many couples say their favourite wedding pictures are those that their friends and family snapped throughout the day, so you could consider foregoing the professional completely and making a point of encouraging your guests to snap away on their own cameras and phones. Ask them to send the images over to your email address, via Whatsapp, or set up a Google Drive folder they can contribute to.
You can also set up a wedding hashtag and encourage people to add this to any photos they share on Facebook and Instagram so everything is in one place.
Here, we’ve taken some of the latest phones on the market and snapped a shot of a lovely bride and groom to compare the quality of the most popular smartphones.
If you really want to save some cash, skip the fancy wedding car. Many brides and grooms opt for a more traditional looking car, something like a Rolls Royce or a Viscount model but is this really necessary?
Use a friend or family member’s car – If a close friend or family member has a nice car, perhaps ask if they can take you to the venue and park their car somewhere for pictures after.
A brand new Mercedes or an old school sports car will look great in photos and you can pick up some ribbon to add to the bonnet for a small price. If you want to pay them, offer to cover the cost of petrol for the trip.
Jump in a taxi – If you really want to keep things cheap and low key, book a taxi and take this to the venue.
Book a minibus – Look into booking a coach or minibus to take everyone in the wedding party to the venue together. There's a trend for hiring vintage London buses for this very purpose!
Choose a location within walking distance – Get those steps in, save some money and look great while doing it as you stroll to the venue.
You could save: £300
You and your wedding party know how you like your makeup to be done for a special occasion - so ensure you’re happy with the final result and do it yourself. You can still treat yourself to some luxury makeup brands to enjoy on the day and long after.
You can save a lot of money doing this - the average cost for just the bride’s hair and makeup sits at around £250, while the same service for the mother of the bride and the bridesmaids can be up to £100 per person. Plus, you’ll all be ready much faster if you’re not waiting on the make up artist or hairdresser to make their rounds - more time for prosecco!
You could save: £250 + £100 per bridesmaid
Unless they’re part of your package, you can easily skip the bubbles and canapes for your guests on arrival at the venue. Guests will happily buy their own drinks at the bar if it’s open and will be eating soon enough after the ceremony and photos that they shouldn’t need pre-wedding snacks!
This could be part of a package or added to your booking, but expect to pay around £200. Cutting it out means you can keep this nice amount in your pocket.
You could save: £200
You’re likely already covering the cost of their dinner - no need to pay out for something else too! Wedding favours are a tradition steeped in history, but they aren’t an essential part of your big day. The average cost of these typically sits at around £650.
The tradition of handing out favours dates back to before the 13th Century, when European aristocrats would give wedding guests porcelain boxes filled with sugar or sweets. Sugar was expensive back then and so handing it out as a gift was a sign of your wealth.
As the years passed, sugar was swapped for almonds, and then the two combined into the sugar-coated varieties you likely remember from weddings in the 60s through to the 90s.
Wedding favours are considered to be a token of appreciation from the newlyweds for attending their big day. But as weddings get more expensive and much of that cost is going on entertainment, food and drink for guests, brides and grooms are increasingly cutting them out, seeing their investment in making sure they have a good time as enough of a show of appreciation. Will anyone really notice? For the cost saving this is definitely one to consider foregoing.
You could save: £650
You may have seen extravagant invitations on magnets or in a range of shapes and sizes. There’s no doubt that such fancy invitations are great to look at and can help set the tone of your special day, but honestly? Your guests probably won’t read them properly or will lose the inserts, meaning they might miss important information. Inserts and additional designs also cost more, so keep your invitations as simple as possible to save money.
All your guests really need to know is who’s getting married, where to go and at what time and if there’s a particular dress code. The average cost of wedding stationery can be as much as £500 - money definitely better spent on that luxury honeymoon, right?
You could save: £500
Food is perhaps the most expensive element of a wedding, with some wedding sites claiming that an eye watering £4,151 is spent on catering, on average. It’s also the area where most couples overspend.
Savvy brides and grooms are now finding new ways of feeding guests and saving money at the same time. Many of these suggestions could slash that cost in half, while still ensuring guests enjoy a tasty meal.
Invite everyone to the ceremony then invite them back in the evening to celebrate later. You and your wedding party can then have a small, intimate and still delicious dinner somewhere special before joining the party later.
If you have a venue that allows it, ask guests to bring along a cooked dish and lay these out in a buffet style. When dinner time comes around you can dip into lasagne cooked by your auntie, a pie made by your Grandad and a pasta bake whipped up by your new brother-in-law.
It also means everyone feels like part of your day, contributing a little something - and you can save some pennies too.
Planning a wedding after dinnertime is an easy way of skipping the cost of the meal. A ceremony at 5pm and party straight after means you won’t need to worry about serving up both a wedding breakfast and evening refreshments. By serving only evening nibbles, you’ll be able to save a considerable sum.
You could save: £2,000
Hen and stag dos have become more and more extravagant over the years - and more expensive too. What started out as a night out with friends ahead of the big day has grown into weekends - if not longer - spent in sunnier climes. The average hen party abroad costs £998 per person, with £118.75 alone spent on drinks. Stag dos abroad cost around the same amount.
The cost of attending a wedding can be expensive on its own, as you need to pay for accommodation, a new outfit and a gift for the couple and so an expensive hen or stag do on top of this can stretch people’s budgets.
Staying in the UK is a good way to help keep costs under control - a weekend away with your mates is great but perhaps plan it for another time when your money isn’t tied up in wedding planning! Plus,this means it suits the group’s budget as not everyone has the same amount of spare cash to hand.
Kye Harman of Stagweb.co.uk also confirmed that you can save even more money by using a stag and hen company to arrange the event. He said:
The quality stag and hen companies work like the big supermarkets. Because agencies book huge numbers of groups each year, hotels and suppliers are keen to offer them discounted rates to ensure their custom.
These are rates the agencies then pass on to consumers to ensure the bride/groom get a better deal than booking direct. The more you book through an agency (hotel, activities, nightlife, meals and extras) the more you can save.
You could save: £1,996
If your chosen venue doesn’t provide accommodation, consider skipping the cost of booking a hotel room for the night and simply go home for a romantic evening if you can.
If you have children, arrange for them to stay with a family member, change the bed sheets the day before, dot a few candles around the room to light when you return home and leave a bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge. You’ll save around £100 that can be used for the honeymoon or a lavish date night to soften the “back to reality” bump when you start life as newlyweds.
Plus, you can unwrap all those lovely wedding gifts at home so no lugging them back the day after!
You could save: £100
With all these savings under your belt, you could keep back an incredible…
That means you’ll save as much as half of the original estimated cost for your big day.
Planning a wedding on a budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. You can organise a stunning day at a fraction of the price with these tips and tricks.
If it’s a DJ or a caterer, tell them the quote is for a party instead of a wedding. Sometimes just mentioning the W word can up the final price.
Wedding season - May to October - bumps up the price when it comes to venues and suppliers. We’ve looked into which times of year are the cheapest for weddings here. Save some cash and book your special day around those quieter periods.
If you really want to save money, don’t plan your wedding on a Saturday. Weekday ceremonies and receptions are much cheaper - plus your guests can book a little mini-break during the week to really enjoy themselves. Just ensure you give them plenty of notice!
Suppliers, from wedding photographers to florists, understand that everyone has a budget, so if you’re open and honest about the maximum you want to spend they may be able to accommodate this or even be haggled down.
We’ve written up a guide to haggling for your wedding here, with tips and tricks from real wedding suppliers.
A little DIY adds a personalised touch and can save you money. Have a go at creating your own table centrepieces, whip up favours for guests to enjoy or create the table plan sign with your own two hands. Take a look at our DIY decorations guide on how to create some of the key elements for your big day on a budget.
DIY Your Decor
You can find second-hand wedding dresses, decor and accessories online, for a much lower price than originally purchased. Some people sell packages of wedding decor in a particular theme, as they have no reason to keep them and you could swoop in and get everything you need for a bargain. Here are some great places to look for second-hand wedding decor and clothing:
Pick up bouquets as gifts for mothers and bridesmaids for a fraction of the price. Many cost anywhere between £5 and £20, compared to £35 - £50 from a florist and look just as lovely. You could even use these to create bunches for your bridesmaids and to feature in table arrangements and buttonholes. Click here to find out how to make your own buttonholes at home.
Pretty card is relatively inexpensive and you can create a bouquet that lasts long after your special day.
Having the wedding dress, suits and the bridesmaid dresses adjusted can cost a fair amount with a professional tailor but if someone close to you is a dab hand with a needle and thread, ask if they can help turn up some hems or adjust some straps.
It’s no secret that wedding cakes are pricey - on average they cost around £300 - so if someone you know is a great baker ask if they can help. You may not get the many-tiered cake of your Pinterest dreams, but you will get a yummy dessert made with love.
If your venue doesn’t supply glasses for dinner, head to a supermarket and ask about their glass hire service. Some require a deposit but allow you to take away glasses to use on the day to return later.
It’s cheaper than buying glasses or renting them from a dedicated supplier. The amount you can borrow varies and some locations may not offer the service so check beforehand to make sure you’re not dependent on this option!
This means you can buy your own alcohol for a much lower price - saving a fair amount of money in the long run. Lidl and Aldi are great supermarkets for booze on a budget, stick to wine and beer to save more.
Finding caterers yourself can take a little longer, but the savings are worth it. Most venues charge around £40 per head for dinner, whereas an outside caterer can offer something delicious for less than half price - around £15 per head.
Plus, it gives you a little more freedom to personalise your menu based on your favourites - you could have a giant paella dish, serve up slices of pizza or have guests tuck into a yummy summer BBQ.
Create an amazing playlist and hire some speakers to play this throughout the night. Task a groomsman or bridesmaid with ensuring the music matches the mood and to control the tunes for the night.
Skip the DJ
Topshop, ASOS, River Island, New Look - you’ll find gorgeous occasion dresses and men’s suits for a much lower price than those in your local bridal shop. Plus, if it’s a high street outfit it’s likely they’ll wear it again in the future. You can even head to the high street for the wedding dress - take a look at our full guide on buying a cheaper dress here.
A site such as Canceled Weddings could help you save an incredible amount of money as it sells packages at wedding venues for a lower rate to book up last minute availability and cancellations. When we say these offers are relatively last minute, we mean it - you’ll likely have a couple of months to organise everything else before the day - but the savings are huge.
The bride can either collect these as they walk down the aisle or have a flower girl or bridesmaid do this, but it’s a great way of saving money and getting the guests involved in contributing to a truly meaningful part of your day. They could be flowers from the garden, supermarket or that they’ve grown specifically for the day.
Supermarkets offer incredible cakes that can be used for your wedding. Tesco supplies a tiered cheese tower that’s great for those who want something a little different, while M&S offer gorgeous tiered cakes that you can pre-order in time for your day.
Save some money and have the venue or caterer serve up your cake as dessert once dinner is over - just ensure you get that special cake cutting picture beforehand!
Serve up the Wedding Cake
Videographers can cost £1,000 at a minimum, so if your budget doesn’t stretch that far consider borrowing a camera or even a top of the range smartphone, set this up on a tripod in a spot that will cover the ceremony and capture those all-important vows. You’ll still be able to look back on it and remember that special moment and there are lots of free apps and software you can use to adjust the brightness and the sound.
It’s safe to say the guests will likely leave these behind once the ceremony is over or if they do take them home they’ll end up in a drawer, so if you do want to create an order of service, make a large board that they can stop to take a look at as they enter. This can be done with a large piece of card, placed on a tripod or easel.
You can buy these to wear for work or for special occasions, bringing down the cost per wear. A tan pair of shoes that can be worn with that navy suit but also for the office work great for a groom, while a pair of heels in a shade that also complements your favourite party dress is ideal for brides.
You’ll likely get your hands on some pretty Just Married bunting or unused confetti or perhaps some rustic chalkboard signs to direct guests to the venue. They’ll be more than happy to lend them out, knowing their money has gone a little further, while you enjoy the savings!
Don’t leave everything until the last minute, try to buy little bits here and there to spread the cost of everything from the decor to accessories. If you’re buying alcohol, pick up a bottle or two each time you go for a food shop and store it in the garage or a spare room until the day. You’ll build up what you need without having to find all the money at once. The sooner you can start picking up bits for your wedding, the better.
Haggling isn’t something we Brits do all that well. We’re much too polite, less inclined to ask for a discount and accept the cost at face value - or accept it and grumble later.
But when it comes to planning your wedding, every single penny counts and wedding suppliers are actually happier than you may think to haggle over the price of their service or what you get for your money - as long as you’re respectful about it, of course.
You’ll have a better chance of successfully haggling down prices if your wedding is taking place outside of the peak summer wedding season. The off-season is a slower time of year for suppliers, so not only will you likely find it easier to book in with them, they’ll be more flexible on prices when there’s less demand for their services.
We’ve rounded up the cheapest times of year to get married in this guide, so take a look to discover when is considered to be off-peak before chatting to your suppliers.
Jon Fellowes, from Last Minute Musicians says: “As is the case for many wedding suppliers, wedding bands will have their peak times of the year, and offer a better rate at the times they aren't so busy. Enquiries for January, February and March will likely receive a better rate than those over the summer. Similarly, many function bands will get busy with corporate gigs and office parties in December, and so enquiries for October and November may also receive a modest discount.”
Cambridgeshire wedding photography
You're more likely to get a better price if you're not getting married on a Saturday in the summer – weekday or Spring / Autumn weddings will have less demand.
Wedding cake design is a fine art but you can discuss lower prices with these talented bakers and designers to save some money. Here are some ways to reduce the cost:
Your venue could be one of the biggest expenses of your wedding, shortly followed by the food and so haggling could get you some free or cheaper elements.
If you’re getting married and having your reception in a hotel, they may be able to offer you a deal when it comes to the room if you agree to fill so many you could get your room for the night for free.
You could also ask about lawn games or entertainment they offer and ask if this can be included in the package. Some venues have giant Jenga and Connect 4 they usually charge for hire but you may be able to get it included in your price.
Jon Fellowes of Last Minute Musicians says: “…while negotiating with your wedding entertainment is pretty normal, always be reasonable.
Last minute musicians
Being a professional wedding musician is a lot more work than you might first assume. While you might think that you are paying someone to simply provide some live music, you also have to take into account all the other factors that make up a professional's quote.
"This includes their experience (sometimes higher education training), cost of insurance, travel and transport, equipment outlay and maintenance, rehearsal time and space, advertising costs, taxes, agency fees and many others.
“Try and put yourself in the position of your band when negotiating. If you can improve the conditions for them by providing a reasonable arrival time, cutting down on the amount of time they will have to be hanging around after set up and sound check, providing a space for them to get changed/store valuables and provide them with a hot meal or other food, then they are going to be much more receptive.”
“Try to make a personal connection with the photographer – let them know you love their work and come across as easy to work with. We're all a bit of a narcissist deep down so appeal to their ego. If I instantly like someone and feel that they value my work, I'd be more inclined to help with a discount. If you come across as being focused on the money then the photographer is likely to turn cold and not budge on the price.”
All kinds of happy photography
Be bold and ask – all we want to do is help create amazing images and video of your big day so we’re on your side. Many photographers and videographers have fixed prices, but you could ask if there’s an especially quiet time for them and plan your day around it.
“...remember, this person is a professional who has spent years honing their craft. Be honest, polite and up front. Create a list of points to tell the photographer about why you want to hire them, then explain that you have a set budget and ask if they could make a deal.”
“I can make my packages cheaper for couples by removing the USB delivery and replacing it with a download-only option, and perhaps offering reduced hours in the package. Maybe suggest you don't mind waiting much longer for your photographs, as the editing process takes a while and most photographers have a serious backlog throughout the summer and autumn.
“Some may be able to offer a free pre-wedding shoot – it typically takes an hour or so and is a great opportunity for the photographer and couple to get to know each other better. If this is something you'd like to try and haggle for free, then be flexible – choose a location that is close to the photographer and be willing to do it on a weekday.”
“Giving away things like prints and albums often isn’t on the cards, but some photographers might throw in added extras like free re-touching on the images (trust me, there’s always an aunt or uncle blinking in the group shots, or they could be willing to throw in download links of high-resolution images at no extra cost – remember, some photographers will only supply a limited number of high-res images before charging extra.”
Many suppliers may not be inclined to offer services for a lower cost but there could be some elements they can throw in for no extra charge. Here’s a quick list of potential things you could ask your wedding suppliers to add to their package:
Be prepared to discuss options such as these with wedding suppliers. As the saying goes, ‘don’t ask, don’t get’ - just remember to be respectful at all times while haggling.
The little things add up, so finding the time to do a bit of DIY could save you some money on your wedding day. Here, we have some inspiration and mini-tutorials on how to make your own buttonholes, table numbers and place names. You can make these yourself, or get the whole wedding party involved!
You will need:
When to make your buttonholes
The day before the wedding – keep them in the fridge so they stay fresh!
You will need:
When to make your place names
Once you’ve received all your RSVPs and have confirmed your table plans.
You will need:
When to make your table numbers
Once you’ve decided on a theme and know how many tables you’re having, you can get started.