Weddings are expensive. I was quite lucky that when I got married back in 2009 it cost me around £13,000 which is a cheap wedding considering that the average was £21,000. When you mention you are having a wedding the cost of everything suddenly increases to give you that "special day" but we are going to give you a few tips to help make your special day a cheaper affair. It is not the case of running off to Gretna Green for a cheap wedding with just two witnesses, holding the reception in the middle of a pub or asking your guests to pay for their food; it's about knowing what you and your guests really want from your special, cheap wedding day and whether doing everything the way the magazine tells you is really what you want. It is not your special wedding day if you are spending it worrying about how you are going to pay for everything.
This article covers the wedding ceremony aspects of a bride and grooms special day, once the wedding is arranged, you may also want to save money and cut costs on your wedding reception as well.
The Fees You Can Not Avoid
Church or Registry Office Fees
There are some fees that you simply can not avoid. A Church of England service at its cheapest costs just under £350 including the legally bound fees to the church, the cost of having your banns read and the certificates. The cost of buying flowers to adorn every pillar of the aisle may be something that you consider is too extravagant, but even having an organist, bell-ringer or choir soon adds an amount to this.
If you are already considering a hotel or other venue for your wedding you might find that it is already licensed to hold wedding services in one or more of its function rooms. This can work out cheaper if purchased as part of a wedding package with the hotel, however a registrar from the local registry office will need to be booked and paid for seperately to undertake the ceremony. This can cost as much as a basic church wedding would, so care needs to be taken that savings are being made.
A registry office wedding is the most clinical but also a cheap wedding alternative to the church wedding in England; costing from around £100 for a midweek service. The setting for a registry wedding is not exclusive to the use of weddings so often has a business feeling to it; some council registry offices also offer their council chambers for larger weddings on Saturdays for that feeling of expensive grandeur.
A Word of Warning: Weekends and Bank Holidays will cost more. One example found was for Easter Monday and costing £1500!
Unless you are paying for custom printing, wedding invites often come pre-packed for you to write in the necessary details, but why do that if you have some card and a reasonable quality printer at home? Even the humble Microsoft Word allows you to make some good, cheap invites which look professional.
Wedding Dresses and Suits
Buying a wedding dress can sound like the dream of every girls wedding. Going into a boutique six months beforehand to be fussed over by a prim and proper seamstress can be expensive and without a little care too many curries or glasses of wine can mean hundreds of pounds of alteration fees. Department stores in the UK have built up a reputation of having reasonable and cheap wedding dresses that still offer that wedding wow-factor straight off the peg and means that you can buy your dress closer to the day to make sure that it still fits you like a glove. The joy of many department stores is you can look in store and then order online; if it's not quite right you online orders are covered by distance selling laws which mean you can reject it with minimal penalty.
The modernisation of the wedding means that the groom can also save money on the hiring of a wedding suit. Increasingly men are ditching the morning suit tails and are going to their wedding in something more usual to the office. If you are planning to have a more formal honeymoon, then buying a new suit that you can wear on your wedding day and later on your honeymoon might spread out that cost a bit more.
If a groom is looking for that something different on their wedding day, suits such as the one pictured are even becoming cheap enough to be single use items that are then stored away just like a brides wedding dress.
If you are struggling to pay for the cost of your wedding, a cheap way of doing it, but making it feel more personal is to ask some of your friends and family to offer a present by offering their services. You may have a relative who is a hairdresser or mark-up professional, why not ask them if instead of them giving you a dinner service that you might never use; that they do your hair and make-up for the special day. If you have someone who has a skill for photography; why not ask them if they can do your formal wedding photographs instead of buying you another carriage clock.
Although there will be those that are insistent on giving you something traditionally a wedding present, many others will be thinking what the point of that is, especially when you are likely to be already living together and have everything you need. A wedding is not necessarily the time to gift a Marks & Spencers gift voucher as a gift, so give your friends and family to make it a personally special day in a unique way.
The Wedding Doesn't End There
Hopefully you have had some ideas on what you could look to to make your wedding day that bit cheaper but still keeping the day special. The wedding does not usually stop there though and with the insistence of having a wedding reception you might also want to know how to cut costs and have a cheap wedding reception, a whole new article in itself. If you are getting married, congratulations and the best of married luck.