28 JANUARY 2014
Five years ago, the average cost of a wedding in the UK stood at almost £20,000.
This year, the average price is expected to drop to £17,853, suggesting that couples are becoming savvier on how to save and are ditching the big-budget blow-out in favour of a more personal and less costly celebration, according to the Office of National Statistics.
Laura Strutt, author of DIY Wedding Manual, slashed the price of her own wedding by 75 per cent and in her latest book, the former editor shares her top tips on how to budget and create a bespoke wedding for just £5,000.
Check out Laura's top five money-saving tips for wedding planning below.
1. Set your budget
Setting and keeping to your budget is crucial if you want to save the pennies. Agreeing on the total budget before you start looking at dresses, cars and venues will help you remain realistic. Using a dedicated notebook to jot down quotes, deposits placed and items paid for will help you to keep on top of your spending
2. Dress for less
If you have your heart set on a designer dress, but can't afford the big price tag, call around your local wedding boutiques and find out if they host any end of season sales or when they sell off their sample gowns.
3. Ask creative friends to lend a hand
Now is probably the only time you can really ask those cheeky favours from friends and family. Is your aunt a talented dressmaker? Can your sister bake wonderful cakes? Are your best chums brilliant musicians? Why not find out if anyone can offer their creative services to help. What's more, having a wedding cake lovingly baked by your siblings is far more memorable a gift than receiving another toaster.
4. Shop smart
There are so many places where you can shop for your wedding supplies — wedding boutiques, dedicated online stores, the high street, craft shops, vintage stores and markets. Take some time out to shop around to ensure that you get the best prices.
Handy tip — do you have a stash of unused gift cards? Why not see if you can use these for your wedding fund. You might be able to cover stationery costs, or even kit out the bridesmaids in pretty accessories.
5. Stay calm!
Wedding planning can be stressful — especially when you have your usual daily tasks to keep on top of too. Getting flustered can result in making rash decisions and can often result in costly mistakes. Double check your calculations before buying supplies, confirm elements with suppliers until you are completely happy and maybe take yourself for a coffee and count to ten before spending a big chunk of your budget on an impulse purchase.