22 real couples share their top SAVING tips for weddings!

Published by Claire Gould on

Burley Manor for a stunning wedding full of foliage and botanical theme with Robin Goodlad Photography Dorset (23)

From creative DIY and passing it forward, 22 of the gorgeous couples featured on the English Wedding Blog over the past 12 months share their top tips to help YOU budget for your wedding. There’s always the simple stuff like not buying coffee or lunch at work, putting £2 coins in a money box and having a clean break from your fave takeaway, but our couples share their top tips – based on recent experience! – to help you SAVE when planning your wedding.

I bloody love 5. (for truly unique weddings!) – I’m not sure about 9. (although I love that it’s quite thought-provoking!) Whatever your wedding style, I hope you find some of these tips super helpful as you plan your wedding!

Header image credit: Robin Goodlad Photography

Stephanie and Peter's incredibly beautiful Carriage Hall wedding, photo credit Martin Cheung (21)

1. Prioritise what’s important to you and spend your money on those things without regret (if you don’t spend your money on what’s important to you you’ll regret that more!). But do try to keep things in perspective. Don’t get too caught up spending money on something just because Pinterest/Instagram made you feel like that’s what you need to do – only get something if you really want it! Some costs are unavoidable (like the venue hire) but you can get away with spending less on other things and they can look just as good as if you’d spent twice as much!~ Peter & Stephanie // Photographer credit https://www.martincphotography.co.uk

north east wedding blog with images by Joss Denham Photography (10)

2. If it’s on paper make it yourself! I made all my own stationery, I started early and worked on it almost every night for a year! ~ Laura & Daryl // Photographer credit https://www.jossdenham.co.uk

A massive ball of mistletoe for a beautifully styled, elegant winter wedding. Images by Becky Harley Photography (16)

3. Be savvy! We spent a lot of the January before scouring the sales for wintery decorations that would fit our theme. ~ Issy & Alistair // Photographer credit Becky Harley

Burley Manor for a stunning wedding full of foliage and botanical theme with Robin Goodlad Photography Dorset (23)

4. Come up with a rough ‘guestimate’ based on your budget, of what you want to spend on each aspect of the wedding (dress, venue, flowers, photographer etc.) before speaking to any suppliers. As and when you meet suppliers you can then see where you may be able to save more or where you want splurge based on what is most important to you. Don’t forget you can always ask if there are any discounts or offers available! ~ Natalie & James // Photographer credit https://www.robingoodlad.com

Anna and Ollie's unique and different fashion London wedding with Annelie Eddy Photography (20)

5. Don’t buy a wedding dress. I chose something I truly loved and felt comfortable in, and that I wasn’t going to panic while wearing/didn’t feel like a human sized barbie princess doll. ~ Anna & Ollie // Photographer credit https://annelieeddyphotography.co.uk

Elegant and summery Northbrook Park wedding with Fiona Kelly Photography (17)

6. Less really is more, people don’t remember the finer details. The best decoration is the smiles on peoples faces, and a hand tied messy bouquet! ~ Laura & Tom // Photographer credit https://www.fionakellyphotography.com

Julia and Joe's wonderfully relaxed and pretty wedding with images by Ayshea Goldberg Photography (30)

7. Venue/catering – we are both foodies so we wanted the food to be top quality, we weren’t disappointed. Photographer – I think you get what you pay for and we loved our photos. Band – they are the evening entertainment so it’s worth getting a good one! Favours – we spent a few hundred pounds getting some German Lebkuchen hearts decorated and personalised for each guest but it was worth it as everyone loved them and it was nice reminder of the day ~ Julia & Joe // Photographer credit https://ajg-photography.co.uk

Beautiful summer wedding at Barley Wood, images by Howell Jones Photography (1)

8. We had a busy year of weddings prior to ours and they all ‘Paid It Forward’ with certain items, which was a fabulous way to re use wedding decorations. We used wild flowers collected from friends gardens and foraged for foliage to decorate the wedding breakfast hall. We also grew our own ivy for the centre pieces and our families collected bottles and jars for further decoration. ~ Jenn & Jon // Photographer credit https://howelljonesphotography.co.uk

Gorgeously elegant real wedding style at Hestercombe, photo credit Special Day Wedding Photos (28)

9. Just have what you want, not what people expect you to have. Don’t buy signs. No one likes signs. ~ Joanne & Matt // Photographer credit Special Day Wedding Photos

A beautiful barn wedding space - Axnoller Barn in Dorset, with Linus Moran Photography (43)

10. List your priorities – where are you happy to spend money to make it perfect and what do you not care about so much. From this list look at making things yourselves and getting friends and family to donate time or items to help you. It really made a difference on the day when people felt they had helped and were therefore more involved in the wedding itself. ~ Gavin & Michelle // Photographer credit https://www.linusmoranphotography.co.uk

Laura & Dan's beautifully elegant wedding at Mill Barns Alveley, image credit Stott Weddings (29)

11. Know your limitations, be sensible and spend within your means without compromising on quality. Have a good plan of what you want. Also make what you can yourself, such as favors etc! ~ Laura & Dan // Photographer credit https://www.stottweddings.com

DIY wedding style at Priston Mill with images by Martin Dabek Photography (31)

12. Electronic invites (saves on invite printing and stamps) Think about your friends and family that might have a talent and ask them if they can contribute this to the wedding day instead of a wedding present or money. We had a friend as a dj, another friend made a lot of the decor herself, another friend donated a sweet stand from work and bought sweets for us instead of a present and a family friend made our cake. Look for wedding dress samples! ~ Amy & Niall // Photographer credit https://martindabek.com

Vintage Somerset wedding with Beetles, photo credit Ryan Goold Photography (37)

13. Imagine yourself at a wedding and what do you remember?? No one notices the little things like wedding favours or flowers around your venue only your bouquet! Spend your money on a good photographer. Your photographer will capture memories! Buy a comfy dress as you’re in it all day and shop around! Off the peg gets you the dress of your dreams! ~ Aaron & Julie // Photographer credit http://www.ryangooldphotography.co.uk

A gorgeous village hall wedding at Dunham Massey, with Jess Yarwood Photography (9)

14. For a ‘DIY’ wedding look at the all the wedding websites that sell second-hand/used wedding goods for decoration. We saved a small fortune as well as the time spent doing all the crafting other more talented people had already done. Rope in as many family members and friends as you can convince to help you decorate. Decorating the hall was actually really fun when everyone was involved and we made more memories in the chaos of it all. ~ Kate & Jack // Photographer credit https://jessyarwood.co.uk

Becky and Martin's Cooling Castle wedding, images by Michelle Cordner Photography (33)

15. I would say if there is a way you can plan or make something yourself then do it. I think you need to ask yourself is the time put into doing something yourself worth saving money. Obviously this may take some research, but if the answer is still yes then do it yourself! We made our own wedding invites, table names and places, menus etc which was very time consuming but saved us quite a bit of money. And we really enjoyed getting creative with it. ~ Becky & Martin // Photographer credit http://michellecordnerphotography.com

Andreia and Antonio's relaxed and fun wedding at Shuttleworth Swiss Garden with Lorna Newman Wedding Photography (51)

16. DIY…nowadays it’s so easy and there are so many beautiful things you can create with all sorts of different budgets. Something that really helped us was to talk to the professionals at our venue and ask for their advice regarding aspects we were not quite sure of, i.e number of flower arrangments needed and other logistics. ~ Andreia & Antonio // Photographer credit https://lornanewmanweddings.com

Fabulous party atmosphere for Rhalina & Toby's Landsdowne Club wedding. Damion Mower Photography on English-Wedding.com (7)

17. Plan every aspect of the wedding starting from day 1, with all costs known up front. The savings will come in thorough research. Make sure there is a contingency as extra costs pop up – in our case, on the week of the wedding because of the hot weather, we had to hire AC units to keep the ballroom cool. ~ Rhalina & Toby // Photographer credit https://damionmowerphotography.co.uk

Sunflowers, roses and a beautiful backless wedding dress for this gorgeous Great Fosters wedding. Images by Amanda Karen Photography (39)

18. We chose to just have one wine option (one white, one red), and Prosecco over Champagne…no one could tell! We also didn’t serve hard alcohol at the rehearsal dinner. Also for thank you notes, we had one of our favourite pictures printed on card paper and just wrote postcard style on the back rather than having fancy stationery printed. Hannah & Alex // Photographer credit https://www.amandakarenphotography.co.uk

Pastel blue bridesmaids for a winter wedding in Mobberley, photo by Tony Fanning (17)

19. Shop around and meet local suppliers rather than the big name companies… Quite often there’s some wiggle room too so don’t just accept the first offer. ~ Rachael & James // Photographer credit https://www.tonyfanningphotography.co.uk

Eleanor and Martyn's Pendrell Hall wedding, images by Lisa Webb Photography (22)

20. Well we went for February as it was the cheapest month. We went for a venue where we could have everyone inside to keep warm and it was a very picturesque venue inside for photos. However it turned out to be a record 17 degrees that day and everyone was outside wearing sunglasses drinking Gin and tonics on the lawns. It was like a summers day (we were very lucky) I also didn’t do wedding favours, we did a gin bar so everyone could help themselves, this worked out cheaper. Also instead of flower arrangements we had single stems in bottles which helped with money. Also made my own name places from used corks. Also use student discounts on bridesmaids shoes and dresses from highstreet shops. Mine were from oasis. ~ Eleanor & Martyn // Photographer credit https://lisawebbphotography.co.uk

Tim and Leanne's beautiful Winkworth Farm wedding with Martin Dabek Photography (40)

21. Decide on how important individual things are to you. You get what you pay for. Planning a wedding isn’t about saving money, its about spending it wisely! ~ Tim & Leanne // Photographer credit https://martindabek.com

Kat and Vincent's Mansion at Roundhay Park wedding, images by Amy Jordison Photography (26)

22. We had a clear idea of our overall budget and our relative priorities, so our decisions about how much we would spend were all informed by that. It was easy to rule out some amazing venues when we could see they’d cost so much we wouldn’t be able to afford anything else. In the end though, what makes the day great is the people and the atmosphere, not how many decorations or wedding favours you pay out for. ~ Kat & Vincent // Photographer credit https://amyjordisonphotography.com

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.


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