How to Plan a Wedding on a Small Budget

With wedding dresses alone reaching prices in the thousands, is it really possible to plan a wedding under £1000? We’re going to find out.

Given that the average UK wage is currently around £29,000 per annum, it’s clear that getting married is an expensive pursuit. And that’s before we’ve even considered the implications of the COVID-19 situation. Not only that, weddings are known for being a huge financial strain on couples, and at a time when life should be a carefree bed of roses. So we’re on a mission to plan a wedding under £1000.

Being savvy in your choices and concentrating on what really matters can mean you still have the wedding day of your dreams, as well as enjoying a debt-free marriage. Our frugal friends at Money Guru have come up with a guide to starting married life debt-free.

How to Plan a Wedding Under £1000

1. Do it yourself

You can delegate almost every job to a wedding planner, other than saying ‘I do’ and spending the rest of your life in marital bliss. Save the cost and do it yourself.

2. The Guest List

The idea of a lavish crowd might excite you, but keep it to close friends and family and you’ll be saving thousands of pounds. Aim for a list of 40 for starters and do your best to stick to it.

3. Use the talents of your guests

Do you have a keen photographer, DJ or cake baker amongst your friends and family? Then use them. Although professionals will tell you differently, there’s not an awful lot to baking three cakes and stacking them on top of each other.

4. The Venue

Have a budget, shop around and source your own venue – village halls are a good starting point – then decorate it with the help of friends and family. Go local and save time and money on a wedding car – delegate a friend to drive and glam it up yourself.

5. Food & Drink

Many venues will allow external catering, and buffet food is cheaper. Marry later to avoid serving two meals. And does anyone really want vol-au-vents and finger food, when a massive plate of serve-your-own hotdogs will fill the hungry, tipsy hoards?

6. The Outfits

Purchase or hire suits from the high street, ask the best man to wear his own and colour co-ordinate with matching ties. High street brands are all jumping on the wedding attire band wagon and offering affordable ranges of wedding and bridesmaid dresses for under £100, and for some of them, no one will be able to tell the difference.

7. The Honeymoon

You’ll be exhausted following your big day, and may just want to sleep and indulge in whatever else newlyweds get up to. Save money on a massive holiday abroad for a time when you can afford it after the wedding.

Essential Costs

Detailing essential costs will let you know how much you have left to ‘splash out’ on non-essentials, be these hair, jewellery, flowers, decorations etc.

Marriage License & Fees: approx. £150

Venue: Village hall hire from £20 per hour x 7 hrs = £140

Food & Drink: 40 person self-service buffet catering from £5 per head; buy your own booze for £250 (average 50 bottles of wine or 30 crates of beer)

Outfits: Men’s suit from £49; wedding dress from £69

Rings: Matching titanium bands from £35

Total Essential Costs: £893

Budget left for non-essentials: £107

For more super budget-savvy wedding ideas check out our budget and finance section. Find budget planning tools, top tips for how to manage your money and even more ideas for how to DIY your day, your way.