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So you have had your epic hen party but are now looking down the barrel of stress and debt that can only come from a modern wedding, but do they always have to be so god darn expensive?
Weddings in the UK have become an eye watering expenditure and it could really affect the dreams of brides and grooms who still want a perfect wedding. Brides Magazine recently did a study of their readers and came up with an average cost for weddings in the UK of £24k. That’s almost the average yearly salary in Britain!
The tradition of the bride’s family paying for the event is waning as luckily costs are most likely to be shared nowadays. There are still an unlucky few of 18% who still feel the need to follow tradition and must have money to burn! Couples are also starting to contribute along with parents to get the wedding they want.
So, with all these budget issues, and multiple bankrollers it is always great to know a few tips and tricks that can help reduce the overall cost of a wedding in these trying times. Hen Heaven has considered how to make sure you don’t start in debt after your honeymoon!
Many turn to wedding planners who often are just as successful at the accounts and costing as they are at delivering something beautiful. Marina Nazarova is from Absolute Perfection and they have a great way that you can get a planner on side without busting the bank. “Venues pay wedding planners handsomely for referrals - typically 8% on venue hire and catering and sometimes accommodation too. It can equate to a few hundred pounds for couples on a modest budget of £15-20k and a thousand pounds or more for those on £25k+. So find a wedding planner who offers a commission only venue search (such as Absolute Perfection - one of only a few who offer this service) and split the commission!”
As prices quoted here are averages that means there is a wide difference in spend from the super wealthy, spending six-figures, to those who are doing it on a shoestring. An obvious place to start is find some savings in the time of year you choose for your wedding. Choosing to wed in-between December and March will significantly reduce costs. Another basic area to look at is the numbers you invite. While having many people there to celebrate with you is a dream option, how much do you truly need Sally from your hair salon to see the speeches. Try to keep the guests to people who will appreciate it at the least!
Feeding and hydrating these people is something that cannot be avoided and therefore any cost cutting here will be vital in bringing down the overalls. Some good ideas for this is to avoid complications of serving dishes to everyone. If you have stations set up at the reception that are either a buffet or personal cooks to do dishes on the spot, not only will it create a different vibe to a formal setting but it also takes away the need for extensive and expensive waiting staff. If you manage to get the reception to take place at a brunch kind of time, then the expectations of attendees will be for lighter dishes. Not the extensive and costly choices of posher dinners.
Marina also has a great idea on making savings on drinks “Use a venue or caterer who offers corkage. It's a fee they charge for opening and serving alcohol that is provided by the client. Lots do, but they don’t promote the fact so you need to ask. And if they do and their fees are reasonable (eg £10 per bottle of wine and £20 per bottle of champagne) you can literally cut your drinks bill in half!”
A wedding is not complete without some entertainment, but bands and performances can be the highest single cost at a wedding. Hiring a DJ is the obvious choice for cost cutting but some couples take it to extra level. DIY entertainment has been popular for years thanks to viral nature of the internet. Couples have performed famous dances to entertain or performed traditional moments like this Haka in New Zealand.
You can also combine activities with your Hen that means you can take the fun from a hen party to your wedding day!
So much like planning a hen party where you can find cheaper alternatives abroad like a Lisbon hen weekend, you can also make savings on the big day itself.
Weddings are a pivotal moment in someone’s life so of course it is important for most to make the day memorable. Memorable often comes at a cost however but if you feel like compromising or trying something away from the traditional then big savings can be had.