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Cost-of-loving crisis: How to save on your wedding day spend

Written by: Matthew Browning
Over a third of couples are overspending on their wedding budget due to unexpected supplier costs and the cost-of-living crisis, data reveals. But there are ways to cut back and still celebrate in style.

Planning a wedding can be expensive at the best of times. But with the cost-of-living crisis and the pressure for the perfect social media post, watching every penny really counts.

A third of couples (36%) are overspending because they want to make their big day one to remember, forking out an extra £5,034 in the process.

According to data from Barclays, one in five Brits is spending over £25,000 on their wedding celebrations, with 7% of the 1,000 respondents spending more than £50,000.

Meanwhile, 17% are sticking to a budget of less than £5,000, opting for a more economical approach. Just 11% of couples are spending less on their wedding than anticipated, with two fifths of this group deciding to have a smaller wedding.

Whatever your budget, here are some wedding day tips from Brits who’ve either tied the knot, or are planning to do so:

Call on friends and family to help

Over nine in ten (91%) are taking a ‘DIY approach’ to at least one element of the ceremony. Whether it is taking on saving the date invites (66%), decorations (54%), photography (38%) or even officiating the wedding (14%), there might be someone around who can lend a hand.

More than a fifth (22%) are going for DIY floral arrangements and one in three are even deciding to get a loved one (or themselves) on stage to provide the evening’s musical entertainment.

Hit the high street

Looking great is a vital part of the day for many and a quarter of the people surveyed spent the most on their wedding outfit.

A fifth are looking at high street shops as opposed to designer brands for their suit or dress. Around one in eight are opting for the ever-popular ‘pre-loved’ wedding attire option.

Go environmentally friendly

Going green can lead to a reduction in costs for weddings and there are a variety of ways to do this too. Around one in seven (14%) sent paperless invites and one in six (16%) rented decorations on the big day.

After the speeches and dancing is over, there’s still time to recoup some money from the event too. About a third (28%) of couples are choosing to sell items from the day and 13% are planning to sell their wedding dress too.

Cut back on the free bar

Only 16% of couples are choosing to have an unlimited bar spend and a similar amount (17%) are opting for a free bar until the tab runs out. Just a third (34%) of people tying the knot are selecting an expense-free night when it comes to drinks for their guests.

Help from parents or second job income boost

While a third of couples will get financial help from their parents, around a fifth are willing to get another job for a cash injection towards the ceremony.

Just under half of those asked (48%) are using allocated savings to pay for the big day.

Combine your stag and hen dos

A savvy way of saving ahead of the ceremony is to combine the stag and hen dos. One in ten are joining forces to celebrate a joint ‘sten-do’ and around a quarter (23%) will keep their celebrations to one night.

Georgie Mitchell, wedding planner and host of The Unfiltered Bride podcast, said: “I advise couples managing a wedding budget to figure out what is most important to them, and to then invest in making that part of the day special. Realistically, that might mean sacrificing on other weddings elements.”

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