Wedding on a budget. Is that even a possibility anymore? With the average UK wedding coming in at a staggering £30,000 in 2018 (source), it’s no surprise that more and more people are looking into ways to save money and with wedding season just around the corner, I thought I would share how we managed to get married for just over £8,000.
Read the DM Article here: Thrifty Bride Saved £20k on Wedding
We never intended to have a ‘budget’ wedding as such, we’re just both very much of the opinion that we won’t spend money unnecessarily – and for us, weddings had a lot of traditional ‘must dos’ that we decided to do away with. When you start planning a wedding you’re confronted with great, huge lists of all the things you need to organise and budget for but the reality is, it’s your special day and so if you don’t want to do something – don’t!
In total our wedding cost us £8,200. Now I know what you’re thinking – £8k is still a lot of money and I completely agree with you – there are definitely ways we could’ve reduced this cost further but as I said, we weren’t strictly after a ‘do-it-as-cheaply-as-possible’ affair, but a day that both of us actually wanted and so, as a result there were areas where we did spend more money.
So with that said, here’s a bit of background on our Wedding Day and what we actually got for our £8,000.
We got engaged back in December 2015. We had originally planned for an October 2017 wedding as we wanted to get married in a country house but the packages were quite expensive and we were looking at £6k for only 30 day guests (without the cost of everything else) – our guest list was looking to be double that so we figured we would need some time to save up.
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However, in February 2016, a post popped up on my Facebook from a local racecourse – “get married in 2016 for £2,016”. It was as if it was meant for me to see. Luke is a massive racing fan and since we have been together, I’ve visited over half a dozen different racecourses with him. We’d never even considered the possibility of getting married on a racecourse, but as soon as I saw the advert I thought, “Why the hell not?”. We arranged a meeting with the Events Coordinator and before we knew it, we had a set a date – a whole year earlier than planned on 21st October 2016.
So what exactly does £2,016 get you? Included in this price was:
- Welcome drinks
- 3 course meal for 60 day guests
- Table linen and chair covers
- Menu cards
- Table plan stand
- Cake stand and knife
- DJ in the evening
In addition to this, we paid the racecourse:
- For ceremony room hire so that the marriage could be performed on site
- For evening guests food
- For corkage for the 24 bottles of wine we sourced ourselves
Even with these costs added on, it was still significantly cheaper than the £6,000 we were quoted for 30 guests at the country house. Of course, the country house was beautiful – there is no denying that. And I’m sure other brides would die at the thought of getting married on a racecourse, but I was fine with it and it suited us as a couple. We wanted a fun, memorable day and that is exactly what we got.
We did the decorating of the venue ourselves with help from family and friends, and decided the areas that we were not going to waste money on (fresh flowers, traditional cake and fancy stationery) and where we would splurge (photographer).
The day rolled around with minimal stress and I can honestly say I don’t think I became a Bridezilla once. The whole planning process and the day itself ran smoothly without any major hiccups and I was fairly laidback throughout it all.
The weather was glorious for the end of October and we managed to get outside in the sun for some beautiful shots on the racecourse itself.
Despite only having 8 months to plan it all, and do all the DIY. We did it. And for only just over £8,000.
The only cost I haven’t included in my numbers is the vintage double-decker bus as this was a surprise Luke had arranged for me (I was intending to just go in a car as we had to be on site to meet the registrar before the guests arrived anyway, so there wasn’t going to be a grand entrance).
You can find the full breakdown of costs below.
Wedding on a Budget
£130.00 – Accommodation
£350.00 – Admin
£1,713.79 – Clothing
£298.74 – Decor
£180.31 – Flowers
£1,230.70 – Food & Drink
£145.00 – Gifts
£200.00 – Hair & Makeup
£1,550.00 – Photographer
£30.00 – Rings (used £100 in vouchers as well)
£56.64 – Stationery
£54.17 – Stuff that wasn’t used
£2,316.00 – For the Racecourse Wedding Package (+Room Hire)