Tips for a cheap wedding

Hiya, only just recently got engaged and have started looking at venues. We have started by looking for an 'all in one' venue where we can have the ceremony, breakfast and reception, but i'm quickly losing the will to live when it comes to finding a venue that doesnt cost an arm and a leg. We're planning on having about 50 guests at the wedding and 100 at the reception...

Does anyone have ANY money saving tips when it comes to weddings please? Especially for venues and, even better, Hertfordshire specific if youre from around here! Also, what sort of things can you haggle for? Venue, dress etc?

Any help greatly appreciated... this isnt as fun as i thought it was going to be!!


  • RowenaFWRowenaFW Posts: 2,078
    Venues - try church or community halls as receptions (not all inclusive, though). We're having a town hall, and doing ceremony and reception there (hotels were a big no no for us). Some of the other cheapest options include national trust building. There are an awful lot of these, so I suggest you visit their website and go through the list. Some of these start at about £1000 for ceremony and reception, so if you're looking cheaper than that, town hall/church-community halls are the way.
  • RowenaFWRowenaFW Posts: 2,078
    The biggest money saving thing you can do is pool talent.

    My H2B has a friend who's a semi-professional photographer, and having her do our photos will save us a grand or so. I also know someone who's in a band (and like their stuff), so if we were having live music and an evening do, I would be asking them along. Some people know others who have pretty cars and are willing to not drink and do the driving - another moneysaver for a few hundred £££.
  • RowenaFWRowenaFW Posts: 2,078
    If you want discounts, ask. Suppliers will usually only knock a bit off, but it's reassuring that they will bend a bit. It might save you £20 or £200. It'snot going to save you thousands unless you're really really lucky, but give it a try anyway.

    DIY is also a good way to go. I'm DIYing our cake. I'm DIYing our cake stand. We're DIYing invitations, decorations, et cetera. I would have DIYed my dress alterations if my mum had let me.
  • I'm just going to repeat what everyone else has said!

    Week day.

    Haggle, don't get if you don't ask.

    Sparkling wine/champagne (or even something else, or even... nothing!!).

    Buffet over sit down meal/Feed people once.

    Second hand/charity shop anything, inc. dress!

    Don't match men up.

    Get people to make stuff for you as your present (BM is making bunting, she's spent a fortune on pretty materials!)

    Use whatever contacts you may have.

    Buy things/decorations that you can use again.

    Use the high street not designer.

    Keep a spreadsheet.

    Go local as far as possible.

    I can't think of anything else at the mo that we've done on top of this. But our wedding will be circa £3k and we've done the above image
  • Definitley for the using contacts tip

    I've managed to get a free photographer, ceilidh band, covers band, dj and piper this way

    My bridesmaids are also doing my stationary and favours and I'm just covering costs for materials
  • if your not fussed on having a designer dress go to ebay/china. mines a designer copy no idea who's and i only paid £84. much nice then £800 - £2000 that a lot of shops will charge for a dress that you will wear for 14hours maybe. i couldnt warrent that much for a pretty dress
  • JoeyClareJoeyClare Posts: 2,737
    I second the 'weekday wedding' idea. I'm getting married on Saturday, but have since found lots of companies offering discounts on weekdays when I have been looking to book things.

    DIY what you can as this can save loads. For example a professionally printed table plan can cost £100+, making your own will cost a fraction of that.

    I'm really lucky that my Grandad is part of a Classic Cars club and owns two Rolls Royces and also has friends who have various cars. My auntie makes wedding cakes for a living, so she's making mine as my wedding present.
  • Get married on a week day or later in the day at about 4pm so only need a buffet not a sit down meal as only one reception.

    look for dress sales or for end of stock might get it cheaper or ebay have loads

    dress up cars of friends and family who have nice cars

    buy a shop cake getting mine from m&s lovely and much cheaper than getting it made
  • beesbees Posts: 835
    If you do go for a popular venue talk to the coordinator before you book anything else.

    We couldn't get anything off our venue costs but the concienge(sp?)at our hotl has said that if we talk to him first he knows most local suppliers and can get us a decent discount.
  • Hi

    We are haggling and DIY-ing pretty much everything. Aiming to keep spending low as its scary how big it can become.

    I have bought 100 blank invites + envelopes from eBay for £13 so we can print them ourselves.

    We are making fruit cake ourselves.

    I have found a local flower wholesaler who is willing to sell to me as I know exactly what I want. I'm using gypsophila (a cheap yet pretty filler flower)and a few medium grade roses. I have grown rosemary and alchemilla mollis in pots and will pick queen annes lace from the local canalside.

    My flower jars are jam jars with lace round.

    Lots of candles too.

    Also downloaded instructions for making paper flowers from the martha stewart website - i figure in a dark reception room no one will know.

    My dress is from Coast - I used the personal shopper service to get a discount.

    We bought H2B suit in the sale and haggled to get the tie thrown in.

    My bridesmaids are buying their outfits as a wedding present to us.

    Making my veil.

    We haggled on photography and got £200 off. Our photographer is also going to make vouchers for guests to buy us to contribute to the album.

    If you book a free make up lesson at the Bobbi Brown counter they will show you how to do your own makeup.

    Honestly, I think you can haggle nicely for either money off or items thrown in at nearly anywhere. There are also alot of things that can be made if you have enough time or helpers.

    We have also cut out things we didnt think were necessary for us, such as canapes, favours (we are giving cake), videographer, transport etc.

    Hope this helps, I think every bride has a mini heart attack at the cost of things.

  • Hey i got my invites at a great price and lovely invitations, they do favours etc aswell.

    If you get an all in wedding it seemes to be much cheaper, we looked everywhere and found that it was alot cheaper.
  • hi im from hertfordshire too, thought i'd suggest a few venues that we thought were relatively cheap:

    the priory- ware they quoted £6,000 for a saturday in september for the ceremony, breakfast and evening and that was for 80 in the day and 140 evening

    quendon park (also known as parklands)- Quendon, essex if your willing to have your wedding in jan, feb or march you can get the venue for less than £2000 but if you want the summer

    the price rockets!

    i've not looked at this one but Tewin memorial hall has been recommended as being ridiculously cheap but still nice. Don;'t get it mixed up with tewin bury farm though that is ridiculously expensive!

    hope this helps.x
  • Use Quidco for internet purchases -

    Also DIY as much as possible, make your own invites, save glass jars to fill with flowers, borrow jewellery.
  • Start with a budget and a guest list. Then you will know how much money you have to spend on venues, food, decorations, dresses, etc,I ordered a dress online and i'm very happy that it turned out well and i saved a lot of money with it.I've never paid thousands of dollars for a dress before ,when I get better customer service for the $500 dress I just bought!!and I ordered it to my exact measurements, so it fits perfectly.thanks amy very helpful
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