What is everyone doing to cut costs down

Hi Girls

I was just wondering what everyone is doing in an effort to cut costs. Everything adds up so quickly! It would be great if you could share how you are making your budgets go teh extra mile.

So far we are thinking of cutting costs by:

1) Serving our wedding cake as a dessert

2) not having wedding cars

3) BM dresses to be sourced online via Etsy

4) Not staying in a hotel on our wedding night...ie just going home



  • heliganedenheliganeden Posts: 1,848

    We didn't have a cake at all, unless it's served as desert it usually gets wasted (seen that at so many weddings, such a waste and a shame) 

    I had a normal but nice taxi, rather than a wedding car, didn't see the point 

    I had a high street dress, but that was mostly because I didn't like any I found in bridal shops!! 

    We had favours, but they're by no means essential - if it's something person and nice then great but again a lot of the time they get left at the end of the night 

  • Carla8Carla8 Posts: 57

    We aren't having a sit down meal.. that saved us over £3000!!

  • Lola4Lola4 Posts: 129

    Not the biggest cost but i'm not planning on having favours. Also negotiating hard. You'll be surprised with what discounts you can get is you ask. 

  • Anything we really want were looking for 2nd hand - Ebay/Gumtree/Facebook selling pages, if we cant get it 2nd hand, we dont have it! image

  • Ebay is fantastic, and Amazon too. Our invites were from http://www.optimalprint.co.uk/ which were fantastic as we could put whatever text we wanted which was important as it's my H2B's 40th birthday too image)

  • Hi image

    Ive made our wedding invites and save the dates, 

    We arent having a sit down meal,

    We're providing our own buffet,

    Im making our wedding cake,

    Ive made my own bouquet and flowergirls bouquet,

    A family friend is driving me in her car instead of having a wedding car,

    Another family friend is our photographer,

    We are going straight home from the reception,

    Im doing my own hair and makeup,

    My dress is from ebay,

    All the reception decs are from ebay,

    Bridesmaids dresses were pretty cheap,

    They are buying their own shoes,


    Cant remember anything else off the top of my head! image We are doing our whole wedding on a budget of £1800! 

    I have a planning thread with all my bits and bobs on if you're ever bored and want to have look..

    'cheap N (hopefully) cheerful 2015 summer wedding'



  • TadpoleTadpole Posts: 2,134 New bride

    Ask friends and family if they have any skills that could assist you! We didn't pay for wedding car, wedding cake, my dress alterations, photographer or ladies favours because my Mum knew someone that could provide these things. And yeah they might not be the best suppliers of that wedding item in our area but they were beautiful, a lot more personal it meant that we could enjoy our day with our nearest and dearest - which was the most important thing for us.


     Car belonged to gentleman that my Mum knows - he provided it in exchange for a donation to charity - BM car was my parents car driven by a friend of the family.


     Cake made by my Granny and Godmother


  • All great ideas girls!!

    So we are having a hog roast instead of sit down meal which has literally saved us thousands!!

    Village hall venue instead of a hotel - My Fiancés parents have bought a marquee for us to use so again massive savings there!

    Aunty is making the bunting, family friend is making the cake, my Dad has made our wedding rings for way cheaper than RRP saving us about 2k, bought all our wedding decs from Amazon or Ebay for fab prices! Wedding shoes £20 from BHS - a couple of things I am REALLY proud of are our bridesmaid dresses... we have five and knew it would be costly so after some research found a shop called sexyher - they have a shop in Croydon.. made to measure and in any colour dresses and they arrived last week - WE LOVE THEM, £70 each and look gorgeous! My wedding dress (yet to be bought) will be from the wedding dress factory outlet which stock all of last seasons dresses for a fraction of the price (max £500)  veil bought from a friend for £30… wedding cars we were going to not get but after finding out normal car prices which I thought were equally as steep we found a great company who have lots of cars owned independently.. we managed to get two amazing retro type cars for £400 !!! J

    We have also decided to do our own cake and sweet stall – so bought jars from amazon and will get the sweets nearer the time to fill them… cakes from Costco and cake boxes for £5 for 60 with little ‘eat cake’ labels off ebay….

    Favours are jars of jam.. we bought the jam jars off ebay with personalised ‘spread the love’ stickers, and will fill them with jam nearer the time!

    Bridesmaid jewellery from Debenhams for £10 each (pearls)…mine cost the same J

    Our wedding will have cost around 10k all in all (just the wedding) which I know is a lot but for that we have a church wedding with the full schabang so choir, bells etc.. village hall venue, 130 day guests and 180 evening guests, hog roast with canapés and desserts, day band for the reception, separate evening band, popcorn and candyfloss stand, buffet in the evening, toastmaster, 2 photographers, 2 videographers, caricaturist, 2 wedding cars and vintage bus for the boys, 5 bridesmaids and 5 ushers, so all the gifts and clothing, my hair and make up and hair for 5 bridesmaids and two mothers and everything in between !! So I really feel we have A LOT for our money.. I guess main tip would be to get things off non wedding websitesimage

  • We are using eBay and Amazon for many things. As for food, we are providing only a finger food reception with a small top cake for the bride and groom 1 yr anniversary n 3 different types of cupcakes the lower tiers

  • SJ6SJ6 Posts: 45

    Similar to the OP, we are

    - Serving cake as the dessert (hopefully made by a mum)

    - Not having wedding cars

    - High street wedding dress (JCrew, although not dirt cheap)

    - No DJ, just Spotify

    - Asking everyone to bring a bottle instead of a present

    - Doing our own flowers by ordering from New Covent Garden market and making them up the day before.

  • JoleneJolene Posts: 91

    We re-planned our wedding and the budget went from £16,000 to £10,000. I'm very proud of that and looking forward to our City Hall/nightclub wedding much more than the out-of-the-way hotel wedding.

    To cut costs we are:

    1. Getting married in City Hall on a Friday- which has saved us £160 on the registrar and £140 on the ceremony room in comparison to a hotel on a Saturday.
    2. Getting married at 4;30pm so that we can combine ceremony and evening guests, so only feeding everyone once.
    3. Having a served buffet of fish n' chips and mini burgers with bacon rolls at midnight - £15 a person (for 130 people)
    4. Having a pay-bar (saved us nearly £2,000)
    5. Printed our stationery with Vistaprint - with cashback on Quidco 
    6. Having foam flowers so they can be a keepsake - have a supplier on eBay willing to do our entire package for £200
    7. Bridesmaid dresses and petticoats are coming from eBay
    8. My jewellery is coming from John Lewis
    9. Our cake is being made by friends.
    10. We're not having chair covers
    11. My wedding dress is coming from Honeypie Boutique - just £200 made-to-measure.
    12. We found a budget photographer who does fab work - giving us six hours coverage (which gives us lots of prints for our money with a $;30pm wedding - for just £350
    13. We're getting our rings from Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham
    14. Asking guests to contribute to the honeymoon (which could save us £2,000 on our allocated budget!)
  • bella2015bella2015 Posts: 1,903 New bride

    We are:

    Not paying for hair/make up for bridesmaids

    My dress was half price in the sale

    Im buying invites from ebay

    We have a package with the venue as this worked out cheaper than choosing everything separately and we chose an off peak season date as this was cheaper also

    All my accessories have come from ebay

    Wedding cake is being made by my h2b uncle for free

    We are restricting the day guests to 50


  • - We are not having wedding transport

    - Buffet sit down meal instead of 3 course

    - Mother in law to be is making the cake

    - Gone for 2 bridesmaids and not the 4 I would like (they understand)

    - Apart from bouquets and button holes were are doing the flowers ourself and intend to get them from the supermarket

    - Were not but buying the mens suits might work out cheaper then hiring??

    - I wanted to have a sweety cart but wont be able to afford one so recreating it by simply putting bowls of sweets on the tables for people to nibble at through the evening. Intend on hitting Poundland image

    - We ran out of time but making your invites is very cost effective (hobby craft is brilliant for that)

    Hope this helps image Good luck! X

  • I am a photographer who is actually planning his own wedding for next year. We are on a very tight budget and are looking at a church wedding followed by a canapes reception for guests, a family meal rather than a big wedding breakfast, and an evening hog roast somewhere, but one thing we absolutely will not do is cut costs with the photographer.

  • Pam5Pam5 Posts: 19

    We are having an out of season package, no wedding car, my dress is off eBay I'm only having 2 flower girls and there dresses will be high street. A family friend iS doing the flowers I am looking for a cheap photographer as family will be taking loads of pics. I'm only havin 40 guests daytime as we're having one big table and that's how many it seats. 

  • Hi all, not sure if this will be of use to anyone. I'm offering to photograph weddings for free.

    I'm a portrait photographer that wants to step into the world of Weddings. I'm looking for a Bride and Groom who would be happy to let me loose on their big day. I will shoot from morning to the first Dance for absolutely free providing I can use any photos for my portfolio. You'll get all the best watermarked photos for free. Then if you like my work you can order any products, Canvas start at £27 and all the best photos edited on a disk would cost £100. I'm happy to be a second photographer or to take hold of the big day for any wedding in Derbyshire or Nottinghamshire (or further afield for travel expenses) early this year.

    Feel free to look at my portraiture www.orchidoasisphotography.com


    Michelle Yvonne

    [email protected]

  • Wed17, I'm normally quite tolerant but I'm getting sick and tired of you continually spamming these boards.

    I have reported you to the moderator.


  • Jules11Jules11 Posts: 26

    No wedding cars (literally 200 yrds away!!!!)

    No cake......most weddings it just seems to get wasted!!!

    Then small break holiday (would've like Maldives!!!!)image


  • MrsMnowMrsMnow Posts: 463

    We had a fake cake made - it was 4 tiers, with the small top tier being real cake, the local bakery just iced the whole thing, no-one never knew any different, not even the groom till I told him, when we was about to cut the cake that we had to cut to top tier.

    I also made as much as possible as I could - invites/order of service/confetti bags - haggled, haggled a little and was cheeky with suppliers about discounts - I even traded some H&S advice (myjob) for services with some suppliers

    Cars - we only paid for one car which did a couple of trips to the church with the bridal party then B&G to venue - I just made sure that all the BM's could get to the venue

    1st night hotel - we went home and this is one of my most precious memories - sat in the garden at 2am with my new husband, both in our wedding wear drinking a cup of tea - we also took a selfi, which is one of my fav pics - would defo recommend this (although try to remember who has the front door keys before you go home, we had to call my mum to bring the key as we forget that she locked my front door when we left to go to the church)

    Drinks - we had no wine on the tables - no one noticed, we just made sure the bar was open and asked for table service during the meal

    Arrival Drinks - we selected jugs of pimms, instead of per glass - everyone just helped themselves - it works really well for us as most of the men used the bar (pints) and the women drank the pimms

    Arrival canapés - none - it was only roughly a hour from arrival till we sat down to eat

    Hope some of this helps

  • Hi Team Jamison-Lowe

    I’m not sure if you are referring to myself in your post. If this is the case I can only apologise for any upset caused. I certainly had no intention of spamming, I was merely offering something for free to brides that appeared to be trying to reduce their budget. I do hope I’m wrong and you wasn’t referring to myself, but if you was I can only apologise to you and explain I was only trying to help, so sorry if this irritated you in any way.

    Good luck with your wedding.


  • Hi Everyone,

    I am currently a student studying Events Management at University, and am researching into the impacts of social media on the wedding aspirations of females aged 18-35. I would really appreciate it if anyone could spare just a few minutes to complete this survey. I need 100 respondents, so I would be very grateful for anyone who could take part.


    Ellie xx

  • GaleGale Posts: 5


    I'm really impressed how you did manage your wedding ! £1800, that's impressively cheap. I will try to follow your tips image

  • Michelle I was not referring to you, I'm mortified that I have upset you!  

    The poster was 'Wed17' who was doing a cut and paste job "I used XYZ wedding planner and they were amazing" with link, exactly the same paragraph, over dozens of threads.   

    I'm guessing that my comment makes little sense now as the moderators have removed all of her posts.

    Brides love seeing suppliers on here who are helpful, give us an insight and answer questions.

    Sorry for going OT  xx

  • I'll play...

    Friend is a pro tog and doing our pictures for free, she did my sisters wedding and they were amazing!

    No evening guests so no need for full buffet, so doing cheese, dessert and cake instead.

    Getting married at 3pm to reduce food and beverage costs. (And so I can have a relaxing morning!)

    Friend making the cake or we will get from M&S if she changes her mind.

    No matching outfits so asking Ushers / Bridesmaids to wear whatever they like.  I appreciate this is controversial but we are paying for their accommodation and hair/make up for the girls so it shouldn't be a burden.  The girls are all going to buy a dress (jewel colours) and the boys all own a suit or kilt already.

    My ring and my sisters, was made from the gold from my Grandmothers ring (which in turn was made from the gold from 3 of her relatives rings) so sentimental AND thrifty. We paid £480 for both rings which would have cost £1,500 new!

    No cars as having whole day in one place.

    Going to ask for shoes and underwear as birthday and Christmas presents.image


  • Ellie I've done your survey but it would be better to start another thread.  xx

  • I think my biggest saving was buying my dress second hand!

    It was the dress I wanted (had been dress shopping and decided on 'the one'!), in perfect condition (the previous bride had already had it dry cleaned) for £350, rather than £950!


  • I agree on dresses my friend paid £500 for a dress that was £1295 usually from a company called bay brides. She got a free veil & free P&P brand new & to die for. The ladies page is www.facebook,com/baybrides.

    We had a quote for a package from her too. 1 wedding dress, two bridesmaids dresses, 3 head pieces, a veil, a complete stationery and flower package 100 favours, for £1500

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • We aren't having a DJ, dress will be a high street number, cake from M&S, I'm doing the decorations and we sent email save the dates and evening reception invites (paper invites for the day guests).  We're having a traditional Indonesian rijstaffel for the meal (H2b is half Indonesian) which is basically a sit down starter and dessert but a hot buffet for mains so that's more affordable too. I'm having a friend do my makeup and very kindly we've been offered a wedding car gratis from one of my work friends. It's tricky to keep costs down though as we have quite big families with little wiggle room in the budget. 

  • MrsWPtobeMrsWPtobe Posts: 435

    Invites from country baskets instead of having them made we bought and printed/accesorised them ourselves.

    My dress was a steal at £150 from a charity shop! 

    Bm dresses mainly off eBay.

    Wedding cake made by grandma, wedding cars are a family friend, photographer is my auntie.

    Having the reception in the back garden, admittedly the marquee has cost about £1300 (including chairs,tables, lighting, heating but got at a discount) 

    Food is costing about 2k but. That includes two waiters and all crockery, it's constant freshly cooked/prepared from 4-9. 

    We have been buying champagne/wine whenever its on on offer since Christmas. 

    We are only having immediate family and close friends, originally guest list was 75, it reduced to 45 when all h2b family decided they couldn't be bothered attending, and due to work etc we will probably only end up with about 34 (plus 3 small children)  

    Trying to think of other ways we've saved money. In fairness, my mum is paying but her outfit/hat has cost more than my dress, bm dresses, two grown up men's full suits and the flowers put together lol! If I have to hear the word condici one more time I might die though! Xx

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