No one expects weddings to be budget-friendly, but the latest research has shown that the cost of an average wedding in the UK now stands at a staggering £30,355. If the thought of spending that much money on a wedding sends shivers down your spine, then let Hand Picked Hotels help.

We know that a great wedding doesn’t have to cost a fortune; that’s why we put together a helpful guide on how to best plan your wedding budget. Read on to find tips and advice that will save you money without compromising the quality of your special day. 

The first step is an obvious one – create a budget that’s realistic for you. Look over your finances and decide how you’re going to fund the event; this may involve savings or kind family donations. It’s important to be honest at this stage and consider your long-term financial health!

Once you have settled on your budget, try to add a buffer. Whilst difficult to do, this will help you to deal with any unexpected costs that may arise through the planning process. The amount can be whatever you want, though aiming for 10% is good practice to cover any lapses in budgeting, should they arise, like alternation costs, missed VAT additions, even small accidents. Track all your spending with one of the many wedding budget apps (and many are free, too!) or do it the old-fashioned way with a notebook. Another way of simplifying budgeting is by setting up a separate account and transferring your wedding budget there. This will make tracking finances and expenses so much easier than when they’re sandwiched between regular bills and countless work lunches.

Weddings come with a lot of extras and sometimes vendors will try to persuade you to take on unnecessary expenses – that’s why it’s vital to have a list of essentials in mind when doing the planning. You may already know what your wedding non-negotiables are (type of venue, for example) whilst being flexible on others. Create a list of the things you absolutely want at your wedding and budget accordingly; there’s no point booking a DJ first if you think you could be pretty happy with a DIY playlist! 

Your wedding venue is likely to be the biggest expenditure and it’s probably the first detail to take care of when it comes to planning. Start your research early and think creatively about where you would like to tie the knot. There’s a perception of more ‘traditional’ venues costing significantly more but good deals can nevertheless be found; venues understand that not everyone can afford to splash out and many have created smaller, more affordable packages especially for this so it’s worth checking them out no matter what your wedding budget is. 

It’s not a good idea to cut corners when it comes to something as important as a wedding, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t get creative. Anything associated with weddings tends to be priced at a premium. However, suits, dresses, accessories can all be found outside of traditional stores and can save you significant cash. Look for seasonal sales when great deals can be had on suiting and accessories; many wedding dress designers and boutiques hold sample sales where the perfect gown can be found for a fraction of the cost. As these elements tend to be high on the list of essentials, finding ways to get what you want without spending a fortune is a definite bonus. 

Ultimately, being realistic about finances and tracking everything effectively will ensure that your wedding day leaves you happy for months and years beyond. Stick to your initial plan and don’t get tempted by extras – this way you may even have some cash leftover for the honeymoon!