15 Wedding Ideas On A Budget

With high expectations for weddings these days, sometimes with added pressure from friends, family and social media, it can feel like you need to have a big wedding budget for the day of your dreams. But that isn’t always the case. With just a few simple tips and tricks you can plan the perfect wedding on an affordable budget.

This guide includes 15 wedding ideas on a budget, so you don’t have to compromise on your dream wedding.

What Is The Average Cost For A Wedding In The UK

Did you know that the average wedding costs in the UK around £17k (based on 2021 figures)? According to Stylist, the most expensive part of a wedding in the UK is the venue, which typically costs £5,406. That’s without the added cost of food, which is on average an additional £4000.

With all the extras, including place setting, decoration, flowers, dresses, suits, and entertainment, and much more, it’s no wonder why many UK couples are actively seeking ways to reduce costs while still planning a magical day.

Although we might see lavish celebrity weddings all over social media, these days UK couples are opting for more affordable yet stylish weddings, which will allow them to save their hard-earned money for other big life events such as a deposit for a forever-home or starting a business.

Wedding Decor Ideas On A Budget

With this in mind, we thought we’d lead the way for those couples who are longing for a budget-friendly wedding, but don’t really know where to start. Our list of wedding ideas on a budget grows on a weekly basis, but we’ve narrowed it down to our favourites.

1.   Use Fresh & Artificial Flowers

If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to fresh wedding flowers all over your ceremony and evening event, then don’t panic. Save money by purchasing a small amount of fresh flowers for the places where they’ll be the most noticeable (centrepieces) and top up the rest of the decor with an amazing array of dried or faux flowers. If you’re having a Christmas or Winter themed wedding, you can make use of naturally foraged holly for your centrepieces, which will be complete free of charge.

2.   Repurpose & Reuse Decoration

On the subject of flowers, it’s a great idea to get repurposing the fresh flowers that you might decide to purchase. Simple things such as adding the bride’s bouquet to the top table centrepiece is a great way of saving money, but also a fantastic way of allowing your loved ones on the top table to see how beautiful the bouquet is (and let’s be honest, there’s not many brides who carry around their bouquet all evening after carrying it for most of the day).

3.   Don’t Always Buy New Decorations

Try to utilise every-day items which can be used in a wedding setting, such as odd shaped vases, wooden crates and jam jars. If you have lots of items like this lying around (or can rope in family and friends to collect items like this) then it can be a good idea to base your wedding theme around this, such as a rustic wedding or a traditional country themed wedding. It will save cash by avoiding spending on new items and it will ensure that your big day is still bang on trend!

diy wedding decorations

Wedding Food On A Budget

4.   Make It Yourself With Family & Friends

Don’t feel bad about asking family and friends to assist when it comes to making some of the food, either for the wedding breakfast or for the evening buffet. Many of your loved ones will probably be happy to help, but if it makes you feel better about asking for the favour, then they can always help to provide food in lieu of a wedding gift.

5.   BYOB

It’s always worth checking whether your venue will allow you to bring your own alcohol for serving throughout the wedding breakfast and evening event. Understandably, most venues will not allow this, but if your venue does, then make good use of local deals at alcohol shops or wineries that may be able to offer you bulk discounts – even the offers at your local supermarket are worth taking advantage of!

6.   Avoid Sit-Down Meals

Try and choose the meals which offer the most value for money without looking too cheap. For example, having a barbecue or a simple buffet-style evening meal can lower costs by removing the need for a formal sit-down meal and the various courses that come along with that.

Wedding Fashion Ideas On A Budget

7.   Shop On The High Street

Make use of fashion clothing websites that you wouldn’t ordinarily think of in terms of wedding dresses and suits. Many of the high street brands now either do a range of wedding attire, or they stock white/ivory dresses which could easily pass as a fashionable wedding dress. Many of these websites also stock dresses which would look stunning for bridesmaids, along with having the matching shoes and accessories to complete the look. For the best shops to buy cheap wedding rings though, you may find online retailers have a better price.

8.   Rent Don’t Buy

If the cost of purchasing wedding or bridesmaids dresses seems like a waste, there’s always the option of renting a stunning gown for a fraction of the cost to buy one. Make use of clothing websites which allow you to wear designer dresses for a minimal fee.

9.   Buy Second-hand

Get thrifty with your wedding fashion by scouring things like Facebook Marketplace. You’ll be amazed at how many people sell quality items, many with their tags still on the clothing, for a fraction of the price of a new piece of clothing. As long as the item is clean and in good condition, there’s absolutely no shame in repurposing someone else’s clothing, and the best part is, nobody at your  budget wedding will even know that it’s belonged to someone else before!

Bottle ring toss at an outdoor wedding


Wedding Entertainment Ideas On A Budget

10.                 Keep An Eye On Local Gigs For New Talent

Don’t be hesitant to see if there’s anyone in your local area who has a band who would be willing to play at your wedding. Having a scout around local bars and pubs when they have entertainment scheduled is a great way of listening to a wide variety of music and seeking out fresh new talent at a cheaper rate than would be charged if you were to hire specific wedding bands.

11.                Isn’t Not Just About Wedding Bands

It’s not always necessary to hire a band, especially if you’re having more of an outdoors evening celebration. Setting up games such as Giant Jenga, Giant Connect4 and other outdoor games can actually be a great way of involving all of your guests in the entertainment, without forking out for expensive musicians.

12.                Be Your Own DJ

Make use of Spotify and treat yourself to a premium package where there’s no ads, then create hours upon hours of your perfect playlist for a brilliant evening. Simply hook this up to the venue sound system and you’ll have all the songs you want without the cost of hiring a DJ.

Wedding Venue Ideas On A Budget

13.                Think Outside The Box

Be open to having your wedding somewhere a little less conventional than you might have initially imagined. Converted barns, village halls or old nightclubs are just some of the locations that can be an amazing and quirky option if you’re wanting to reduce your wedding venue expense – plus, the quirkier the venue, the more people will remember your special day!

14.                Buy Food & Drink Separately

Ask your chosen venue if you can hire just the venue without the addition of food and drink in with the package. Some venues won’t be open to the idea, but if you find an unusual little place which looks like it would be a fantastic wedding venue, chances are that the owners would be open to having a conversation about what would be possible, especially if they don’t usually cater to wedding parties.

15.                Be Mindful About Numbers

As much as you may want to invite everyone from your first primary school teacher all the way up to your oldest friend to your special and exciting day, if you’re looking to keep costs low, it’s always best to try and reduce your numbers to those people who you see or speak to regularly, who you know will cherish the day with you, rather than just turning up for some free food and a day out! Reducing the turnout is not only one of the best budget wedding ideas, it also keeps your day intimate when you tie the knot. For the double win, consider sending free digital wedding invites instead of paper versions.

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About Author /

Emma is the editorial director and has been with the brand since 2021. She is is a writer and editor with over 5 years of experience covering Weddings, Fashion and beauty.

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