How to have a beautiful wedding on a budget

According to research from wedding experts Hitched, the UK's wedding industry is worth a whopping £10 billion a year. The average cost of a wedding is now around £27,000 – and this jumps to £38,000 if you’re planning on getting married in London.

In fact, the average British bride spends £832 on her wedding dress, and that’s a 20% drop from 2016.

Not all of us want to pay such a high price, and if you've ever started researching the numbers, you might think there's no way to avoid it. But it's simply not true – here are our tips for keeping the costs down – while still having an amazing time - on your big day.

Prosecco glass

The absolute cheapest option: get married for less than £150

Looking to just get hitched, plain and simple? It is actually possible, for far less than you might think.

Premier Inn made a big splash back in 2010 when they announced their £199 wedding package, complete with an Asda wedding cake, a buffet for 20 people, and Primark pyjamas for the wedding night, but it didn't last long.

Even though you may be looking to cut costs, a wedding is a special day, and most of us want to treat it as such. Still, the cheapest way to tie the knot is to just stick to the minimum legal requirements.

To get married, all you have to do is give notice at your local register office, and then have a religious or civil ceremony within 28 days – and it really doesn't cost all that much.

Notice fees are around £35 per person, a marriage certificate can cost less than £5, and you can often hire a register office room for a small ceremony for as little as £50.

It varies depending on where you are, and the day of the week you want to book, but check with your local council and you could potentially have a minimum requirements wedding for the grand total of £125.

Wear your favourite formal gear rather than buying something new, ask a favour from a friend who's handy with a camera for the pictures, and invite your small guest list of close friends and family back to yours for the reception – with plenty of prosecco rather than pricy champagne.

Notice fees


Marriage certificate


Registry office room


Case of prosecco




Wedding cake

Spend a little more: get married for less than £1,000

As soon as you get out of the registry office, the price starts to get steep almost instantly. Venue costs are one thing, but hiring a registrar can cost £400 or more at the weekend.

Planning a weekday wedding may be a little unorthodox for many, but most councils will offer a reduced rate if you do – and venues will be cheaper in the week too.

Sites like UK Hall Hire or Hallshire list venues across the UK – look at town or village halls rather than pricier hotels for prices as low as £8 per hour – even £170 for a whole evening do is a relative bargain!

If the outside isn't particularly picturesque, look around for nearby parks or gardens for wedding pictures – museums or art galleries may let you use their exteriors too, for a small donation.

The suit and dress don't have to be expensive – everything leaps up in price when you put "wedding" in front of it, and you could easily find a simple white dress for as little as £20.

If you're after something a little more lavish, check Asos's bridal range for beautiful dresses for less than £100 – or hit the charity shops. You could find a stunning vintage piece in Oxfam's bridal range for even less.

Suits are even easier – it's possible to find something perfectly sharp for around £50 on the high street.

So that covers all the basics for just over £700:

Notice fees


Marriage certificate












This leaves you with £275 left over for everything else: food, drinks, decorations, photography and invitations.

Shop sales and stick to the simpler options, and you'll be able to find some bargains – spend a little more on the things that matter most and make the rest yourself.

Whether it's baking your own wedding cakehome-brewing the drinks for the reception, or growing your own wedding flowers, it can all be done.

A home-made approach can be the perfect theme for a down-to-earth and relaxed wedding – so embrace it!

If you don't have any photographer friends to help out, use a site like Gumtree to help you find someone.

Wedding photography is highly competitive, and there are always people who are just starting out and trying to break into the industry. Their prices will be lower than an established professional – just be sure to check their portfolio. 


Package deals: get the full treatment for less than £3,000

If you've always dreamed of a bigger wedding, but are still well short of the £27,000 average budget, there is still a way to do it – if you're not too picky.

Wedding venues book up fast, but there will always be dates they can't fill. Just like with flights and hotel rooms, you can sometimes get a last-minute bargain on a wedding.

Take a look at UK Wedding Savings, who offer package deals at some stunning venues, with massive discounts attached.

They often get snapped up fast, but keep your eyes peeled and you could get lucky. Venue hire for the ceremony and reception, three courses and drinks for 60 guests at under £3,000.

Bride and groom

No matter how much you spend on your wedding, as long as you’re surrounded by all of your family and friends, then you’re guaranteed to have a good time!

Want more money saving tips? Check out our blog.

Remember, don't buy what you can't afford, and think carefully before taking out a loan for any non-essential purchases.

All information was correct at the time of writing.

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