Mrs Waugh commented: “Originally, we wanted to get married on a Saturday in the height of summer with 140 guests, and that would’ve cost us around £10,000 just for the venue.” In total, weddings in 2021 cost anywhere from £20,000 to £70,000 and upwards. While it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, many people rightfully loath splurging that much money for a single day, which is why Mrs Waugh was so adamant in finding unique ways to get the dream without the debt.
When looking for venues, she recalled the steepest quote she and her now-spouse came across was “£30,000 all in”. However, one simple change sliced this cost down: “We booked a midweek date, which instantly saved us a lot of money, and went for a February date which was off-season and cheaper. We struck gold with Covid when they had to reschedule to July and honoured the original price.”
Looking for off-season dates, like Mrs Waugh did, can shed light on a variety of better prices. This could particularly be the case for winter or autumn dates as these tend to be the cheapest and allow for stunning scenery, colours and photograph opportunities.
Likewise, booking in the ‘off-season’ might also see cheaper services coming out across the board as the businesses are less likely to be busy.
Particular days will also see cheaper prices; tying the knot on a Friday or Sunday will be the most expense choice, while during the week will see prices lowering.
Majority of soon-to-be-wed couples want all of their family and friends there to celebrate the occasion with them, but unfortunately this often means racking up the price for venues and catering amongst other things.
“We were also really harsh with our guest list, which upset a lot of people but we were paying for it ourselves and we wanted our closest friends and families there, not someone who felt they had a right to come because they were dating someone who was invited.
“We cut A LOT of people’s partners purely to save money. Most people were really nice about it, some were not, but then you learn who your real friends are when you’re planning a wedding!”
She explained that her partner even resorted to not inviting certain family members: “Luke has a larger family and is originally from Peterborough. He chose not to invite distant cousins and nieces so we could have an intimate day with our nearest and dearest.
“Our original guest list was 140 people and we changed that to 64-day guests and 15 evening, so cut 60 people.”
For DIYers, creating their own décor is a simple endeavour that might require a bit more effort on the part of the couple but can saving thousands slashed in costs.
As Mrs Waugh showcased: “We did every aspect of the décor ourselves – myself, Luke, my brother, my mum, and my friend Katie spent the day before dressing the Wedding Breakfast room. We bought centrepieces from Home Bargains, chair sashes and covers from Wish or AliExpress for 40p a pop and favours from B&M, but it looked as if it had been professionally dressed.”
Looking at all of her savings bundled together, here is how the Waugh couple spent their wedding budget:
Cake – gifted by Mr Waugh’s aunt – FREE
DJ – the couple did their own music – FREE
Table decorations – deals from AliExpress – FREE
Flowers – fake flowers from Groovy Ruby – £300
Suits – hired from Moss Bros – £600
Wedding dress – off the rack and altered from Wed2Be – £700
Hair and makeup – friend’s discount for the entire bridal party – £500
Venue – stunning scenery with a winter deal – £5,000
In total, the wedding cost £9,000. This was split even further with the father of the bride paying for the venue, so the happy couple only put in £4,000 for their big day.