In the UK along with buying a house a wedding can be one of the most expensive things couples spend money on in their lifetime. Weddings are amazing celebrations and can cost as much as you decide. Whatever your budget you can certainly go over, but you can also organise and create an amazing day with a limited budget.

With different reports and depending on where you look, the average wedding cost in the UK can range anywhere between £15,000 and a staggering £25,000 with many costing a lot more than this.

The amount you budget and spend on your wedding day will vary and no two weddings are the same. The number of guests you can make a big difference to the amount you spend, with food and drink costs making a big difference. Other areas come down to your own preference and importance, the amount you spend on flowers, your cake, dress, suits, rings and photographer is down to what you want.

Wedding Day Costs Breakdown

When it comes to budget and what you spend where, it is more down to where you split the money, your budget is your budget and how much you want to spend overall. Somethings will cost more than others, but for each area there is always a cheaper option and a more expensive option.

This is a breakdown of wedding costs and a percentage you are likely to need, as well as what to include your wedding budget.

  • Venue – 20%
  • Food and Drink – 15-20%
  • Photographer – 10%
  • Wedding dress – 9%
  • Videographer – 8%
  • Band / DJ – 5%
  • Florist – 5%
  • Wedding rings – 4%
  • Wedding day hair dresser – 4%
  • Wedding day make-up artist – 4%
  • Groom’s attire – 4%
  • Wedding cake – 3%
  • Transportation – 2%
  • Wedding Favours – 2%
  • Officiant – 2%
  • Invitations & postage costs – 1%
  • Insurance – 1%
  • Contingency – 10%

This is a rough guide, of course you may well spend more or less on your wedding flowers, you may not hire a videographer, so the percentages will be tweaked and adjusted accordingly to your needs and what you require.

Your biggest cost will be your venue, and this could be the hiring of the wedding venue as well as the food for guests as well. Although your biggest cost is likely to be your venue, you can still hire the venue and make savings elsewhere.

In the UK the average cost of a wedding photographer is £1,560 reported by Your Perfect Wedding Photographer, this cost will again vary on who you hire and the package you want. A photographer and videographer are separate, many couples will just have a photographer but you may also wish to invest in a videographer to help capture your wedding via video creating a mini film of the day.

Flowers for the bridal bouquets, the flower arrangements at the service, and at the reception. Depending on the flowers, the arrangements you want and the season will effect the cost of this.

Depending on your location and where you get married, the cost of suppliers as well as the venue may vary, London and the south will tend to be slightly more expensive compared to the venues and suppliers in the North of the UK.

While not mentioned in this breakdown, don’t forget your honeymoon! Make sure you have  budget set aside for the wedding and a budget for your honeymoon too.

The Contingency Fund

When planning your budget and splitting it up, the most important is to set a contingency. An amount of money set aside for those things you haven’t accounted for, have forgot and that spring up when planning and hiring suppliers.

The contingency fund is a back up, and not set for those times you want to use it on that expensive dress instead. If you want to get that dress then do it, but look to make savings in other areas instead of using your back up fund.

How to Save on your Wedding Day

You can save money on your venue by having a mid week wedding or getting married out of season. A wedding on a Monday to Thursday will be cheaper than a wedding on a Friday and a lot cheaper than getting married on a Saturday. If you really want to get married on a Saturday then look to having your day outer season, anywhere across the months of October to April.

With your venue booked, you can make saving by reducing your guest list. A smaller intimate wedding is perfect for your closest friends and family and will make a big difference to the wedding budget.

Getting married abroad can be cheaper than in the UK, however you also need to take into account flight and travel costs, as well as a hotel and accommodation not only for yourself but also your guests.

A dry hire wedding venue will give you a blank canvas and a great way to do a lot your self, you can hire suppliers for food, provide your own drink and style how you please. This is ideal for a DIY wedding and you can save a lot of money when hiring suppliers, however this method is more time consuming and takes a lot of planning.

Manage the Budget

Set your budget and stick to it! Getting excited and carried away can easily lead to you spending all your budget before you have even started, from fireworks in the evening to luxury invites you can easily spend more than you budgeted.

Make sure you track how much you have spent and where you are spending it. You can download and use our wedding budget spreadsheet here to help you mange it, all set up toe calculate how much you have spent and what is due.

It’s your Day

Remember this is your day, you create the wedding you want, and hire who you want, just stick to your budget.

Weddings are not cheap, however you can make them better value or spend more and make it more expensive, just don’t start off married life with large debts. Shop around, decide what is important to you and stick to your budget.