If you are planning a wedding on a smaller budget, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have an amazing day.
With the average UK wedding costing just under £32,000, spending only a tenth of that on the whole day might seem impossible.
But by following the steps in this guide – plus knowledge of where to save and where to splurge – you’ll find having a budget wedding is more than just doable, and it'll be just as amazing.
Here’s our guide on how to make the most of your budget.
Venue - £400
If you are looking for an affordable wedding venue then small hotels, pub wedding venues and village halls are the best places find a bargain. Don’t worry if the venue is fairly plain and simple. There are lots of easy and affordable ways that you can add pretty and stylish wedding décor to transform it.
Here’s a few of our favourite budget wedding venues:
The Lady Ottoline – Bloomsbury, London
If you’re having a small wedding, this beautifully-decorated pub is cosy and elegant. Its two private rooms can host from 14-45 guests and a three-course menu is £35 per head.
Kent Life – Maidstone, Kent
Venue hire starts from £399 at this country wedding venue set in 28 acres of rural surroundings. You can marry at the Ulcombe Village Hall or beautiful Old Wedding Chapel and dance the night away in their one of two reception rooms.
Accrington Town Hall – Accrington, Lancashire
Suitable for weddings of every size, Accrington Town Hall is a striking Grade II-listed building in the heart of East Lancashire. Their Ballroom features a fully sprung dancefloor- the only other in the North West outside the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool. Wedding breakfasts start from £25pp.
The Admiral Rodney – Southwell, Nottinghamshire
Set in the rolling Nottinghamshire countryside, The Admiral Rodney is a lovely, traditional pub, with delicious food and friendly staff. Their silver wedding package includes a three-course meal and Prosecco for 30 guests from £990 so that’s venue hire and catering covered!
Cuddystone Hall – Kirknewton, Northumberland
Set in the heart of the secluded College Valley, Cuddystone is a charming hall that you can transform into any theme. It’s licensed for civil ceremonies, can seat 120, and comes with a fully equipped kitchen. Venue hire starts at £360 for one day and night – and you’ll have 12,000 acres of Northumberland countryside to enjoy with that.
Browse high street bridalwear ranges, but don’t dismiss white occasionwear either that will come with a cheaper price tag than a more traditional wedding dress.
Wedding Shoes – £20
You can get some fantastic shoes from the high street for around £20-£50. Go for plain white satin shoes if you want to keep it simple or go glam with some glittering heels if you want to add some sparkle. We adore these statement heels that are just £14 from Primark!
Bridal Jewellery and Accessories – £50
There are some amazing jewellery options on the high street and for £50 you can get some stunning costume jewellery and no one will be able to tell the difference! A great pair of earrings, a necklace and a bracelet will transform your wedding dress.
When it comes to your wedding veil, make sure you visit Etsy as they have some amazing styles starting at less than £15 for a simple birdcage veil.
Bridesmaids – £0
Just because you are having a budget wedding, doesn’t mean you can’t have your girls by your side. If you just can’t afford to paying for their dresses, you could ask the girls to all wear a certain colour or dress shape, using a dress they already own.
Mismatched bridesmaid dresses are really on trend right now – just think of Carrie’s mismatched bridesmaid gowns in Sex and the City! Point them in the direction of these bargain high street bridesmaid dresses, starting from just £22.99.
Groomswear – £50
If the groom has a simple suit already then save your pennies and instead splash out on a new tie and a simple white shirt. It’ll transform his everyday suit into some seriously glamorous groomswear. This personalised cufflink and tie clip set is such a lovely gift to give your groom and it comes in colours to suit every theme!
Hair and Makeup – £55
If you are planning a wedding for less than £3,000, hair and makeup is be one of those areas where you'll have to compromise. If you’re going DIY, we’ve found the best wedding makeup tutorials on YouTube and there’s plenty of videos for recreating wedding hairstyles. Just remember less is more and a simple hairstyle will cause you less stress on the day.
Wedding Photographer – £430
You may find it tricky to find a traditional wedding photographer for less than £1,000. However, you could instead have a student wedding photographer or a trainee that is just starting out.
If you know your wedding guests will be taking photos throughout the wedding breakfast and the evening party, then you could consider hiring a photographer just for the ceremony and some group shots so you get the professional shots you want without blowing your budget.
We are offering micro wedding photography packages right now, starting at just £250. FIND OUT MORE
Reception Décor – £110
Your reception décor will be able to transform your venue, but it’s easy to get carried away and overspend. If you want to make the most of your wedding décor budget then invest in statement pieces or a theme that draws all your smaller pieces together.
Wedding Flowers – £120
If you are on a really strict budget with your flowers then speak to a florist and see what they are able to offer. If your budget won’t stretch to a professional then make part of your wedding morning be going to a local flower market (or the supermarket!) where you can buy a mix of flowers and have a rustic look to your day. You could also consider paying a professional for your bridal bouquet – as it will be photographed a lot – and then opting for cheaper options for the bridesmaids and centrepieces.
Catering – £1,125
Catering will be one of the biggest chunks of your wedding budget – if you are having 45 wedding guests then it’s achievable to cater for £25 a head. Swap a traditional sit-down wedding breakfast for a buffet-style barbecue.
If your venue allows then you can let your wedding guests know that they can bring their own alcohol and that will help slash your catering costs.
Cake – £90
To get a spectacular wedding cake for £90, you will need to get creative. Luckily Marks and Spencer have a cake builder where you can order different sized tiers covered in plain white or ivory icing. Choose from fruit, sponge or chocolate cake – you can even mix and match flavours! A three tier iced cake with one sponge layer and two chocolate will set you back just £54.
You can make this simple cake extra special by splashing out on some ribbon to edge the cake with, maybe some faux flowers and a cake topper – we love this one from All Her Glory at Etsy that is just £6.95 and you can choose from a range of fun and fabulous colours.
If you're really struggling, maybe you've got someone in the family who loves to bake. Most people would be over the moon if you asked them to bake your wedding cake.
Entertainment – £0
Hiring a band might eat into too much of your budget, so why not create your own wedding playlist on your iPod? You could have a slower and more romantic playlist for the daytime and then change to a more upbeat playlist of all your favourite songs for the evening. Just make sure you have a charger on hand and maybe even a back-up device just in case!
Honeymoon – £0
Instead of a traditional gift list, ask your friends and family to contribute towards your honeymoon. According to our National Wedding Survey, more than half of couples getting married in 2019 will do this so you don’t need to feel awkward about asking your friends and family for a cash gift.
Then after the wedding, see what your budget is and book a fab trip away or go on a romantic mini-moon in the UK.
3 Top Tips for Planning a Wedding for £3,000
If you are planning a wedding on a tight budget then don’t miss our top tips on how to make the most of your money.
1. Be Strict with Your Guest List
It’s tough but if you have a tight budget then having fewer wedding guests will save you a dramatic amount of money. If you still want to have a great party then you could have a smaller guest list for the day time and then invite more people for a big party in the evening.
2. Make Use of Your Friends and Family
If you have a friend who is a great photographer, a bridesmaid that is fantastic at make-up or a sister that should really be on the Great British Bake Off then don’t be afraid to ask for their help – they will be more than happy to help and will be honoured to play such a big part in your special day.
3. Be Prepared to DIY
It’s amazing how much money you can save by creating things yourself – try and make as much of your décor as you can and maybe enlist the help of your friends and family. Just make sure you leave plenty of time.
WE HOPE THIS GUIDE HAS BEEN HELPFUL IF YOU'RE TRYING TO PLAN A WEDDING WITHIN A £3000 BUDGET. ALSO CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BUDGET SAVING TIPS IN OURGUIDE TO HAVING A BUDGET WEDDING