10 wedding details that simply aren’t worth the dough

By Hayley Hemming

Been dreaming up the perfect wedding for decades? You’ll likely know what you want, but are some details worth the cost?

Planning your wedding is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times of your life. But with the average wedding costing an eye-watering £30K, it might be worth looking into some areas that you can cut back on if you like your wallet well enough.

Understandably, you might not want to budget on the main items like the dress, the venue and the number of guests you want at your wedding. But there are some details that just aren’t worth the splurge – and to be honest, your guests probably won’t notice if you cut back on them…

1. Forget the flowers

Yes, flowers are gorgeous. And yes, they can really add the wow factor to the tables for your wedding breakfast. But boy oh boy, they’re going to make you wince when you find out how much they cost.

Flowers are one of the most expensive details at a wedding and whilst you’ll enjoy them on the day, they’re just going to die a few days later! Is it really worth spending several hundreds of pounds on big flower displays, when there are plenty of cheaper alternatives on offer?

Button holes and bouquets are nice to have, but for table centrepieces, try a single flower in a vase, a glass bowl with floating tea lights or go for candelabras instead. If you’re going for a Bohemian style wedding, a birdcage centrepiece might be a perfect alternative.  Or these non-traditional modern and chic centrepiece ideas may also give you food for thought.

Not too fussed about a fresh flower bouquet? Check out these alternatives.

2. Hire the veil and tiara

Once the wedding dress has been bought, you’ll want to make sure the rest of the bridal outfit is equally as beautiful.

A bridal veil and tiara can cost a few hundred pounds or more, but one way to save on this is to hire them instead from bridal wear shops, for a fraction of the retail price. You’ll be able to collect them before the wedding and take them back afterwards. You can also hire bridal accessories like these from an online retailer such as Vonlee Bridal Hire.

Really want a tiara and veil to keep? You can still save by buying these secondhand from Preloved or eBay.

3. Don’t spend on shoes you won’t see

As a bride-to-be, your tootsies may be begging you for the chance to wear a pair of Gucci shoes for your wedding day, but your pocket won’t. If you’re wearing a long wedding dress, no-one is going to see your shoes unless you show them off.

Opt for comfortable, reasonably priced shoes that you can wear again instead. They can still look nice, but they don’t have to cost the earth. Try an outlet store like this for big savings.

For the groom, plenty of high street retailers such as NEXT do formal shoes that are reasonably priced.

4. Get crafty with wedding stationery

Invitations, RSVPs, the table plan, menus and signage can turn out to be quite costly - unless you go down the DIY route that is.

Head down to your local Hobbycraft or similar and load up with card and embellishments to make your own stationery. You’ll find doing this could save you a few hundred pounds. Not that crafty? Ask your friends and family to help too.

If you’re not bothered about sending out traditional invites, why not invite guests online via a private Facebook group and collate responses that way?

5. Do away with favours

Their purpose is to be a token thank you for your guests but seriously, wedding favours are a complete waste of money. Sugared almonds, sweetie jars, keyrings... they’re all just a bit... blah. No-one really remembers favours at a wedding, so why waste your money on them?

If favours are definitely on your wedding “to-do” list though, check out these favours for under £1 each.

6. Get a friend to bake the wedding cake

The average cost of a wedding cake is £300 (and it can be a lot more, depending on how fancy you want it to be).

I personally couldn’t stomach the cost of a wedding cake, and as my name isn’t Mary Berry, I was glad when a friend offered to bake me some wedding cupcakes as her wedding gift. They were iced in colours that tied in with the overall scheme. They looked fab and didn’t cost a penny!

If you’re confident enough to bake your own wedding cake, check out this article for some tips.

7. Do a swap on the champagne

A bottle of fizz is the done thing for wedding toasts, but you don’t have to go all out and have champagne. Order a few bottles of decent Prosecco instead. It’ll taste really nice and some of your guests won’t even notice that it’s not real champers.

Aldi have bottles of Prosecco for £7.99 each and if you order 6 or more, they’ll deliver to you free of charge.

Supermarkets like ASDA and Tesco also do deals on Prosecco too - check out Tesco’s Italian Wines page where you can currently buy a case of Plaza Centro Prosecco DOC for the equivalent of £5.50 per bottle!

Not a fan of Prosecco? Try a Crémant instead.

8. Avoid having an open bar

Don’t feel like you must have an open bar for your guests to enjoy at your wedding. They’ll already be drinking the tables dry during the wedding meal, right? An open bar, even for an hour, could set you back hundreds – and you probably won’t even benefit from it as you’ll be too busy having photos taken!

Let’s face it; no-one likes wedding guests who are as drunk as a skunk (that’s the bride and groom’s privilege).



9. Compromise a little on the wedding breakfast

Obviously, you can’t really forgo the catering at your wedding. But it’s worth knowing that the wedding breakfast itself can cost over £3k on average (and that’s without the evening do)!

Factors that influence the cost in this area include the number of guests you have, the style of service and the venue itself – check out these considerations in full here.

Choose a sensible menu option and consider bringing your own wine, but note that venues will ask you to pay corkage of £5 to £10 per bottle (that’s the price for opening the bottles and plonking them on the tables). Always try to negotiate the corkage fee – if you don’t ask, you won’t get.

Why not book your wedding ceremony late in the afternoon, so that you can get away with feeding all the guests (day-time and evening) just one meal during the evening reception?


10. Do the right thing about that guest you’re humming and hawing over

Deciding who to invite to your wedding can be an agonising task. There are without doubt going to be quite a few people who you don’t really want to invite, but feel that you have to. Such as your boss, your second cousin on your mum’s side, or your great-great auntie that you haven’t seen in 10 years.

Guests are expensive (see the catering point above). My advice is: don’t invite people you’re not sure about. You’ll look back at wedding photos in 5 years’ time and think to yourself, “Why did I invite this person, I never see them!”


Top takeaway

Hopefully, you’ll only be getting married once, so making sure you have an amazing day is your top priority. With that said though, you don’t want to be completely skint afterwards!

Things to consider:

- Going down the DIY route where you can, e.g. invitations and cake.

- Only inviting guests that you think you’ll still see and talk to in 5 years’ time.

- Spending money only on things that mean something to you as a couple (and not necessarily to just please your guests).

- Getting married soon? What wedding details are important to you?


Author Bio: Hayley Hemmings is a freelance writer and blogger from Yorkshire. She’s passionate about money matters, frugal living and loves anything handmade. When Hayley’s not writing, she’s most likely to be found enjoying snuggles with her little girl or walking her border collie through the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.  

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