How to plan financially if you’re getting married

20 September, 2023 / words by IALH Editorial Team

Everyone loves a wedding, right! But when it comes to being your turn it can be quite daunting, with the fear of how much money you must pay to make your wedding dreams and special day a reality.

Starting with the numbers, so you can have your OMG moment now…the average cost of a UK wedding in 2023 was £18,400. It has been found in a recent survey by Hitched, that 48% of couples went over budget, with 11% of couples using a loan to help fund their wedding and 59% using their savings. Take these numbers how you wish!

But in a nutshell, it is essential to consider budgeting and saving to ensure you can have the day you desire. So where do you begin?

First things first, sit down with your partner and answer the below questions:

1. When do you plan to marry?
2. What are the two most important aspects you want to focus on for your big day?
3. What are the two least essential aspects you want to focus on for your big day?
4. What are the realistic savings you hold to date? And do you wish to put that towards your wedding? What options do you have for covering the wedding cost?
5. What is your maximum budget (planned)?

Once you have some answers it will enable you to plan better. If for example one of the most important aspects for your big day is to have a venue that can hold 100+ guests as you have a large family, then you can allocate more of your funds here, compared to your least important aspect i.e. the suits where you may wish to hire or buy a lower cost option to save money.

10 Top Saving Tips

1. Keep a savings pot – add to it monthly with an amount comfortable for you both. It may be that you plan to marry 3 years after you have gotten engaged…this gives a lot more scope for saving than if you planned to marry 6 months after your engagement.

2. Create a guest list and trim it down accordingly – consider the relationships you have with people and who you actually want to have around you on your special day. It may be that you can save money by just inviting people to the evening celebration rather than the whole day.

3. DIY! A lot of people will tell you that getting a wedding planner can help and save money, but realistically, as good as they might be, they are an unnecessary expense as you can plan your wedding yourself. Of course, help from experts is good, but there are many Facebook groups and free sites you can use for advice! Honestly, brides support brides in all ways possible!

4. The day you get married can make a cost difference. As assumed, weekends and Fridays are most expensive, as are summer weddings…so if you want to save some money, consider a weekday wedding or an out of season type!

5. Ditch champagne for prosecco…so much cheaper! And nicer! Your guests will thank you later, trust me.

6. Use digital invites – why waste money on sending invites you have to pay postage for? Nowadays with technology and of course thanks to the pandemic and the high use of QR codes, the generations are all much more technology friendly so digital invites work extremely well!

7. Start shopping early, look out for sales and bargains! For dresses, there are some brilliant places you can look and save more than half of the cost of what you would pay for going in a bridal specific shop – try ASOS, Wed2Be, Boohoo! But more so for décor and accessories, search the brains out of Facebook Marketplace…I guarantee there will be couples selling bits and bobs from their wedding day that is in great condition still, that you can buy for much cheaper than getting brand new (and then you can sell it on again after)

8. Do your research. NEVER jump at the first supplier you see – always do comparisons, check reviews and ask for discounts. You might end up using the first supplier, and that is fine, but only once you have looked around and checked that you are getting the best for your money.

9. Use your network. Among your friends and family, I guarantee there will be at least one supplier you can make use of. Perhaps you have a friend who is great at baking…ask them to make your wedding cake (more cost effective and they will be honoured). Or maybe you have a family member that always brings the camera out – they might be able to do your wedding photography! Think about your circle and ask around…it will make a huge difference.

10. Gift lists are still a thing for weddings – so use this smartly. Recently there has been a rise in the amount of couples who ask for contributions towards their honeymoon, as their wedding gift. It’s pretty simple, you just share with your guests a link to a crowdfunding page, or your bank account, and explain the situation – you would appreciate that more than anything else. This can help hugely with your honeymoon costs and certainly be one less thing to worry about (just also expect some generic wedding keepsakes for gifts too! It’s got to be done)


It is very important to budget for your big day. This will allow you to keep on track and know what you are spending, so you do not go too crazy! Use a wedding budget tool such as Hitched which just makes the whole process so much easier!

Sit down and make a list of everything you think you will need to cover i.e. wedding car, venue hire, band, clothing, honeymoon, flowers, décor etc etc. Then write your proposed figure of what you want to spend on this item. Then when you start looking to buy, you have an idea of what to spend in mind.

When using Hitched, it actually has a list of all things to help you plan your wedding too, so you cannot forget the basics! You can then note down your estimated cost against your actual cost too, to see the difference.

So, now you have read this advice, hopefully you are ready to go. Educated enough in budgeting and saving and prepared to make your big day a success…without breaking the banks! Whatever happens, good luck…Your day will be magical, special and one to remember, no matter what. **congratulations in advance**
In respect of the information above, this content is only for informational purposes and does not constitute any kind of financial advice.


IALH Editorial Team


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