The average wedding cost is rising: Here's how to spend less than £2,500

Caroline Allen
Contributor
The pair got creative on how they decorated their venue, saving thousands of pounds. [Photo: Maya Feltwell]

The average cost of a wedding in 2019 is a staggering £31,974, according to research carried out by Hitched.

You could fly around the world for an eighth of the cost.

It’s statistics like this that have contributed to a halving of the number of marriages since 1940.

Newlyweds Ben and Maya Feltwell have proven that it doesn’t have to be this way, though. The pair’s entire wedding cost under £2,500.

Here’s the breakdown.

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Venue - £1300

“I always thought when my time came, I'd want a big extra wedding.” Maya told Yahoo UK.

Like many of us, when she was proposed to, she felt very differently: “In reality, Ben and I knew we wanted a small wedding, for financial reasons but, most importantly, because a wedding is a very special moment that we wanted to share with just a handful of people.”

The pair got engaged by a river in front of a local hotel and decided they wanted to get married at that same hotel with 25 day guests and 40 evening guests.

“We thought: uh-oh, Saturday wedding at a hotel. But, it cost £1,300. that included buffet for day and evening guests and event management. They do have a posh venue upstairs for more than 100 guests. But we chose the conservatory, facing the river.”

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Bernadette Chapman, Founder of The UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (UKAWP), agrees that the venue can be a major expense: “Invite fewer people – the venue and catering are the major expenses, so be ruthless.”

She also suggests looking at getting married out of season: “Often suppliers, especially venues, will offer ‘out of season’ deals meaning you could end up getting a lot more for your money if you don’t mind getting married in a low season.”

Ben and Maya on their wedding day. Maya's veil cost just £5. [Photo: Maya Feltwell]

Dress and veil - £605

“It wouldn't make sense for me to walk down the aisle with a £3k wedding with 25 people watching me. So I knew the dress had to be under £1k. Visited a little family run boutique at a local town. Boom, £600 dress.” Maya said.

There are plenty of budget dress options available and with the likes of ASOS and Whistles also selling a fantastic selection of high-end high street options for brides and bridesmaids, it’s possible to get an amazing dress without spending your life savings.

As for the veil, Maya managed to spend just £5.

“The veil I wanted was £90 at the boutique. I went on Amazon, just for curiosity, and found something really similar for £5. All I thought was: "If this is it, brilliant. If it isn't, then I've only just spent £5 anyway.”

“When I had it delivered, I was impressed!! As my sister is a dancer and normally she makes her own costumes, she had many Swarovski crystals, which we glued to my (£5) veil.”

READ MORE: Couple managed to cater for wedding at just £5 per head

Decoration - £250

“My mum and I went to The Range. They have a lovely selection of artificial flowers that were used for our centrepieces as well as other bits and bobs that we used for decoration, such as lighting and vases. Everyone said how pretty and delicate they looked, so I was pleased.”

Maya and Ben looked into getting a professional in to do their decorations, but they said that would have set them back £2-5k alone.

“I made my own centrepieces. I asked friends and colleagues to keep jam jars and other glass recipients they may have otherwise thrown away. After ordering ribbons from Amazon, my mum and I decorated them ourselves.”

Cake - £90

Bernadette Chapman said that asking your family to help you out is a great way to save money. It also adds a special something to the day.

“If any family members or friends have a skill, utilise that skill for your wedding day (i.e. auntie a fantastic baker) - just remember though, you may not get the exact finish you want, remember a lot of what you see on Pinterest has been created by wedding suppliers who are experts in their field, so don’t expect your poor Auntie to be able to create the exact version of a wedding cake made by a wedding cake professional.”

That’s just what Maya and Ben did.

Ben’s family friend charged £90 for four massive (and delicious) cakes.

They enlisted the help of a family friend to create these gorgeous creations. [Photo: Maya Feltwell]

Bouquet - £50

Once again, Maya and Ben enlisted the help of a friend who charged just £50 for Maya’s bouquet.

If you don’t have any family friends who are creative when it comes to floral arrangements, it is possible to create something for yourself.

Instagram influencers such as Botanical Tales and Katie Daisy offer some fabulous tips on how to work with wildflowers, meaning you could pick your entire bouquet in the wild.

Total - £2,295

Did you have an affordable wedding and want to tell us about it? Let us know in the comments below.

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