6 epic tips to stay within your wedding budget

Do you have a date fixed for your upcoming wedding in Kent?

Whether your big day is six months ahead, a year, two or even five years, I bet you've got a lot on your plate in terms of planning. With the average wedding cost in the UK for 2023 being around £30,000 with the honeymoon, stag and hen parties included, I get it; managing expenses for your nuptials can be exhaustive if not done right. 

Balancing budgets for decorations, catering, your wedding venue in Kent, outfits, accessories, favours, entertainment and, needless to say, your Kent Wedding photographer is a lot to take on in the process.

But, regardless of what your wedding budget is, you don't have to compromise on everything, and your wedding in Kent doesn't have to be THAT expensive. You can still plan for your dream day with affordable alternatives that still get the job done. 

As a Kent wedding photographer with extensive experience discussing budgets and planning events with couples, I'm here to help you make your planning simpler today by showing and providing you with budget-friendly solutions. 

What should I take into account for my wedding budget?

Before I delve into a rundown of my top tips for a budget friendly wedding, I think it would be best to make a checklist for your budget first. If you've already got one, then great, skip to the next part; however, if you don't, it's best you do to help provide you with a baseline of spends. Trust me, having an idea for each will help streamline and make your planning that little bit more straightforward. 

So what do you include in your breakdown?

Well, to start with, you'll want to outline your existing savings for your wedding. This will help you allocate where to direct money and adjust later. Once you've done that, you'll want to include the following in your checklist:

  • Ceremony
  • Wedding venue
  • Stationary
  • Flowers and decorations
  • Transportation
  • Food and catering
  • Wedding rings 
  • Entertainment 
  • Photography/Videography
  • Wedding favours 
  • Guest list 
  • Invitations 

These are just suggestions, you don't have to have all these, and you can certainly add more to the list! Seeing them down in front of you will help you visualise your expenses. While your allocations don't have to be exact, a checklist can turn your planning experience into a positive, limiting the risk of overflow and miscalculations.  

Top Tip: Stick to spreadsheets. Even if numbers aren't your best friend, they're effective, accessible and do the math for you. Hiring a wedding car OR using your uncles rather swanky sportscar for FREE could mean the difference between having longer photography coverage, or that magician you so desperately want. 

6 tips for a budget friendly wedding

Got your wedding checklist ready? If that's a yes, you might be finding yourself questioning if you really need to pay that extra money for a Kent wedding photographer or even a wedding venue. Trust me; you don't want to compromise on your camera moments and the little touches. Your wedding is something you'll want to look back and cherish for the long term. 

To help manage your expenses, here are some budget friendly options that are worth considering: 

1. Day of your wedding

If you can, scrap the Saturday or Sunday wedding. If you want to get married, any day of the week is perfectly fine. As long as you give people enough notice, they'll book the day off, and you could save a significant amount of money doing so! To put it into perspective, a notable UK wedding planner Bridebook, conducted a survey of couples about their wedding costs for a venue on a certain day. 

  • Monday: £17,327
  • Tuesday: £16,804
  • Wednesday: £17,505
  • Thursday: £17,898
  • Friday: £18,401
  • Saturday: £20,141
  • Sunday: £19,715

So I'm not just talking a small sum; I'm talking thousands and that saving alone could cover your Kent wedding photographer. If you want to save even more money, you might want even to reconsider the season and switch your summer wedding to a winter one! 

2. Cut back on the late night snacks

Do you have a wedding reception planned for the evening? If so, you might want to be conscious about the food you serve after dinner. Just think about it. Most of your guests will be drinking, dancing, 'cheersing' and celebrating your nuptials. 

Not many people have time; some may even be too drunk to snack on the midnight bacon sandwich, pizzas and chips. Plus, guests may depart early if they have kids. Therefore you could be paying unnecessary expenses for food to get wasted. 

I'd recommend looking at your guestlist for the reception and think about who might stay back till the early hours. Then only provide catering for 70% of the guests or serve cost-effective snacks

3. Ditch the table decorations

Take a moment to think about how many guests you will have at your wedding and the reception. Then, think about the number of tables—next, the table centrepieces. Whatever number arises in your head, I bet it's a lot. In the USA alone, centre pieces cost between $50-$500 per table, which is about £40-£400 for the UK. 

So if you've got at least 10 tables, you could be spending around £400 at minimum. 

But do you really need them? 

They can easily get in the way of the table and block your guests' view while sitting there. I don't wanna be a party pooper here, but I genuinely miss amazing photos because of tall centre pieces. They're incredibly frustrating, again if you want them thats totally cool, BUT if someones telling you you need them, have a good think about it before saying yes. 

If you feel like they're a must, you might want to try DIY table decorations. There are plenty of videos on Youtube to gain inspiration. 

4. Stick to beer & wine

At your wedding venue in Kent UK, you can lower your expenses by sticking to soft drinks, wine and beers. There's no need to be an open bar at all! You can simply buy wine, cans of beer and bottles from a cash and carry or wholesalers, placing some in the middle of a table. Plus, it's easier to find deals for wine and beers than for spirits alone. 

5. Review your music options

While music can be a brilliant bridge for your friends, family members and guests to connect over, you might want to think about the type of music at your wedding. For instance, a live band playing as you walk down the aisle could be very expensive compared to a DJ. The same goes for your reception. 

Top Tip: If you want to cut back on costs, try going for a DJ instead of a live band. If you want a live band, then try to book them far in advance, negotiate timings and get the expectations written down in writing first. I often find 2 sets of live music followed by a playlist to be perfect. Saying that...I know a few AMAZING live bands in Kent. Check out my recommended suppliers page here. 

6. Explore high street outfits

Are you planning to buy outfits for your bridesmaids and groomsmen? If so, then that can be a major financial burden. Especially if you go bespoke or to a tailor's, dresses can cost anything from £100-£500 upwards, and suits are even more costlier.

That's not even factoring their shoes, bags, belts and any accessories you wish them to have. You might want to explore high street options if you don't feel comfortable asking your bridal and groom parties to foot the bill covering their outfits. In today's times, there are plenty of affordable, stunning and colourful outfits to choose from. 

For women, Karen Millen, Oasis, Missguided and more. Whereas for men at your wedding in Kent, there's Next, John Lewis and many others out there! Taking them to a shop solves your headache of custom expenses, fittings and buying different dresses to compliment their figure. 

The bottom line for your wedding budget

When it comes to your wedding day, there are a few things you should not compromise on, the major one being your Kent wedding photography. After all, your wedding day is something you'll want to reminisce, rekindle and romanticise about for decades afterwards. The same goes for your look and outfit for your nuptials. 

I get it; wedding planning can be damn right stressful, confusing and expensive. But, if you cut back on little things like your table decorations, late night snacks and more, you can use the savings to cover your Kent wedding photographer and capture memories of a lifetime on camera. 

With my wedding photography and experience, I'll make your wedding stress free by capturing the magical moments discreetly. I'll ensure your photos are unique and complement you and your partner's personality. 

Simply reach out to me here with your details, and I'll be happily willing to discuss packages that are within your budget.