If Royal Wedding fever has got you in the mood to tie the knot, congratulations! And if your big day is still some way off, then even better - you’re perfectly placed to plan for the wedding of your dreams, but without breaking the bank.
Because before you start planning your ‘big day’, you’d be wise to stop for a moment and consider what price you’re prepared to pay in the name of love. It’s a fact that weddings cost. However, while the average wedding now costs £21,000, one recent poll found that couples substantially underestimate the cost.
Over-spending is all too easy to do. But the good news is that there are plenty of ways to make shrewd savings that will save you a small fortune and set plans in place that will mean you don’t start married life in the red.
Forget the scalloped edging, grosgrain and satin ribbon embellishments, all an invite has to do is let the invitee know where they need to be, when and why. Custom-made invitations are out of date and will leave you out of pocket. Instead create your own. Buy plain cards from a craft shop, choose your font, load up your printer you’ll save a small fortune on a guest list of 60. Or go really 21st century and send out e-cards, for free.
All out display
With the bride’s bouquet, buttonholes for the groom, best man and father of the bride, not to mention posies for the bridesmaids and corsages for the mums, you can spend a fortune on flowers.
The bulk of the cost tends to come from the time and creative skills of the florist, rather than the flowers themselves, so take the DIY route. If that’s not something you can pull off with aplomb, stick to something chic and simple.
Dress for less
Rather than heading for a bridal shop, check out the designer sales and shops that specialise in samples or second-hand gowns. The prime time to bag a bargain is at the end of the traditional Spring/Summer wedding season, when ‘last year’s’ designs get the heave-ho. Remember too that high street retailers often have dresses to suit less formal weddings.
Pics and videos are vital for capturing the day, but there’s no need to pay big bucks for a wedding photographer. If you really must have some ‘formal’ shots, then give the photographer strict instructions on who should be photographed, then let them go early and let friends and family capture the rest of the day.
Save without sacrifice
Starting married life in the red isn’t the most romantic, or sensible, thing to do. But the good news is that with a bit of preparation now you can have your Big Day without slipping into debt.
You can save as little as £50 a month into an ISA and build up a nice little nest egg to meet your wedding costs. When it comes to saving, the longer you have, the better, so if your wedding day is some time off yet now is the perfect time to start saving towards it.
Remember you don’t have to stump up a lump sum at the start of the tax year to put into your ISA. A monthly savings plan is a simple way to start investing early and make regular contributions into your ISA savings pot. Furthermore, starting early and splitting your payments throughout the year can lead to better returns overall than investing a lump-sum at the last minute.
Pop £50 a month into your ISA, or more if you can (we can each save up to £20,000 a year into an ISA) and you’ll start to see your money growing nicely.
So get started and watch your savings grow.
Smart wedding borrowing
If you need to borrow to pay for your wedding, then credit cards that offer 0% interest on purchases can be a good way of making the costs manageable. Just make sure you don’t over-spend and put a plan in place to clear the balance before the 0% rate ends.
The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up, so you may not get back what you invest. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances, and all tax rules may change in the future. This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to an authorised financial adviser.