The average UK wedding is said to cost *drumroll please* £17,300, according to wedding planning site Hitched. Take a second and let that sink in. For many of us, that’s a substantial sum of money and one that might just make your eyes water if you’re planning on having a lavish big day with all the bells and whistles.
But panic not, whether you’ve envisaged saying ‘I do’ in an ancient castle or exchanging vows in an exotic location abroad, your dream day can be exactly as you imagined, on one condition: you’re savvy about saving. Saving for your wedding could mean making a few sacrifices here and there whatever your budget but we're here to offer some tips to help you save those all-important funds with *hopefully* reduced stress. Here’s how…
1. Set a savings goal
Setting a savings goal is a little like putting your destination into Google Maps when you get behind the wheel; it’s a lot easier to get where you’re going when you know where you want to go. So, your first port of call should be sussing out how much you want to save and how long you have to save it.
Not sure how to do that? Start with an itemised list that includes all your expenses from the big stuff like venue, catering, cars, and dresses to the smaller purchases like décor, cake, accessories, and shoes. Next, jot down an estimated cost for each item and add them up to get your final budget. It’s a good idea to add an extra 15% to this total to give yourself a little leeway for unexpected expenses. Getting a little help from the bank of mum and dad or expecting a generous relative to pitch in? Minus it from your target and divide the final number by the number of months you have until your wedding.
Et voila. Now you know how much to save each month and can begin carving out a plan to hit that magic number with ease.
With the Beehive Money app you can easily set yourself a savings goal when you open your account whether that’s an easy access ISA, one of our fixed rate products for longer term saving. Or, try a regular saver for those pennies squirrelled away little and often. You can name your goal whatever you’d like and pick an icon to personalise it too. Plus, we'll give you little prompts based on your savings and how you’re progressing against your target to let you know whether your goal is reachable.
2. Spot your financial drains
Now is a good time to grab your bank statements and go through them with a fine-toothed comb. What outgoings are zapping your finances quicker than you can say ‘payday weekend’? Are those nights out on the cocktails adding up or could you find a better deal on your internet?
Take some time to suss out what’s eating into your finances and then take some proactive steps to reduce them, think: giving your broadband provider a quick call to see if they can give you a better deal, setting a strict budget for eating out, or creating a weekly meal plan to cut your grocery bill in half.
3. Reconsider the consumables
Perhaps there are few things you love more than a fresh cup of barista-brewed coffee from your local café or a cheeky mid-morning sausage roll purchased from the bakery next door. We live in a grab-and-go world, where everything we could ever want or need – whether it’s a last-minute lunch or another bottle of water from the supermarket fridge – is right at our fingertips.
The good news is you don’t need to cut out every single little indulgence. After all, you’re going to be pretty miserable if you swear off your favourite brew or vow never to let another treat pass your lips until you’ve said, ‘I do’.
Instead, set an allowance for these little treats. Set aside a specific amount every month for these items and don’t go over it. While you’re at it, make the switch from consumable to reusable. You could invest in a reusable water bottle, buy some Tupperware, and batch-cook some lunches for the week to cut back on spending.
Want another savvy way to save? Here’s a tip: when buying a treat, pay in cash and put the spare change in a jar where you can see it. Having a visual representation of your progress can really spur you on. You’ve got this.
4. Switch up your date nights
Don’t assume that date nights are a no-go from now until the wedding. You can – and should – still make time for special nights in and out with your betrothed, and with a little budget-savvy advice, they don’t have to break the bank. Here’s our advice: Save the fancy three-course dinners for special occasions and opt instead for casual dining restaurants that serve up tasty food at a snip of the price. Love cocktails? Start the night with one or two, before switching to something cheaper like wine or beer, to cut the costs.
If you’re really watching the pennies, don’t dismiss an at-home date night. You’d be surprised how romantic a movie night can be with the addition of candles, a bottle of wine, and a delicious cheeseboard. Staying in is the new going out!
5. Price around
Remember that eye-watering figure we shared earlier? Remember, it’s only an average. A wedding can cost as little or as much as you want it to and there are savings to be had for couples who are prepared to shop around. Whether you’re booking a band, photographer, or venue, it’s good to get a handful of quotes so you can get the most bang for your buck.
While we’re on the topic, one of the easiest ways to save money on your wedding is to cut your guest list. Do you really need to invite your great aunt who you haven’t seen since you were five? Remember to weigh up the financial impact when sending out those invites.
6. Choose the right savings account
Now that you’re moving full steam ahead towards your savings goal, you’ll want to put that money somewhere where it works to your advantage. A regular saver could be a great place to put those all-important funds if you’re planning to save a set amount each month. You’ll be limited to a certain deposit amount per month and you may have to leave your savings untouched for at least a year and you can always leave it there longer if your saving plan is for more than a year. But, this gives you more time to save and stops you accessing the wedding fund pot! Making regular deposits can be a great way to ensure your savings balance goes up, up, and up. Set up a standing order so the money goes into your savings account without you even having to think about it. Why not browse our savings accounts and see which one could fit your goals?
The countdown to your wedding is a magical time and we hope these tips go a little way to helping you have your wedding cake and eating it too!