Say I Do to Creative Wedding Ideas on a Budget

Say I Do to Creative Wedding Ideas on a Budget

The average cost of a UK wedding is now £24,109. With inflation close to double digits and more couples intent on going all out on their big day, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise to learn that wedding costs have skyrocketed in recent years.

But what if you don't have that kind of cash to splash? While a bigger budget can often make it easier to celebrate in style, there are lots of ways to save money on your nuptials without sacrificing any of the fun and festivities.

From affordable wedding entertainment options to DIY decorations, here are our top wedding ideas on a budget!

wedding singers
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The Venue

Your chosen venue will often be your biggest expense. But before you blow most of your wedding budget on a stately home or a fancy hotel, these tips could save you a lot of money:

Take the Registry Office Route

A registry office is the cheapest wedding option by far, often costing less than £200. This will leave you a lot more money to spend on making your reception go with a bang, even if your wedding budget is tight.

Scout Out Affordable Reception Venues

For affordable wedding reception venues, check out sites such as,, and With prices starting from just £10 an hour, you can choose from village halls to private rooftop terraces - and save some serious cash in the process!

Get Wed on a Weekday

Saturday and Sunday time slots cost a lot more and are harder to secure. Booking your wedding on a weekday is an emerging wedding trend for many reasons, but not least because of the money you'll save on the venue.

Marry Off-Season

Along the same lines, getting married in less popular months such as November and January will help you make a limited budget go even further.

rustic wedding dress

The Dress

A bespoke wedding dress will set you back anything from £1,850 upwards, and that's before you've considered any alterations or accessories. Here are some ways to save money without sacrificing on style:

Hit the High Street

Affordable brands such as H&M and Zara now offer stunning bridal ranges while online favourites ASOS and SHEIN are great options for finding a fashionable wedding gown at a fraction of the price.

Depending on the style you want, you might not have to stick to bridal ranges, either. Many high street shops have elegant dresses for sale in their regular ranges too, and you could even get lucky in the sales!

Rent Your Dress

Most wedding dresses aren't meant for re-wearing, so renting is a more affordable and sustainable option. It also means that you won't have to dedicate half of your wardrobe space to a dress you'll never wear again. Check out Something Borrowed and ByRotation to find a high-end gown for less.

Slip on Something Borrowed

Making your dress your "something borrowed" gives extra sentimental value to your nuptials, while also saving you a packet! Although you might have to pay for alterations, if you love your grandma's lace dress or your mum's '70s wedding suit, this is a touching way to make your budget wedding more meaningful.

Go Vintage

If you'd like a unique dress without the designer price tag, vintage could be the way to go. For those of you who favour the looks from a particular era, such as the 1950s or 1980s, wearing a vintage dress will also allow you to remain true to your individual style preferences.

bride doing her own DIY makeup

Hair and Makeup

It's understandable to want to look your best on your big day. But hair and makeup services can soon add up. Here are some ways to ensure you look wedding-ready without breaking the bank:

Book Both in One

Many professional services offer both hair and makeup. Since part of the fee covers the fact that they're coming to you, this always works out cheaper than two separate professionals.

Ask Friends and Family

Always admired your friend's perfect eyeliner or your sister's hairstyling skills? Rather than paying a professional, asking loved ones for help on your wedding day is a touching way to include them and a great way to cut costs.

Do It Yourself

With the number of tutorials on YouTube and TikTok, it's easier than ever to perfect the pro tricks when it comes to makeup and hair. Plus, the beauty of doing your own wedding makeup means that you can do as many practice runs as you like.

The Entertainment

Cutting your wedding entertainment budget too much can make for a dull wedding and an even worse reception. Here are some ways to show your guests a good time without overspending:

Find Full-Day Packages

Find a wedding singer that offers a full-day package and this can mean big savings compared to hiring separate performers for the daytime and evening. Depending on how much money you want to spend on entertainment, you might also find that one of these complete musical packages covers everything you need and fits your budget.

Stick to Smaller Bands

Fewer performers often mean smaller prices. For example, you might want to swap a string quartet for a string duo or a soloist for the wedding music. The same goes for wedding bands, where duos and three-piece bands will often cost less than a foursome.

Look for Local Talent

Since travel expenses are part of the cost of hiring a wedding band, the average cost of a wedding band often varies depending on where you're getting married. Secure a band operating in your local area and you'll soon see how much cheaper this tactic can be.


While wedding flowers can be pricey, they help tie your colour scheme together and bring life to the event. Follow these tips to secure your blooms on a budget:

Include Fewer Flowers

From bridesmaids' bouquets to flower girl crowns, and groomsmen buttonholes to table arrangements, the amount and cost of wedding flowers can soon get out of hand. Limiting the flowers to a bridal bouquet will save money while also ensuring that the flowers you do have will make more of an impact.

Shop the Supermarket

Trust us - once you remove the plastic wrapping and lose some of the greenery, no one will know that you picked up your wedding blooms with your weekly shop. For the best look, though, remember to pick up your flowers a few days before your wedding. This will ensure that they're all open by the time you get married.

Make Your Arrangements Artificial

Artificial flowers have come a long way in recent years and now look more convincing than ever. As well as being cheaper than real stems, they last forever and you can go as exotic as you like without worrying about the extra cost.

decor wedding idea on a budget

Invitations, Decorations, and Favours

A lot of wedding planning involves items that are nice to have rather than essential. Here are some ways to include these little touches without going over budget:

Try to DIY Where Possible

Handwritten 'save the dates', invitations, and place cards add a personal touch if your penmanship skills are up to the challenge. If not, try free design websites such as Canva or one of the many budget websites that allow you to create and order simple designs.

As for decorations, take a look at these DIY wedding ideas. From hand-painted signs to centrepieces made from found objects, doing it yourself will make your big day even more unique!

The same goes for favours. More than anything, guests treasure meaningful souvenirs of the day so they're sure to appreciate something you've crafted yourself.

Send E-Invites

Save even more by sending invites via email rather than snail mail. This might feel a little cold but it's more sustainable and means that you'll have more funds to spend on the day itself and the people who can actually make it.

Hand Out Disposable Cameras as Favours

Kill two birds with one stone by handing out disposable cameras as favours. While you'll still need the services of a professional photographer, you can limit them to official photos and then send them home to save money. Your guests will then get the chance to capture fun informal shots and touching candid images.

wedding buffet

The Food & Drink

Forgoing conventions with quirky wedding ideas such as asking guests to bring their speciality dishes can make it easier to keep to a tight budget. Otherwise, these options can help you save on food and drink:

Get Married Later in the Day

Getting married in the morning means you'll then have to serve your guests lunch and dinner. But get married later in the day and you'll only have to feed your guests once. This tactic will also save you money on the venue if it's paid by the hour, and you won't have to spend as much on drinks or entertainment if your wedding lasts a few hours rather than the whole day.

Bring on the Buffet

Sit-down meals are elegant but they'll also cost you over £100 per guest to cover serving fees and the like. Buffets are a much more economical option and they often allow for more variety and freedom too.

Ditch the Desserts

Why spend money filling your guests up with sweet treats when there's a delicious cake to eat? Too many dessert options is a key reason why wedding cakes often go uneaten but this is an expensive and unnecessary mistake.

naked cake

The Cake

A wedding cake is a symbolic part of the ceremony but there's no need to blow your budget on it. Here are some more affordable options:

Serve a Naked Cake

A new and economical wedding trend is the naked cake. With no icing, this fashionable boho option is cheaper than a cake covered with fondant and is easy enough to DIY if you or a relative is a competent baker.

Include False Tiers

Who said that you can't have that five-tier masterpiece on a budget? The trick here is to include a few false tiers to give the cake height without adding to the cost. You can then cut the top tiers for photos and enjoy them with your guests without ending up with mountains of leftover cake after the ceremony.

Brownie stack

Stack the Snacks

For those of you who want to do things a little differently, there's no need to have a cake at all. Many couples now prefer the idea of cake alternatives, such as a brownie stack, a doughnut tower, or a mound of macarons. You don't even have to make it sweet. If you're more of a savoury fan, the idea of a cheese tower or a pork pie stack might be more appealing.

The Presents

When you're working with a tight budget, why not turn to the generosity of your guests to make your day extra special? Here are some ways to do this:

Request Help Over Gifts

Turn your wedding into a group affair by asking friends and family to pitch in with their skills and talents rather than buying presents. As well as saving money, this will take away some of the stress of wedding planning.

Whether this is getting your auntie to bake the cake or calling on a friend to drive you to the ceremony, this help will be much more useful than another toaster or set of knives.

Ask for Cash

Take your lead from Spanish wedding etiquette and request cash or a bank transfer as your preferred wedding gift. Many guests will appreciate not having to search for a gift and you can use the money to offset the cost of the wedding or pay towards the honeymoon.

Include Services on Your Gift List

Guests might be more inclined to pitch in with the cost of your wedding if you include them on your wish list. For example, if you list your chosen wedding band, knowing that they'll get to enjoy their music at the reception will likely encourage guests to contribute to the cost.

Wedding Ideas on a Budget

Once you start crunching the numbers in your wedding budget calculator, it can be a big shock to find out how much a wedding can add up.

But, with these wedding ideas on a budget to guide you, it should now be a lot easier to cut costs without cutting corners.

For more information on booking your wedding entertainment no matter what your budget, contact us here at Bands For Hire today!