Weddings are expensive. This is a fundamental and universal truth, akin to both death and taxes, and truth often shouldered by the lucky parents and in-laws of the happy couple. But in difficult economic times, it can be especially hard to justify the sheer cost of what should be an unforgettable day of love and celebration. Here, we will examine some of the biggest costs associated with weddings – and how to bring them down.
While not the first expense that many think about when it comes to wedding costs, it is often the first thing to cross the minds of the lucky couple: where to get married. Venue hire can be expensive at the best of times, but there is almost certainly a ‘wedding tax’ that gets added whenever the words ‘ceremony’ or ‘reception’ are added to a venue query.
Venues naturally range in size and offer a wide range of different amenities depending on their purpose and location. City and village halls are common options due to their ease of hire but can be prohibitively expensive for larger weddings. Today, more couples are willing to take risks with their wedding venue – choosing unconventional locations from barns to their back garden. With a little cleverness and a small budget, an odd location can be turned into a magical, unique experience.
This is perhaps the most expensive single item on any wedding expense list, but it is also one of the most non-negotiable items on said list: the dress. Wedding dresses are unique, bespoke and utterly resplendent to behold – and excellent at choosing the right bride, just as the wand chooses the wizard. Unfortunately, this can often lead to five-figure dresses choosing the beautiful bride-to-be, with little else to be done about it.
While costs can certainly be cut here and there about the dress, this is one of those items for which it really can be worth shouldering the cost. With a little up-front financial assistance, the dress of the bride’s dreams can easily be funded – and form an integral part of what will be a lifelong memory for all present.
Catering is practically essential for a wedding, particularly one which unites large families and friend groups in one massive celebration. Catering is also one of those endeavours subject to the infamous ‘wedding tax’, though, and even a simple buffet can cost four figures alone – to say nothing of the five-course meal the lucky couple well and truly deserve.
There are savings to be made here, though. For one, local caterers might be more amenable to a bulk discount than a renowned national wedding catering service. For another, an informal wedding could be an opportunity for family members to cook and bring their food, in the form of a communal wedding reception ‘potluck’ that effectively brings catering costs to zero.