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30+ money saving tips for your wedding


30+ money saving tips for your wedding


Bouquet & Bells have worked with lots of couples that want nothing more than to have the wedding day of their dreams without completely emptying their bank accounts. Overtime, we have learnt clever little ways to save money and we’re going to share our top 30 with you. Not only will this help you to avoid costly mistakes but it could also spark new ideas. 

First things first, what actually IS your budget? Try to get an exact figure and write it down. 

Image by Jez Timms


Think before you start researching venues. 

What kind of wedding do you want? With how many guests? Only once you know the answers to these questions should you start researching possible venues. 

Create a venue comparison chart. 

Track exactly what’s included in each quoted venue package by creating a simple chart. Some venues cover everything you’ll ever need (cake table, table linen, etc), whereas others charge just for the hire of the venue. You’ll be surprised how quickly all the little extras can add up. 

Have the ceremony at your reception venue if you can. 

Church weddings are becoming increasingly expensive, at an average of £800 for a forty-minute ceremony. Book one location for both your ceremony and reception to save on multiple site fees. Plus, you’ll save on transportation costs between each venue.

Image by Sarah Brookes Photography

Guest List 

Invite more guests to the evening reception. 

The average venue charges £60 per head for the wedding breakfast, (and that’s without any drinks packages added on), whereas the evening food is only around £10 a head. So, only invite who you really want to the daytime reception. 

Image by Wedding Dreamz

Food and drink 

Cut bubbly out. 

With an average of £5 per glass, let guests toast with whatever they’re already drinking. 

Cater for around half your guests for the evening meal. 

Most of your daytime guests will be stuffed from the wedding breakfast, particularly if you don’t eat until mid-afternoon. Lots of the evening food is often wasted so only cater for around half the numbers. 

Make your own wedding favours. 

You can pay anything from around £3 per person for your wedding favours. Why not get creative and make your own? We always think a little bit of DIY is fun anyway! How about baking some stylish cake pops? Or yummy chocolate brownies? If you’re not feeling very creative you could buy £1 scratch cards for your guests, something that always proves a bit of fun! 

Don’t fork out for a costly evening meal. 

Chances are, your guests will be very merry by mid-evening and will just want some carbohydrates. Bacon baps, fish and chips and hog roasts are extremely popular as cheaper alternatives to a costly meal. 

Cake tips

  • Choose buttercream or cream cheese instead of fondant. 
  • If you would like to incorporate fruits, go seasonal. 
  • Restrict how many different flavours you have. 
  • Keep the design simple. 
  • Double up. Julie from The Red Rose Cake Co says, “double up on your cake size so it does its wedding cake duty but also provides dessert for your guests”.

Image by Melissa Walker Horn


Go paperless. 

More and more couples are opting for paperless invitations. Some websites now even allow you to design and send your personalised invitations without a single stamp in sight. Some couples are even creating personal websites to track RSVPs and store handy information for guests to read. 

Print your own. 

Get savvy with Photoshop or hop over to a website like Vistaprint with ready-made templates and create your own invitations. Yes, it may take a little extra time but printing costs are very reasonable. 

Save on the finishing touches. 

Believe it or not, classic white or cream-coloured invitations with black ink are the most cost-effective ones you can buy. Choose the details carefully by opting for cotton paper, rather than jacquard or linen – it’s a lot less expensive but looks just as luxe. Thermography is a printing process that uses heat to create a raised-letter look, and it looks exactly like engraving and is half the price. 

One between two.

Print one ceremony programme per couple rather than one per guest. 

Image by Photos by Lanty


Cut down on the time your photographer stays at the reception. 

Schedule main events like the toasts, cutting of the cake and your first dance soon after the wedding breakfast so these moments are captured but your photographer can then leave shortly after. 

Did you know?

The number one biggest wedding regret is not having a professional video of the wedding day.

Image by Devon Divine


Go green. 

Foliage costs a fraction of what you’d pay for in flowers. It’s very much on trend at the moment too. 

Keep it simple.

Most of the florist’s fee goes towards the cost of labour, so the more elaborate your arrangements, the more expensive they will be. 

Use candles. 

Use candles in place of real flowers. They also act as great gap fillers whilst looking elegant and romantic. 

Pro tip:

If the flowers you love aren’t in season for your wedding, avoid hefty costs by adding silk versions to your bouquet and centrepieces instead. 

Image by Jacalyn Beales


Hire a band with fewer members.

When you pay for a six-piece band, you’re essentially paying to cover everyone’s individual costs. Opt for a three or four-piece instead. Your guests won’t notice a difference. 

Book locally. 

Travel costs make up a big part of wedding entertainers’ fees, as the further they travel, the more time it will take and the more money it will cost. By booking locally, you can keep fuel costs low, giving you more money to spend on the actual entertainment you want. If you’ve already decided to hire a smaller band or group of entertainers, you’ll only have to factor in the costs for one car rather than several cars or a petrol guzzling van. 

Cater for everyone. 

Opting for entertainment that can double up to both the adults and children will save you money. 

Avoid peak times. 

In-keeping with the rest of your wedding organisation, timing is extremely important. Avoiding peak times such as a Saturday in summer, will save you money on not only your venue, but also with your entertainment and every other aspect of your day. 

Image by Marisa Morton

Wedding shows

Visit a few local Wedding Shows. 

As an organiser of Wedding Shows, we can tell you that most suppliers exhibiting at the events offer some sort of on-the-day exclusive discount, special offer or incentive to couples that attend. It’s well worth visiting a few local shows, especially since many are free entry. Why not make a day of it, enter some competitions and gather up literature of local suppliers. 

Chat to numerous suppliers. 

Wedding Shows provide the perfect opportunity to chat with lots of suppliers and help you get a feel for what they offer. We’d particularly recommend visiting them during the early stages of planning as they help spark lots of ideas and will guide you to find the perfect supplier for your day that fits your style. 

Image by Lucas Mendes


Be smart with your budget. 

If budgets are tight, I would always advise spending a little less on elements such as wedding cars or favours, but to get the reception looking right because that’s where you and your guests will be spending most of your time. 

Get organised. 

Create a master document with supplier names, contact numbers and other important details. Not only will you feel in complete control during the planning stages but this will also help avoid any costly mistakes! We have a selection of free planning documents, spreadsheets and planners ready to download on 

Tap into a friend’s talents. 

One way to avoid the price-trebling effects of getting married is to use the talents of your friends and family. Do you know a keen baker who could make the cake? Or a talented photographer or videographer? Do you have a family member with a large garden that they would let you use for the reception? 

Save on your dress at a trunk show. 

A trunk show is often a special event held at bridal boutiques. A chosen designer will send gowns from their newest collections available for a short time only. Some designers are exclusive to other countries, so if you’ve got your heart on a specific designer it may be worth visiting a few trunk shows to save on important fees and nab a bargain. Shopping during a designer trunk show means you could pay anywhere from £15o to £500 less on your gown. There are also plenty of lovely second-hand shops, such as the Bridal Reloved chain. 


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Top Hidden Wedding Costs Nobody Warns You About

Most Bride’s are unaware of hidden wedding costs. But you’re already very wise to search the net for any potential nasty surprises that will knock a hole in your budget.

With lots of hidden wedding costs sprinkled throughout the planning process, it can cause you to go way above your budget, around 30% in fact. Ouch.

So where are these hidden costs? And how can you avoid them? Listen up, my friend, cos’ I’m about to teach you a whole lot.

Grab a pen and paper to jot down some of my essential tips.



Are you going to hire a florist? A venue dresser? A cake maker? Each of these will charge various fees to cover transport costs, and the time it takes to set-up and breakdown items.

This can be anything from 20% of a single suppliers total costs. And obviously, the more suppliers you use, the more you can expect to pay in these fees.


Alterations can be costly for the Brides and Bridesmaids dresses. Before you buy, you must ask what the stores alteration policy is.

It’s extremely common for the Bride and Bridesmaids to fluctuate in size, and you don’t want to be forking out potentially double your original budget in alterations.

This can cost anything from £100 per dress.


It seems most Brides are still opting for the more traditional method of posting the invitations to guests. Which personally I LOVE, however, you must remember that not only are you paying for the invitations to be delivered, but also for stamps and RSVPs.

To keep costs down, avoid bulky or large invitations and use RSVP postcards rather than letters.


This is fo’ sure my biggest tip. If you take anything away with you today, let it be this.

Ask your venue what exactly is included in your chosen package.

Table linen? Chairs? Cake table? Lighting? These aspects can be the most costly for a wedding. And do you know why? Because it’s a WEDDING, so venues know they can be sneaky and charge up to triple what they usually would.

Be very careful that you’re not purely paying for hire of the venue.

These costs can add an additional £75 EXTRA per person. Say what?!


Bringing in your own wine sounds like a good get out of extra fees, right? It can be, but be wary of the corkage charges.

If you bring your own alcohol to avoid the venue’s costs, you may still rack up a similarly priced bill. And you may even be charged glass rental fees.

Corkage fees range from venue to venue, so it’s always worth asking.


While having an outdoor wedding may initially seem cheaper, you may have to get permits to hold your event. Add on rentals (marquee, heater, generator, etc.) can begin to get costly.

Some indoor venues will also require a permit if you choose to use candles or other non-approved details. Inquire about these before signing the contract.

Additional add ons can cost from £500.


Some venues charge extra for guests to select their own meal from a range of dishes. This can cost an additional £2 per person. However, this is not expected by guests so make life easier for yourselves and just choose some good all rounders.

If there’s no set price for a three course meal, be cheeky and save some buck by opting for the wedding cake as desert instead.


Did someone say taxes? Yawn. Listen up though, cos’ this is important.

Tax varies from country to country, however you can expect to fork out an extra 20% on food, drink and rental fees.

Make sure that the venue package is inclusive of VAT, or at least be aware of the extra costs you’ll possibly have to pay. Sometimes, you will even be taxed on the service charge, increasing costs more.

Taxes and tips will be around 1/3 of your budgeted amount.

I truly hope you learnt some useful tips. The bottom line is, always read the small print to avoid hidden fees.

TOTAL COSTS: £8,460+

Did you know you can access a range of free, useful documentation including spreadsheets, checklists and guides to help you plan your wedding, the RIGHT way?

Click here to gain access.

And I’m VERY excited to introduce a new planning program for Brides – launching soon! Click here and complete the form to be updated.

Happy planning!

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Wedding Flower SOS – How to find the perfect blooms + your free downloadable checklist!


Deciding which flowers you’d like at your wedding will help you to focus your discussions with your florist, and most importantly, stay within budget.

It always amazes me how much of a difference flowers make to the overall look of a wedding. They are an essential factor of the venue dressing, particularly now that most florists supply decorative fixtures and fittings too.

The first step to finding the perfect blooms is to sit down and put together a list of all the floral elements you could ever possibly need for your wedding day, including your favourite flowers. We’ve made things super easy for you by creating a pre-made checklist.

Not only that, but we’ve also attached a completely free downloadable version of the checklist for you to print off and take along to your florist appointment. So get your pencil out and start ticking off which flowers are the most essential for your wedding day.

Stuck for a professional, reliable florist? We’ve got an extensive list of trustworthy contacts that we’ve worked with all over the North West. Get in touch for some guidance

Number of daytime guests:
Number of evening guests:
Colour scheme:
Wedding theme:
Type of preferred flowers:

Bride, Bridesmaids and Flower Girl:
Number of Bridesmaids:
Number of Flower Girls:
□ Bride’s bouquet
□ Bride’s hair flowers
□ Bridesmaids’ bouquets
□ Bridesmaids’ hair flowers
□ Tossing bouquet
□ Flower girl’s basket

Grooms, Groomsmen, Ushers and Ring Bearer:
Number of Groomsmen:
□ Groom’s boutonniere
□ Groomsmen’s boutonnieres
□ Usher’s boutonnieres
□ Ring bearer’s boutonniere

Family Members:
□ Mother of the bride’s corsage
□ Mother of the groom’s corsage
□ Father of the bride’s boutonniere
□ Father of the groom’s boutonniere
□ Grandmother’s corsages
□ Grandfather’s boutonnieres

□ Entryway or welcome table arrangements
□ Altar/chuppah arrangements
□ Pew or chair arrangements
□ Candles
□ Aisle decorations
□ Confetti for guests

Reception Flowers:
Number of guest tables:
□ Entrance arrangements
□ Bar arrangements
□ Gift table arrangements
□ Table plan arrangement
□ Centerpieces
□ Top table arrangements
□ Bride’s and groom’s chair decorations
□ Guest chair decorations
□ Buffet-table/food-station arrangements
□ Lounge area arrangements
□ Flowers for wedding cake
□ Cake table arrangements
□ Bathroom decorations
□ Getaway car arrangements

Click here to download the checklist for free!

Did you know you can access a range of free, useful documentation including spreadsheets, checklists and guides to help you plan your wedding, the RIGHT way?

Click here to gain access.

Happy planning!

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8 Wedding Favours Your Guests Will Actually Use


One thing you should consider when you buy wedding favours for your guests is if they’ll keep and use them. After all, it’s such a waste of money if your guests are binning the favours as soon as they get home. Here are some of the best wedding favours (I believe) that will make your guests think twice about throwing them away.

1. Personalised Sweetie Jar
Not On The High Street – £3.50 each


Choose from a range of classic sweets to put inside a small jar complete with lovely personalised tag. Something for your guests to enjoy and they can re-use the jar afterwards.

2. Hangover Relief Kit
Zazzle – £2.05 each


Your guests will really appreciate these small boxes of healing powers. Personalise them and have them available on tables or waiting for guests in their rooms.

3. Tea in Cork Bottle
Spice Kitchen – £2 each


A unique stunning wedding tea favour for your guests with a choice of tea carefully packed into a corked bottle. A number of variations are possible with this from the size of the bottle, the type of tea blend, the style of tag and the type of stamp you would like.

4. Macarons
Yumbles – £1.80 each


These handmade macarons make a yummy wedding favour. Beautifully wrapped in organza bags or small boxes containing 1 or 2 macarons each, you can even personalise your favours with your own personal message and choice of ribbon colour to match your events colour scheme.

5. Candles in Wedding Day Scent
Yankee Candle – £59.99 for 40


Perfect as Wedding favours, this attractive gift set contains 40 beautifully & individually boxed Votive Candles in the ever-popular ‘Wedding Day’ fragrance. Ideal for your guests as a reminder of your big day.

6.  Lotto Tickets


Package the lotto tickets up nicely, perhaps in an elegant envelope or paired with a small snack. Giving them on their own may come off tacky because the tickets aren’t very visually appealing.

7. White Heart Soaps
Light in the Box – £2.43 each


Each heart shaped soap comes in it’s own individual box. Free matching “Thank You” tags are included with each favour.

8. Seeds
Not on the High Street – £1.75 each


Create a lasting memory with these beautifully illustrated seed packet favours. Choose your seeds and personalise with your own text. Perfect for a vintage country wedding!

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