With wedding season officially under way, it can only mean one thing for many couples that are planning their special day, STRESS.
With so much to plan and pay for nowadays, this happiest of days can quickly turn into a financial nightmare and causes stress for everyone involved.
Depending on which magazines you read, the average cost of a wedding in the UK is approximately £22,000; that is no small chunk of change for most couples. Also an increasing number of couples are having to go to the “Bank of Mum and Dad” to help pay for their big day, with recent research finding that 53% share the costs with parents, 31% pay for it themselves and a lucky 11% have the day paid for entirely.
The biggest wedding expense, according to You & Your Wedding Magazine is entertaining guests with an average reception costing £7,382. The second highest expense is the honeymoon costing £2,935 and the third most costly item is the engagement ring, with the average person spending £1,730 on a ring and proposal.
Many couples feel that they are put under pressure by wedding suppliers to spend more than they originally budgeted for, on additional things like extra flowers, extra decorations, little gifts for guests at tables or extra bridesmaid dresses when two or three is probably sufficient. Sometimes less is more, which can really help bring down the costs especially if you are able to do a lot of the decorations, food/drink and flower arrangements yourself.
Here a few handy tips that we have put together to help you bring down some of the costs of the big day.
• Choose a weekday if you can: It will save you a lot of money. Venues and vendors are normally happy to give discounts to weekday weddings
• Look for vendors who are just starting out and establishing their portfolios, whose approach you like. Friends can usually refer you to someone who’s just starting out in photography, DJ-ing, or cake making. You’re supporting someone in their creative endeavours, and their prices are usually more than fair
• You don’t have to do everything on the cheap – just be realistic with yourself. Given your budget, what are some areas you absolutely cannot imagine cutting corners, and what are some areas you don’t mind as much about?
• Environmentally friendly ideas can save you money too – printing out RSVP cards, programmes, menus, etc. can quickly add up
• Let your bridesmaids be creative – give them a colour of their choice, and let them buy their own dresses that they can wear over and over again – everyone wins
Arriving back after your Honeymoon with large credit-card bills is not what any couple needs. So if you do decide to borrow money for your wedding, plan it carefully, stick to your budget and consider a loan with a low APR. With a loan you pay off some of the money you owe every month. This will help reduce the amount of potential debt in the future and stop you ending up with a credit card balance you don’t pay off. It is also important to look at options where you can pay your loan off early at no extra cost in case your financial situation improves.
Since 2005, Zopa savers have helped over 1,130 dream weddings come true. Our wedding loans arranged to date total over £5.6m, and so far in 2013 we have arranged 206 loans for wedding expenses. With August being the most popular month for weddings in the UK, we are looking forward to helping more couples plan and celebrate their big day.
We wish all those couples getting married this year the very best of luck and please do share any stories with us about your wedding as we would love to hear and see how it all went!
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