How to cut the costs this wedding season

It’s no secret that putting on a wedding is extremely expensive, with the national average nearing £21,000. However, what’s often most worrying is the cost of merely being a guest, which a survey by Nationwide found has significantly risen to £377 per wedding.

Every year there are around 270,000 weddings in the UK and nearly 50% of them take place in the summer months. Whether it’s buying a new outfit, finding the perfect gift or partying before the official celebration, the costs all add up. Here’s our top tips to make sure you’re not strapped for cash this wedding season.

Pre-wedding celebrations

The fun before the big day is often a highlight, but with hen and stag dos becoming increasingly extravagant, being a guest can become very expensive, very quickly. Nationwide’s survey found the typical hen do costs £136 per person, and £178 per person for stag dos! Saving money here requires a bit of creativity, but it’s definitely possible.

If you are close to the person getting married, it’s a good idea to be involved in the organisation of the hen or stag do. This means that you can have control over the budget. Here are some ideas for less expensive celebrations:

  • Instead of expensive spa breaks, try buying your own beauty kits and use them at home.
  • Karaoke night can be an inexpensive crowd pleaser – who doesn’t love a bit of questionable singing?
  • Have a laugh over a few drinks at a comedy club without spending too much
  • If you want to go abroad, look for group deals and book in advance to save money

The internet is full of deals that can keep spending under £60. ChilliSauce is a great place to find destination inspiration.

On average, each wedding guest spends £377 to attend one wedding

Travel and Accommodation

One of the most expensive parts of being a wedding guest can be travel and accommodation, but these are actually the easiest areas to save money by being savvy and doing your research. Similarly to the gift, try and get these sorted as early as possible to save money. A good idea is to get a group together, as you can often save money using group travel deals, and sharing rooms for accommodation can also be a lot cheaper.

A typical person will spend £156 for a pre-wedding hen or stag do


Everyone wants to look their best at a wedding, but don’t be afraid to wear the same outfit more than once! A great idea for women is to get a simple dress and dress it up with different accessories each time to create a new look. Alternatively, why not try a dress hire company? These days, websites like Girl Meets Dress and Dream Wardrobe buy into trends and have a variety of fashion-focused offerings, no matter what your budget.

For guys, it’s worth investing in a suit or tux and wearing it to every wedding with a different tie, to change things up.


Wedding gift

The key to saving money on the gift for the couple is to get it as early as possible. Be the first to check the gift list, if they’ve sent one, so you have many options to choose from and you can make sure to get one within your budget! If there hasn’t been a gift list sent out, then another way to keep things cheap is to make something yourself. A great keepsake for newlyweds is a scrapbook of pictures of them with family and friends – easy, cheap and fun to make! Another alternative is to buy a larger gift with a group of people, so the cost is split, but the couple still get a gift they’ll love.

Weddings are fun and the perfect chance to celebrate with friends and family. Don’t let the thought of money get you down during the happy occasion! Stay on the ball, get things sorted out early, and, most of all, don’t be afraid to politely decline invitations if it really isn’t financially feasible!

So go ahead – say “I do” to making your money go further this wedding season!