Simple tips on how to save for a wedding

wedding rings

From the wedding cake and wedding dress to the venue and photographer, it's no surprise that getting married can be one of life's most expensive milestones. That's why saving for a wedding is often essential.

The average wedding can cost between £18,000 and £32,000, according to’s research. So, building your wedding fund as early as possible will help.

We’ve put together some simple tips on how to save for a wedding so that you can create the perfect big day. We’ll also cover some cost-cutting ideas and outline how to budget for a wedding.

Create a wedding budget

Firstly, it’s a good idea to set a realistic budget for your wedding day, so there are no surprises when it comes to putting your plans into action.

To get started, create a wedding checklist. Make sure to carefully consider every aspect of your big day and note the costs you’re prepared to spend on each. You should then set a wedding budget — and stick to it.

With all the additional costs adding up, it’s no surprise that many overspend on their wedding day. 40% of couples overspent on their wedding, according to a survey by The Times. However, if you have a set budget and factor in the additional costs it can help you to avoid this.  One way to combat overspending is by setting a contingency of 10% for unexpected surprises. For example, if you have a budget of £20,000, try and keep to a budget of £18,000. 

Tips on keeping your wedding budget down

Planning a lavish wedding day is a wonderful idea for many couples, as long as your budget is within your means. You might want to spend money on the most important elements of the wedding day, which will help you to keep within your budget.

For some couples, relying on family to help pay for a wedding may not be an option. And many others may not have savings set aside for the big day, so they’ll need to start from scratch. Making sure you have plenty of time to save will help you reach your financial goals. But there are also ways to cut costs so you can still create the perfect wedding you’ve always wanted.

Here are some tips to consider when planning your wedding budget.

Opt for pre-loved dresses

Choosing a pre-loved wedding dress is a popular and affordable option for couples on a tight budget. Not only are they cost-effective, second-hand dresses are also perfect options for those who are eco-conscious.

Sites such as offer beautiful pre-loved dresses, with prices starting as low as £200. Brides can find their dream designer dress at a fraction of the cost. So, opting for a second-hand wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses can be a helpful way to stay within budget.

Today, lots of couples are heading to social media to find inspiration. Search hashtags such as #usedweddingdress and discover more wedding dresses at affordable prices.

When it comes to suits, many people choose to rent rather than buy but second-hand bargains can still be found.

Digital wedding invitations

When it comes to planning your big day, wedding invites are essential. Depending on the design you’re looking for, invitations can usually cater for high or low budgets but per person, the total price can add up quickly.

Digital invitations can be fun and creative. Opting for the digital route means you can save money on the paper used and postage.  They’re also an eco-friendly alternative, when you send invitations online there’s no physical footprint.

More recently, wedding websites have become popular options. Many couples are shifting to digital and creating sites to display all the important details guests need to know. Whatever your preference and style, it might be worth considering digital options to cut down on costs.


Ditch the three-course meal

After the outfits, invites, and wedding venue, the catering is another key priority on your wedding checklist.

Generally, the traditional three-course meal is a significant wedding expense. Cutting back on this aspect might be a good solution if you’re looking to stay on top of your budget. Instead, you can consider cutting a course or opting for a buffet, or picnic. This can help you to keep costs down and be able to spend money on other areas, such as the rings, transport, and honeymoon.

Make use of the talents of your friends or family

Call in favours from your friends or family. Whether you have DJs on hand, bakers, florists, or photographers, tapping into their repertoire of talents can be a helpful way to save when it comes to organising your special day.

It could be the case that friends and family will be happy to offer their services for the day as a wedding gift or offer you a cheaper rate to help stretch your budget even further.

It never hurts to negotiate

Before agreeing to costs or contracts, you should first try haggling. Some couples will be prepared to pay the full asking price and won’t consider asking for a discount, but don’t be shy.

When booking suppliers, a venue, or even a caterer, it’s worth opening up negotiations. And although it might seem daunting to haggle, you could walk away with huge savings.

Saving for a wedding

Having a wedding budget can provide a clear financial target to reach. And there are lots of methods to help you save for the big day.

Start saving as soon as possible, so you have time to accumulate the savings you need. Typically, saving does require sacrificing other things you would usually buy. It might be worth considering changing your spending habits to reach your goals quicker.

Here are our top tips on how to put more savings aside for your wedding fund.

Having a wedding budget can provide a clear financial target to reach. And there are lots of methods to help you save for the big day.

Start saving as soon as possible, so you have time to accumulate the savings you need. Typically, saving does require sacrificing other things you would usually buy. It might be worth considering changing your spending habits to reach your goals quicker.

Here are our top tips on how to put more savings aside for your wedding fund.

Review your spending habits

By reviewing your spending habits, you can determine the areas where you can cut back or sacrifice altogether. This can be a great money-saving tactic, as you’ll be able to implement quick changes that can make a big difference.

If your big day is approaching fast, you may have to sacrifice more to reach your goal in time. At a small scale, this could be saving £15 a week on takeaway coffee, or at a larger scale, you could reduce personal luxury items, clothes shopping, and weekly food takeaways.

Every saving, no matter the scale, will be a step towards your wedding fund goal. Even saving £15 a week will add up to £780 over the year!


Save on current bills

Reducing your outgoings is one of the best options to set extra savings aside. An easy way to do this is to assess your finances to see if you can save on things such as energy and broadband providers. Use a comparison site or switching service to help tackle the task.

There are many other ways to tighten up your spending. To help you stay on top of your money, we’ve compiled our top tips for freshening up your finances.

Create a weekly living budget

Creating and sticking to a weekly living budget will make saving much easier. You can trim unnecessary expenses, and savings will quickly accumulate.

Have a look at our guide on how to stick to your budget.

There are many benefits of budgeting; not only does it build a better understanding of your personal finances, but it can help you to make more informed decisions when making new purchases.

Keeping to a weekly living budget is one of the best ways to watch your spending so that you can stay on track and reach your financial goals for your big day.

Take on saving challenges

Choose a saving challenge and watch your pot grow. Saving challenges are fun opportunities to reach your wedding budget goal and help take off some of the pressure. Depending on how much you want to save, there are many different saving challenges to choose from.

You can take up a challenge at any time. Whether you’re looking to save that little bit extra or on a large scale, there are options to suit every goal. Visit our guide on the best saving challenges for inspiration.

Consider a savings account

When it comes to your wedding day funds, a wedding savings account can help separate your funds from another joint or personal savings account you might have.

If your wedding day is quickly approaching, an easy-access account might be a suitable option so that you can withdraw funds whenever you want, easily and without penalties. Do you have a year or more before your wedding? If you have plenty of time to save before your big day, a savings account where you’re required to give notice before making a withdrawal might have the potential to offer a better rate. Whatever your savings targets and how you choose to save, look at all of your options and double check any penalty fees before deciding on which option is right for you.

Here at Shawbrook Bank, we offer a range of options to suit different saving needs. If you’re looking to manage your wedding savings using an account, find out more about our personal savings accounts.

Financing your big day with a wedding loan

Although savings can be a good way to pay for a wedding, it’s not always possible to cover all the costs.

If you’re considering other financing options, such as a credit card or wedding loan, remember to set a realistic budget so that your big day doesn’t place you in a difficult financial situation.

A wedding loan can offer flexibility and provide you with the funds to create your perfect wedding day. At Shawbrook Bank, we believe in being fair and transparent with everyone that applies for a loan with us. When you apply for an instant quote for our wedding loans, it won’t impact your credit score. We’ll give you a clear picture of your guaranteed and personalised rate right from the start so you can shop around and decide whether a loan is the right choice for you.

To find out more about financing options for your big day, read our Ultimate Guide to Financing your wedding.


All loans are subject to status. The interest rate offered will vary depending on our assessment of your financial circumstances and your chosen loan amount. Terms and conditions apply.