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MoneySaving Weddings Article Discussion

edited 4 July 2013 at 10:03AM in Weddings & Anniversaries
107 replies 99.3K views


  • edited 13 February 2019 at 9:15AM
    BridgeBridgeBridgeBridge Forumite
    1 posts
    Wedding Day Wonder
    edited 13 February 2019 at 9:15AM
    We were married last October and were on a fairly tight budget. As it was in the end we had the most amazing day and evening, with 38 guests, for approx. £2,000. A few tips for keeping the costs low:

    - We bought our rings second hand from a reputable shop. Got 2 wide rose gold bands for < £200.
    - My wedding dress was a lovely prom dress costing £123.
    - We made our buttonholes and wedding flowers. Bought fabric flowers from a local store and I watched tutorials on YouTube to learn some tips.
    - We held our wedding reception and evening at Revolution Bar. They had a lovely separate private area upstairs, overlooking the main public bar area. So long as we committed to spending minimum of £500 at the private bar, we had the whole area free all afternoon/evening. As it was we paid for a 2 course meal for guests, which covered the minimum. This mean we didn't need to hire a room somewhere. Nor did we need to hire a disco/band as we were effectively in the same room (but sectioned off) as the general public and the venue had music and DJs (plus a dancefloor).
    - Revolution offer a discount card which I believe cost approx £4. This card gave us 2 for 1 cocktails all day and night.
    - We had 3 x colourful supermarket bought party cakes, which we sprinkled edible butterflies over to spritz them up. No need to splash out on an expensive wedding cake. Most people are full after the reception meal anyway!
    - We made our own wedding favours. I ordered personalised Just Married love hearts from Swizzell. Then ordered fortune cookies from ebay. Made the favour bags ourselves.
    - No need for a photographer, as we asked the guests to take lots of photos an send them to us. We now have a great selection of photos to choose from.
    - We asked for cash. Felt a bit awkward asking, however, everybody agreed it made sense. And in the end the cost of our wedding was paid for in money-gifts.

    Hopefully some of these tips might help others out there. Good luck to you all :-)
  • JennyfishJennyfish Forumite
    2 posts
    My partner and I have managed to wrangle a couple of free overnight hotel stays to go and visit potential venues that are far away.:love:
    We simply email the wedding coordinator and explain that we'd love to come and see the venue and express interest in a certain package they have to offer, then lament that the venue is too far for us to make it there and back in a day and could they possibly put us up for the night so we can get the full experience of the venue that our guests would be receiving?

    It's great to get a really in depth feel for the venue this way. For example the 1st one we loved but when we stayed we realized that it was unsuitable for my disabled relatives and had to sadly turn it down.
  • BenjaGBenjaG Forumite
    102 posts
    If you have the image files (and image rights), then you can create your wedding album yourself, here are some tips on how to make your own wedding album. Doing things this way, might result in a less professional looking wedding album, however, doing it your own way will produce a more personal album and will save you at least £1000.
  • Last-minute low budget flowers is a perfect idea! I've just started planning my wedding and there is so much to decide! I have this book: and believe it's gonna help a lot, but I seriously cannot stop reading new tips!
  • JennyfishJennyfish Forumite
    2 posts
    There is an amazing charity shop in Whitchurch in Cardiff for Cancer Research UK and they offer 2nd chance gowns and ex sample gowns at incredible prices.
    I got my brand new Jenny Packham dress (which should have been £1700) for just £700.
    They also do bridesmaids, mother of the bride, flower girl outfits and accessories including cheaper wedding shoes, hats, and veils.

    The shop is called Pritchard and Moore.
    Happy shopping!
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  • flashblokeflashbloke Forumite
    1 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie

    Unfortunately, this article discusses ways of saving money associated with all the frippery surrounding weddings but not the actual marriage itself.  Many people are unaware of rip-off fees being charged by registration services and how they can be avoided.  For example, if a couple are getting married for the paperwork only i.e. to obtain a marriage certificate to demonstrate that they are legally married, the statutory fee to give notice of the intention to get married is £70.00 (per couple).  Do not fall into the trap of paying so-called ‘booking fees’ or ‘administration fees’ to give notice on a Saturday or outside normal hours such as after 4.00pm on a weekday.  The actual statutory fee for a ceremony in a register office costs £46.00.  The cost of each marriage certificate is then £11.00 in addition.

    Although by law registration authorities are required to offer this service, many do whatever they can to make the proposition as unattractive as possible.  They do not readily advertise the service and make it as inconspicuous as possible on their web sites.  Because fees from conducting marriage and civil partnership ceremonies are used to cross-subsidise other registration services, such as the registration of births and deaths, local councils endeavour to ‘persuade’ as many people as possible to pay for a more expensive ceremony that they do not need.

    Many register offices have closed in recent years with the reduction in registration districts.  Generally, now there is only one register office in each local council area and this may mean travelling some distance across county in order to reach your nearest register office.  Former register offices had their ceremony rooms decommissioned and now frequently trade as ‘registration offices’ so they do not have to offer the statutory marriage ceremony.  There is a small but significant legal difference between a ‘register office’ and a ‘registration office’. These ceremony rooms fall into the category of ‘approved premises’ and councils are free to charge whatever they like (often running into many hundreds of pounds) in order to raise revenue.  Shop around from one local council area to another to get the best deal.

    To further sway couples away from having a statutory ceremony, register offices will only offer them at the most inconvenient times and in tiny offices.  So, a couple may find that the statutory service is only available on a Tuesday morning between 9.30-10.30am and they will be sat in an office with their two witnesses and no-one else is allowed to be present.  If you ask for a fifth person, perhaps a child, to be present, they will tell you that a more expensive option is required.

    Another rip-off ploy used by registration services is the ‘rehearsal’. After all, what bride doesn’t want their special day to flow without a hitch?  However, these so-called rehearsals are often nothing more than a desk-based exercise of someone running through a tick-box list and last around 10 minutes.  Some local authorities are selling them as virtually compulsory add-ons, a dubious practice at best that all but local councils wouldn’t get away with.  In case you are wondering, a professional celebrant should be able to guide a couple they’ve never met before through a ceremony at premises they’ve never worked at before with ease.  Sadly, many registration authorities are using inadequately trained ceremony officers earning little more than minimum wage so it can be pot-luck whether any ceremony, regardless of how much is actually paid, is undertaken with the necessary degree of professionalism.

    The General Register Office are in the process of revising how marriage ceremonies will be conducted.  MSE would do well to lobby them to allow ‘one-man’ operation for officiating at marriage ceremonies (two officials being currently required) as applies to civil partnership ceremonies.  This will significantly cut costs which should then be passed on to the customer.

  • AnnieRothAnnieRoth Forumite
    1 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Another alternative for budget minded brides or those in a hurry is The Gown Loft online at . All the gowns are high quality designer sample gowns from bridal shops and are 50 – 80% off retail! We will provide as many details and close up photos as you like and you will receive your gown within 3-5 business days in most cases. We work carefully with our brides to assure a good fit. Our goal is 100% satisfaction for every bride!
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