Not everyone wants to spend big on their wedding day, and that’s fine. We explain how you can easily plan a wedding with a £5,000 wedding budget.
The cost of a wedding seems to rise every year, and if you’re not made of money or you don’t fancy spending a huge amount on one day, it can seem hard to know where to start when it comes to planning a wedding. If you’ve got a £5,000 wedding budget we’ve set out an expert breakdown on how to spend it below.
£5,000 Wedding Budget Breakdown
Ceremony Costs – £350
Allow yourself around £350 for your wedding ceremony costs. With such a small budget, it’s worth looking at your local register office so you can avoid paying to hire a room for your ceremony. Find out how to arrange a civil wedding ceremony here.
Fees can vary by location, but by allowing £350 of your £5,000 wedding budget, you should be covered. You can expect to pay around £35 per person for your notice of marriage and around £46 to register the marriage, but again this may vary.
Register offices can charge more than this though, so it’s worth phoning your local ones to see what they say. You should also allow £4 to buy a copy of your marriage certificate on the day (this rises to £10 after the event). You’ll need your marriage certificate to update your bank details, utilities and more, particularly if you’re changing your name.
Remaining wedding budget: £4,650
Wedding Venue Costs – £2,500
Your wedding venue can consume a huge chunk of your wedding budget. Your best way to save money on your wedding venue is to look at a budget-friendly wedding venue and wedding venues with special offers.
A restaurant or a pub wedding venue is a great choice if you have a smaller wedding budget. By hosting your ceremony elsewhere, you’re cutting costs, and by choosing a venue that includes catering in its packages, you’ll also make savings.
A restaurant or pub wedding venue, such as The Artisan of Clerkenwell, will include catering in their packages and offer a relaxed, laidback vibe which will guarantee a fun celebration.
You can also cut costs on wedding catering by not giving your guests a three-course meal and by serving up your wedding cake as dessert. Consider getting married later in the day and having your wedding breakfast later too, to avoid the need for heavy evening food.
Lots of venues will include basic décor and entertainment in your package too – chat to your venue and see what they can offer. Remember, if you choose an out-of-season wedding date (i.e. not in the summer or close to Christmas) you’ll get more for your money.
Remaining wedding budget: £2,150
The Wedding Dress – £500
We firmly believe that even when you’re on a tight budget, you shouldn’t scrimp on your wedding dress. Whilst lots of high street shops compete to offer wedding dresses for less, your wedding day is the most important day of your life and you deserve the best quality you can afford.
Use our sister site Wedding Style Collective to find local bridal boutiques and chat to them about sample stock – these are independent businesses run by experts so even if they can’t help you, they’ll be able to give you advice.
Your dream dress might not be as expensive as you think. Plenty of bridal brands, such as Romantica, are devoted to creating wedding dresses that are affordable. Hayley from their marketing team explains their ethos: “A bridal gown is so much more than just a dress, it is a statement of style, personality and above all romance. With that in mind, we aim to offer brides the very best with timeless silhouettes, high quality fabrics and on-trend embellishments. Giving a modern twist to classic bridal styles and offering brides everything they dreamed of and more.
“It is often believed that a designer gown will have a high price tag but this is not the case with Romantica, every bride deserves to have the dress of their dreams.”
Remaining wedding budget: £1,650
Photography – £500
You’ll want to be able to remember your wedding photos forever, so make sure you set aside part of your £5,000 wedding budget for your wedding photographer. £500 won’t go far when it comes to wedding photography, so make sure you’re frank with the photographers you speak to.
If it’s off-season and it’s not on a weekend, there will be less competition from other couples with larger budgets so you may get more for your money. You can also scale back on what is photographed – are you bothered about having professional photos whilst you get ready? Do you need your photographer present at the reception?
If you can cut back on these things, and you are happy with all your images on a memory stick or in an online folder, you could still hire a professional wedding photographer. Some photographers offer extras like engagement shoots, but find out if waiving this will help boost your budget.
Remaining wedding budget: £1,150
Accessories – £0
It hurts, we know. But when you’re on a tight budget, you need to make some sacrifices. Instead of buying new accessories, follow the classic wedding traditions of something borrowed and something old.
Borrow accessories from your already-married friends and family, and wear jewellery you already own in order to keep costs down. Same goes for your wedding shoes – as least you know they’ll already be broken in!
Remaining wedding budget: £1,150
Hair and Beauty – £50
Another area to cut costs in is your wedding hair and makeup. We’ve got lots of tips on doing your own wedding makeup and there are plenty of video tutorials that can help you nail the perfect bridal look.
If you’re not confident with the brushes, chat to a friend whose makeup you always admire and see if they’d be willing to help you out on the day as a gift.
When it comes to your hair, visit your normal hairdressers for a blow dry – by going to them and not opting for an elaborate hairstyle, you can save money.
Remaining wedding budget: £1,100
Bridesmaids and Groomsmen – £0
A tight budget means a small wedding party. You can save money by not having any bridesmaids or groomsmen, but if you can’t bear the thought of that you can always ask your closest friends but explain that you can’t afford the outfits for them.
It will be up to them whether they want to splash out on a new outfit or wear something they already own in that instance. You also can’t expect them to go to heavy on the bridesmaid duties or groomsmen tasks when they’re doing you a favour!
Remaining wedding budget: £1,100
Groomswear – £100
Seeing as there is money in the budget for a wedding dress, it’s only fair that you allocate some of your £5,000 wedding budget to groomswear if you need to.
If the groom already has a suit he loves, you don’t need to worry, but otherwise look at hiring a suit as it will be better quality than a high street buy – but your tight budget won’t allow for a made-to-measure keepsake, we’re afraid.
Remaining wedding budget: £1,000
Wedding Cake – £100
Of course you need to allow budget for cake! If you’re a keen baker, you can always make your own wedding cake, but most people find that in the run up to their wedding baking an elaborate cake will only add to your stress levels.
For £100 you can get a very basic, undecorated cake, or a couple of supermarket cakes. You could also look into having an alternative wedding cake, such as a stack of brownies or a doughnut tower which will keep costs down too.
Read more: 11 beautiful naked wedding cakes
Remaining wedding budget: £900
Wedding Flowers – £150
If you only opt to have a bridal bouquet for yourself you can keep costs down. Look at different ways to decorate your reception tables if décor isn’t included in your wedding venue package. You could always use candles placed in bottles as a cheap and effective way to dress up the space without damaging your £5,000 wedding budget too much.
Alternative bridal bouquets that don’t use fresh flowers are another great way to keep down your costs.
Remaining wedding budget: £750
Wedding Entertainment: £400
You’re probably not going to get your favourite band and a string quartet on your £5,000 wedding budget, but you can get something.
A Spotify playlist can sort you out for during the meal and for the later part of the evening party, when everyone’s too tipsy to care. Your venue package might include entertainment, but if it doesn’t, £400 can go towards a DJ to start the party or an entertainer to amuse guests as they mingle.
Read up on the best way to entertain your wedding guests here.
Remaining wedding budget: £350
Honeymoon – £350
We know it’s not exactly a Maldives budget, but you can have a dreamy mini-moon in the UK for £350, and if you ask for cash as a wedding gift you could always put that towards a honeymoon.
If you are relying on cash from guests, make sure you don’t book a honeymoon until you’ve actually received your gifts, so you don’t overspend.
If you’re looking for even more ways to save money on your big day, whether you have a £5,000 wedding budget or not, make sure you check out our wedding budget hacks.