Save money on your wedding without compromising on style or romance with our wedding planning tips

Save money on your wedding without compromising on style or romance with our wedding planning tips
Gosfield Hall in Essex, perfect romantic wedding backdrop after dark

Saving money and wedding planning are not phrases that usually go together. All too
often, couples discover wedding costs have spiralled and they have gone way over
their original budget.

More does not always mean better, especially with weddings – we’ve all heard of
celebrations that went way over the top. Staying focused on your overall budget
helps reduce the urge to splurge unnecessarily but still gives you cash for the things
that matter most to you – be it venue, outfits, rings or flowers. The key is to have a
flexible and open-minded approach. That way you host a unique party that you
remember for all the right reasons.

Here are five wedding planning pointers to help you stay on track and host a
celebration that’s high on style and smart on budget.

Fix your budget by going all inclusive

One of the best ways to stay on track with your budget is to choose an all-inclusive
wedding venue. Agreeing all venue and catering costs up front means there are no
nasty surprises coming down the line when it’s too late to find an alternative solution
at the right price. This is key for peace of mind, as well as budget planning. You
know exactly what you will be getting – and what you have left to spend.

Another great benefit of all-inclusive – on stress levels if not cost – is that your venue
is a specialist in hosting weddings and already has the spaces, catering packages,
drinks menus and other essentials in place. This means you have a bank of ideas at
your fingertips and can quickly shortlist options to suit your style of party.

The best all-inclusive venues offer catering and space options for everything from a
formal banquet to a smaller gathering, so be specific at the outset about the kind of
celebration you want. You can obviously save money by inviting fewer guests, but it’s
worth exploring other options too – same number of guests but a less formal feast,
for instance. Or consider a later start so you feed people once and save on the

Save money on your wedding without compromising on style or romance with our wedding planning tips
Holmewood Hall, Cambridgeshire. Photo: Dan Waters

Opt for a weekday wedding

Your wedding day does not have to be Saturday. In fact, one of the smartest savings
you can make is to shift to a less crowded weekday slot. Many of your guests will
love the opportunity to attend a blowout party on a ‘school night’ – freeing up their
weekend for something else. Some may even choose to turn your special day into a
magical midweek break for them.

Before you choose a weekday option, you will want to ensure your ‘besties’ and
close family can make your chosen date, but from there on in it can be easier to
plan. You will find just about everyone – from photographer to band – is more likely
to have space in their diary.

As a guide, Monday to Wednesday are the cheapest options. Friday and Sunday
usually cost more, but still less than the classic Saturday slot.

Do go the extra mile with a weekday slot by supporting guests with comprehensive
hotel and travel information. Arranging wedding guest discounts at hotels is a good
idea. Or opt for a venue that offers accommodation on site. There’s nothing like
having your nearest and dearest staying close by for a relaxed pre or post wedding
celebration. And it also feels magical for guests to be partying rather than slogging
away at the office!

Save money on your wedding without compromising on style or romance with our wedding planning tips
Leez Priory, which has multiple locations for a wedding ceremony and celebration

Choose a low-season wedding

Like a midweek celebration, a low-season wedding can be a super saver financially.
While we start off dreaming of a perfect high-summer day, other seasons bring
distinct advantages, including terrific price savings on everything from the venue to
the band and the bridal attire.

If you want to maximise your budget, the cheapest months to marry are between
January and March. November is also classed as low season. Also consider the mid-
season wedding months of April, May and October.

You’ll certainly save money, but don’t think compromise – the trick is to lean in to the
time of year you choose. A frosty midwinter wedding brings glorious outfit
opportunities. Spring and autumn celebrations guarantee standout light and shade
photo opportunities and creative seasonal flowers and food.

Do opt for a venue that looks good in any season and delivers a sense of occasion
with minimal extra dressing. Country house venues work well thanks to their light-
filled rooms with large windows and high ceilings. Choose a place with beautiful
grounds, so you have a backdrop that looks stunning on the greyest day – even if
guests are viewing it from the comfort of the banqueting room.

Save money on your wedding without compromising on style or romance with our wedding planning tips
Bourton Hall dressed for a wedding. Photo Dita Bowen

Grab opportunity with a late-availability wedding

There’s something so romantic about a wedding that’s planned at speed – and so
liberating. What’s remarkable is how much everyone involved loves them too. Bridal
shops go the extra mile to track down that perfect dress. Florists and jewellery
designers deliver wonders. Family and friends relish the challenge of getting you up
the aisle on time.

There are other great plus points. Shorter lead times mean less room to fret over the
small stuff. You can’t waste hours finding the perfect pink napkins, don’t have time to
sign up for awful fitness regimes and can forget months of outfit fittings. This saves a
fortune, while also relieving you of the burden of perfectionism. Why bother over
details that no one else will notice on the day?

The headline-grabbing news here is the budget savings you can make. Even the
very best venues have some late-availability slots at terrific reductions. This means
you can afford to look at venues that might have been above your budget if you’d
planned ages in advance. Now that is a smart piece of wedding planning.

If you are considering a late-availability wedding, look for somewhere that has on-
site support to help keep you on track with schedules and must-have elements.
Ideally, you’ll also want an on-site catering team. With those two key areas covered,
you can just get carried away with the whirlwind romance of almost eloping.

St Audries in Somerset, a glorious Georgian country house venue

Stay flexible and be unique

One of the best things about a wedding is that it’s yours and yours alone. So stay
flexible, even if it means breaking with traditions. You should certainly consider
ditching any that don’t match your style or your budget.

“In the current economic climate, couples looking to get married are increasingly
deciding to make their hard-earned savings working even harder,” says Nick Bramer
of Country House Weddings. “Our intimate and twilight wedding packages have
proved a gamechanger in this regard as these packages allow our couples to have
their dream day at one of our spectacular venues – whilst ticking the right boxes in
terms of budget”.

Doing something a little different is also pretty cool. It offers opportunities to stand
out from the wedding crowd. How about an intimate wedding, where you have a
spectacular celebration with fewer guests? Or what about a twilight wedding –
glamour is guaranteed when everyone dresses up in ballgowns and DJs? These
celebrations can be every bit as spectacular as all-day parties and, just like a last-
minute or weekday wedding, they can reduce your wedding venue costs

Whatever you decide on, flexibility is the route to staying on budget and creating
your unique stamp. Do work closely with your venue and other main suppliers as
they can help you plan your dream day for less. Let them know where you want to
make savings, take their expert advice on board and ask about special offers –
especially on times and dates. Also be prepared to adjust plans when you find that
unmissable offer that works perfectly for you.

Working your wedding budget is smart – it keeps you on track with finances and
inspires you to stay true to your style. And, best of all, you get a wedding day that
feels memorable for all the right reasons.

Clearwell Castle in the Forest of Dean. Photo: Nick Murray

This is a sponsored post created in collaboration with Country House Weddings.
CHW is a collection of six exclusive-use venues across the south of England and the
team have been helping couples plan their dream wedding for over 30 years. Their
six historic properties in beautiful grounds feature multiple wedding spaces, and with
personal wedding managers and on-site catering teams. CHW offers a full range of
options, including late-availability weddings and Twilight Wedding Packages.