The nuptials of Meg ‘n Harry have hardly been without drama – what with her ailing father and the chips on her half-sister’s shoulders. But at least the couple haven’t had to worry about the cost. I read somewhere that her dress alone could cost £100,000: you can get a house for that up north.
When I got married 20 years ago, we spent about £400 including the rings. With few family members and a hatred of fuss, we got married at the local register office in our normal clothes and went to the pub after with our three witnesses. In retrospect, we did it too quietly – I wish we’d had proper photos taken so our son could see pictures of his parents’ wedding. As my husband died nine years ago, this omission has become more significant as time has gone by.
But on the other hand, I’ve been to some awful ‘proper’ weddings. There have been the ridiculously extravagant ones (with constant, free alcohol and thus lots of very drunk guests) and at the other extreme, the ghastly cheese-paring ones – including one where the food ran out quickly leaving many guests with empty plates at the buffet. I do think huge sums spent on weddings are a bit ridiculous – the typical price is apparently nearly £18,000. And I’m not sure that getting massively into debt for a wedding is worth it – and it’s certainly not a good way to start married life. What’s more, there are some great ways to save money if you’re getting wed soon – including these from our fellow bloggers.
1. Go for a midweek service, says blogger Savvy in Somerset. And look at quirky venues which don’t often host weddings. You can always get married the day before at the register office and then have a friend or celebrant ‘marry’ you on the day.
2. Don’t go over the top on flowers says The Money Whisperer: as long as the bride has a nice bouquet then guests won’t care if the flower girls are carrying wands wrapped in ribbon rather than posies.
3. Save money on food – and particularly the cake says Much More with Less. Get married late in the day so you only have to provide one meal. And don’t shell out for a custom-made wedding cake: get a plain one and decorate with flowers.
4. For the dress, if you haven’t got a Royal budget look for a second hand one says Earning by the Sea: you might even get one that’s never been worn....
5. The Complaining Cow points out that you shouldn’t forget your consumer rights. If, for example, your flowers were dead/cake was burnt/cars didn’t turn up then you should be covered under the Consumer Rights Act.
And see our guides to debt here