Budgeting for your big day

by Leeds Building Society

Our guide to budgeting for your dream wedding

Of all the special occasions in your life, your wedding day will should stand out as one of the happiest and most memorable. However, organising your perfect wedding can be a challenge - particularly when it comes to setting, and sticking to a budget, as the costs can quickly mount up.

To help you we’ve created a useful spreadsheet, designed for couples planning to tie the knot.

Download our Budgeting spreadsheet

To give you a head start with putting your wedding budget together, here are our six key tips on keeping wedding costs low whilst making sure your big day is as magical as possible.

The dress

The dress and outfits for the wedding day can take a huge chunk out of your budget. Therefore, it makes sense to think creatively when searching for the perfect gown and don't just look in the bridal boutiques. Use ‘preloved’ wedding dress websites or auction sites such as eBay or Gumtree. Take a look at high street stores who offer less expensive alternatives. Or, if you know anyone who is a talented seamstress, ask them to make your dress.

The venue

Representing potentially the largest single cost, where you get married will help influence the overall style of your wedding so don't just look at your usual wedding venues. Remember that venue hire can often be cheaper if you don't mind getting married on a week day and always be prepared to haggle boldly on the price.

The cake

If you have creative friends and family, this is where they can come in handy and save you a pile of cash. Whether you choose to decorate a simple sponge yourselves or opt for piles of cute cupcakes, there are ways to avoid an unappetising bill.

Flowers and photography

These are areas where it can be more expensive than you’d expect and it’s easy to blow your budget. To help you look for a deal and make sure you’re not paying over the odds, ask newlyweds living in your area who they used for flowers and photography, and whether they’d recommend their services. A little research in the early stages of wedding planning can save you lots of money later on.


When it comes to wedding transportation it’s time to call in favours. Which of your nearest and dearest has the most elegant car? Pay to have it valeted, decorate with ribbon and you’re ready to go.

The food and drink

Sit down meals can create quite a formal atmosphere and they are also expensive. Instead, opt for a picnic in the summer or a delicious hog roast for winter weddings. Avoiding an open bar is another thing you can do when it comes to cutting catering costs.

As well as budgeting for these elements of your wedding, you’ll also have to consider the likes of the invites, the rings and, of course, the honeymoon. It can feel overwhelming but by beginning your financial planning early, using our spreadsheet and following a few of the tips above, you can cut down on stress and spending for your perfect wedding day.