My kneejerk reaction to saving for a wedding would be to tell you to elope and invest all of the money you would have spent. But then the hopeless romantic in me puts a gentle hand on that knee when I remember that my own wedding day was the most beautiful day of my life and worth every penny, and yours can be too.
Saving up for a wedding might seem like a mountain that never quite gets conquered, but there are ways to make it happen, and fast.
When it comes to weddings, ‘record time’ can mean anything from two weeks to two years, but considering the amount of planning that goes into the big day, the one to two-year mark is considered pretty fast.
While there are countless tips out there to help you save on the cost of the actual wedding ceremony, I’m going to let you in on five ways to get to the altar in record time.
1. Know exactly what you’re aiming for
Before you get started, it’s worth noting that the average wedding in the UK costs around the £30,000 mark. While many of us might have a more modest budget in mind, it still suggests that if you’re not putting away a sizeable chunk of your salary each month, you may have to rely on credit to fund your wedding.
It’s tough to save towards a goal if you’re unclear about the details. Things that are worth discussing before you start your savings journey, include:
- Cost: How much can you realistically afford? When time is tight, it’s a good idea to work out exactly what you want versus what you need, and compromise where possible to bring costs down.
- Date: If you’re looking to fast-track the date, will you be able to save up in time? Consider establishing a clear time scale in order to work out how many months you have to build up your savings and how much you need to save in each of those months.
- Contributors: It can help to know who will contribute what (money, equipment, services, etc.). Once all the commitments are on the table, it’s easier to see how much you need to save and how manageable the task will be.
2. Choose high-return low-risk savings products
One of the most effective savings products out there is the tax-free ISA. This product allows you to save up to £20,000 and still earn a decent return without being taxed on that return.
When saving for a wedding, a cash ISA could be preferable to a Stocks & Shares ISA, as it is lower risk. You can make monthly contributions, which means it makes it easier to set aside a part of your salary. You can also make lump sum deposits into the account as long as they remain within the threshold, which makes it a great place to park wedding fund contributions from loved ones.
If your savings are going to exceed the maximum limits of an ISA, a simple savings account might be an option.
3. Cut all the things from your budget that weigh you down
We all have items in our monthly budgets that we could cut if we really had to, such as streaming services, memberships to clubs, and even subscription services that end up just filling our houses with convenience items that we may not really need.
Every penny you save on these services can be channelled into your wedding savings. Knowing that the sacrifice is only temporary will go a long way towards ensuring that you reach your savings goals faster.
4. Treat your wedding day as a business
If you had to compare the process of saving up for a wedding to the process of running a successful business, would you be tenacious in keeping an eye on the budget? One of the most important elements in business is cash flow, and this really matters in the run-up to the wedding day too.
This means meticulously monitoring your monthly spending, reigning in areas that you might be overspending, and possibly thinking of creative ways to increase income. By staying on top of the cash flow, you’ll soon notice whether the budget you need is attainable in the time you have available and whether you need to up the savings or cut costs.
Being ruthless with your finances in the short term could reap massive rewards as you near the big day.
5. Don’t eat your wedding budget
It’s going to take far more than cancelling the odd trip to Five Guys to build up enough cash for the big day. According to research, the average UK household spends around £1,000 each year on takeaways. So instead of Friday night dinners at swanky restaurants and regular takeaways from the seemingly irresistible Indian restaurant down the road, you may want to stretch your budget by buying ingredients and cooking meals at home more regularly.
This could also be a good time to start thinking about the wedding menu and how many people you can afford to feed. Food for a wedding is a costly and is usually calculated per person, so plan your guest list with this in mind.