Bridezillas are wasting thousands: you can have a fairytale on a shoestring
A new study has revealed that women hold the purse strings when it comes to planning a wedding, and as a result they spend 50% more on themselves than they do on the groom.
The research, by Amigo loans, found that on average brides spend £6,000 directly on themselves - covering everything from the dress and shoes to the hair and makeup, the flowers, and - of course - the ring. Meanwhile, the groom splashes just £4,000 on himself. It's no surprise that separate studies show the average cost of a wedding has topped £20,000.
This is a horrifying amount of money to spend on a single day. Brides tell themselves that they want to have a magical fairytale day, and that money is no object.
In reality these are two very separate decisions.
Magic on a shoestring
It's perfectly possible to have a magical wedding and feel like a million dollars, but spend less than a third of the average wedding budget. We reveal the seven secrets to magic on a shoestring.
1. Choose your venue ruthlessly
You want magical, and yet affordable, so how about a castle? English Heritage has some surprisingly affordable deals and, for example, you can get married and have your reception in Pendennis Castle in Cornwall for just £1,700.
2. Stay flexible
Part of your venue choice should be about flexibility. Fairytales on budgets mean negotiating to use a cheaper caterer, doing a deal on corkage - or better yet, finding a venue where you're not charged corkage at all.
3. Decide what's important to you
You don't have to have everything. You don't have to cut everything to the bone either, but decide what will really make things magical for you, and spend your money there. If you don't really mind about a silver-service meal, then have the food served in serving dishes on each table for a fraction of the cost. If you're not concerned about favours, then save your cash. And ask yourself if you really need those chair covers.
Finally, you may well want a photographer, but do you need one for the whole day, and then do you need to pay them for a couple of days putting a swanky album together? A half day, with an online gallery could save you over £1,500.
4. Buy secondhand
If you want a posh designer dress rather than one from the high street, that's possible - as long as you are prepared to buy second-hand. In reality, this dress will have been worn once, for less than 14 hours. There must be high street dresses that have been tried on for longer periods than this. You can try everywhere from preloved and eBay to Oxfam's specialist wedding dress shops, and pick up a £2,000 dress for £300 - like the one below.
You might be tempted to buy a knock-off version of a designer favourite online, but stories of endless disappointed brides who paid hundreds of pounds for a dress disaster will hopefully be enough to put you off.
5. Use what you already have
If you want the perfect wedding, then the chances are that this isn't the first time you've wanted something perfect, so take advantage of the wonderful things you already own. If you already have lovely jewellery, do you need a brand new ring or necklace for the wedding? And as for shoes - surely everyone already has too many of those.
6. Use your imagination
If you spot something beautiful and want to buy it, stop, and think of a cheaper way to do it. Ikea and the supermarkets are a surprisingly affordable source of everything from tissue paper for garlands to hurricane lamps, candles, and sweet jars.
7. Be prepared to get your hands dirty
You don't need to be having a rustic wedding in order to get stuck into craft. There are all sorts of crafts that can look incredibly expensive, but cost very little. The floral decorations below, for example, cost less than £10 each after a hunt in Tesco and a few hours of craft. The ivy-covered pillars behind, meanwhile, cost £6 for the lights, and half an hour of snipping ivy from a friend's back garden. This kind of approach can be so much more personal too - as the paper flowers were made from the bride's favourite book.
£20,983 wedding: where the money goes
£20,983 wedding: where the money goes
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