How to save for your wedding

Weddings come in lots of shapes and sizes. They can range from intimate to extravagant. So it’s important to make sure your wedding plans and budget match up. The first step is understanding the costs involved in a wedding. That way, you’ll know exactly where you’ll be spending, and how much you’ll need to save to create a day that fulfils your dreams.

Couple planning to save for their wedding

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – should you cancel your wedding?

Unfortunately, the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis is affecting wedding plans for many people. So it’s important to stay on top of government guidelines on social distancing, as they could change over the coming months.

If your wedding date has already been affected, you can try to postpone to a future date. This would allow you to avoid losing your deposits. So reach out to suppliers and venues and try to agree on postponement. In some cases, this might mean having to replace venues or some suppliers to accommodate a new date. If you are considering delaying your wedding, try to pick a date that’s well into the future to avoid further issues related to the crisis.

If you’re looking for help managing financially during this crisis, you can visit Coronavirus help and support

Create a realistic wedding budget

Even modest weddings can be surprisingly expensive. So if you want to tie the knot without getting tangled up in debt, set a realistic target for how much you can afford to spend. A target budget will help guide all the decisions to come – from venue location and size to number of guests – since each of these will greatly impact your overall budget.

A small, intimate, casual wedding in a backyard or remote beach may cost much less than a black tie affair of several hundred. In many cases, some give and take will be required to stay within your budget. Couples should prioritise their ‘must-haves’ – the elements that matter most to them. Depending on your budget, a casual venue that allows more guests might be perfect. Others may prefer a more formal setting, and be willing to have fewer guests. Some sensible planning and compromising now can really pay off.

A handy guide for budgeting your wedding

Planning a successful wedding is about keeping track of the details. The same applies for drawing up your wedding budget. This will allow you to figure out your per-person cost – which is the starting point for deciding how big your wedding will be. Check out our handy budgeting tools to help you get started:

  • if you have a credit card, our Repayment Calculator can help you work out how much to pay each month to pay off your balance
  • set up free email or text alerts to keep track of your money and help to avoid paying late fees
  • Barclays Budget Planner can help you calculate your monthly repayments and expenses to work out your approximate monthly disposable income
  • Barclays money management advice and tools offers free helpful guides to improve your money management skills
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  • You can find these and other budgeting tools and advice at how to plan and stick to a budget.

Just remember to include all the costs – from big-ticket items such as catering, venue rental, wedding dress and entertainment to smaller items like flowers and transportation. This is also the time to look for ways to save.

With some clever planning, it is possible to keep to your budget without compromising on your dream day. Choosing a non-peak wedding date is a good place to start. Booking far in advance is also a good way to save – as popular venues will book up far in advance during the spring and summer. So is a vintage wedding dress, which can be spectacular and save thousands.

Turning to family and friends with photography or baking skills can also be a way to cut down on your wedding bills. This can also be a great way to involve your nearest and dearest on your special day. You’ll find lots of other tips for saving on your wedding at Managing money for life's big events. Finally, remember to include any honeymoon plans into your total wedding budget.

Start saving for your wedding

Now that you know how much you’re spending, it’s time to create a saving plan that gets you to the altar. Opening a dedicated savings account or a joint current account exclusively for your wedding is a good way to start. That way, you can set regular payments using direct debit to automatically transfer money into your wedding savings account on a monthly basis.

Simply figure out how much you need to save each month to reach your target. Depending on the size of your budget, a high-yield savings account could allow you to earn interest. But this kind of account might come with limited accessibility, so do a bit of research first.

If your regular contributions aren’t enough to reach your target budget, you can consider asking your family and friends for financial help. As an alternative, you can look at delaying your wedding to a later date. This would give you more time to save for the special day. It could also save you money by allowing you to book some venues and suppliers farther in advance.

This might also be a good time to check your credit score. That way, you can get a clear picture of how much you’ll be able to borrow with a loan, by increasing your overdraft or getting a credit card. Of course, these will all be subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history.

Choosing the right credit card can also help you save some money in the long run. Once it’s time to start booking venues and making deposits, a purchase credit card that offers 0% interest on purchases can allow you to spread wedding costs over a longer period.

It’s important to remember that you’ll still have to make your monthly minimum payments and stay within your credit limit. You’ll only keep the 0% interest offer if you make at least the minimum repayments each month and keep within your credit limit. Once the promotional period has finished, you’ll start being charged interest at the standard rate on any remaining balance.

Representative example

Representative APR
20.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate
20.9% p.a. (variable)
Based on a
£1,200
credit limit
Annual Fee
No annual fee

The approval of your application depends on financial circumstances and borrowing history, so do the terms you may be offered. The balance transfer period and interest rates, may differ from those shown.

Another smart option could be a rewards credit card. It could let you earn cashback on everything you spend. When you’re spending on a wedding, that can quickly add up to a handsome sum.

Representative example

Representative APR
22.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate
22.9% p.a. (variable)
Based on a
£1,200
credit limit
Annual Fee
No annual fee

The approval of your application depends on financial circumstances and borrowing history, so do the terms you may be offered. The balance transfer period and interest rates, may differ from those shown.

Our card finder tool can help you to see which card is right for you. Getting a credit card will be subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. So it’s a good idea to use our eligibility checker to find out which credit card you’re eligible for without affecting your credit score.

What's next?

Need some help planning for your special day?

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