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Average cost of weddings expected to drop in 2014 with rise of the savvy spender

DIY Wedding Manual The step-by-step guide to creating your perfect wedding day on a budget
28 January 2014
Laura Strutt
February 2014

Couples planning their big day can save up to 75 per cent of the average cost of a wedding by following some simple DIY steps, according to the Haynes DIY Wedding Manual author.

That’s the figure writer Laura Strutt saved on her own wedding and she is now sharing her practical advice and tips with a new easy-to-follow, step by step guide in the Haynes Manual format, published next month (6 February 2014).

A recent study by the Office of National Statistics (ONS)*, shows that average earnings in the UK no longer support our level of spending in 2009, when the average cost of weddings stood at £19,265.

In 2014, the average cost is expected to drop by 7.3 per cent to £17,853, suggesting that more couples are abandoning the big-budget blow-out in favour of a more personal and less costly celebration.

With this in mind, Laura has harnessed the personal, home-spun approach to help couples create a unique day, armed with little more than £5,000, some inspiration and a few crafty supplies.

The DIY Wedding Manual is full of creative suggestions, money-saving tips and inspirational ideas, including how to make your own full-length veil, DIY top table and centrepiece decorations and unique, home-made wedding stationery.

Laura Strutt says: “It’s easy to get carried away trying to create the perfect day, and with the rising cost of venues, dresses and stationery, it’s not hard to see why.

“Whilst bespoke weddings are still top of the agenda for some couples, they can come in at an eye watering amount. Even if hand-made bunting isn’t for you, becoming savvy at each stage of the process will help budgets stretch further.

“For some though, the prospect of ditching the wedding planner entirely can be daunting so I hope to allay people’s fears and guide them through each stage of the planning process using Haynes’ failsafe step-by-step approach, handy for even the most novice DIY-ers!”

Despite not being the most appealing time of year, the ONS report also suggests that getting married in March can be the most economical, as venues try to sell unwanted space and suppliers look to shift last seasons products.

However, if comprising on the time of year just isn’t an option, here are Laura’s top five money saving tips for wedding planning:

1. Set your budget

Setting and keeping to your budget is crucial if you want to save the pennies. Agreeing on the total budget before you start looking at dresses, cars and venues will help you remain realistic. Using a dedicated notebook to jot down quotes, deposits placed and items paid for will help you to keep on top of your spending

2. Dress for less

If you have your heart set on a designer dress, but can't afford the big price tag - call around your local wedding boutiques and find out if they host any end of season sales or when they sell off their sample gowns

3. Ask creative friends to lend a hand

Now is probably the only time you can really ask those cheeky favours from friends and family - is your aunt a talented dressmaker? Can your sister bake wonderful cakes? Are your best chums brilliant musicians? Why not find out if anyone can offer their creative services to help. What's more, having a wedding cake lovingly baked by your siblings is far more memorable a gift than receiving another toaster!

4. Shop Smart

There are so many places that you can shop for your wedding supplies - wedding boutiques, dedicated online stores, the high street, craft shops, vintage stores and markets. Take some time out to shop around to ensure that you get the best prices. Handy tip - do you have a stash of yet-to-be-used gift cards? Why not see if you can use these to boost your wedding fund - you might be able to cover stationery costs, or even kit out the bridesmaids in pretty accessories

5. Stay calm!

Wedding planning can be stressful - especially when you have your usual daily tasks to keep on top of too! Getting flustered can result in making rash decisions and can often result in costly mistakes. Double check your calculations before buying supplies, confirm elements with suppliers until you are completely happy and maybe take yourself for a coffee and count to ten before spending a big chunk of your budget on an impulse purchase!

About the author

Laura Strutt, author of the Haynes Sewing Manual, is the former editor of Craft Business magazine, the leading trade publication. She was the launch editor of Sew magazine, a monthly contemporary stitching title, in 2009 and continued as editor until 2012, leaving to pursue freelance work.

Laura has recently created her own DIY wedding full of craft projects and shares her daily creative inspiration, projects and craft tutorials on her website

The information on this page is supplied courtesy of Haynes Publishing, please credit accordingly if you intend to use it. For more information or to request a review copy please contact Spirit PR on 0117 944 1415 or email Haynes PR

Haynes Manuals is the world's leading publisher of illustrated workshop car and motorcycle manuals, as well as producing manuals on a wide range of DIY, leisure and lifestyle subjects. These will continue to include motoring and motorsport related subjects. Sparkford, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 7JJ. Telephone: 01963 440635 Fax: 01963 440001 E-mail: