The average cost of a UK wedding is a now a staggering £27,000. That rises to £38,000 if the presumably not-too-happy couple decide to marry in London. In fact, a staggering 4% of weddings in South East England cost over £100,000. Love is indeed blind, but paying way over the top for your wedding day is just blind stupid.
Especially as it doesn’t have to be this way. It is possible to have your dream wedding without the nightmarish expenses. Couples don’t necessarily have to compromise on what their wedding includes, as long as they’re willing to compromise on when they get married. The traditionally unfavourable months to wed—January and February—will not just make your wedding day cheaper, it could well make it more romantic too.
High-end wedding venues become more accessible
August is the most popular month for weddings, with 15% of all ceremonies held at this time. Finding your dream venue in summer can be a difficult undertaking, but many more amazing venues are more likely to be available in winter. According to The Guardian, the typical wedding venue costs £4,600 to hire but you can cut your costs by 20% or more by opting to get married out of season.
The traditionally unfavourable months to wed—January and February—will not just make your wedding day cheaper, it could well make it more romantic too.
You might find that elegant, highly sought after venues such as Eastnor Castle or the stylishly modern Ace Hotel are suddenly much easier to book if you’re simply willing to set a winter wedding date, because it just so happens that January and February are the quietest months of the year for weddings.
And Sandon Hall, a beautiful stately home in Staffordshire, even offers tipi weddings on the grounds, which are perfect for a winter wedding; complete with an open fire and comfy pelts to cuddle up in.
Some venues even offer winter discounts. The Italian Villa at Compton Acres in Dorset offers off-peak packages, which means that couples marrying in the months of November, January or February will receive a 10% discount. No matter how grand or intimate you want your wedding to be, marrying in the winter will mean that your dream wedding venue is likely to be much more accessible.
Wedding services are cheaper too
It’s not just wedding venues that are more likely to offer deal and incentives during these less popular months. The same can be said for pretty much every other professional service involved in the wedding, from the photographer to the caterer.
“Many catering suppliers charge more in peak season, and at other times of the year when demand is high such as public holidays.”
Writing for Glamour, Kim Fursaro, points out that couples getting married in June “should choose their vendors well in advance—otherwise they’re going to be stuck with other couples’ leftovers.”
This could quite literally be the case for caterers! However, you can save yourself from the world of bland, cheap buffet food and get the caterer or chef of your dreams for a far cheaper price in winter.
The Telegraph points out that “Many catering suppliers charge more in peak season, and at other times of the year when demand is high such as public holidays.” Choosing to marry on any day other than a Saturday, and avoiding the height of summer, can significantly reduce costs.
Honeymoon to a far flung destination for less
There are certain times of year where flying becomes significantly cheaper, as less and less people fly and Airlines try desperately to get rid of tickets. These times tend be over winter. Of course, Christmas is usually a popular and therefore expensive time to fly, but flying in most of January for example tends to be both quieter and cheaper.
One of the reasons winter weddings are cheaper is due to the colder weather, however this needn’t be the case for the honeymoon.
Couples should research their prefered destination, as off-season is not synonymous with bad weather. Many places further afield, such as islands in the Caribbean offer tropical temperatures year-round, not just in the peak season. Similarly, the weather in many parts of Southeast Asia is considerably more agreeable in winter months.
Winter is the most romantic season
Not only will you save money on your big day, it’ll also be more romantic. Why? Because despite the cold, damp and dark that surrounds us this time of year, it is also a little bit magical.
Winter is a season where both bargains and love is in the air. January has the feeling of New Year optimism that usually dissipates by spring, and in February we celebrate Valentine’s Day, but it is actually December which holds a claim to the day Brits see as the most romantic day of the year. No, not Christmas, but December the 3rd.
This is thanks to a mix of Christmas spirit and the fact that we haven’t yet had to endure the side effects of that Christmas spirit; particularly the transfer of pounds from our bank balance to the scale.
Whenever and wherever you decide to marry, your wedding day is the biggest day of your life and you should spend it how you see fit. However, a winter wedding can be just as good as a summer celebration, and it’s less likely to leave you spending those all important first months of your marriage stressed about money.