Big-day budgets revealed: two Scottish couples tell us how much their weddings cost

Do you know how much weddings in Scotland cost? Two pairs of newlyweds at opposite ends of the investment scale tell us exactly what they spent, where they allocated their money and share their top tips for wedding budgeting

two people on a pink background
(Photo: Shutterstock)

COUPLE ONE: The big spenders – budget £35,000

Our first couple committed to save monthly for three years and had parental help. They married at a castle in Fife and ended up spending over £40,000. Here’s how they spent it:-

  • Venue = £15,500
  • Catering = £7,000
  • Flowers = £1,500
  • Outfits = £3,500
  • Photographer = £999
  • Bridesmaid dresses = £500
  • Chair covers = £150
  • Band = £1,350
  • Videographer = £1,800
  • Stationery = £300
  • Transport = £800
  • Entertainment = £700
(Wedding illustrations: Faye Stacey)

Couple one have these six top budgeting tips:-

  1. Write everything down, even the tiniest cost. Keep tabs on it all.
  2. The venue was the most important thing to us. It was our biggest expense, followed by catering. We also splashed out on a videographer and our outfits were expensive as they were bespoke.
  3. We made our table plan and a few other things. We also searched online for deals – our custom flag was just £30!
  4. We didn’t allocate an amount to certain things. We just shopped around and took the best price for what we wanted, and that became the budget for that area.
  5. Providing transport for guests gave us a headache as people were very unresponsive. It wasn’t used to its full potential.
  6. Be strict with what you can afford but try not to worry about it too much. Some of the best elements of our day cost less than £50. It’s about the love on the day, not how big your centrepieces are!

COUPLE TWO: The super savers – budget £6,000

wedding budget planner and laptop on desk
(Photo: Shutterstock)

This couple saved as they went and had support from the bride’s grandmother for their village hall nuptials in the Borders. Here’s how they spent it:-

  • Venue = £500
  • Catering = £700
  • Flowers = £200
  • Wedding dress = £800
  • Photographer = £1,200
  • Bridesmaid dresses = £70
  • Groomsmen’s outfits = £200
  • Decorations = £150
  • Alcohol = £700
  • Stationery = £30
  • Cake = £120 
  • Celebrant = £410
wedding savings jar with cork tag
(Photo: Shutterstock)

Couple two’s seven top wedding budgeting tips:-

  1. We actually didn’t really have a budget. We just decided to be sensible, aiming to reduce costs by either making stuff ourselves or buying it in the sales.
  2. Saving cash is time-consuming. It is far easier to go into a shop and buy what you need. But checking Gumtree and Facebook’s marketplace saved us so much money. Most of the items were in brilliant condition as they’d only been used once.
  3. Don’t make huge purchases without a few months’ notice.
  4. Be realistic: don’t expect to get quality items at a bargain price.
  5. Rip up the rule book. We forgot to cut the cake, but who really cares? Everyone was having too much fun to be bothered. 
  6. Use and abuse your friends and family for their talents. My lovely mother-in-law made 30 metres of bunting. It’s my favourite keepsake. If you have a friend with a quirky car, ask them to drive – it makes the experience more personal.
  7. Don’t restrict yourself to specialist wedding shops. My bridesmaid dresses were purchased from Warehouse in the Christmas sale.