Revealed: 2019 DIY Wedding Trends

As couples find new ways to create their dream weddings, are we saying goodbye to the traditional wedding industry? Does it really pay to let go of the ‘W’ word or are couples still paying over the odds for their big day? A New Year brings with it a whole host of newly engaged couples ready to start planning their big day. Whether it’s a long engagement or a quick trip up the aisle, the concept of a ‘traditional wedding’ has fallen by the wayside as more brides, and grooms, choose to create a day that’s personal to them. The last decade has seen a shakeup within the wedding industry, with companies having to offer more than just a cookie cutter big day for their couples. As we strive to find unique venues, decor inspiration and catering, the idea of booking a ‘one size fits all’ package just doesn’t hold the same appeal anymore. As we head into 2019, we’re expecting couples to shun more of the traditional wedding ideals that we used to hold dear, embarking on their own quest to plan their big day on their own budget.

Friday I’m in Love

One of the biggest shake-ups in the industry has been caused by couples choosing to get married on different days of the week. Anyone planning a wedding knows the stress of securing a coveted Saturday slot, which has led to almost half of couples in 2018 going with a non-Saturday date. Friday is proving to be the most popular alternative date with 18% of all weddings now taking place on a Friday, Sunday’s are also a popular choice with 9% of weddings taking place at the end of the week. Budget is a massive factor in choosing alternative dates, with many couples seeing their quotes reduce dramatically when opening their diaries to other possible wedding dates, here’s hoping there are some understanding bosses across the country come Monday morning!

You’re cordially invited...

One area where couples are splashing the cash is the invitations. 16% of couple admitting to overspending on their invites, with the average cost of invitations reaching £276. The overspending in this area can be explained by the desire to do something different when inviting guests to the big day. Traditional cardboard invitations have been overtaken by couples choosing elaborate, homemade invitations whether it’s a mix-CD of the couples' favourite songs, a video invite or an intricate treasure map or brochure detailing the itinerary. We spoke to 2018 bride, Kat, who decided to make her own invites after failing to find any inspiration in the shops. “We knew we wanted to do something different with our invites and stumbled across a free template to make record sleeves on the internet. At first, we had assumed this would be the cheaper option compared to getting a company to make them but after pricing up the materials, commissioning artwork and the actual time it took us to complete, we definitely went over budget. I definitely don’t regret the overspend with these, it was the first glimpse of what was to come for our guests and the homemade touch really went down well - just don’t ask me to hand cut 75 invites ever again”

Say yes to the high street dress

In 2018, the average amount of money spent on a wedding dress reached £1,378. For some brides, spending this amount of a dress is just part of planning their big day, but others are choosing to be a little savvier with their spending. With major retailers such as ASOS, Boohoo and Debenhams all launching their own bridal collections, the need to blow such a major chuck on a dress has disappeared. Brides can choose from both traditional styles and contemporary jumpsuits, midi dresses and even beach dresses at a fraction of the cost of a classic bridal gown.

The same can be said about bridesmaids dresses, with an increasing number of brides choosing mismatched dresses or letting their bridesmaids choose their own. Again, there has been a huge increase in high street brands launching their own bridesmaid's dresses, with multiway styles proving popular for weddings where the couple want their bridesmaids to feel comfortable and show off their own personality. Although buying a wedding dress online may not hold the same romantic appeal as heading to the bridal shop with the wedding party in tow, the money saved has definitely appealed to some brides looking to bag a bargain.

“The thought of spending over £1000 on a dress that I will wear once just didn’t sit right with me, especially as our wedding theme was very rustic and low key. I ended up browsing online one evening and spotted dresses similar to the ones I had pinned on my Pinterest boards for less than half of the cost of the big bridal shops. Although it was trial and error ordering dresses online and having to send them back to get the right size, the end result was perfect and the money we saved went into more important things (in our minds anyway!) like photography and catering. I doubt anyone at the wedding could tell my dress was high street after I styled it up and made some alterations, it was pretty much perfect!”
Emma, 2018 Bride

Let them eat cake

One of the best things about planning a wedding is getting to decide on the more fun aspects of the big day, and eating a load of free cake… In 2018, couples turned away from the classic wedding cake and embraced both alternative options and alternative vendors with 37% opting for a homemade cake for their big day. A further 5% embraced one of the many major retailers offering wedding cakes on a budget, choosing a selection of smaller cakes or going for a plain traditional tiered cake and decorating it themselves. Couples are also stepping away from the classic Victoria sponge and fruit cake options, with 15% choosing bespoke cupcakes and different flavour concoctions to celebrate their nuptials. Far from being a flash in the pan, cheese cakes are still proving to be a popular choice with couples opting for tiered displays of their favourite cheese boards. 2018 groom, Chris, was put in charge of organising the cakes for his summer wedding.

“My wife doesn’t have a sweet tooth, which was great for me when it came to sampling different wedding cakes. As with most things in the wedding industry, the prices started to skyrocket when searching for traditional designs so I decided to take advantage of a groomsman’s discount card at a major retailer that he worked for. For a fraction of the cost, we picked up 7 different cakes, all different flavours and mini cupcakes to go alongside them. We bought cheap cake toppers from eBay so that each cake had something that represented us and the main event was a tiered cheese cake that the venue provided that also worked practically as the basis of our evening buffet.”

We need a favour…

Wedding favours are like marmite, either you love them or hate them. For some couples, the idea of forking out on more gifts for guests after paying for the meal and drinks is an absolute no, for others, it’s as important as making sure there’s enough wine on the tables! Traditional favours such as bags of sugared almonds were less likely to be found in venues in 2018, with a massive 61% of couples choosing to make their own personal favours instead. Personalised cupcakes, pin badges, shot glasses and sunglasses rose to the top of the favour trends last year, corresponding to the still popular trend for rustic/woodland weddings. Couples want to give their guests a reminder of their big day and companies such as Zap Creatives have seen a marked increase in their requests for personalised wedding orders. “With more couples taking charge of the decor and theme of their wedding, we’ve been inundated with requests for personalised charms, keyrings and badges. These include anything from wedding logos to simple designs showcasing the date of the wedding. It’s a testament to couples nowadays that they’re searching for options that don’t necessarily have the word ‘wedding’. Instead, they’re utilising bulk buys, corporate merchandise offers and more to get a cost-effective option that really does set them apart on the day itself.” Dave at Zap Creatives

DIY your day

Are couples being savvier with their spending when it comes to weddings? When you’re planning a wedding it definitely pays to shop around and there’s a whole community of brides (and grooms) who are sharing their bargain buys. Facebook group Rock and Roll Bride has over 13k members all sharing their tips for creating an alternative big day, with a further 250k following the magazine itself. Members share their top tips for getting discounts from retailers, sell surplus wedding items and highlight their homemade decor, giving newly engaged couples inspiration for cutting costs without cutting corners.

“Rock and Roll Bride was probably my first port of call for wedding planning along with sites dedicated to sourcing decor from overseas. I would estimate that 70% of my wedding decor came from sites such as Wish and AliExpress, the rest was sourced through selling sites and late night eBay shopping sessions. It’s easy to be put off or scared about putting trust in retailers that seem too good to be true but with thousands of other brides giving their advice and sourcing the lowest prices, you soon learn that it’s worth taking a chance and seeing what you get.”
Laura, 2018 Bride Heading in to 2019, we’re set to see a whole host of new trends take hold of the wedding industry - but with more couples opting to DIY their day, companies are going to have to find new ways to get couples to part with their savings. So, how much can you save by taking away the ‘W’ word and scouring the internet for your wedding essentials? We hunted for some of the key pieces and compared them to the average costs of wedding items in 2018*

Data Sources:

How much did a wedding cost in 2018?

Wedding Item 2018 Average Wedding Cost













Bridesmaids Dresses


Grooms Suit


Wedding Rings


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