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Wedding Budget Tips to Save Money
In August 2008, one couple got married on a budget of £600. Admittedly they asked their guests to bring food, but it shows anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
Take a look at our budget-busting tips below.
- Have your ceremony and reception in one place so you can save on flowers and transport
- Get married mid week or during off-peak wedding season. Venues tend to be considerably cheaper during this time. You can also try to negotiate deals with your wedding suppliers - off-peak means more competition for them.
- Get married abroad. The average cost of a wedding abroad is considerably cheaper than a UK wedding.
- Getting married late in the day means less time for entertaining. You also won't have to worry too much about food - so can forget about canapes and evening buffets.
- Accessorise on a shoe-string. There's no reason to spend a fortune on accessories. Many high street stores are selling bargain accessories - BHS have a range of bridal clothing and accessories including dyeable shoes for £30. Wait for the sales and save yourself up to 50%. The internet is also a great place to look for accessory bargains. Borrow!
- Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue - borrowing a veil, tiara or shoes is a great way to save money.
- Bridesmaid dresses. Shops like Coast, Monsoon & Debenhams have a lovely range of dresses that can be worn again and tend to be cheaper than getting dresses made. You could give the dresses to bridesmaids as a thank you gift or sell them after the wedding. Alternatively - ask your bridesmaids to pay for their own outfits.
- Cake - make your own or buy a plain cake from a local supermarket and add your own decorations; have your wedding cake as the dessert.
- Save on drink costs. Buy your own wine, have a pay bar in the evening and limit the amount of alcohol put on the tables. If you have to pay corkage, buy magnums to halve the cost.
- Cut catering costs. Self-service buffets or BBQs can work out cheaper than a three-course sit down meal.
- Favours are a nice to have. If you want to give something - why not make your own. Buy little bags and fill them with chocolate hearts or sweets. If you buy online you should be able to make 120 for £25 (or less!).
- Make your own wedding flower arrangements. Keep it simple, buy and sell vases on eBay and choose flowers in season.
- Be brutal with your guest list. If you can decide who to invite why not have a small wedding with close friends and family? You can then invite your other guests for the evening reception.
- Keep your hair simple. Unless you have a specific style in mind, let your hair down or choose a plain style that anyone can do for you. If you want your hair done by a hairdresser - visit a salon.
- Make-up is an area that most people decide to scrimp on. Good make-up is very important if you want it to last all day and looks good in the photos. The risk of panic on the day is pretty high if you're not a make-up expert. If it's not something you can afford - find a friend to do it for you.
- Music - Use a CD for your ceremony and background music and a DJ for the evening entertainment.
- Ask a friend to take the photos and ask your guests to email you copies of any nice photos they take. You can then print out the photos you like, make your own album and slideshow at a fraction of the cost.
- Make your own wedding stationery and be as creative as you like. Set up a wedding website for free with all your wedding details and send postcards to your guests with a link to the website.
- Ditch the toastmaster. Provided you have someone who will run the day and make the announcements, this is one cost you can afford to cut back on.
- Save on transport. Get ready at the venue or ask a friend of family member to drive you.
- Ask a friend to film your big day with a portable video camera. You can buy portable video recorders for less than £200 (a fraction of the cost). You could always sell it on after the big day. Borrowing a video camera may be another option to consider.
- Bag a bargain on your wedding dress. Most dress shops have sample sales once or twice a year where you can get a dress at a fraction of the cost. Alternatively buy a once worn dress or hire one.
- Look for last minute deals but make sure you're not paying for more than you wanted in the first place.
- If you don't ask, you don't get. When speaking to suppliers - get a range of quotes and try to negotiate to get a better deal. Negotiating doesn't mean offering to pay in cash - this is likely to offend most suppliers.
- If you buy anything 'wedding related' - there's bound to be a mark-up. Look for similar items or services that don't use the 'W' word.
- Look for items in the sales
- Hire instead of buy
- Get married in your local register office and have your wedding reception at home. This is one of the cheapest weddings you can have.