With the average wedding now costing around £20,000, the totals for your big day can soon mount up. Spending £25,000 is not unheard of and even that is nothing in comparison to come couples who even remortgage their homes to achieve a ‘Posh & Becks’ style do! The best place to start is by roping in all your friends and family. Everyone will have something to offer – be it time or expertise. Use a bit of imagination and your address book! Got a pal with a snazzy car? Ask them to drive you to your wedding! Graphic Designer friend? See if they can help with designing and printing your invites! Girlie pal who loves pampering? Have a few ‘girlie nights in’, and try out styles for your hair and make up. Practise makes perfect and you may eventually trust her enough to do it on the day! Designer wedding dresses that you have admired in magazines will often be accompanied by a hefty price tag. Why not consider renting your dress for the day? If you desire designer, many dresses can be found once worn second hand for around half the price of the initial buying cost, check out The Clothes Agency for fantastic bridal bargains. Another option would be to find out when your local bridal shops are holding sales. As trends come and go amongst wedding gowns just as they do with day-wear, however only a professional trined eye would notice the difference between this year’s and last, and you could well notice the financial difference! Bridesmaids dresses need not be purchased specifically from a bridal shop, and again check out their sales. Many evening dresses from high street stores can double as suitable bridesmaid attire, with the added benefit that it is also wearable after your big day, so in essence a multi-functional purchase! If you have a friend who is both competent and confident with sewing and dressmaking you could consider asking them to help you by either making the dresses from scratch or customising some plain high street dresses to suit the theme of your big day. Decorate simple gowns with sequins, ribbons, crystals, lace and corsages, or perhaps dying plain dresses to match your colour theme. When it comes to adorning your outfits you really can ensure that they fit your ideal of ‘dream dresses’. Instead of scrimping with a few arrangements, use flowers which are in season, thus making them cheaper as they are more readily available. If you have any friends or family who are keen gardeners (grandparents for example) what better way to include them in your wedding festivities than by using their homegrown flowers in your arrangements? Do ask their permission first!! In these days of “make do and mend” it is inevitable that a few companies have launched ranges of DIY Wedding stationery kits that can be printed at home, although most couples planning to print their own wedding stationery design it themselves too. Although it may at first seem cheaper then the wedding stationery services, remember to factor in the considerable cost of ink cartridges and good quality paper or card. If you are making your own wedding stationery, it is still important to coordinate your wedding stationery, for example using a similar design in your ‘save the date’ cards and wedding invitations More information on printing your own invitations Your local college will no doubt have hundreds of enthusiastic students willing to help you with your wedding at minimal expense. Obviously they won’t have had much practise, however with guidance from tutors (who you MUST discuss your requirements with) you should achieve good results for minimal outlay. Try this trick for student florists, hair and beauty therapists and caterers. A hot and cold buffet is a cheaper alternative to a formal sit down meal. It also gives your guests the opportunity to get up and mingle with each other, and also means that you could ask friends and family to chip in by preparing a dish each and thus considerably lowering your catering bill. Consider using your wedding cake as dessert for your guests. You will still have the formality of the cutting, and by having different flavour tiers, you can cater for every taste Check with your venue as to their guidelines on drinks. A bottle of wine on each table is a far cheaper option than a free bar. See if you can have a cash bar as depending on the drinking habits of your guests this could save you a small fortune! If your venue allows you to supply your own drinks, consider purchasing online where you can get large discounts for ordering in bulk, or take a trip to France to stock up on sparkling wine or cava, the economical alternative to champagne! If guests are traveling from a distance, consider that most hotels will do a fabulous rate for the reception and bedrooms for the happy couple and their guests. Marquees are no longer the shabby damp tents reminiscent of scout camp, and can often double the amount of space available. With marquees now able to include a formal seating area, bar and dance floor, they are a superb way to create a beautiful venue for low cost. Decorating your venue can be mind boggling with the vast amount of options available. Balloon displays can be small and low cost yet extremely effective. Perhaps ask your florist for petals which you can scatter appropriately? Visit factory outlets for cheap candles, tea lights and lanterns. Buy ribbons and chiffon swag from local haberdashery stores to complete the look. Just because your wedding is over doesn’t mean the costs stop creeping up. The honeymoon is the most expensive part of the post wedding period, however just because you are feeling the pinch does not mean you have to have a bad honeymoon. More great ideas for Honeymoons on a budget Friends and family with artistic flair are priceless when planning a budget wedding. Keep them sweet and throw a cheap and cheerful ‘thank you party’ after the big day instead of buying individual thank you gifts. Get quotes from different suppliers. Ask to see a complete breakdown of each quote so you can compare prices rigorously. Using the breakdown, do ensure that you aren’t being charged for duplicates – for example cutlery and crockery from both your venue and catering company. Ask for a discount or their “best price” – if you don’t ask, you won’t get!
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