Saving money on your day - without compromising your dream - doesn't have to be difficult. Here's how!
#1 Give your wedding date plenty of thought
The price differences between a mid-week wedding and a weekend wedding - at exactly the same venue, with the same number of guests - can be huge.
Similarly, a summer wedding has potential to be a lot more expensive than an off-season autumn or winter celebration. If the date doesn't matter to you, going off-peak with your wedding plans can save you a pretty penny or two!
#2 Set up an invite-only wed-site
Save yourself the expense of save-the-dates, invites and RSVP cards by setting up a password-protected website that contains all the info your guests could possibly need about your wedding day.
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#3 Look away from traditional wedding suppliers
You might not be able to do it with everything but think outside the box when it comes to details such as the fashion-y bits of your day (hello, high street), the gifts for your bridal party and even your wedding cake.
#4 Consider who you know
If you have a friend who's a wonderful singer, ask them if they'd be up for performing a set at your reception. Similarly, got a friend who's fantastic at design? Ask him/her to create your table plan. You might be surprised how much of your wedding you can source from your social circle!
#5 Think seasonal with your flowers
Out-of-season blooms can be a lot more expensive than those that are in-season.
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#6 Steer clear of expensive craft projects
They can end up costing more than you would have paid to buy the finished product - especially if you take into account quantity required and extra materials needed to cover any mistakes.
#7 Instead of individual copies of the Order of Service or menu, opt for one big display instead
Think a chalkboard or projector screen and pop all the information your guests will need on it.
#8 Ask a friend with a gorgeous car to be your driver for the day
Fiat Puntos* need not apply!
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#9 Know which parts of your wedding are most important to you (and how much you want to spend on them!)
That way, you can avoid throwing money at elements that don't matter-so-much, and instead spend on what you really care about. (For example: while floral decorations for your reception may not be a priority, a photobooth could be something you're both desperate to have.)
#10 Look online or in thrift shops for second-hand bargains
Don't be put off by the thought of pre-loved items! You could be surprised by what you can find...
#11 Ask guests to bring food rather than gifts
This is a brilliant idea for a more chilled-out wedding party: instead of asking guests to shop off a gift-list, ask them to bring along their favourite sweet or savoury dish and create a truly unique buffet experience. You will need to check with your venue if this is permitted, however.
#12 Don't be afraid to negotiate!
There's no shame in asking supplier X if there's any scope for flexibility with the quote they've given you for service Y.
* FYI, the author of this article drives a Punto.