It's going to be the best day of your life but that doesn't mean it has to cost the earth. You really can get the wedding you want without a big budget.
The easiest way to save money on your big day is to forget traditional trends. It's your day, make your own rules and you can make it unforgettable and affordable. Here's how:
1) Invites vs evites
The cost of printing and posting traditional invitations can really stack up. Think about setting up your own wedding website or event page on social media and invite your guests digitally.
You'll get your RSVPs back much quicker and save yourself lots of money as well as time.
Being honest about who you actually want on your big day is a must too - there's always so much pressure to invite everyone you've ever met but it pays to fight it. Apply the principle: if you wouldn't invite someone for dinner, don't invite them to your wedding. This means you won't end up spending your time or money on people you're not fussed about speaking to!
2) Send your bridesmaids down the aisle with a surprise
Buck the trend and send your bridesmaids down the aisle holding a lantern instead of flowers. Lanterns will work well for winter or evening weddings and can cost a quarter of the price of a bouquet of flowers. Lanterns last longer too!
3) Make your wedding cake work harder
At traditional weddings cake is usually served after a lavish 3 course meal, when everyone is full and not interested in eating it. Think about cutting the cake straight after your ceremony and hand it around while you're having your photos taken rather than serving expensive canapes. Your hungry guests will be grateful for the fuel while they wait... and it'll soak up some of the pre-dinner bubbles
4) Talent in lieu of presents
Ask your family and friends to gift you their talents in lieu of a wedding present. Cake bakers, amateur photographers, hair dressers, tailors, dress makers, florists, DJs - they'll all save you a fortune and it'll make your day even more special.
5) Where's the most beautiful place you know?
Unless you have your heart set on a church or hotel wedding, there's nothing stopping you from doing the legal bit in a registry office with your nearest and dearest then having a separate blessing somewhere beautiful. It can even be on a different day to the big celebration with your family and friends.
This way you can plan your wedding party anywhere - your back garden, the local outdoor pool, the park, at a festival - the world is your oyster!
You could recreate an aisle to walk down for that wow factor and write your own vows. Why not get a friend or family member to hold the ceremony and "marry" you. It's truly up to you how you do it - there are no rules once the legal bit is all wrapped up and you can choose a venue that won't charge thousands.
6) Become an eBay pro
Online auction sites can be your best friend when you're planning your wedding. Whether it's table decorations, chair covers or even bridesmaid dresses, buying used can save you serious cash and you can always customise them.
As you settle into married life look at what wedding wares you could sell on. You are really unlikely to use any of it again and it'll only end up sitting in your attic so you might as well get a bit of money back and put the proceedings to making your first year as a married couple special.
You can get more jaw-droppingly simple ideas to save on your wedding here on money.co.uk plus a step by step guide to creating a big day budget that includes the surprise costs everyone forgets about until they need to foot the bill.
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