Everyone wants to save money where they can on their wedding day – starting married life in major debt is a serious no-no! – so we rounded up the best budget-saving tips and tricks from past brides and Wedding Ideas Forum members. Read on for their best wedding budget advice!

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Car share

“Find out if any friends or family have a luxury car that you could borrow. My friend’s brother let us use his Rolls Royce in exchange for a charity donation, saving us £400.” Emma Ayres, real bride

Lucky number 13!

“We’re getting married on the 13th of the month – apparently no one wants this date because it’s supposedly unlucky, so it’s really cheap. Plus all of our suppliers are available and keen to do business – it’s saved us a fortune.” Stephs1982, Wedding Ideas forum member

Keep your eyes open

“Look for closing down sales – we bought lots of details including 15 candelabra and 60 chair covers for under £200!” Bex, Wedding Ideas forum member

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Delayed dining

“Having a late ceremony is a good way to save. We got married at 2.30pm, so by the time we’d had photos and reception drinks, we could go straight to the meal with no need for a separate evening buffet.” Nicci Watt, real bride

Save on flowers

“Choose seasonal flowers. My florist reduced the bill by £400 by using cheaper, in-season flowers and bigger blooms, which meant fewer stems.” Emma Ayres, real bride

Seek out the newbies

“Look for start-up suppliers – they are often cheaper than long-established companies. Our venue was new, so gave us a good deal, and the florists did our bouquets at cost price so they could use the pictures in their portfolio.” Kat Shaw, real bride

Marry overseas

“Consider getting married abroad. We managed to get an all-inclusive wedding package on a Greek island, including the venue, flowers, photography and a buffet for 50 people, for just £8,000.” Katy Gray, real bride

Bring your own buffet

“If you’re having an informal wedding, have a bring-and-share meal, where each guest brings a plate of buffet food, rather than a formal sit-down meal.” Heather Hindley, real bride

Privilege cards

“When you give notice at your registry office, ask for a Wedding Privilege Card – a discount card for local wedding suppliers. I used mine to get 20% off my dress!” Helen Barrie, real bride

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Choose a unique venue

“Look for independent, quirky venues. We used a local creperie, and paid only £1,400 for a three-course meal with wine and bubbly for 40 people, plus a heated marquee and decorations.” Kirsty Barnden, real bride

I’ll drink to that!

“We saved money by just providing a welcome drink for each guest, and then having a cash bar. Everyone was happy to toast the speeches with their pint or glass of wine.” Lucy Cook, real bride

Personalised playlists

“Rather than hiring a DJ, we compiled a playlist on a laptop, which we plugged into the sound system, saving hundred of pounds.” Real bride, Jaymee Heaton

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Simple centrepieces

“Keep table centrepieces simple to save money. We’re having simple but striking candles instead of floral decorations.” WaywardLou, Wedding Ideas forum member

Negotiate packages

“Don’t be afraid to negotiate with your venue, especially if their set package is not what you want. Ours agreed to a two-course meal rather than three, replacing the red wine – which we knew wouldn’t get drunk – with white, and providing an alternative buffet, which alone knocked off £300.” Clare Cobbett, real bride

Share the price

“If you’re having a church ceremony, find out if there are any other weddings on the same day. We were one of three couples sharing a date, so we ordered cream and white flowers to suit everyone’s theme and split the cost. We had a church full of flowers for £75 each.” Emma Ayre, real bride

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New Year treats

“Make the most of the January sales for decorations – even if you’re not having a winter wedding. Left over fairylights, baubles and tinsel will be reduced after Christmas – perfect for jazzing up any reception space.” Jade Pearson, Real b2b (and Wedding Ideas Editor!)

Useful gifts from the family

“Ask close family to contribute to a specific part of your wedding, rather than buying a present. My mum paid for the venue, my husband’s mum covered the photographer, and my bridesmaid paid for our nails and make-up.” Kat Shaw, real bride

Time to get crafty…

“DIY as much as you can. We made table centres using cheaply-bought lanterns, tealights and helium balloons, and made candle melts and gingerbread men to give as favours to our guests.” Devn Starkey-Jones, real bride

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Minimal stationery

“Cut back on stationery – we decided that lovely invitations were important, but that orders of service and menus would just be left behind, so we simply printed them on single sheets of heavyweight card. We also provided an email address for RSVPs, rather than stamped, addressed cards.” Helen Jackman, real bride

Guest photographers

“If you can’t stretch to a professional photographer for the whole day, ask your guests to take lots of photos at the reception and upload them to your USB.” Heather Hindley

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Take a piece of your day home

“Forego favours and let guests take away a little bit of your wedding day instead! We encouraged people to take the vintage bud vases and decorated jam jars, which we
had on our reception tables.” Kirsty Barnden, real bride

Talented friends?

“Use your friends’ talents. One of my friends is making my bouquets, another is doing centrepieces and another is doing my hair and make-up. Everyone is happy to help.” bekkijane, Wedding Ideas forum member

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High street sales

“Sale rails are your friend! I got my Monsoon dress in the sale, reduced from £230 to £60, and my bridesmaids’ dresses were £30 each, down from £130.”
Real bride, Lucy Cook

Get cashback

“Take out a credit card with cashback to use for your wedding purchases. We found one with 5% cashback, which gave us some much-needed extra money to spend on the big day.” Real bride, Gemma Austin

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Be a Mary Berry bride!

“Have a bake-off, and ask guests to bring their signature cake instead of buying an expensive wedding cake. You could even judge them!” Stephanie Hall, real bride

If you’re trying to get to grips with your bridal budget, check out our Planning Tools for a wedding planning spreadsheet that’ll help keep your finances in check – or, take a look at our Budget section for more helpful articles!

16 COMMENTS

  1. I never understand why people spend £2,000 on a dress that they wear for 6hours max. I’m hand making all my decs, save the dates, invites, name tags, table plan. That way I know only I have that design and no one else will, which makes it a little more special 🙂

  2. Wedding dress was £250 the boutique had reduced it from 1k to £500 but it didn’t sell so had put it in the back room. On the day I turned up it was meant to go to “the void” (didn’t ask what this was, prob sad place for unwanted dresses) I tried on tons and didn’t like anything then the manager went downstairs came back with this beautiful dress and had me try it on…. Fit like a glove and I fell in love instantly! So she knocked of another 50%… SOLD! Haggled venue and saved £600 and photographer cut the price down £300 as we want digitals only. Cake being made by a friends mum. Most aesthetics are DIY and as everything is happening in one place no need to pay for transport.

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