From forming your own entourage to bagging the best deals, Emily Berryman has got everything you need to know when it comes to money-saving and creating a beautiful, budget wedding…

A is for accounts

Save on big day brain ache by opening a separate bank account for all your nuptial spends. This way you can transfer a manageable direct debit from your current account each month and clearly see how much cash you have to splash!

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B is for bartering

Spend-savvy brides know the first price is often just a starting point, so hone your haggling skills! Everything from your venue and cake to your entertainment and honeymoon can be swiped at a better price if you just hold your nerve. If you still have no luck and it’s out of budget, go back to the drawing board.

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C is for contingency

For the newly engaged, planning a wedding can be like letting a toddler loose in a sweet shop, so remember to factor in a little extra cash for emergencies. Studies show that most couples over-spend on their original budget by 10-15 percent. Yikes!

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D is for DIY

Don’t be afraid to ‘I do’ it yourself. Websites like weddingideasmag.com and Pinterest are brimming with crafty style inspiration for a budget wedding and whether you bake cookies as favours or make your own thank you cards, it’s all money in the bank.

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E is for early birds

The average wedding takes 12-18 months to plan, which gives you plenty of time to grab a few bargains! Remember, suppliers are keen to fill their diaries for the year ahead – which means negotiating a next-year bash at this year’s prices is a possibility.

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F is for finance meetings

Admittedly, this is not the most exciting element of your planning, but it is important to work out exactly what you have to spend before contacting suppliers. Decide what savings you have, what you can realistically save and what parents can afford to contribute. It may be awkward, but it is less cringey than flogging the family silver when your caterer comes knocking…

G is for guests

The easiest way to cut costs on your wedding is to prune your guest list. Start by ditching all ‘plus ones’ (if you don’t know a guest’s name, why invite them?) and consider having an adults-only affair.

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H is for hire

If you can’t afford it, borrow it! Everything from gorgeous gowns to lawn games and decorations can be hired for the day. And really, who needs a five-foot candelabra after the big day itself?

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I is for ISA

Great for pooling your savings, you can now stash up to £5,760 a year in an ISA without paying tax. Plump for the ‘easy-access cash’ variety so you can withdraw funds at any time – handy if you need to pay suppliers.

J is for just in case

Taking out big-day insurance is worth every penny for peace of mind. Offering financial protection against unforeseen emergencies – such as illness or a supplier going bust – choose your level of insurance based on the total cost of your day.

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K is for know-how

A little imagination can make the ordinary, spectacular! Booked a bargain basement venue? Transform drab spaces with white sheets and fairy-lights. No budget for posh bubbles? Make your own bespoke punch instead!

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L is for last-minute deals

Just as booking early can stretch those purse strings, leaving it nail-bitingly late can also save a bundle. These hard economic times mean there are lots of venue hire cancellations, so couples who dare to get hitched in a hurry can often bag a cheeky deal.

Don’t forget to come back for part two tomorrow… And please avoid making any of these budget mistakes in your wedding plans!

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