You don’t have to break the bank on your big day. Do a DIY wedding and maximise your party budget for less!

Get organised

Getting organised in plenty of time is one of the best ways to save money. Some of the best photographers and wedding venues get booked up well over a year in advance. Also, the earlier you pay out the big lump sums, the easier it is to plan a realistic budget for the details. Buy these little bits first, and you might leave your budget short!

Buy sale dresses. Sales aren’t twice-a-year events anymore, and if you go to a high street chain (BHS, Debenhams, Monsoon), you’ll find they have special offers all year round. Also, check out the National Wedding Shows where you’ll get show discounts at many of the stands in the Boutique Area.

DIY invitations

Make your own DIY wedding invitations, table plans and orders of service. Buy ready-made deckle-edged cards (which look like they’ve been frayed) as they can be stylishly decorated. You shouldn’t need to spend more than £100 for the whole lot. You could even make a night of it and get the girls round to lend a helping hand!
When you’re on a budget, buy and arrange your own DIY wedding flowers. Flowers from a market or supermarket can be just as gorgeous and fresh as those in a florists.

Stick to two or three toning colours for maximum impact.Get green-fingered friends to grow your wedding flowers. Rather than having formal decorations or vases of blooms, have a flower pot in the middle of each table like scented lavender, striking gazania or nasturtiums. You can buy terracotta pots cheaply from garden centres and paint them to co-ordinate with your wedding theme.

Free filming

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Get your wedding film for free. Search DIY wedding forums and networking websites for wedding video companies that may be going into business. Some of them will offer to video your wedding for free or at a heavily discounted rate so they can build up a portfolio for potential future clients.

Fairy lights can transform a venue, especially if it’s an evening or winter wedding. Wrap them around anything and everything for the evening reception. If you’re getting married outdoors, attach them to trees and fences for a romantic look.

Ipod music

Rather than hiring extra entertainment to play during your ceremony or reception, why not play a classical track on your iPod? You could also save money at your reception by sourcing a talented, up-and-coming band or singer from a local university or music school. They could be a lot cheaper than traditional entertainment and do a great job, too!

Magicians are excellent entertainment and not necessarily too expensive. You can source local practising magicians, or ask guests to lend their skills! You could request a friend or two to learn magic tricks and perform at the wedding as a unique and alternative wedding gift to you!

Don’t forget the thank you cards! Get a romantic photo of you both from your wedding day, some stylish card and hand write your thank you notes. Believe me, it will be far more personal and your guests will treasure them. If you plan far enough ahead, you could make a sign and incorporate it into your big day shoot.