If you’re looking to cut costs on your big day, there’s no need to look further than your friends and family! We caught up with the real brides who got their loved ones involved and saved themselves money…


“My Mum did mine and in fact all the bridal party’s hair and make-up on the day and she was brilliant! She saved us money and made us all look beautiful.” Lauryn

“I wore my sister’s tiara from her wedding. It was my ‘something borrowed’ and saved me money by not having to buy a brand new one.” Roberta


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“We borrowed my husband’s Father’s Tuc Tuc as our very unusual wedding car.” Jill

“My husband’s sister is a graphic artist, so she helped us out a lot by designing all our bespoke stationery.” Alex


“Instead of a traditional wedding cake, each table was served with an indivdiual bright pink cake stand of homemade brownies, made by mum whose baking skills are legendary!” Mitra

“My wedding shoes were actually my Nan’s – she walked up the aisle in them, in the very same church that my Mum married in, so I always knew I was going to wear them!” Annette


“My wonderfully clever Mum made my bridesmaids’ dresses using bright-pink satin. They even had net underskirts and cute bows on the back.” Hannah

“My colleagues from the art department where I work helped me save by making lots of crafty decorative items that I displayed in my reception room. My favourite was definitely the birdcage embellished with artificial flowers.” Sharon


“My work colleague and friend, Xanthe, very kindly agreed to play the flute for us during the ceremony. She played Dance of the Blessed Spirits while we signed the register and The Bridal March as we exited. It was absolutely beautiful.” Katy

“My best friend made sweet lavender- filled fabric hearts that we gave away to our guests as mementos. This certainly helped our budget no end!” Kelly


“My chief bridesmaid made adorable ‘Just Married’ fabric letters that we suspended from the marquee ceiling. So cute and completely free!” Jo

“My husband David is really musical and has his own band, so we wrote music and lyrics for a song that a friend performed during our wedding ceremony.” Siobhan


Want to ask your family and friends to get involved, but not sure how to go about it? Julia Braime from Brides up North gives us her top tips for getting your loved ones involved…

Just ask nicely

If you don’t ask, you don’t get. It’s as simple as that. Just ask nicely, ask early, ask clearly and always say thank you.

Add talent

Keep costs down and make your day more personal by asking loved ones to help out by writing a reading or singing in church.

Rally the troops

Gather the girls and make light work of larger tasks like stuffing envelopes, writing place cards or packing favour boxes. But don’t confuse bridesmaids with slaves!

Decline with style

Too many cooks can spoil the broth, particularly if you weren’t that keen in the first place. A polite but firm ‘no thank you’ will usually do the trick to avoid any unwanted, erm, assistance!

We’ve got loads more excellent wedding planning advice for you here – and don’t forget to check out our free wedding planning tools for photo lists, on-the-day checklists and more!