Use these expert money saving tips to bring your big day in under budget…

Bridesmaid jewellery

Rebecca Doyle at Chez Bec says: “Give your bridesmaids their jewellery as a thank you gift on the morning of the wedding. It will allow for some special moments with your girls and it also means that you don’t have to buy both their jewellery and a separate thank you gift.”

Combined favours

“Combine the favour and the place setting,” says Lisa Saunders at Funky Fairies. “Not only does this save on cost, but it’s also one less thing on the table (sometimes tables are so cluttered!). We make lots of favours with name tags and we also combine the menus and table numbers – rather than paying for a table number card and a menu, we print the table numbers clearly at the top of the menus.”

Dress styles

Winner of the Wedding Ideas 2012 Best Bridal Shop award, Ellie Sanderson says: “Choose a dress with a lace-up back instead of buttons – this will save you up to £50 on fittings and alterations, and may be about £75 cheaper to buy. Or consider buying a sample sale dress – these will have been tried on in the shop but are still in good condition and will often cost half the price or less.”

DIY make-up

“Instead of hiring a make-up artist to come to you on the big day, do your make-up yourself,” says make-up artist, Holly Hanrahan. “Brush up your skills at a bridal make-up masterclass (I hold events every three months), where you can find out how to keep your make-up looking fresh all day, and you can use the tips, techniques and tricks after the big day, too!”

Flexible date

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Venues expert Rebecca Hunt from Country House Weddings says: “Your dream venue may seem out of your price range at first glance, but if you compromise on the season or day of the week, you may be able to get your dream venue! You will also save money if you choose a venue that’s licensed for civil ceremonies, so you can have the ceremony and reception in one place.”

Bridal Shoes

Claire and Melanie at Wedding Belles of Four Oaks bridal boutique say: “You may be able to save money on the hem adjustment if you pick your shoes after your dress has arrived. We’ve had some girls buy their shoes in advance, only to find that if they had bought a one inch-high heel, their hemline would have been perfect.”

Chequebook invitations

“Chequebook invitations are great when you have lots of information and don’t want to spend more on separate RSVPs and large information cards – here, it’s all in one place,” says stationery designer Sophie at Cards by Sophie. “They have multiple inserts and ours include a perforated RSVP and envelope, so you save money on buying all the separate items.”

Bridal accessories

Bespoken For’s Jenni Bush says: “Buy just one key accessory rather than spending all your budget on a cheaper matching set. Worn alone, one to-die-for hairpiece, bracelet or necklace will give your outfit the wow factor and make it much more special.”

Wedding cake

“If you want a tall, impressive-looking tiered cake, add some dummy layers!” says cake maker Rachel Hill from Rachelles. “Your guests won’t know the difference! A four-tier cake could have two real cake layers and two ‘fake layers’. They are all decorated the same way and only you will know!”

Have you got some fab money saving tips? Why not post a comment!

Check out Part 2 here!