Having a wedding day you want isn’t all about how much money you spend, it’s about celebrating your love with your nearest and dearest. That being said, you’re almost certainly going to have some sort of a wedding budget and you’re going to want try to stretch your money as far as possible. We asked some of our favourite real-life brides for their top money-saving tips…

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Save money on suppliers

If you’ve got the nerve, ask all your suppliers for discounts and see if you can get a reduction for paying cash. “Ask for a discount on everything, it actually works,” says Facebook bride Leanne. “If you don’t ask, you don’t get. The only thing I paid full price for was the church!”

Kirsty found the same: “I’ve managed to get a discount on everything so far.”

You will probably get a 20% discount tops, so start from that and work your way towards a price that you’re both happy with. Visit wedding fayres and you may find that some suppliers will give you last year’s prices if you pay a deposit there and then.

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You may find it easier to get a discount if you book your wedding during the off-peak season when your suppliers are less busy. Peak times for getting married are during the summer months and Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Saturdays are also very popular days to get married on. So plan on having your wedding in early spring or late autumn on a Thursday or Friday and you may find yourself paying less than half what you would on a Saturday during summer. And if you’re planning your wedding last minute, you’re more likely to get a venue at a heavily discounted rate.

Do as much as you can yourself

Have a look at your wedding shopping and to-do list and realistically think about what you could ask friends and family to help you with.

“One of my best friends is making little bridesmaids’ flowers and accessories,” says Claire. “We are having a girly night in to make all the table favours and centrepieces instead of buying ready made items – it’s going to save us a lot of money.”

“Get creative!” says Amanda. “There are lots of DIY wedding websites, fantastic if you’re planning a vintage theme wedding like me – I have saved a fortune already.”

If you have a relative who is a wonderful baker, then you could get them to make your wedding cake for you – but then have it professionally iced for that stylish finishing touch.

Don’t go over your budget

Did you know that couples argue about money more than anything else? You don’t want to start married life off on the wrong foot with arguments about the money you’ve spent on your wedding. So set a realistic budget and make sure you stick to it – so that you’re not paying off your wedding for months or years afterwards.

Other ways to avoid a big, unexpected bill are…

• Choose flowers that are in season and use inexpensive greenery and blooms like gypsophila to pad out more expensive flowers.

• Cut down on things that aren’t essential. Do you really need wedding favours or could you spend the money more usefully elsewhere? Same goes for trinkets like an engraved cake cutting knife – will you ever use it again?