You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a wedding day full of fun details, and budget doesn’t have to mean basic! Here Emily Berryman reveals part one of our guide to having a stylish, thrifty wedding day…

A is for Aisle style

Multi-task your money by moving any decorations used during your ceremony on to your reception venue. Your bouquet and pew ends are great for jollying up your entrance and cake table. Now that’s savvy spending!

B is for Budget blooms

When every penny counts, forget exotic flowers and embrace cheaper, in-season stems. Even good old carnations and chrysanthemums can look expensive if you stick to one type of flower. One of the best choices for statement-on-a shoestring flowers has to be hydrangeas.

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C is for Cocktail hour

For a so-stylish-it-should-beexpensive drinks reception, trade the traditional Champagne for refreshing pitchers of your own bespoke cocktail. Fruit juices and cordials make alcohol go further – and given a creative name, everything seems swanky!

D is for Different

Putting your own unique stamp on your day is a great way to work your funds. Love gardening? Pile wheelbarrows with packets of seeds for guests to take home. Famous for your culinary skills? Use wooden spoons and whisks for your table numbers.

E is for Edible treats

Guests will appreciate something to nibble on their way home – but this doesn’t have to mean pricey sweet bars. Retro paper bags filled with homemade toffee or popcorn always go down a storm.

F is for Frames

Old picture frames can be used in all kinds of ways – from showcasing your seating plan to displaying your menus. Looking more fusty than fabulous? Spray paint like a woman possessed for shabby chic on a shoestring.

G is for Greenery

Heart set on expensive flowers? Bump up your stems with cheap-as-chips greenery and foliage. Not much of a flower girl? Use troughs of grass, succulents, box plants or herbs to add a pop of green to classic white linens.

H is for Happy feet

Dot baskets of flip flops labelled ‘Dancing Shoes’ around your evening reception. They can be picked up for next to nothing at budget stores, and comfy shoes mean happy guests!


I is for Imagination

Save without looking like you are scrimping by thinking up cheap but chic alternatives to traditional details. No cash for floral table centres? Use cute windmills or church candles instead. Lusting after a photo booth? Arm guests with funny props and a Polaroid camera!

J is for Jam jars

Used to display pretty blooms, tea lights, toiletries or sweets – there are 101 different uses for glass jars on your wedding day, so start collecting now! Decorated with lace or pretty ribbons, they look brilliant on a budget.

K is for Kids

Forget extravagant entertainment for children. The good thing about being little is you can get excited about ANYTHING! Stuff bags with bubbles, crayons and stickers for maximum fun on a minimum spend.

L is for Lawn games

Ideal for keeping guests busy during alfresco drinks receptions, giant Jenga, croquet and even bouncy castles never fail to thrill guests (big and small) without making too big a dent in your bank account. If you’re having a summer fête-style wedding, consider cheap games like apple bobbing, coconut shies and boules on the lawn.

M is for Music maestro

Ditch the DJ and ask guests to send their song requests back with their RSVPs. This way you can download the ultimate wedding playlist and burn tunes onto CDs for fabulous favours!

Keep an eye out for part 2 of this A-Z – but, in the meantime, why not check out our Wedding Budget and Finance section for more money-saving tips?