Tonight we’re continuing with our top tips on how to have a stylish wedding on a shoestring budget – if you haven’t read part 1, check it out here! Emily Berryman reveals how to get the thrifty wedding day of your dreams…

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N is for Negotiation

Remember that competition is fierce in the wedding market so every spend-savvy bride needs to dust off her bartering skills, within reason. What’s the worst they can say? And remember – if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

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O is for Off peak

Heart set on a budget busting venue? Consider getting hitched during a quieter month or on a week day. The majority of weddings take place on Saturdays between May and October, so choosing a more unusual date will slash the hire fee.

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P is for Preloved

Quash your inner shop snob and buy used when it comes to reception details. Auction sites, charity shops and car boot sales are all treasure troves of decor possibilities for your big day – especially with crockery. It’s vintage, darling!

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Q is for Quick fixes

Whether you have a ghastly corridor to conceal or simply need to jazz up a wasted corner, there is nothing that can’t be transformed with ribbon, white sheets or a few storm lanterns!

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R is for Raising a toast

Nobody will notice if you switch mega-buck Champagne for pocket-friendly sparkling wines like Cava or Prosecco. And for extra fizz on your finances, buy from a wine merchant on a sale or return basis – but remember to ask your venue about corkage charges first.

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S is for Scrapbooks

Suffering from bridal block? Cut out your favourite finds in Wedding Ideas, and stick them in a scrapbook. Once you have a clear idea of how you want your day to look, you will be less likely to panic spend on expensive details that you actually don’t end up using.

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T is for Thank you

Two words that cost nothing but make a big impact. Thanking every guest for coming will be more appreciated than you know – so work that room, baby! And don’t forget post-wedding thank yous for the lovely gifts. Ask your photographer to take a snap of you on the day holding up a thank you sign, and then use that image for your thank you stationery.

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U is for Upcycling

If your parents’ attic is cluttered with tired trinkets, why not think up creative ways to use them in your celebrations? Old candelabra, cake stands, lanterns and mirrors can all be given bridal pizazz with a lick of paint or some trailing ivy cut from your garden fence!

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V is for Va-Va-Vroom

No money for a Rolls Royce? How about rocking up on a bicycle made for two or a smart black cab? You may even know a motoring enthusiast who will offer to drive you for free. Better still, if your reception is in the same place as your ceremony, save the environment and money by cutting out transport altogether.

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W is for Wish trees

Make a DIY wish tree by painting a tree branch in a colour to suit your theme and ask friends and family to tie their wishes on luggage tags to the branches. Their comments are guaranteed to be one of the most treasured parts of your wedding, and after the big day you can put them all in a guest book or frame them.

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X is for Xtras

Going that extra mile doesn’t have to be all about grand gestures. Simple treats like a photo collage or stashing nice smellies in the toilets can make a big impression without breaking the bank. Our favourite ice breakers are classic board games – make a gaming table in the reception rooms for guests to enjoy from day to night.

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Y is for Yes!

Clever couples know that accepting help from loved ones will save them a heap of cash. Think of them as your own celeb-style entourage in waiting! Can your mum make the wedding cake? Is your best friend a performer? Is your sister-in-law handy with a needle and thread? These are all great things your friends and family can help with, making them feel involved while saving you money, too. Ideal!

Z is for Zingy fruits

Lemons, limes and shiny red apples – whatever your colour scheme, there is probably a fruit to complement it! Pile them high in towering glass jars and cake stands as table centres, or scatter them down either side of the aisle for pocket-friendly alternatives to floral pew ends.

Why not take a look at our wedding planning tools for a free budget spreadsheet to help keep your finances on track? Or, for more fun ideas for your big day, check out our Wedding Reception section!

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