1) Keep The Guest List Tight
If people ask why they can't bring someone, have a consistent reason planned out. Whether it's "we wanted a more intimate wedding with just close friends and family" or "the venue had a maximum capacity which we have already reached", a set excuse will work a charm.
2) Be Prudent With The Wedding Dress
3) Cheaper Transport
4) The Music
If you do decide to go down the traditional route, why not find out if anyone has any family or friends that play in a band and would be willing to play for the day. However, make sure you listen to them first. The last thing you want is for them to wreck the day. You also might want to bring along some equipment to play music on, just in case something goes wrong.
5) The Ceremony Venue
6) The Reception Venue
The first is how long you want to hire the venue for. You can save a lot of money by simply restricting the hours you'll be staying there for. You can move on to a new bar for anyone wanting to carry on into the night.
The second is to pick a location based on the attendance number. If you think you could handle that many in your garden, then why not bring everyone back to your place? Alternatively, many pubs are willing to make a deal for a private section to be hired out for the evening. Even a village hall could be a lot cheaper, but just as much fun!
7) Wedding Support Over Gifts
8) Cater Yourself
And, if you've got any friends who are looking for some extra cash - teenagers perhaps - maybe ask them if they'd like to help out with the table service.
9) Clever Flower Decisions
Flowers are a beautiful addition to any wedding decorations, but they can cost a fortune and will die within a few days.
So, to cut costs you could do one of the following:
- Fake Flowers - A few people may notice they aren't real, but who cares!
- Pick them yourself - If you're lucky enough to live near the countryside, then why not send some friends out to go flower picking on the morning of the big day? If not for the whole venue, then a rose for each bridesmaid or boutonnières for the groomsmen!
- Avoid wedding chat - When talking to the florist, don't mention you are getting married. They tend to hike up the prices when they see an opportunity. Instead, try to enquire about the ones you are interested in and get a definitive price, then you can mention your wedding afterwards to see if you can get a bulk discount.
10) Trade-Up The Cake
Instead of spending money on an overpriced wedding cake, then why not make the most of your local baker and ask them to design some beautiful cupcakes? It'll be half the cost of one of those traditional tiered cakes, and you'll ensure that each of your guests gets one! Even better, you could find out the different flavours and ask each attendee on the wedding invitation what flavour they would like.
11) Make Your Own Invitations
If you are feeling creative, you could design your own invitations. This will make for a fun weekend with your hubby-to-be as you come up with quirky ideas and open up the craft cupboard. Or, a quick search online will show a list of affordable printers who'll be able to design and print your invitations in bulk.
12) Skip The Open Bar
There is no doubt that everybody loves an open bar. However, the costs of this will go through the roof, so you might want to find an alternative.
You could provide one or two drinks per table, whether that's a bottle of wine or crate of beer, and ask people to pay at the bar when they've run out.
Or, you could arrange to BYOB (bring your own booze). This will work great if you choose to host your reception in your garden or another open space. Be careful, some venues will have a corkage charge or won't allow you to BYOB at all. Always check with them first.
13) Make Your Own Wedding Decorations
From table covers, placemats and bunting, there are a whole host of things you can create yourself. Allow your wedding to be a place filled with creativity and homemade inspirations. If anything, it will be a day to remember for everyone who attends.
14) Honeymoon - Expensive Doesn't Mean Better
It's totally natural to want the presidential suite in an expensive hotel on a desert island. We're not saying you shouldn't stay in the Bahamas if you have the budget, but there are so many exciting and gorgeous locations you can go to for your honeymoon.
Head to the breathtaking Scottish highlands, or visit cities in Europe that will offer cheaper accommodation. The honeymoon should be the last thing you stress about. This is the time to sit back and look forward to your married life together. It's being with your partner that is the most important part.