Wedding season is creeping up on happy couples and following yesterday’s announcement from Nicola Sturgeon many more now have the green light to get planning.
For those who want to save their cash for other adventures, brides from the money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk have shared their top tips on how to reduce the cost of the wedding – from £12 wedding cakes to free decorations and £1000 discounts.
One bride even managed to wipe the cost of decorations entirely by visiting high street store Ann Summers on Valentine’s day.
Year after year newlyweds prove you don’t have to spend a small fortune to have a memorable day so here are the best tips from this year’s brides.
Shop for free
The Ann Summers bride didn’t decorate her wedding with the store’s contents, but she did take a chance and proved that if you don’t ask you don’t get.
The sister of the bride said: “My sister got married a few days after Valentine’s Day and we got a lot of her decorations from Ann Summers!
“It’s not what you think – their window display was Valentine’s Day themed, and we went in and explained their decor would be ideal for the wedding celebration, and could we perhaps purchase it.
They let us have what we wanted for free!”
Other free substitutes include electronic invites and hole punch confetti (start saving junk mail now).
Anyone on a budget will want to be careful about what they spend their money on, so if you can’t get something for free the next best option is to shop smart.
“Buy local and have a price in mind before placing an order,” recommends one bride.
Budgeting also helps says another who said: “Write down what you absolutely want to have and budget for that – it’s so easy to get carried away and overspend,”
It’s also worth being aware of ways you can get overcharged.
One group member said: “We booked a photo booth for a ‘family party’ and it cost £150 – when I emailed them a few weeks later to ask for a photo booth for a wedding it was £450.”
Another bride said: “Use eBay for all your bits and pieces, table decorations, favours and so on.
“I bought my dress from eBay and got it imported from China. It only cost £69!”
Someone else commented: “I got my veil for £48 from Etsy – it was nearly the same as the one I tried on in the bridal shop with my dress that was over £200.”
Don’t cater to everyone else
Anyone who has ever tried to put together an invite list of family and friends knows a wedding can very quickly become about everyone else.
A big tip from brides is to avoid trying to please everyone and they said you don’t have to spend more to accommodate quests.
One commenter applied this logic to her catering and said: “Guests are just as happy with bangers and mash or fish and chips.
Don’t feel you have to offer a four-course meal.”
Someone else chipped in with a similar recommendation and said: “Don’t fall for the thinking of needing to get favours, toiletries for guests and so on – it’s just a waste of money.”
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Shop around for dresses
This might be the hardest wedding buy to compromise on but some brides have got their dresses for as little as £20.
Charity shops are high on the list of stores with one budget bride dispelling the myth that it’s all been down the isle before: “Try out Oxfam for dresses – they aren’t all second hand; some have been down runways or are display items.”
Bridesmaid dresses are another expense and one person got a discount by paying smartly.
They said: “I got a discount on my bridesmaid dresses by offering cash, so they gave me a discount that way!”
Discount marketplaces and stores don’t have to be the only place you look with one bride saying: “Debenhams often have half price wedding dresses and bridesmaids dresses.”
Another said: “Shein has a lot of wedding and bridesmaid dresses for very cheap prices at the moment.”
Avoid splashing out on photography
While professional photographers will have top of the range equipment, they’ll also often have price packages to match.
However, bargaining with them can end up saving you plenty of cash according to a wedding photographer: “Message the photographer and ask about their packages. I’m a photographer and I build packages based on the couple and their budget.”
Someone else added: “Use a student photographer to save money,
“‘They will sometimes do it for free if they can use the photos in their portfolio!”
It can be exciting to browse for stylish supplies in boutique stores, but the experience can be just as good if you’re making your own.
“Use Pinterest when it comes to making your own things and coming up with ideas,” said one bride
Pinterest is clearly a favourite as one person said: “Take a look there for ideas and personalize your own stuff.
“I saw some shoes on Pinterest for £125 and it turns out I can do them myself for £65.”
Slash the cost of food and drink
Budget brides had some great tips on how to get rid of the cost of professional catering.
One said: “You could ask everyone to bring a plate of buffet food – that would be the food sorted.”
Similarly, another bride said, “We asked everyone to bring their own booze so there were no expensive outside bar prices.”
“We’re thinking Costco sheet cake for our wedding cake – £12 per cake,” another person pitched in.
Go DIY where possible
So-called DIY weddings are a popular option so if you know someone who is a whizz in the kitchen follow this advice from a bride who said: “‘Make your own wedding cake, don’t have a car that no-one will see you in, do your own table decorations, make your own favours.
“Be creative – the more you put in, the more you will own the day, and it will be even more special.”
Time it right
Getting hitched in the height of summer is tempting, but one look at the difference in price for a winter wedding and you just might change your mind.
One comment said: “Get married in January or February. We got £1000 off just by changing our wedding to the end of February instead of 3 days later in March.”
Another said: “Don’t get married at the weekend, it adds £££ onto everything.”
One more comment said: “Get married on a weekday – most venues offer discounted rates, including supplies.
“Also try the winter months, as they tend to be cheaper. Definitely avoid holiday periods.”
Get your guests to help out
If you’re inviting people to enjoy your day, why not get them to pitch in?
One person suggested this: “Ask friends and family to contribute to the wedding as the wedding gift. For example, my aunt made my cake as a wedding gift”
“We used my mother in law’s white BMW for our wedding car – it saved us a fortune!” said one bride.
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