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wedding – Make do and mend

Posted by Hay Brunsdon on January 23 2014.

With the average cost of a wedding in the UK thought to be in the region of £20,000, couples are increasingly looking for ways to reduce their wedding spend. Using her own experiences from planning her wedding in 2010 on a tight budget, Sophie (who runs wedding classifieds site called Bride 2 Be) has pulled together her top tips to help you save money, without compromising on the detail!

Here are Sophie’s top tips  on wedding savings for you:

Timing of your wedding – if you have a wedding later in the day (we had ours at 3pm), you only have to feed your guests one main meal, plus perhaps a very light snack or even just wedding cake. Getting married on a weekday can also be a cheaper option, so always ask your venue for mid-week prices.

Reception Venue – There are lots of great alternatives to a hotel reception – ours was in a village hall. It cost us £150 to hire it, and that included all of the tables, chairs and crockery etc. This meant we could buy all the alcohol ourselves (supermarket offers are great for this!), and choose an outside caterer who didn’t charge corkage.

Type of food – you don’t necessarily need to go for a three course meal for your guests. We had big sharing platters of cold meats, cheeses and breads etc (sort of like a posh buffet), which was much cheaper than a hot three course meal. You can also have a wedding cake that would double up as a dessert for your guests which can be a big saving.  Hog roasts or BBQ’s (done by a professional!) are also a fab, and much cheaper alternative to a traditional sit down meal (just remember to provide some veggie options!)

Make your own/do it yourself – We made all of our own invitations & name cards for the tables, which saved us quite a bit compared to buying readymade/bespoke. My Mother in law also made us some tea light holders as table decorations, and these doubled up as wedding favours for our guests. We also bought some coloured card and a couple of butterfly punches to create our own table confetti. I did have my hair professionally done on the morning of the wedding, but my bridesmaid’s did their own hair, and we all did our own makeup.

Handmade tealight wedding favours Handmade place cards

Wedding Rings – We saved money on our wedding rings by getting a palladium rather than platinum wedding ring for me, and by getting a titanium wedding ring for John. Whist mine was around £200, John’s was only about £50, but is perfect for him!

Second hand bargains –  Buy second hand wherever possible – you can pick up wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, veils, and decorations etc for a fraction of the price of buying them new, and no one would ever be able to tell the difference! No surprises where I’m going to recommend you do that!?

We didn’t have a traditional big budget wedding day – we did it our way, and loved every single minute :o)

village hall decoration Favour bags Village Hall reception

Inspired by her wedding planning experiences, Sophie (along with her husband John) created the wedding classifieds site where brides can buy and sell their wedding dress, decorations and more, direct to other brides without any listing fees or commissions. Check out their site here

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