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Weddings come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and with this comes a huge variety of budgets. But this doesn’t mean that your perfect wedding has to cost the Earth. We have put together some top tips for a frugal wedding… And we’re not talking about asking your friends to do everything for free (believe us, your mate who likes doing a bit of photography would much prefer to enjoy celebrating your big day with you than spend the day feeling the pressure of capturing your perfect memories!). But there are plenty of small ways to save money without it feeling cheap. SO read on for our top tips for a frugal wedding…

Get married out of season

Although Spring and Autumn weddings are becoming much more popular, Summer is still the peak wedding season! Take a look at what your venue offers during various months of the year, you might find that by shifting your wedding back a month or two, you could save a small fortune. And colours ‘out of season’ can be absolutely beautiful! Perhaps you’ll find that January suits your budget… Your guests might really appreciate having a little pick-me-up once the post-Christmas blues kick in. Or you may realise how much you love Autumn colours (and don’t forget… Rain on your wedding day is supposed to be good luck!)

Chloe & Luke’s wedding photo courtesy of IC Photographics

Have a midweek wedding

Many venues struggle to fill their mid-week dates and are happy to offer a reduced price in order to fill these less desired slots. This option will not suit everyone… You may have a big party that you know won’t be able to get time off work mid-week. But for small weddings, or those where you can give your guests plenty of notice, a mid-week wedding might be the perfect money-saving option.

Go small and intimate

Why not consider gathering only your nearest and dearest to share in your special day. A small, intimate wedding is not only beautifully personal, but can offer a whole heap of money saving advantages. Firstly there’s the venue, you might find a gorgeous small venue that wouldn’t be an option for you with a large wedding party, or you may even be in the position to host your wedding at home. Then there are all of the associated costs that go down with smaller weddings – less invites, less people to cater for, less booze (possibly)!

Wedding Flowers by PHOHM. Catering by Circa Events.

Hunt down bargain outfits (and hit the sales!)

There are plenty of options when it comes to the wedding day outfits, for both the wedding couple and the wedding party. Take a look at the price difference between hiring and buying your suits. You may be surprised by how little extra it can be to buy your suits, and then you have them to keep! If doing this for your Groomsmen then consider asking if they would like to split the cost, you save some money on the wedding outfits, and they get a great new suit at a knock down price. Keep an eye on the sales for Bridesmaid dresses… There are some beautiful dresses available from high street shops and being organised might mean that you can find them in the right season ahead of time. Then there is the wedding dress itself… Shopping for ‘the dress’ at a wedding boutique is a wonderful experience, but if this is not in your budget then consider looking at high street shops, many of which now stock a selection of wedding dresses. Many boutiques also do ‘sample sales’ at various times of the year, where they sell off the dresses that have been tried on in the shops. Or you might even be lucky in a second hand store or charity shop… There are plenty of charity shops now specialising in wedding dresses. And don’t forget… Most dresses can be altered by a size or two, so don’t be put off if the fit isn’t quite right.

Watch out for corkage charges!

This can sometimes be a bit of a hidden charge. Most couples are aware of their options when they look at venues… Does the venue have to provide the drinks, do they offer a drinks package, or can you bring your own drinks? If you are providing your own refreshments, be sure to check if there is a corkage charge. Some couples have unfortunately discovered that the venues corkage charge is almost the cost again of the drinks, making this a very expensive option. But there are lots of venues out there who don’t charge corkage at all, so be sure to check in advance and avoid any nasty surprises.

Balcome club and venue. Photo courtesy of Stephen Johnson.

Include some DIY touches

We’re not saying here that you should attempt to do everything yourself (although this might be your idea of a dream wedding). But perhaps there are some small elements that you might like to consider doing yourself, or with the assistance of some willing volunteers. Some venues now offer access the day before allowing couples to pop in and spend the day decorating the venue themselves. Or it may be that you enjoy a particular craft or doing some baking, in which case have you considered making the favours yourself? Home made jam or sloe gin anyone?

Have the wedding YOU want

Most importantly, be sure to plan the wedding that YOU and your significant other want. Don’t get swept up in expensive weddings trends and expectations if they are not things you want. It’s very easy to feel like your have to complete with that lavish wedding you went to last year, but the most important thing about any wedding is that it reflects you… So if a 10ft wedding dress train and a five course sit down meal aren’t your thing, then don’t do it! If an informal wedding with a BBQ is more up your street, then go for it! You’re guests will enjoy seeing you so relaxed on your wedding day.

Chapel Barn. Styling by KB Dream Events. Photo courtesy of Imogen Eve.

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