by Sharon Jones

Your wedding is one of the most memorable days of your life. Not only are you getting all of your family and friends together to celebrate, but you’re also making a life commitment to your partner, and the person that you see yourself growing old with. Though it is all extremely exciting, let’s not kid ourselves. Footing the bill for a wedding isn’t for the faint of heart, with the average couple spending around $34,000 for their big day.

Here are 10 ways that you can reduce the costs of tying the knot.

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#1: Stick to your budget

When you’re planning out your big day, it’s a good idea to make a budget, and stick to it. It can be tempting to go over the amount, but if you know what your limit is, you’ll be able to make better decisions about what you can and can’t afford. We know, budgeting does sound quite boring and limiting when you could be splashing out, but think about the honeymoon (or the house deposit) that you could have with your savings as a result!

#2: Draw from the talents of your friends

Let’s be honest, a lot of your friends will have some impressive skills. Perhaps one of them bakes killer cakes, and another is a florist. Or maybe one of them is a DJ (although they’ll probably want to be on the dancefloor, instead). Whatever their skills are, see whether you can get them to do your wedding cake, or your flowers, for a reduced price. This also makes your day that little more special, with contributions from your loved ones.

#3: Haggle well

Sure, haggling is something that we think is only really useful in markets, and when we’re buying specific items. Whilst haggling does have its uses in a variety of circumstances, it’s also great for your wedding. When you’re choosing the venue, for example, be sure to shop around, and tell the venue owners that you can save a bit of cash elsewhere. They may be willing to cut the price a little, which is good news!

#4: Think about a cheaper date

A summer wedding is something that we all dream about, but it can be super expensive. Why not opt for spring, or the end of summer, instead? All you need is clearspan fabric structures, some heaters for the evening, and you can also pray that it doesn’t rain on the day. OK, this may not work, but it’s still good to be flexible. Even getting married on a weekday could save you a lot of cash on your big day.

#5: Go DIY

If you’re good at arts and crafts, or you live nearby to a field where you can pick some beautiful flowers, then it’s also a good idea to go DIY. You can make your own centerpieces for the tables, and you can make your own bouquets if you’d like to, as well. Whatever it is that you think you can do to save money, give it a go a few months beforehand, and try to perfect your technique for when your wedding day comes around.

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#6: Borrow from your married friends

Let’s be honest, your friends are also spending a lot on their weddings. They may have some things to show from it, like centerpieces or tablecloths, or something that you could use to save yourself a bit of cash. Your friends probably won’t mind, but have the discussion with them way in advance. Sure, you’ll want to add your own touch, but what harm can a borrowed tablecloth really do to your wedding?

#7: Shop around for the dress

OK, so the dress is the major part of any wedding. When you walk down the aisle, you’re hoping that your hubby (or wife) to be is blown over by how amazing you look, and that all of your guests are mouthing, ‘wow, is that really her?’ However, we’re not saying that you need to sacrifice this feeling: not at all! Shopping around, though, could save you some cash, and there are even some beautiful options on the high street.

#8: Opt for a natural look

Getting your hair and makeup done by a professional is always seen as an integral part of every wedding, but is it really? Having your hair naturally flowing, and a little bit of makeup on that you’ve done yourself, could be the answer to your budgeting prayers. Sure, you want to look great on those photographs, but you don’t always need to splash out on a makeup artist and a hair stylist for when you tie the knot.

#9: Go rogue

Your Mom probably isn’t going to like this idea, but you don’t need to have a massive wedding. In fact, if you want to just have a few attendees at your beach wedding - or further still, you want to get married in Vegas - then why not do it? It’s a pretty cheap option, and you can have a smaller, non-official party when you get home if you want to. Going rogue may be controversial, but it is definitely a money saver.

#10: Consider your guest list

Whilst we all want to invite just about everybody to our weddings, paying out for food and other costs for a lot of people can be super expensive. This doesn’t mean that you have to cut your numbers down a lot, but ask yourself whether your Aunt’s friend’s friend really needs to come to the wedding reception. The smaller you can keep it, the less cash you’re splashing out for the food and other necessities.

So…

If you want to save money on your wedding, then remember these 10 simple tips. There are many other ideas out there, too, and the main advice that we can give you is to shop around. However, if you’re pretty savvy about what you’re spending, and you put a lot of effort into making it work, then you will still have the perfect wedding day, but on a budget. And you’ll be enjoying that extra cash on your honeymoon…