Wedding hacks: 12 money-saving tips and tricks for planning your big day

Wednesday, 23rd May 2018, 06:00 am
Updated Thursday, 24th May 2018, 12:47 pm

Millions around the world recently tuned in to watch the royal wedding - with every detail, from the designer dress to the horse-drawn carriages, scrutinised and discussed.

Even in non-regal nuptials, the list of items required tends to roll on for pages and pages - and as the dress, the shoes, the rings, the food and the number of guests builds and builds, so does the price.

However, a wedding can still have all of the luxury and grandeur your want on your special day, without necessarily breaking the bank.

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There are certain steps which can be taken and certain tricks which can be followed to ensure you have a wedding to remember, without spending a small fortune.

The cake

There are a few ways you can minimise on the cost of a cake. Buy a 2-3 tier cake for display and cutting purposes, but then serve guests from a sheet cake that’s hidden in the kitchen. Nobody will know the difference and it will save a huge amount.

The other option is to skip the cake altogether or buy a smaller cake and then arrange a quirky dessert bar or sweet stalls instead.

Buy a 2-3 tier cake for display and cutting purposes, but then serve guests from a sheet cake that’s hidden in the kitchen (Photo: Shutterstock)

The dress

The dress is one of the most expensive wedding purchases, but for many brides it is one of the most important.

However, there are a few money-saving tips you can follow when it comes to the dress, including buying a pre-loved dress. This means you can wear a hardly-worn pre-loved gown at half the cost of a brand new one.

Try vintage dresses, websites like eBay which sell new designer dress for reasonable prices, bridal dresses from Asos.com or white gowns from prom shops.

If you’re feeling creative, buy a white dress that isn’t necessarily a bridal gown, such as a white bridesmaid dress, and then embellish it to suit your taste.

The dress is one of the most expensive wedding purchases, but for many brides it is one of the most important (Photo: Pexels)

Photography

Hiring a photographer just for the main points of the wedding and not having them for the whole duration of the day may also cut down on costs, meaning you get the most important images for an affordable price.

Creating your own photo booth by buying fun, silly accessories so guests can take photos against a plain backdrop is also a lot cheaper than hiring a booth.

Hiring a photographer just for the main points of the wedding and not having them for the whole duration of the day may cut down on costs (Photo: Pexels)

Favours

Edible favours are generally cheaper, and ensure that they don’t go to waste. You can even make them yourself.

If not, think about ditching them altogether as they could prove an unnecessary cost.

Edible favours ensure that they don’t go to waste or you could even craft them yourself (Photo: Pexels)

Flowers

Although it may be easy to choose and order your flowers from a florist and have them delivered, this could cost quite a bit.

Going to a farmers market or a wholesalers and buying the flowers as close to the wedding as possible is a great way of saving money.

You could also do your own flower arranging or even opt for beautiful artificial flowers.

You could also do your own flower arranging or even opt for beautiful artificial flowers (Photo: Pexels)

Choose your day carefully

Saturday is the most expensive day of the week to get married, so if you can avoid this day it will save you a lot of money.

Sunday is one of the cheapest days by comparison, so if that works for you and your guests you stand to save a lot of money.

Saturday is the most expensive day of the week to get married (Photo: Pexels)

Do your own hair and makeup

Although it is nice to be pampered, especially on your big day, you’re the one person who knows how you like your hair and makeup the best, so if you feel confident enough doing it on your wedding day, this could save you a packet.

Opt for doing your own hair and makeup (Photo: Pexels)

The venue

Be open to a variety of venues - this could save you a fortune in the long run. In a warmer season, some outdoor settings can require very little decoration - for example a winery or venue located close to water.

If you opt for a winter wedding, the venue is probably already seasonally decorated - saving you more money.

Getting married just before the start of peak-season can also help you achieve your dream wedding with (hopefully) sunny weather, but for a much better price.

If you can find a venue which doesn't require you to use their vendors this can also save you money, but sometimes the price of the venue may then actually cost more, so it’s all about weighing up your options.

Be open to venues- this could save you a fortune in the long-run (Photo: Pexels)

Have your ceremony and reception in the same place

Having your wedding ceremony and reception in the same place will reduce to cost of transport, and if you have guests staying at the same hotel you may be able to negotiate a deal.

Having your wedding ceremony and reception in the same place can reduce the cost (Photo: Pexels)

Book (far) ahead

Although waiting two years can seem laboriously long, it can also save you money and allow you to to sift out the best deals and prices to create your dream wedding without breaking the bank.

Although waiting two years can seem laboriously long, it can also save you money (Photo: Pexels)

Create a website for your big day

Creating a website to keep guests up to date with all things wedding related can be a fun, digitally-enhanced way of going about things.

You’ll save money on invites, save-the-dates, reminders about directions, transport and food options and anything else you may need to inform your guests about.

It will be all in one place so it's easy to keep track of, and will save a pound or two.

Creating a website to keep guests up to date with all things wedding related can be a fun, digitally-advanced way of going about things (Photo: Pexels)

Use postcards

Replace the traditional reply card with an RSVP postcard to cut costs on both printing and postage, or give your guests a postcard each on the day itself, asking them to write their addresses on it and hand it back later on.

Replace the traditional reply card with an RSVP postcard to cut costs on both printing and postage (Photo: Pexels)

This will then help when writing thank you cards to your guests as you will have all of their addresses written down ready to go.