Five ways to cut the cost of your wedding
1. Cut costs on the hen or stag do
It may be fashionable to go away for a long weekend or - in more extreme cases - even a week. But no one should be expected to fork out for a week overseas just to celebrate the end of you single days.
Try to keep it fairly local, or if you really want to go away somewhere, offer guests different options. If you are going away for a weekend for example, consider that some of your friends may only be able to afford to stay one night, especially if they don't want to take time off work.
2. Think about location
While you may want an overseas wedding, your guests might resent having to pay for the flights and accommodation abroad.
If you have your heart set on a beach wedding, however, perhaps think about compromising. You could always ask just your closest family and friends to fly overseas for your wedding ceremony and then have a party celebration with everyone when you get home.
3. Don't be too demanding about themes
While you may have a picture in your head of all your guests suited, booted and smartly turned out, this can be asking a lot of in terms of outfit costs.
If you insist on evening dress, for example, you make it harder for everyone to attend. Try relaxing the rules a little, most people like to make an effort for a wedding anyway, but this way it can be according to their own budget.
4. Negotiate on your guests' behalf
If you are having your reception in a hotel, try and negotiate a deal with the venue for the wedding party, such as cheaper rooms or a breakfast-in-with-the-room deal.
The chances are the hotel will be willing to barter to a certain extent, particularly if you have a lot of guests planning to stay there and if you are already paying a big whack for the rest of its services.
Alternatively, do some research into local bargains, such as B&Bs, so you can offer a balance between cost and quality to your guests.
Also, ask people who live locally if they would mind putting up guests from further afield. When you do this, think about who out of your friends are likely to get on, or if any of them have met previously (on the hen or stag do for example) and pair up accordingly.
5. Think about your gift requests
Identify the chefs, photographers, chauffeurs and flower arrangers among your guests, and ask for their help instead of presents. That way you will get the support you need in arranging the big day and your friends can feel as if they are truly contributing to your happiness without breaking the bank.
In terms of your wedding list, make sure you include plenty of affordable presents and make it clear that people can club together to pay for bigger items if they wish.