How to save on wedding costs

Weddings in the UK cost an average of £20,000, which can be a major headache for those on a budget. Don't let yourself get too stressed though. With a little re-organising you can cut down on the bill and still have the perfect day. The key to saving money is prioritising what matters to you most and target your money on these things, rather than those which won't make or break the day. Take a look at our guide on where you can cut costs

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A first step to reigning in your expenses is to set a budget and stick to it. When you start your planning make sure you get several quotes for the services you require. Try not to reveal you are arranging your wedding either as any products and services will come with a premium price tag once you've let on.

Save a fortune by making your own cake and serve it as the dessert. That way you can make a double saving. Do the catering yourself for more savings and go for a buffet so you won't have to employ waiters. If you don't want to bake why not buy plain iced celebration cakes from a supermarket. You can top them with flowers or ribbons.

Cut costs further by buying your own alcohol. There are plenty of retailers that will give you big savings on bulk buys. You can save up to eighty per cent on the cost of bubbly by buying a good quality Cava instead. You could consider a trip across the channel, buying your booze in France will give you serious savings on your alcohol bill. For the evening you should consider a pay bar but remember to let people know beforehand.

Ask friends and family for help. If they can donate their skills or possessions as wedding gifts you could save funds on hairdressing, cake making, flower arranging and photography. Maybe you have a friend who has a suitable house or garden they're prepared to offer. Alternatively, try village halls, community centres, arts centres, local authority buildings, sports clubs and pubs for more cost-effective venues.

If you are using a hotel or country house save up to a third by picking a midweek or out-of-season date. Winter weddings are a lot cheaper.

Honeymoons are expensive and could cost you up to £3,000. One idea is to get your guests to pay for it. Specialist travel companies offer Honeymoon wedding lists which allow guests to buy vouchers of £25 or more that go towards the cost of your trip.

Don't do designer clothes when you can hire, borrow or buy second-hand and cut lots of cash from your budget. Try designer warehouse sales, internet, dress agencies and charity shops. Oxfam has 10 shops with bridal departments.

When you are planning your flowers request in season varieties and consider hiring plants for the day rather than paying for expensive arrangements.