Planning a wedding is hard.
Trust me. I’m trying to plan one. Fifty years ago it would have been a case of a quick scamper up the aisle of the local church and then tea and cake in a hall.
But it’s different now, and much as I’d like to be the kind of uber cool bride who wears converse and white dungarees to the local registry office and then has a couple of friends for drinks at a secret bar, I’m not
I want the full on, Four Weddings and a Funeral shindig. But that doesn’t come cheap.
So what do you do if you’re determined to have a full on wedding but you don’t want to sell a kidney to do it? You get real brides to give you the skinny on what corners you can cut without missing out.
Food & Drink
‘The canapés our caterer quoted for our reception were obscenely expensive, so we did the cake pops instead’ – Emma
Got booze from majestic on sale or return (but, er, failed to return.) – Ellie
‘We were 21 and 22, had no money and did the reception in a village hall. We asked people to bring something for the buffet table, which worked brilliantly.’ – Laura
‘The nicest wedding I ever went to was one in which all the food was made and brought by guests/the bride and groom, including a potato salad grown in the groom’s allotment.’ -Hillary
‘We had a vegetarian wedding, much easier than dealing with all sorts of different dietary requirements and much cheaper.’ – Nina
‘We got a load of booze, a hog roast and a load of bread rolls and just got pissed. Perfect.’ -Polly
‘I got a friend to make a German Sachertorte cake from a recipe in a magazine (it’s more solid than regular chocolate cake so you can stack the tiers without it collapsing) and it was decorated with £5 worth of silk flowers from John Lewis. Everyone said it was best wedding cake they’d ever had!’ – Jo
‘We got married at a pub,and instead of the wedding menu just ordered off the original pub menu, and skipped dessert in favour of a wedding cake pud (which was Krispy Kreme original glaze doughnuts and home made lemon cake)’ – Stephanie
‘Our cake was cut up and served as dessert, which saved a fortune on the per head catering bill.’ -Maria
‘I didn’t have a cake (don’t even like cake) and don’t miss having one of those staged photos of us cutting it one bit!’ – Emma
‘We had photographer for wedding but not reception to save money – and put disposable cameras on every table with sticky label asking people to have fun with it and then drop camera in a bag by the door when it was finished. Got some lovely candid photos and was an extra treat getting those developed after the wedding!’ – Jo
‘I rented my dress – I wasn’t keen on the idea originally but when I realised they had a great selection and I didn’t have to worry about getting stains on it, I changed my mind. I wore a £2000 dress for £400.’ -Paula
‘I got my dress for £12.50 from eBay so I could use the money for some Jimmy Choos. I have never ever regretted it. The choos are now pink.’ – Jackie
‘A wedding dress doesn’t have to be a wedding dress – if that makes sense? Just get a dress you like. I’d check ebay rather than renting one, because less stress/hassle of returning it and you can sell it on.’ -Nicky
‘You can buy a pre-loved dress from charity Brides Do Good, and the proceeds go toward child bride charities.’ -Maggie
‘My mum got my dress made for me while she was on holiday in Thailand. In fact she got two (in case one didn’t fit) in beautiful red silk for about £80.’ – Elyssa
‘I’ve never understood why anyone would pay money to put bows on chairs.’ – Fong
‘We booked the church the weekend of the flower festival so I didn’t need to bother with flowers.’ – Rachel
‘We went to a local florist shop the day before to buy blooms to dress up the reception venue, which were placed in £1 vases from Ikea.’ – Allie
‘We saved on entertainment at the reception by playing a CD!’ – Angie
‘We didn’t get a DJ, we just used Spotify.’ – Lucy
‘We designed and printed the invites and orders of service ourselves husband printed them at work (much higher spec printer than home).’ – Emma
‘We scrapped the idea of wedding cars and used my parents’ old Morris Minor.’ – Katy
‘Didn’t bother with favours’ – Helen
‘Didn’t do favours’ -Sophie
‘Really, don’t bother with favours.’ – Suze
‘Skipped the favours -the most pointless waste of money ever.’ – Paula
What was the best thing that you skipped out on when it came to your wedding? Did you go for a meat free menu, or did you cut costs by letting Spotify be the DJ?
Let us know in the comments!