18 ways to save money on your wedding day (that your guests won't even notice)

If you're anything like most brides-to-be (and we even think this would include a certain Miss Meghan Markle) you won't have an unlimited budget to spend on your wedding day.

Sticking to a wedding budget you set is really important - you don't want to start off married life together with a pile of debt. 

So we've talked to some clever brides and asked for their tips on saving money (and many of them won't even be obvious to your guests). 

  1. Get married on a Sunday or Monday to Wednesday. Venues are less busy at these times so you're more likely to be able to negotiate a special rate. Try and avoid a Saturday at any time of the year as this is the most popular day.
  2.  The same applies to your photographer. Try and pick a time when your photographer is unlikely to be innundated with work. They will be more open to negotiation.  
  3. Look out for your wedding dress at designer sample sales. You could pick up a top label dress at 50% off the retail price - it will be cleaned and altered to fit you.
  4. Have a tiered wedding cake (but only one tier is real cake, the rest are for show!)
  5. Decorate your cake with fresh flowers rather than intricate icing.
  6. Serve canapes instead of a starter.
  7. Consider having a wedding during the afternoon with a vintage theme - maybe a Great Gatsby theme? Serve traditional afternoon tea, sandwiches and cakes with music from a 1920's style band. Much less expensive than a sit-down, three course dinner. 
  8.  Use flowers that are in season rather than exotic blooms that have to be flown in (you're also keeping your eco credentials intact).
  9. Or use greenery on your tables.
  10.  Forget wedding favors. People won't even notice. 
  11. If your ceremony and reception take place at the same venue you won't need wedding transport. 
  12.  Really think about your guest list. You don't have to invite everyone. Just the people that matter to you. 
  13. Have a rustic wedding with bowl food in different styles of cuisine - and let your guests sit where they wish. Less formal and pricey than a sit-down three course dinner. 
  14.  Do your wedding make-up yourself. Have some lessons beforehand and try out some different looks so you know what will suit you. 
  15. See what you can borrow. You never know who has a spare tiara or even a wedding veil you could use.
  16. Make your own wedding table centers. A pot of hyacinths or daffodils in Spring would look and smell fabulous. Or put one or two blooms (roses, gerberas, daisies) loosely in a simple stem glass vase.
  17.  Ask a friend with a classic vehicle to drive you to and from the ceremony.
  18. Don't have children at your wedding. Avoid getting married during school vacations or taking your honeymoon at that time. Airlines and travel agents put a premium on flights and hotel rates then, so you'll be paying a lot more than you would during term. Travel when the kids are in school and you'll save (you may also find your flight/hotel/beach is a lot quieter).