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Your wedding budget: how not to waste money on your wedding

Your wedding budget could go further than you realise with our handy hints

Once you’ve decided on your wedding budget, it’s time to work out how to make it stretch as far as possible, to ensure you get the day of your dreams without spending beyond your means.

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First off, make sure to read our article on incredibly clever ways to save money on your wedding for tips you never will have thought of.

Next scroll down to find out how to avoid wasting money on key areas of your wedding.

How to make sure you don’t waste money on your wedding dress

  • Do your research: identify shops that stock your favourite designers and keep an eye out for sample sales.
  • Don’t waste petrol or travel costs visiting shops that don’t suit your price range. Sure it can be fun twirling around in a princess-style gown, but ultimately it’s a waste of both yours and the boutique’s time.
  • Mix designer label pieces with high street for a luxe-for-less look.
  • Set aside money for bridal lingerie. You don’t want to spoil your dream dress with an ill-fitting bra or an obvious VPL.
  • Splash out on the gown but borrow or hire a veil or headdress.
  • Resist the temptation to choose a dress the requires a lot of alterations. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • If your h2b can’t afford the suit of his dreams see if he can hire it.

How to make sure you don’t waste money on your wedding venue

  • Ring shortlisted venue before visiting and get all the facts – don’t travel somewhere only to find out they don’t have the capacity you’re after. Read our list of questions to ask your wedding venue before you sign on the dotted line.
  • Think about venues that can host all stages of the day. Choosing one location rather than two can save on hiring fees and will cut the cost of arranging transport.
  • Consider venues where your guests can stay over. You can often negotiate a better price if you book accommodation too.
  • Have a clear idea of numbers before you go venue hunting so you don’t over-rent space that will end up empty.
  • Consider an off-season, midweek or Sunday wedding – it could save you thousands.

How to make sure you don’t waste money on your wedding jewellery

  • Always choose your dress first so you don’t end up buying a gorgeous necklace only to fall in love with a high-neck dress.
  • Invest in your rings. You’ll be wearing them all day every day and they represent your commitment. Treat yourselves to something special so you can wear them with pride.
  • Pair family heirlooms with new pieces that complement them.
  • If you’ve gone all-out with statement-earrings, make sure your hairstyle on the day shows them off, otherwise no-one will see them under long locks and the money will be wasted!

How to make sure you don’t waste money on your wedding food

  • If you can’t stretch to three courses – 
don’t, just invest in two really good ones.
  • Skip dessert course and serve your delicious wedding cake instead.
  • Make sure you have a tasting and discuss your menu needs with the caterers – don’t settle for a package that isn’t your style.
  • Don’t cater for the full number of guests 
at the evening buffet as not all the day guests will eat again. About 70% should be enough.
  • Avoid ingredients that are out of season, 
it can add lots of money to your menu.

How to make sure you don’t waste money on your wedding drinks

  • Don’t have rows of drinks laid out too early as they could go warm or flat.
  • Don’t feel you have to offer wedding cocktails if they’re not your thing, it’s perfectly fine to stick to the staples of wine, beer and soft drinks.
  • Have a limit on your bar tab for the evening. People don’t usually mind paying as the evening wears on, so long as you make it 
clear it’s a pay-bar on the invitation.
  • If you do have an open bar, make a rule that children must be accompanied by an adult at the bar so they don’t get carried away with the novelty of ordering endless Cokes.
  • If you do want to serve fancier drinks, opt for punches, Pimm’s and mulled wine that can be served in large quantities.
  • Ask your venue to keep an eye on the number of wine bottles in circulation – unopened bottles can often be returned without a cost.
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How to make sure you don’t waste money on your honeymoon

  • There are plenty of ways to make your honeymoon budget go further. Choose luxe for a shorter period rather than trying to go for weeks and having to compromise on style.
  • Draw up a list of honeymoon experiences like hot-air ballooning or couple’s massages that you 
really want to enjoy together and splash out 
on them rather than trying to cram in everything on a budget.
  • Consider your honeymoon priorities. If 
you plan on spending a lot of time outside the hotel, book the nicest room in a three-star hotel rather than the cheapest room in a five-star. Or if you’re staying by the pool and in the spa, go for the cheaper room in a posh hotel so 
you still get to use all the luxury facilities.
  • Don’t pay for things that you won’t use, like booking yourselves into an airport lounge if you’re not going to get to the airport early, opting for a private butler if you want privacy, and booking full board if you know you won’t have an appetite for a big lunch after a lazy 
late breakfast.