No matter how much your wedding budget is, you need to stick to it, and we all like to save money where we can. We asked three top wedding planners to share their suggestions on the best ways to cut wedding costs…

1. Marry Out of Season

Summer Saturdays are popular times to marry, hence suppliers will often charge more. Consider a Friday or midweek wedding, and avoid the height of summer.

2. Free Bridal Suite?

Some wedding venues will give the bride and groom a complementary room on the night. Negotiate before you book, and remember, if you don’t ask you don’t get!

3. Call in the Favours

If you have an aunt who makes great cakes or a cousin who sings in a band, now is the time to ask them whether they’d like to help for your wedding.

4. Limit Your Guest List

Your biggest wedding spend is likely to be on catering, so if you can keep your guest list down you’ll save on your wedding food and drink. Have an intimate wedding and a big party after your honeymoon.

5. Stick to Seasonal Produce

Seasonal flowers and food are generally less expensive and better quality. Cut wedding costs by keeping it simple and using what nature intended!

6. Leftovers

If you pay for a dozen cases of wine for the meal, check how many are used. Any ‘leftovers’ can go behind the bar in the evening.

7. Serve Cake as Dessert

Use your wedding cake as dessert to avoid paying for an additional course. Serve with a little fruit coulis and some jugs of cream.

8. Champers, Darling?

Magnums of Champagne offer twice the amount as a bottle, and not at twice the price. Bear this in mind if ordering Champagne for your wedding toasts.

9. Cut-Back Cocktails

Bellini, Kir Royale and Bucks Fizz are all delicious reception cocktails, and made with Cava or Prosecco work out a lot less expensive then Champagne.

10. Feeding Suppliers

If a supplier’s contract stipulates that you’ve got to feed them there’s no need to give them the same as the guests. A bar meal or a plate of sandwiches is cheaper.

11. Supermarket Cakes

Supermarket wedding cakes can look great and cost far less than those from wedding cake makers. A simple supermarket wedding cake decorated with fresh flowers can look fabulous.

12. How Many Tiers?

You don’t have to have a three-tier wedding cake. If one or two tiers is enough to feed all your guests, why spend the extra?

13. Don’t Become a Décor Junkie

Focus your attention on decorating areas your guests will see and enjoy, such as great table centrepieces and the front of your ceremony room. Also, keep your wedding table styling simple and elegant. They will look better and save you spending cash on trinkets you don’t use.

14. Napkins

Use tastefully folded coloured napkins, or tie ribbon, raffia or cord around your napkins as a cost-effective way to enhance your wedding table décor.

15. DIY Runners

If you’re handy with a sewing machine, make your own coloured table runners to decorate your guest tables, cake table and bar.

16. Use Candlelight

Candlelight can transform a room and gives it instant atmosphere. Buy or hire lots of night lights and holders and have your venue place them around your reception room as the light starts to fade.

17. Limit On-the-Day Stationery

Order of Service brochures make a lovely keepsake, but most of them end up left on the church pews after the ceremony. One between two people is quite acceptable. Similarly, you don’t need to provide a menu for everyone either; three or four per table is sufficient. You can read more ways to get great wedding stationery on a budget here.

18. Share Flowers?

Check with your ceremony location if they have any other weddings on the same day as yours. If you can all agree on the same floral decoration you can share the cost.

19. Reuse Flowers

If you have a few large flower arrangements at your ceremony, move them to your reception.

20. Cheap Wow Factor Flowers

Masses of flowers in one colour create a wow factor. You can use cheaper flowers, but just lots of them.

21. High Street Bridesmaid Dresses

Don’t ignore the high street for your bridesmaid dresses. There are some gorgeous ones around, and some cost less than half that of speciality gowns.

22. Consider Hiring/Selling Your Wedding Dress

The wedding gown is always one of the major wedding expenses, but well worth it. You may want to consider hiring your dress to save money, or selling it after the event. You can usually re-coup around 50% of the price.

Similarly, you can save money on accessories by hiring tiaras and costume jewellery at a fraction of the cost of purchasing these items.

23. Bridal Sales

Most bridal designers and bridal shops hold out of season and sample sales. These are well worth visiting to see if you can pick up a bargain wedding dress.

24. Get Your Money’s Worth from Your Dress

You do not have to have a going away outfit. If money is tight, wear your dress all night and leave in it; make the most of your dream dress.

25. Re-Use Shoes

Choose bridal shoes that you can wear again. Have them dyed after the wedding and you have an elegant pair of evening shoes.

26. Save on Beauty

Using a professional wedding hair and make-up artist will usually work out less expensive than booking a salon-based artist to come out to you for a half-day’s work.

27. Only Pay for the Photography You Need

If you can, book a wedding photographer by the hour if you’re not bothered about having pictures of you getting ready or the evening party.

28. Activity Bags

Kids’ activity bags are great but can be expensive to put together. Use websites to print free ‘clip art’ instead of buying colouring books.

29. Honeymoon Close to Home

There are many beautiful, romantic destinations in Europe, so you don’t need to spend a fortune travelling half way around the world. If you have your heart set on far flung shores you could always honeymoon six months after the wedding when you’ve had time to save up.

30. Use a Wedding Planner

Good wedding planners will know how you can really cut wedding costs, especially when it comes to negotiating with wedding suppliers. Hiring a wedding planner can save you stacks of cash.

Guest post with tips from Siobhan Craven-Robins, Kate Smallwood and Julie Tooby