Thrifty Bride Guide

The biggest day of your life doesn’t have to be the most expensive!!!

WITH the average wedding now costing around £21,000, for many couples the final bill for the big day can be as shocking as some of the best man’s jokes…

However the day of your dreams is still attainable provided you tap into your resources, are prepared to negotiate and above all can think creatively.
If professional photography is a non-negotiable element then shop around and consider what it is you really want. If you’re not fussed about being photographed while you get ready, for example, shorten the length of time you book your snapper for. You could also ask a photographer in their first year of business as they might agree to a cheaper rate provided you give a glowing testimonial in return, if you are happy with the results of course.
Instead of a traditional gift list why not request your guests skills as presents instead?
Know a florist? Then ask him or her to create your wedding bouquet.
Maybe a hairdresser friend can style your up-do or keen bakers might make the cake?


When it comes to hen parties staying in is the new going out with an L-plate on your back.
So invite all of your friends and brace yourself for the ultimate sleep-over.
Kick-off with an American-style supper, with each hen contributing a dish and a bottle.

You could watch movies or play giggle-inducing games such as charades and truth or dare or even get competitive on the Wii. If you want to splurge a little club together and hire a hot-tub.

Oxfam, British Red Cross, Cancer Research and Barnardo’s all have bridal sections that sell brand new end-of-line dresses. They also stock retro dresses unearthed from granny’s attic, as well as those worn once and then gifted to charity.

Costs vary but you can expect to pay roughly 30 per cent of what you would pay on the high street. This should leave you with enough budget to get the dress professionally fitted and altered.

Most chaps can muster a plain suit without having to buy a new one and with a simple base they can opt for a bright shirt in a good quality fabric.

A venue that can accommodate both your marriage service and reception may prove to be cost-effective.

If you do opt for separate venues then one of the best blank canvases for your after party is a scout hut or village hall.

Schools and colleges often have rooms for hire or grounds to pitch a ‘marquee’ on and you may find you can negotiate a good deal.

Ask people to contribute something to the feast, capitalising on your friends culinary expertise. You could suggest guests bring their own picnic and simply supply rugs, tables and a knockout pudding. As for toasts remember sparkling wine has come on leaps and bounds and unless you’re a connoisseur you would be pushed to tell it from champagne. If cider and beer are to feature on your tipple menu contact an independent brewery and consider purchasing direct. They may be able to give you the same discount they offer to pubs.