10 ways to save on your weddingHow to cut the cost of your own big day

28 April 2011

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Royal Wedding fever is gripping the nation with street parties being thrown to celebrate Kate Middleton and Prince William's happy day and more union flags around than during the World Cup. 

While the Windsors and Middletons will be sparing no expense on the big day, we at Which? realise that for many of us, getting married can really stretch the budget. Here are 10 ways you can keep the costs down and still have a day to remember.

Cut the guestlist

It's always tempting to invite everyone you know but with a bigger guestlist comes a bigger bill. Trim the guestlist and cut the costs. There are more ideas for extra savings in our cut the cost of your wedding reception guide. 

Be a budget bride (or groom)

The average UK wedding costs nearly £20,000. It makes sense to draw up a budget and stick to it. You can download budget planners from sites like Weddingchaos and Cheap-wedding-success

Go vintage at Oxfam

Oxfam has a dedicated bridal section in 11 stores. It offers some second-hand wedding dresses, as well as dresses donated by designers, sold at 30% of high-street prices. Visit Oxfam for more details.

Off-peak to save money

If you're willing to forego a weekend wedding, costs can come right down (even Kate and Wills are getting married on a Friday). Our research found some venues where weeknight hire cost a third of prices on a Saturday night. Tying the knot outside of summer can also deliver big savings. 

Pay on credit card

Planning a wedding involves making big purchases. Pay for anything that costs between £100 and £30,000 with a credit card, so if anything goes wrong you can claim using section 75 protection. Visit our credit card guide for more on . 

Think about insurance

Wedding insurance can cover you in case suppliers go bust, and can insure you against loss or theft. We found insurer E&L offered £8,000 of cancellation cover for a premium of £26. Visit our wedding insurance guide for more. 

Do it Yourself 

There's no point shelling out for expensive items when you can make your own. It's easy to print your own invites and make your own bunting. Visit blogs such as www.lovemydress.net and www.rocknrollbride.com for DIY inspiration. 

Don't say the W word 

When Which? checked last year, we found that the mere mention of a wedding could bump up costs. At one hotel, we found that the cost quoted for a meal was 25% more for a wedding than for a 60th birthday. Florists and hairdressers also upped their prices. 

Plan ahead and save money

Booking a wedding as early as possible can be a way of keeping down costs. Make sure you agree the fees quoted in writing, in case the supplier should choose to raise their prices ahead of the big day. 

Mates' rates 

Why spend a fortune on a DJ or photographer when a friend could help out? If you do bring in the professionals, haggle - one Which? researcher was able to knock £1,000 off a photographer's fee. 

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