Your wedding is likely to be one of the most expensive things you will ever pay for. But there are ways to cut the cost and still make it the most special day of your life.

First things first…

Make a budget

Before you even begin to look at things or start a Pinterest board, workout how much money you’ve got to play with. You need to think about how you’re going to pay for it upfront so you aren’t stuck with huge bills and no way to pay.

Make a list of things you couldn’t do without at your wedding and then see how much you could afford to spend on each. Start by listing the things that are the most important to you and how much they’ll cost. You can then workout how much you have to spend on the less essential items.

Think about dates

If you choose to tie the knot in peak wedding season be prepared to pay the price. These dates will often come at a premium and aren’t as good value for your money. If you aren’t fussed by a summer wedding looking at different seasons could save you a tonne.

If you’re set on getting married in peak season, consider having your wedding on a Sunday or mid-week because it often costs less to hire a venue if you can avoid a Saturday.

Getting married later in the day can also help keep costs to a minimum – you’ll only have to feed your guests one meal rather than two, and if you’re providing a free bar your guests will have less time to take advantage of it.

Don’t settle for the first price

Always haggle over prices. Some prices will be fixed, but prices can change with season and demand. There’s no harm in asking for a discount and be prepared to walk away if they won’t budge.

Do your research before you buy anything. If you know you can get a service or item cheaper elsewhere have evidence to back it up. You’re much more likely to get a discount if you can prove you can go somewhere else for cheaper.

Give gifts a miss

If you already live with your partner, chances are you won’t need lots of gifts that’ll just sit around in boxes.

When you think about it, you’ll probably be surprised at the talents your nearest and dearest have. Know someone who’s handy with a camera? Ask them to take your snaps for you. Got a musician in the family? Perhaps they might consider performing for you on the day. This will add a personal touch to the day, plus you could save lots by not hiring a service like a photographer or band.

If people would like to give you something, ask for travel vouchers to put towards your honeymoon. This cost is regularly forgotten when budgeting and if you’re planning a big trip it could really help.

Don’t get caught out

If you’re using individual companies for your wedding, think about taking out insurance. This can help cover costs if something goes wrong like your dress company goes bust, or the venue double books. Insurance will mean you won’t be out of pocket. Compare policies to make sure it will cover everything and give you peace of mind.

Role your sleeves up

There are hundreds of ideas online for different DIY wedding projects. From centre pieces to bunting and cake, there are lots of things you can do yourself at home. Especially if you’re planning well in advance, you’ll have time to make those extra special touches.

But do check it won’t be more expensive to make things yourself before you start. Sometimes the cost of the materials alone might set you back more than the finished item on eBay.

Make it individual

Having a traditional wedding is often where the costs stack up – the three course sit down meal can add up to a fortune. Planning for a more unusual wedding can help to rein in costs and is often more fun. Consider doing a big barbeque or buffet rather than a wedding breakfast. Ask your groomsmen to wear their own suits or hire them for the day rather than buying them as this can also cut costs.

Main image: Halfpoint via shutterstock