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All Photography by Anna Roussos

As a newly engaged couple you might have been shocked when you realised the true cost of a wedding, I know I was! When I first started blogging, I pinned countless numbers of photos to pin boards creating the ideal wedding in my head, then when I started making enquiries and planning budgets I soon realised the cost of my ‘dream’ wedding would soon mount up! I don’t know if anyone has ever told you this but weddings can be expensive – fact!

I recently had lunch with a bunch of girlfriends all newlyweds and I was surprised to hear them complain about how expensive their wedding was. These ladies all had different budgets and yet all of them were of the same opinion that weddings cost too much! So where do we start in our bid to cut the costs? This is exactly why Legal & General have set up Google hangouts as part of their campaign to help people feel confident about money at each of life’s milestones such as planning a wedding.

For some spending £2000 on a photographer is well worth its weight in memories for others that cost would be insane! Of course both opinions are equally valid, in general price is often associated with quality but for others this is simply not the case!

As a hardcore DIY’er I don’t necessarily think throwing money at it, will make it look good, however in the same breath I would never want to risk quality over quantity which is why today I want to share with you my top tips on how plan your ideal wedding without breaking the bank.

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1. Compromise

Ask yourself what you really want from your wedding day? In my opinion this is the very first conversation you and your significant other should discuss before any planning takes place. Once you have nailed down the specifics you can start getting down to the nitty gritty. How much do you have to spend? How long will it take to organise? Are you going to have to give something else up?

Making these decisions will be hard! But they will really help you focus on the aspects you will find the most important and getting rid of those you don’t. I recently had this discussion with two close friends who will be getting married next year and they told me how they had decided to cut favors as they would rather use the extra £100 or so towards something that wasn’t going to be left on the tables at the end of the night? To me this makes perfect sense! Don’t shell out a lot of extra cash on something just because you think you it’s the done thing! Make your own rules!

2. Budget

This is probably the most obvious one to ask yourself, but what can you really afford? Some of you might already be lucky enough to have a wedding fund whilst others might have some saving to do before they can go ahead with planning. If you are one of the latter, first things first you need to know how much you can realistically afford to save each month and how long it will take to save the type of money you will need to plan a wedding. The next step for everybody would then be to do your research. Check out the type of venues you had in mind and look at the costs, talk to photographers and find out how much they charge and so on.

There is no point putting aside £400 aside for a photographer only to find out later they actually cost in the region of £1400 (trust me, I’ve seen it happen and ain’t pretty!). Once you have a better idea of your budget and ballpark figures of what everything will cost, you will then have a better idea of where you would like to spend your money!

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3. Manage Your Guest List

This is always a bit of a touchy one if you ask me, but one that needs to be addressed! I recently read this article on Wedding and thought it was super helpful. First things first you need to only invite people you actually want at your wedding! Think about it? Who do you see yourself celebrating with? Who would really love to be there with you? When was the last time you saw them?

It will no doubt be another hard decision and you could risk offending people in the process but if these people truly loved you and wanted what was best for you, they would just be happy that you were having the time of your life marrying the love of your life – simples!

4. Off Peak

Is there a certain time of year or day of the week that could be cheaper? Ask any supplier in the wedding industry and almost all will tell you that Spring/Summer tends to be their busiest season. Think about your wedding? Does it specifically rely on season? Of course if you are planning an outdoor wedding, the weather may play a huge part in your decision, but if not, perhaps consider getting married in ‘off peak’ seasons such as Autumn or winter?

Would you get married on a weekday? Venues are often cheaper on these days as the demand is not so high? Be mindful however that not everyone will able to get time off work so if you do decide to marry on a weekday it might a cost you a couple of your guests. Ask yourself would you be ok with that, if not you might want to think about getting married on a Sunday. Again not everyone will be able to get time off work the next day so this might affect how late you guests can stay and how much they can drink. So if you envisioned your wedding as one big party you might want to consider this before you dive headfirst into booking that Sunday rave!