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Do-it-yourself... or get your family and friends to help? Consider making your own veil (headband + tulle), making the ring pillow, arranging the flowers (maybe for the table centre pieces if not your bouquet), baking the cake, writing out the invitations or design them yourself using the computer, or make your own bomboniere bags.

Borrow - who has something you can borrow? cars? dress/es? venue? holiday home.. etc.

Wedding Dress. Consider getting a simple gown that can be dyed after the wedding and used as a cocktail/evening dress. Do you have to have a white dress? Consider having a stunning silver, black, pale blue or burgundy dress... or some other colour.. this can quickly become a cocktail/evening dress after the wedding. Also, some shoe repairers can cover/dye shoes to match your dress or, after your wedding, change the colour to something you're more likely to wear again.

Wedding Cake. The cake is remembered.. and in the wedding photos.. so consider having an extra tier or 2 of decorated foam.. foam is much cheaper than cake.. and no one will know once it is decorated up. Also consider having the cake as dessert at the reception - but check the price the reception venue will charge to cut and serve your cake. Also check when the reception venue will cut up your cake. Some will do it during the day and not during the reception - this might impact on any photos you wish to have with the cake.

Flowers can be expensive. Consider having a garden wedding, or have the flower girls blow bubbles during the ceremony. Another idea is to use potted flowers and put them down the aisle or use them as table centre pieces - you can either give these away as thankyou gifts, or take them home to plant in your garden. Alternatively, have a night/evening wedding lit by candles. Enquire as to whether or not there will be other weddings at your chosen venue on the same day.. you might be able to share the cost of flowers. Also enquire as to whether or not you can take your flowers from the ceremony venue to the reception venue - some ceremony venues will not allow you to remove your flowers.

At the Reception. Consider having canapés and cocktails instead of a sit down meal. Or, have the reception catered for by friends and family in lieu of gifts. On a similar line, consider having the guests pay for their meals instead of buying gifts - especially useful if you already have a fully stocked home!

Do you have to have a Saturday Wedding?Compare the costs of a Saturday wedding with one on Friday night or Sunday? Also compare the costs of a Wedding during Winter with one in Spring, Summer & Autumn.

Colour Scheme - submitted by Sarah

One of the first things to be done of course is to choose the theme or colour scheme for the wedding. My fiancée happens to be particularly conservative in this area whereas I like a bit of colour - I wasn't looking forward to choosing a colour scheme - I thought it would take a lot of negotiating. I mentioned to my fiancée that perhaps we needed to go to a fabric store and look at all the colours to choose a colour scheme we both liked. Immediate reaction from him was a glazing over of the eyes - I'm sure that's exactly what he wanted to do - spend hours in a fabric store looking at 3000 shades of blue, green, red etc etc.

In a moment of clarity I decided instead to nip down to the local hardware store instead and grabbed all the latest interior paint colour brochures. Perfect if you are looking for a modern feel to the wedding and the brochures are already organised in themes including corresponding contrasting and highlighting colours.

When I got home it took us less than 5 minutes to choose the perfect colour scheme. AND he loves it too - as soon as he saw the paint charts he became instantly involved - no glazed eyes!

Also, we now have paint cards in our colour that we can hand out to everyone from florists to cake decorators to the mother of the bride so that they are able to match everything they need exactly to the colour that we want.

MUCH more fun than sorting through reams of coloured fabric at a fabric store.

Wedding Dress

Before you purchase your dress, take it outside and make sure that it looks as fantastic outside as it does inside with the soft lights of the shop. 

Wedding Shoes - some shoe repairers can cover/dye shoes to match your dress or, after your wedding, change the colour to something you're more likely to wear again. Make sure they are comfortable. Wear them around the house before your wedding day to help reduce the likelihood of blisters or sore feet.

Bridesmaids - not all bridesmaids are the same shape and size. Consider buying matching material and having them each choose their own pattern to have made. This way they can choose something that is flattering and still look coordinated. Another option would be to set a style guide for your bridesmaids - ie long, black, spaghetti straps, and then coordinate with a coloured bow or neck scarf.


If using old or vintage cars - check the hinges of the doors for grease or oil. This does not look good on your new gown! Also, check that there is a covering over the wheels at the back, road dirt also is not a good look on your lovely gown.

Always handy to have a small container of talcum powder. Grease on bridesmaids, brides or flower girls, is best dealt with by sprinkling the talc on the spot, and leaving it there to absorb the grease and brush off a little later.