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There are ways to reduce the costs involved while still having a beautiful wedding:

Serve your wedding cake and coffee instead of a separate dessert.

Have your ceremony and reception at the same venue as this cuts transport costs and you can easily move floral arrangements from the ceremony area into the reception room.

Do you know someone who has a very stylish or classic car, which you could use?

Book your wedding during the winter months (May to August) and you are likely to get discounted rates from many service providers. After all, the weather can be unpredictable at any time of year and if you are having an indoor reception, then once you are inside, the weather outside is irrelevant.

Consider having an afternoon tea or cocktail party rather than a sit down dinner.

Get married on a weekday.

Use the skills of your friends and family members. Do you know someone who sings beautifully or plays an instrument? Do you know someone who has a knack for arranging flowers or who is talented at cake decorating? Do you know someone who is a natural born entertainer and can act as your MC? Do you know someone who has a love of photography or who could design and print your wedding stationery? Providing those services could be their wedding gift to you.

Make your own bonbonniere. Buy your organza bags, rose petals, candles, almonds etc in bulk then get your girlfriends over, grab some champagne and spend the afternoon/evening together making up the gifts. You will save money but you will also have a ball and have the opportunity to really personalize your gifts, which your guests will truly appreciate.

You may attach guest names to their bonbonniere, which means you won't also need to provide place cards.

Do your own hair, make up and nails. In the lead up to the wedding day have your Bridesmaids come over and together experiment with different hairstyles (keeping in mind the style of veil or headpiece that you will be wearing). Try out some different shades of make up to see what suits you and give yourself a different look to your usual everyday style. The night before the big day, paint your own nails or have a friend or your mum do it for you.

The reception venue/catering is going to be your biggest expense. Reduce this cost by being brutal with the guest list. If you haven't seen somebody in 10 years, do you really need to invite him or her to your wedding?

Single guests are often given the option of bringing a friend. If you are trying to limit your guest numbers, leave the 'and friend' off the invitation.

Consider not inviting children. Even though most reception venues offer a reduced price for a children's menu, it's still an expense. Most parents will understand if their children are not invited and for those who don't, well it's your wedding day and it's your choice.

Utilize the services of a wedding planner. They have contacts within the wedding industry and can get you discounts that you will be unable to organize for yourself. They will also ensure you stick to your allocated budget.

If you already have a house and all the appliances and linen that you need, consider asking guests to contribute towards the cost of the honeymoon rather than buying you a gift you really don't need.

Think carefully about what size your wedding cake really needs to be. How many guests will be attending and how much cake do you want left over? Two tiers beautifully decorated to tie in with your theme, will look just as stunning as any 4 or 5 tier cake.

Choose your photography package carefully. Look for a photographer who will provide you with all the negatives as this leaves you free to have whatever photos you want printed, at a time and place that suits you. You could then elect to have some photos printed now but do the majority later on, when your bank balance has recovered from the shock of the wedding expenses.

When hiring 3 or more Men's suits, many companies will offer the Groom's suit hire for free. Ask your hire company if they are willing to do that.

When ordering your flowers, ask for a free throw away bouquet. Many florists will be happy to oblige.

Consider wearing the veil or headpiece worn by your Mum, an Aunty or a friend. As well as being your 'something borrowed' it adds a lovely sentimental touch to the day, especially for the person you borrow it from.

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