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Let’s face it – the cost of a wedding is enough to send most jaws crashing to the floor. You need to fork out for the venue, the booze, a photographer, a DJ, that little thing called a Wedding Dress – and you haven’t even fed your guests yet. How to make sure your special day doesn’t turn into a Bring Your Own BBQ party in Dad’s backyard? Here are some essential tips for weddings on a budget.

Try and avoid the crush by holding your wedding during the slower months of the year. Venue managers and caterers will be more prepared to negotiate a good price for you during the cooler seasons.  If you don’t want to have a winter wedding, why not go for an afternoon affair or Friday evening party as opposed to the costly Saturday night option?

Thirty years down the line, when you and hubby are retired and live in a charming cottage by the sea, which details about your wedding will you remember?  The flower arrangements, perhaps? Invest in things that the both of you will treasure in the long term. Spend money on a good photographer, but save on the frills. Who needs immaculately preserved tulip bulbs from Amsterdam anyway? Even skip the flowers altogether and settle for tea candles.

Does your wedding dress have to be a designer Vera Wang affair? Steer clear of snooty boutiques and look for a stunning gown in a department store. Your bank balance – and future husband – will love you for it. Add some sentimental value to the dress by sourcing hand-me-downs from the women in your family – and don’t forget to ask the in-laws!

Invitations need not be elaborate pop-up, multi-layered projects with pressed flowers or butterflies inside. Be creative and design and print your own invites. To really cut down on costs (and on paper), send your guests their invitations via email.

Go for a buffet dinner as opposed to a sit-down affair. Not only do buffets encourage your guests to get up and socialize, but they also cut out the need for wait staff and other expensive elements. By incorporating some of these money-saving tips, you’ll be able to have a reasonable wedding without compromising on style.

Another helpful wedding tips from Whitepoint…keep smiling, it’s heaps of fun.