How to cut down on wedding costs

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The average cost of a UK wedding roughly stands at £21,000 – and as it's your fairytale day, it's natural to want everything to be perfect. This will often mean choosing the more expensive option at each step of the wedding planning, and going well over your budget if you don't hold back.

But never fear, there are ways to cut down. Start by saving and opening a separate wedding account, and be realistic about what you can afford. Hunt for deals and don't be afraid to haggle – you won't know unless you ask.

The experts at Money Advice Service have put together their top practical money-saving tips to help ease the stress of planning a wedding...

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Set a budget:

Whether opting for a wedding package or putting the different elements together yourself, the costs can really add up and potentially spiral. It can be easy to justify to yourself spending more than planned because it's a "once in a lifetime" day but like any big event, it's important to make a budget and stick to it. Make a list of everything you need, prioritise where you want to spend your money and shop around. Make sure to factor in the honeymoon too.

Plan ahead:

Leave plenty of time to allow you to search for the best deals and give yourself breathing space to save up for it all.

Open a separate wedding account:

The sooner you start to save, the more manageable the cost will be so think about setting up a separate instant access account. Ideally, set up a regular payment to automatically transfer into the new account which will meet your savings target.

Mix and match:

If necessary, look into borrowing options that could help with some of the cost, alongside your savings. Just remember, whatever you can contribute through saving up will save on interest charges and bring down the total cost of the wedding in the long term. Never to borrow more than you can afford to pay back.

Be realistic about what you can achieve and afford:

Instead of saving tirelessly every month for your wedding in a year's time, why not wait an extra year and you'll only need to save half the amount each month? If you have a year or two to plan ahead, you may want to look at accounts that tie up your money but offer better interest.

Haggle, haggle, haggle:

Whether you're buying a ring or booking a venue, make sure you haggle for the best price – if you don't ask you don't get and receiving 10 per cent off a wedding venue could make a real difference. But make sure you get the offer in writing.

Package holiday honeymoons or DIY:

Package holidays tend to be cheaper, especially for more popular destinations. But either way make sure you shop around, look at the various options and haggle for the best price.

Create a honeymoon fund:

Plenty of wedding guests are unsure about what to give newlyweds so you could create a honeymoon fund they can contribute to.

Share the good news:

Tell your flight provider or hotel that you are honeymooners when you book or check in. You never know, they could have flowers and a bottle of champagne waiting for you on your arrival – or even give you an upgrade!