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Bride saves £21k on incredible castle wedding – see top money-saving tricks

Cut costs like this money-savvy bride

Nichola Murphy

Brides to be, listen up! If you're looking for ways to cut costs at your wedding, then take inspiration from this money-savvy bride who managed to save an impressive £21,000 on her big day. And did we mention it took place at a castle?

MORE: The real cost of being a wedding guest - and how to save money

Proving you don't need to compromise on your dream venue or dress, 25-year-old legal cashier Ashley Waugh had her dream wedding in front of family and friends in July, dishing out just £9,000 in total. 

If you're wondering what her secrets are, Ashley spoke to budgeting experts thinkmoney about the breakdown of costs. Take a look...

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"Originally, we wanted to get married on a Saturday in the height of summer with 140 guests, and that would’ve cost us around £10,000 just for the venue.

"The steepest quote we had was £30,000 all in. So we booked a midweek date, which instantly saved us a lot of money, and went for a February date which was off-season and cheaper. We struck gold with Covid when they had to reschedule to July, and honoured the original price."

RELATED: 7 surprising legalities you need to know before getting married

While that won't necessarily be an option for future brides and grooms, she did reveal that reducing the guest list from 140 people down to 64-day guests and 15 evening guests was a huge help when it came to saving pennies.

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The couple got married at a castle in July for £9,000

"We cut A LOT of people's partners purely to save money. Most people were really nice about it, some were not, but then you learn who your real friends are when you’re planning a wedding!" she said. Their intimate wedding also meant that distant cousins and nieces were not invited.

Ashley added that she was not afraid to ask her friends and family for help, whether that was creating DIY decorations or making the most of friends' discounts. "We also did every aspect of the décor ourselves - myself, Luke, my brother, my mum, and my friend Katie spent the day before dressing the Wedding Breakfast room. 

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READ: Best wedding dress hire sites in 2021: Selfridges, HURR & more

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The bride looked beautiful in an off the rack wedding dress

"We bought centrepieces from Home Bargains, chair sashes and covers from Wish or AliExpress for 40p a pop and favours from B&M, but it looked as if it had been professionally dressed."

Plus, her wedding cake and DJ ended up being entirely free!

Here's what she spent:

Cake: Free, gifted by Luke's aunt

DJ: Free, the couple did their own music

Decorations: Chair sashes, table runners and flowers for centrepieces were 40p each

Flowers: £300 from Groovy Ruby (fake to save money)

Suits: £600, hired from Moss Bros

Wedding dress: £700 from Wed2Be, altered for £90 (off the rack to save money)

Bridal and bridesmaids' hair/make-up: £500 with friends' discount

Venue: £5k on a winter deal

Total cost: £9,000, with Ashley's dad kindly paying for the venue

READ: 5 most embarrassing wedding moments to avoid on your big day

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They asked friends and family for help with discounts

thinkmoney also revealed some top tips on how to plan a wedding on a budget: 

1. Estimate your costs

Your first step is to work out roughly how much your wedding will cost, keeping in mind that it may depend on your location. This includes venue, wedding suits and dresses, catering, venue, registrar, honeymoon and more. Plus, there are sure to be last-minute or extra items you haven't thought of along the way.

2. Save, save, save

It's a great idea to start a weekly or monthly savings target in your weekly or monthly budget, but make sure to keep it realistic – you can always increase the amount if needed as you get closer to the wedding day. 

3. Cost-cutting hacks

Choosing off-season dates, which tend to be winter or autumn, and opting for a mid-week ceremony as opposed to a weekend is often cheaper, but it can mean some people won't be able to attend.

Couples can also set up a website for invitations, avoid mentioning the word "wedding" when talking to suppliers and venues, and try their hand at decorating – much like Ashley.

READ: 8 mistakes to avoid when choosing your wedding wine

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