It’s NOT all about the perfect wedding
Too many work through a wanna-have list – a film star dress, flowing champagne, platinum rings, a five-star honeymoon. Only then, they ask how they'll pay for it.
Don't let the wedding ruin your marriage
Before we get too far into this, and you skip straight to this guide's bargain-grabbing section, it really is worth pausing to think about the financial effect of your celebration.
As Martin says, "While a wedding is a wonderful dream day, it's important to remember one of the biggest causes of divorce is debt and financial worries.
Don't let the bank steal your wedding cash
‘Setting off’ means banks can swipe big money from our accounts without permission. So if you've a loan or credit card debts, be very careful about other people, such as your parents, giving you cash to fund your wedding.
Get max interest on your wedding savings
If you're saving up to get hitched or perhaps your parents have given a contribution, ensure you maximise the interest.
The best bet's an easy-access account, which means you can easily withdraw the cash when needed. Yet many people avoid cash ISAs, wrongly thinking their money is locked in.
Play the wedding prioritisation game
Once you know your budget, the aim’s to work out how much you can actually afford to spend on different areas and prioritise what’s important. Write down all the things you need to spend cash on a different piece of card – from cakes to cars, rings to registry office fees.
Should you borrow to pay for the wedding?
If you can possibly avoid it, don't borrow for the big day. Leaving yourself in debt at the start of your married life is not the best idea.
Never borrow more than you can afford to pay back within a year
We can tell you not to borrow till we're blue in the face. But if you ignore that, at least do it the cheapest way. Ask:
Pick an unusual day and season
The venue usually creates the biggest dent in your budget. So get this right and you'll be on to a budget bash winner.
Top questions to ask venues
Some venues have more hidden charges than Ryanair - one MoneySaver had to pay extra to hire a cake knife. So before booking, pose as many questions as possible and get important answers in writing.
Lay on a posh picnic
Some savvy MoneySavers have taken a punt on good weather by having their wedding reception in the park with a picnic-style buffet.
Look ravishing with free makeovers
While some brides go DIY, it may save a lot of stress if you get make-up done by a pro. Before you start cringing at the fees, there are sneaky ways round this.
Think very carefully about guests. The numbers soon add up: 70 sounds a lot, but it's only 15 members of each person's family, then 10 friends each with partners.
Never mention the 'w' word
If there's one thing guaranteed to increase the price, it's when the people you're buying from know it's a wedding. So when negotiating, try to avoid the word "wedding". Call it a party or celebration, and only once the price is agreed should you mention the word "wedding".
Don't be afraid to ask for cash
Wedding gifts aren’t just a pleasant way of wishing a new couple a great life together. Historically, they’re there as a form of social banking. So before you decide what to ask for on the big day, here's what Martin has to say:
Drive down the cost of transport
If you don't live in London, go for a London-style cab as a wedding car and you'll get smart black transport atmosphere at a much lower cost.