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Ten top tips for a budget conscious bride

Everybody wants their wedding day to be the happiest day of their lives but you also want your guests to enjoy it too.

Here are our suggestions to make sure you’ve got the traditional something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue included, plus a few extras…

1.) Photographer

Professional photographs can be extortionate so if you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg then look to photography students but will be really keen to snap some shots of your special day for you. If you don’t know anybody directly you could advertise in colleges, universities or even put an advert on gumtree. Students will be keen to help as they can add the shots and experience to their portfolio.

2.) Button bouquet/ brooch bouquet for a really different look

Flowers are nice, but they’ve been done a million times so why not try things you can collect over a long time or even borrow? Buttons are a great option for a really unique bouquet - not only will they brighten up what you’re holding but you can be as creative as you like with this one. Brooches too are a great idea as you can collect these over a long time, borrow some from family and friends and they don’t cost a fortune.

3.) Antique china from markets/ car boots/ flea markets (something old)

If you’re breaking for tea at any point this not only makes the tea taste better but also makes it much more of an occasion and although weddings are great, it can be a long day of continuous drinking especially when they can sometimes start very early. Every generation loves a brew so whether you’re planning a vintage hen do or not, china cups add a really lovely touch. You can buy these cheap from boot fairs, flea markets or antique shops - they don’t have to match either, variety is good!

4.) Live band versus playlist versus barn dance

The plan is to get people up on their feet, dancing. That can be a daunting task with Aunties, Uncles, grandparents, cousins all there from across the eras - there’s nothing better than a live band to get the dance-floor full but they can be expensive. If you know any budding musicians out there this could be a great way of giving them some live gig experience whilst saving you a fortune on professional musicians (make sure you go and test them out live though, before you agree to anything). Afterwards load up a pre-made play list of all your favourite songs on to your laptop and keep the tunes pumping out all night - this also means that Aunty Merle can’t keep requesting all the songs you despise!). This will save a lot of money on a live DJ as it cuts out the middle man. Or you can opt for a caley - all you need is a compere who knows their stuff and you’re good to go (just make sure they haven’t been on the sauce all day!).

5.) Games/ rounders/cricket (meet someone new)

If you’re lucky enough to have a large green space on your special day then a game like rounders is a great way to get all your guests chatting and to break the ice and the informality. All you need is a space, bat and a ball and everybody knows the rest. This also breaks up the drinking for a bit and means everybody can get involved rather than just sitting around waiting for the next event. Kids can partake too while parents can relax as they know the children are occupied! Just make sure you do this long enough before or after lunch to make sure lunch has gone down. You can arrange other games around for kids and adults like bowling or soft ball so guests can come and go at their own leisure. Parents will be eternally grateful for this one!

6.) Camping (hopefully not something blue - unless you’re getting married in December!)

Again if you’re lucky to have enough outside space and you have permission from the people who own the grounds, camping is a great shout for any guests who may also be money conscious after travelling down for the wedding. All you need is a tent, enthusiasm and warm clothes - oh and definitely a season in the summer. It also means guests don’t have to worry about how they’re getting from the reception to where they’re staying and who’s driving.

7.) Jars for cocktail or punch (something borrowed)

You can buy these off ebay or amazon or simply get friends and family to collect for you. Make some pre-made cocktail or punch before hand and serve to your guests at the reception. It’s fun, easy and adds that personal touch which your guests will really appreciate. Once they’ve been used you can recycle them - just wash up and fill with sweets/ pot pouri/ smarties/ flowers to add to the table as a decoration.

8.) A thank you to the bridesmaids

Bridesmaids are basically your rock throughout the whole process and some brides want to thank them personally for being there for them through the whole process. Here, it’s really the thought that counts - something simple like a framed photograph of you all together will go down a treat and will mean they can remember the moment for years to come.

9.) If you and your groom aren’t the shy type why not turn the first dance into a choreographed routine?

It doesn’t have to be hard, simple is always best but keep it as a surprise and amaze your guests just as they think you’re going in for that slushy, slow number… All you will need is some time to practice and some Dutch courage on the big night. This costs nothing if you learn a routine off YouTube or the internet and will be the guaranteed talking point of the evening!

10.) A wedding book/ disposable cameras on each table

It’s going to be such a busy day that it’s hard getting round every single guest so it’s nice to get their point of view of the day - this can be recorded in simple ways like a wedding book that’s left somewhere prominent or passed round. Leaving disposable cameras on tables are also a fantastic way or recording events and measuring who was getting the drunkest at the reception. This has the same effect as photo booths you can hire but will save you a couple of grand. You can buy these for just a few pounds and it means you’ll capture your special day from many different angles!

Our Brighton Hen and Stag Weekend Blog aims to feature helpful insights so that you 'last night of freedom' is the best possible. It is after all a milestone in your life to be celebrated. Here you will find interesting stories from hens and stags that have gone before you. Tips and tricks on planning the perfect hen weekend or stag party and what interesting an wonderful things are happening in the city of Brighton.

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