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A recent survey put the price of a modern wedding at £30K.

With more weddings now becoming all day affairs or even three day affairs, it’s easy to blow your budget on your big day.

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Advice on a tasteful wedding day

Country Life magazine recently wrote a long article on the subject, saying that modern weddings had got out of hand and were no longer about getting married but more about an excuse for having a big, lavish party.

“The past ten years has seen an alarming arms race in weddings as they have become bigger, brasher and more expensive,” the editor of Country Life Mark Hedges said. “We say stop being competitive and start focusing on the magic of the romance. The only essential ingredient is a big helping of sincerity and a little less triviality.”

The magazine offers some advice, which includes the following:

  • Think about how much it is costing your guests to come to your wedding, including buying you a gift and finding overnight accommodation
  • If you’re having an expensive hen do, then consider subsidising it for your friends
  • Think twice about holding your wedding over a weekend, not all your friends will want to make a two-day celebration
  • More than six bridesmaids is excessive
  • The best man should be reliable and sober
  • Women should wear hats
  • Don’t wear a strapless dress. Actually we think this is fine if it’s your taste and you can always cover up for the religious ceremony with a lace shrug, which you can take off for the party afterwards.
  • Don’t invite ex boyfriends and ex girlfriends
  • Don’t ask bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses if you want to stay friends

We think there are some interesting points here.

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First off, wearing a hat to a wedding just makes you look more dressed up. Remember Samantha Cameron didn’t wear a hat to the Royal Wedding, instead she had a jewelled clip in her hair but she looked underdressed compared to everyone else there. There’s something about a hat that just finishes an outfit.

Thinking about the costs to your guests isn’t being mean, it’s being considerate. Many of your friends may be planning their own weddings or have just got married themselves or have started a young family. All these are times when people are counting the pennies. What’s most important is that they come to your big day and have fun, rather than give you a big present or stay in a lavish hotel.

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The same applies to your hen do. If you’ve seen the film ‘Bridesmaids’ you’ll remember that our heroine has to go on a very expensive hen weekend when she’s just lost her job and she really can’t afford it. Be sensitive about what you plan and don’t let your maid of honour organise something that’s too lavish because you might find that some girls aren’t able to come along.

bridesmaids in pink dresses

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As for bridesmaids paying for their own dresses, that’s up to you. One way round it if you’re on a budget is to let the bridesmaids choose a style and colour that fits in with your theme and suits them perfectly. A dress they are liable to wear again and again, in which case you won’t feel awkward about asking them to make a contribution.

old fashioned children's games

People with kids might find a two-day wedding a bit too much

What about holding your wedding over a weekend? We completely get it that you want to make the party last as long as possible, but for some guests, turning up for a lunch the day after particularly if they have children might be a bit too much and wedding fatigue might just set in. You don’t want to spend money on a load of no shows (and risk the friendships) so think seriously about whether you do have a party the following day or whether you make your wedding day the big event. In fact, you and your bridegroom might well be feeling a bit jaded after the wedding celebrations too and just want to disappear off on honeymoon!

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