Congratulations on your engagement! Planning a wedding is exciting, but the thought of the cost can be scary. It’s hard for it to be the best day of your life if you are losing sleep over the financial aspects.

The average cost of a UK wedding has hit an all time high at £27,161 according to free wedding planning website, Hitched. But don’t be alarmed, it can be done on a budget – even in our fabulous capital.

Dos and Don’ts

Consider getting married on a Sunday or at an off-peak time in winter when venue hire costs are lower. If you choose a late afternoon timing you’ll only have to provide one meal. Also, don’t be afraid of keeping your invite list small and exclusive.

Try to find ways to get your guests involved. How about challenging your guests to a bake-off with a different cake per table, for instance? Ask your guests to upload their snaps to a shared site instead of paying for a professional photographer.

There are lots of areas where you can do more than you might imagine. A good place to start is with your make-up; in many ways it can feel more authentic to look natural and like ‘you’. There is no need for overly flash, expensive invitation; designing your own e-mail ones can be fun and a good way to add your own stamp to proceedings. Similarly, you could consider making your own table decorations.

It is easy to spend a huge amount on flowers – which seems crazy when they will only be enjoyed for a few hours. One option is to use dried flowers instead of fresh. Another tip is to bulk floral arrangement out with foliage which costs far less than the floral part.

Stay cool-headed when it comes for shopping for ‘the dress’. It can be easy to be bullied into spending insane sums by pushy bridal sales assistants. Instead, be savvy. Snap up something amazing in the sales, for instance, or consider second hand vintage options (takes care of ‘something borrowed’ after all). There are also loads of great high-street options for you and your bridesmaids.

And finally, don’t forget to negotiate! You can shave more money off than you might imagine so long as you play hard-to-get rather than coming across as a starry-eyed bride-to-be.

Money stuff

When it comes to paying for the wedding, tradition seems to be going out of the window. Parents no longer foot the bill for the big day with just over half of couples paying for the wedding with a bit of help from family members and 32% funding it entirely by themselves.

Consider taking out a balance transfer card rather than racking up debt on various credit cards. It can enable to you move your debt balance free of charge and give you a holiday from racking up interest for a while. Better to budget carefully and keep track of it all in one place.

Hopefully by now you’ll be feeling more confident that an affordable London wedding is doable and not merely a pipe dream. It’s worth putting in the effort when it comes to planning – leaving you free to enjoy your big day without undue stress – frowns are no good for the photos, after all.