The best cheap wedding ideas are the ones that don't look cheap. Most brides and grooms have a list of fantastic ideas to include in their wedding. However, when it comes to fitting them into their budget, it's not quite so easy.
Don't worry, there are lots of ways you can still have the wedding of your dreams without accumulating the kind of debt you have nightmares about.
One of the best ways I found to keep the costs down for my own wedding was to do my research. It's very tempting to order the first bunch of gorgeous invitations or table centrepieces that you find, but spending some time shopping around can save you a lot of money.
One of the best sources of cheap wedding ideas is already at your disposal - the internet. Sites like eBay and Etsy are full of bargain finds.
I bought 100 tea lights and candles to decorate my reception for a fraction of what I would have paid in a shop. Wedding forums and blogs are also a great place to find out where is cheap, and who is having the next wedding sale!
One of the best ways to save money is with DIY. Plus, it's also the in thing at the moment. After seeing the quote of a florist for some simple centrepieces and bouquets, I pretty much gave up on having any flowers except the essentials.
Luckily, my very gifted mother-in-law suggested I use seasonal and easily sourced flowers instead. She also offered her help by arranging the large pedestal arrangements, which was quite a lot of help in the end. I still had the florist prepare my bouquet and the buttonholes, but the savings I made were into the hundreds of pounds.
You can DIY pretty much any part of your wedding ceremony or reception, except maybe the legal stuff.
Invitations, favours and decorations are all parts of your wedding which are perfectly suited to DIY. They can also look just as great as professionally made items. If you have talented friends or family, don't be afraid to recruit them.
Of course, don't be afraid to use your own talents or even improve on them. One of the cheap wedding ideas I used was to make my own wedding cake. I knew how to make a pretty decent fruit cake, and with the help of my grandmother I learnt how to ice and decorate as well.
A friend of mine actually decided to go on a sugar craft course to learn to ice and decorate her cake, a skill that she could keep long after her wedding day.
Finding an alternative wedding venue is another way of cutting down your costs. A friend of mine got married at the register office, then had a stand up reception at funky inner-city bar. Instead of a meal; finger food and cocktails were served. It saved the couple a lot of money, but was still a great wedding, as well as unique. Alternative wedding venues like a local restaurant or a park could be a way of cutting down costs.
Another source of cheap wedding ideas is to cut down your guest list. The way I did it was that if I hadn't seen the person in twelve months, they got crossed off. You may need to get brutal with this. It's easy to justify an invite, particularly if someone invited you to their wedding or is a family friend. The trick is to be tough but fair!
There are plenty of weddings that have as few as six guests that I've attended. They are very intimate and quite lovely in their own way.