WEDDINGS can be eye-wateringly expensive, with many newlyweds starting married life in debt after blowing their big day budget.
But you don’t need to bankrupt yourself to throw the wedding of your dreams – as simple tweaks can slash costs and add a personal touch.
Thrifty bride Cherie Riley has revealed how she saved £20,000 to pull off the ultimate budget wedding by buying her decorations from Kmart.
The 39-year-old from Melbourne, Australia, spent less than £10,000 or AU$18,000 to host 89 friends and family members in April 2019.
This is far less than the UK average of £17,674 or average AU$53,168 spend in Australia.
Cherie revealed she cut costs “without there being a sign of it” thanks to her DIY skills, a hot glue gun and multiple Pinterest boards.
“If you have some time on your hands you can create your dream wedding no matter what the location,” the bride told FEMAIL.
She revealed their guests drank from £55 ($100) worth of Kmart champagne glasses – and they poured the alcohol using Kmart glass jugs and carafes.
They spent a total of £825 (AU$1,500) on Moscato, wine and beer but returned £385 ($700) worth after the day had ended.
Their guests were given the option of bringing their own spirits to the celebrations if they wanted.
The mum-of-six created centrepieces using Kmart flowers hot glued and wired together.
Cherie also collected 160 water lily and lotus jar candles from the retailer to give the reception room an ‘ambience’.
The stunning arbour arch she stood under to exchange vows with groom Norman Riley was handmade using white Kmart flowers mixed with ivy and Desflora brand blooms.
She also created the illusion of a five-tiered wedding cake – but only one tier was real.
Outdoor signs were created using a collection of $4 Kmart chalkboards and mason jars were spray painted pink to house the centre pieces.
Catering cost just £14 (AU$25) per head, with the guests enjoying a hot roast and there was a photo booth on site for memorable images.
The couple hired the hall for a reasonable £880 (AU$1,600).
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With the remaining money, the savvy bride bought a Stella York gown, five bridesmaid dresses from eBay, a photographer, videographer and a DJ.
Cherie, who founded DIY Brides Melbourne, said she dedicated a lot of time to putting together all her decorations.
“But the time spent saved me spending up big and it has added a personal touch to our special day,” she said.