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If you’re a massive fan of Don’t Tell the Bride then you’ll love our recap of the most memorable weddings! And if you’re planning on organising your own wedding soon, you might be able to pick up some vital lessons from the clueless grooms who managed to organise a wedding in just three weeks!

Lesson 1 – Choose the right venue - Courtesy of Hayley and Ian from Series 6

In this episode we met Hayley who dreamed of a traditional wedding and loved spending hours on her hair and makeup. She didn’t appreciate arriving at the old leisure centre she used to work at and having to change out of her dress so she could get married at the bottom of the pool!

Her hubby-to-be thought it would be romantic because it was where they first met but for Hayley it wasn’t somewhere she would have chosen herself.

What’s the lesson?

Obviously, with your big day, you’ll be able to choose your venue but you may want to consider how your other half feels too. You both need to be happy so you may need to compromise. Venue fees can take up a huge chunk of your budget, so you need to be realistic.

If your ideal venue is over budget then perhaps consider a mid-week wedding at the same venue as often this will knock thousands from the price, or if you really want a weekend wedding you might have to consider looking for a cheaper venue.

Lesson 2 – Make sure you get a dress in the right size! - Courtesy of Jay and Ian from Series 8

Hubby-to-be Ian thought that flying to Thailand to buy the wedding dress and suits would save him money. However, he ended up spending £1,000 on a jewel encrusted dress, only for it to get damaged in transit. He picked a dress in the wrong size so ended up having to shell out £600 for a replacement – yikes!

What’s the lesson?

This wedding highlighted how important it is to set yourself a budget when it comes to your wedding dress and that you need to buy the right size – which may sound obvious, but many brides-to-be buy dresses a size or two smaller than they need because they feel it will inspire them to lose weight.

However, this can backfire as alterations can be expensive – and some dress designs don’t allow seams to be let out because of their detailing. So, buy your dress in your size – it’ll be cheaper to have it taken in than to let it out or end up having to buy another one that fits!

Wedding Kiss

Lesson 3 – Homemade invitations can be great, if done right! - Courtesy of Emily and Joe from Series 7

The bride-to-be is supposed to love her wedding invitations, but poor Emily was so shook up after her groom’s best man delivered her a ransom note themed invite wearing a balaclava, that she declared “It’s going to be the worst day ever.” Threatening to kill her cats if she didn’t show up on the day wasn’t exactly romantic either!

What’s the lesson?

This episode of Don’t Tell the Bride shouldn’t put you off making your own invitations though, as it’s a great way of cutting costs. Too many couples spend a fortune paying for someone else to get crafty with a glue stick and some posh card, when they could make themselves for a fraction of the cost!

Lesson 4 – Don’t blow your budget on non-essentials - Courtesy of Verity and Scot from Series 8

When Scot’s wife-to-be told him “I wouldn’t want anything to do with a jungle theme” he should have listened and not picked a rain forest theme wedding at the Eden Project. He blew his budget on life-size plastic animals including a zebra, alligator, tiger, tortoise and gorilla and had real crocodiles as ring bearers.

This definitely wasn’t a smart move as it meant that his bride had to wear a £96 dress from eBay and the bridesmaids had to make do with dresses from Primark.

What’s the lesson?

When you start planning your wedding, make a list of everything you need to pay for and how much each item will cost you. It’s a good idea to have everything in a spreadsheet that you can amend as you go along so you don’t overspend on your big day. You need to make sure all the essentials are covered before buying non-essentials like props.

Wedding Smiles

Lesson 5 – Spend the money fairly - Courtesy of Rhian and Matt from Series 7

Sending his betrothed and her hens to play crazy golf and bingo, while he was living it large on a week-long stag in Las Vegas wasn’t Matt’s smartest move!

What’s the lesson?

This episode taught us that it’s best to split the hen and stag budget fairly. If you’re trying to plan a wedding on a budget then why not opt for a cheap and cheerful meal out with your friends or head to the pub, rather than spending loads. The money you save you can put towards your actual wedding day.

Every groom on Don’t Tell the Bride is given a budget of £12,000 to plan their wedding, but you don’t need to spend thousands to have an unforgettable one. Click here to read how you can plan a wedding for less than £450.

Read Part 2 of our Don't Tell the Bride money lessons here.

Pictures: BBC

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