After buying a house and the death of a loved one, weddings are one of the most significant causes of stress, and there's no secret why; the money. While you might want the wedding of your dreams complete with white doves and horse-drawn carriages, the truth is that unless you have significant savings you probably won't be able to get exactly what you want without causing money issues for the future. If you're clever about it, there are many ways to trim the wedding costs down to a more manageable amount and maybe even have some left over for a decadent honeymoon.

Your wedding invitation is going to be the first that people may know of your wedding, and you'll want it to look good and represent your wedding's theme. The traditional route entails paying a small fortune for professional printers to produce something that will look clean, neat and beautiful but isn't likely to say much about you and your partner but your names; you can make something much more personal and heartfelt by nipping down to your local craft or card-making shop and buying a bulk-load of plain cards to customise. These can range from ideas so simple as using wedding stickers and gluing on colour-appropriate ribbons, but use the skills you have – if you have beautiful penmanship or have experience in calligraphy, write them out yourself as it will seem much more heartfelt. Consider making different invitations for different groups of people you are inviting – family, old friends, new friends – and make the seating card to match.

If you are already struggling with money and aren't naturally creative, don't be afraid to ask your guests for help. Feel free to see how far you can get with your own money first, and some things like the wedding dress you might want to splash out on, but when you begin looking for free debt management it's maybe time to ask for a hand. There has been a recent trend of young couples who ask for contributions to the wedding instead of gifts, which can involve home-made food, table decorations and maybe even the wedding cake! Do you know someone who is great at baking? You can pay them to create a cake for your special day and it will cost you significantly less than going to a professional baker.

A buffet may not be as sophisticated as a sit-down meal, but a full table of snacks and meals made by your friends and family is a great thing to see, and your guests will feel like an important part of your special day. The people you invite love you very much, and want to make your day special too; let them help and save your money for your new life together.

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