WEDDING season is here - and while happy couples will want to make the day as perfect as possible, surging living costs mean many would love to say "I do" to making any savings they can.
Some are even delaying their wedding plans as it's simply unaffordable for them right now to have the day they want, with everyday costs such as rents, mortgage payments and food shopping on the rise.
New research from personal finance company Credit Karma has found that one in 11 (9 per cent) couples aged 18-34 said they will delay their plans for a wedding due to the rising cost-of-living. A further 7 per cent of couples in this age group say they no longer plan to have a wedding at all, due to the general rise in living costs.
Meanwhile, many people who are pressing ahead with a wedding are relying on credit to do so, the research found.
Nearly two-fifths (39 per cent) of people paying for a wedding will be relying on credit to do so, according to the survey of 4,000 people across the UK, carried out by polling company Opinium in March. This rises to 48 per cent of engaged couples aged 35-54 years old.
Akansha Nath, head of partnerships at Credit Karma, says: "With wedding season upon us, soon-to-wed couples up and down the country will be thinking about their big day.
"Despite being one of the happiest days in a couple's life together, it is also one of the most expensive, with two in five couples needing to rely on credit to fund their wedding plans. The financial strain of a wedding can cause huge anxiety in couples, add in the cost-of-living crisis and many may have to adjust plans for their big day. We've found more than half of engaged couples plan to scale back their wedding amid the cost of living crisis.
However, Nath adds: "While some things are out of our control, there are a few things couples can do to trim down on wedding costs before saying I do."
So, what are Nath's top tips for cutting down your wedding bill?
While borrowing money is never a decision to be taken lightly, Credit Karma's research indicates many couples will be putting at least some wedding costs on credit. Nath suggests: "Consider a 0 per cent credit card to cover some of your wedding expenses. This can be a way to spread out big ticket payments over a longer period of time without accruing interest.
"Make a note for when the 0 per cent introductory period ends, so you can plan to pay off the balance before interest kicks in."
She also suggests swerving Saturday as the day of the week to get married.
"Get married on a Friday," suggests Nath, adding: "An added bonus is that you will have the whole weekend to celebrate!" Some venues also offer mid-week weddings at considerably lower prices, so it's worth looking around and comparing offers.
Going 'DIY' can also generate significant savings, Nath says, as well as adding a personal touch to your big day. You could try making your own wedding favours or putting together your own flowers, or if a friend or family member is handy at baking you could ask them to help out with the cake.
Instead of going for a big traditional cake, you could make a smaller cake appear bigger - and grander - by using separators and adding flowers and fruit.
And rather than setting up a traditional gift list for guests to tick off, it may also be worth asking for cash or vouchers instead. Nath says: "This is one way you could recoup some of your wedding or honeymoon expenses."
With many couples living together before they get married, chances are many will already own household items that would have appeared on a traditional wedding gift list.
In addition to Nath's tips, it may also be worth considering a venue which you can use for more than just one part of the day, which could help with significant savings on transport costs. For example, this could be somewhere where guests can stay overnight or one where the wedding ceremony and the reception can be held in one place.
It's also worth getting a few quotes to compare, which may also help in any negotiations on the price. Be sure to have a firm budget in mind which you've split into categories, to prevent yourself slipping over it.
It could also pay to go second-hand for some items by browsing auction websites and charity shops. For example, if you want to give the wedding a bit of a vintage theme, you could pick up some tea sets from charity shops relatively cheaply for guests to eat and drink from.
A vintage wedding dress would look also unique and could cost significantly less than buying brand new, even if alterations were needed. Or if you want a more contemporary look, it could be worth hiring a dress, as an alternative to buying. Then at least you've got the 'something borrowed' element of your big day all sorted too!