If you know a couple who are planning their wedding but don't want to go down the madly expensive route, Sarah Traynor's 'How to Have a Champagne Wedding on a Buck's Fizz Budget' is a perfect gift.

Unlike many of the wedding planning books available, this is full of practical, common sense advice for all Irish brides. Traynor, recently married herself, is the mistress of the wedding bargain - a €1,600 wedding dress for $499, bridesmaids' outfits for €250 instead of €950. With tips on everything from wedding cakes to bridal accessories, flowers, favours, venues and entertainment, she covers all the pricey bases and shows how you how you can have the wedding you want, with less expense.

With plenty of advice on ecological and ethical alternatives, Traynor also enlists the experts, including Georgina Campbell on romantic wedding venues, budgeting by Eddie Hobbs and Paolo Tullio on wine choices. She strongly recommends using the internet to shop around and save money and each chapter points you in the direction of useful websites, with a five-page summary of sites at the end of the book. 

'How to Have a Champagne Wedding on a Buck's Fizz Budget' proves that it is possible to have your cake, eat it - and not break the bank.

Caroline Hennessy