Thursday, July 5, 2018

Tips for planning a wedding on a budget

As mine and Anil's first wedding Anniversary is a month away it has got me thinking about all things weddings again and I have decided to do a series of blogs regarding all things weddings so from budget saving ideas, to how to survive your wedding as a parent and things I wish we had known before the big day. So this blog is going to focus on how to do your wedding on a budget. As parents spare cash was rather short especially considering I was also on maternity leave and spent a large amount of my time before commencing maternity leave off sick with pregnancy related problems ( that's a whole different blog). So we became pretty good at hunting out the bargains and prioterising our money. Our wedding came in for approximately £6000.

  • Make a list:
The first thing we did was make a list of what our priorities were and where we wanted to spend the majority of our budget. Having it written down helped us to narrow down our choices and we always over estimated to ensure we were not being optimistic. 
  • The Venue and Guest numbers:
For us our first prority was we wanted to have an amazing wedding venue. We both didn't fancy a hotel wedding (there is nothing wrong with hotel weddings but we just didn't feel it was us). Anil proposed to me in Cornwall and our first choice was to have our wedding in Cornwall. We spent a weekend in Cornwall looking around potential wedding venues. Our wedding venue was the first place we looked around and we both fell in love with it and pretty much knew that we were going to get married there. The coastguard lookout was a plain hut and really needed some imagination but it was also inexpensive to get married there and the view and surroundings were out of this world. We then visited the Vean and loved the idea of us having a whole country house hired out and just our guests being there. However, it was an expensive option if we were to have a larger wedding. Both me and Anil felt we would rather have a smaller  wedding but get the venue of our dreams. So we chose to have just 21 guests. This did dramatically keep the cost down and I would say it is definitely something to consider if like us you are following a strict budget. Not only did it reduce the cost in the venue but also the cost of the food and alcohol.

Of course for most ladies the wedding dress is something they have always thought about. I knew I would have to stick to a budget of £600 but I still wanted a show stopping dress. I knew this was a tall order. We went to a shop called WED2BE where there are a lot of discounted wedding dresses.  But I found the experience to be quite rushed and it is basically like general clothes shopping with your family no specialist to suggest what would suit your body shape, colour that would complement your skin and what alterations they can do. For me that made the experience more stressful so I left empty handed. However, there were some amazing dresses in a budget of under £300 so I do recommend people try it out. If you are in the more popular sizes 10,12,and 14 the selection is limited so it is best to ring ahead to check the stock levels. My next option was at a local wedding dress shop who carried a selection of sample dresses for the top end of my budget. My dress was a recent sample dress from the last season. I understand if people don't want a dress that others have tried on but for me I didn't have any problems with this, the majority of the clothes we have are already tried on by someone. The dress was in immaculate condition and I fell in love with it straight away. I also asked if a deal could be done with any accessories and I managed to get a bolero lace jacket and veil for free ( AMAZING!! It pay's to be a bit cheeky). 

  • Bridesmaid and Flower girl dresses: use the INTERNET SALES:
We both decided that we didn't want to spend a lot of the budget on bridesmaid/flower girl dresses (bar Ava's as she needed an extra sparkly special princess dress). We did have to hunt around with 4 bridemaids and 2 flower girls it was going to be difficult to get them within a small budget. We didn't go to bridal shops as they were all in excess of £80 a dress. I was scouring the internet and getting a bit frustrated when I stumbled across ChiChi London. They had a sale on and I managed to pick up 4 Bridesmaid dresses in identical colour and 2 slightly different styles for £20 each. Three of my bridesmaids were my sisters and they brought the dresses as a wedding gift for me.  I was dubious about the quality but they were fabulous. The flower girl dresses were also picked up in the online sale of Monsoon. They were slightly different in styles but we brought identical bolero cardigans to tie them together and it worked well. We got the dresses, shoes, jackets and tights for a grand total of £50. 

  • Suits:
I think it is so easy to get distracted by the female side of clothing in weddings. But Anil wanted to have an amazing suit. We headed to the outlets as he didn't want to buy off the internet as he wanted to try it on in the shop first. We managed to find his perfect suit in the outlets. To save more money we asked the groomsmen if they had a suit in blue already and if so could they wear that. Luckily they all had a suit in blue so that saved us a small fortune. We brought matching ties to coordinate all the suits incase the blues were slightly different. Alfie's suit we got in an online sale from Monsoon which my mum kindly paid for.

  • Wedding Decorations:
The best way to save money on a wedding is to make YOUR own decorations. It seems like in the shops as soon as you put the word wedding in front of it the price doubles. We collected a lot ( I mean ALOT) of glass jars and then had a crazy trip to hobbycraft alongside a lot of ebay deliveries to decorate them. I was also lucky as my mum who is an amazing crafter decorated loads for us as well. Glass jars with some lace around look amazing in wedding scenes and we had them dotted around our venues with candles and flowers in. We made fabric hearts to put on the chairs facing the aisle. My mum and myself made these and we used fabric that we already had, so this made them completely free and they looked fabulous ( And I have them all around my house now so added bonus). IKEA was our best friend during our wedding and we found some beautiful white lanterns for the grand total of £1.50 each; we also had some larger lanterns that we received as a Christmas gift from Anil's mum and we used these alongside the smaller ones. Anil's mum found some amazing Indian bangles to incorporate the Indian heritage of Anil. We had these scattered across the table and around the cake. 

  • Wedding Favours:
Again we took the DIY route with these and decided to make our own little hangover kit wedding favours, we used a little brown paper bag, ordered some stickers from ebay, added a toothbrush, teabag, toothpaste, coffee, sweets, shampoo and a razor for the girls. We used samples we had collected over the year from hotels, magazines and holidays so intotal these came to around £0.50 a bag. We also decided to get everyone an individual humerous gift and for this I just went to poundland and got things in their sale that related to each person. 

  • Flowers:
We did a lot of internet searching for our florist (who was AMAZING). We decided to not go with tradition and give each bridesmade a bouqet as they were all going to be going in with one of the children. We also chose flowers that were in season as this cuts the costs dramatically. We got little poseys for the flower girls, our youngest pulled hers apart in minutes (Sooo glad we didn't get her the flower headband). My little girl we got a flower headband made which she loved. We got 5 buttonholes for the groomsmen and groom again in season flowers so reasonably priced. We then opted for 2 larger flower arrangements, one to go around the arch and a larger jug of flowers. We decided that we would transport the flowers from the ceremony venue to the reception venue so we didn't need table pieces. In total our flowers including my bouquet came to £300. 

  • Photography:
We initially were not going to get a photographer as all the packages were at least £1000 and we just didn't have enough for that. However, after talking about it we really wanted to have some pictures to look back on after the day. We found a photographer who offered just a ceremony package for £400. This covered guests arriving to the ceremony, during the ceremony, after the ceremony photos and then a few photos back at the reception venue. Our photographer was amazing and we had lots of time with him so got some great photos. We relied on friends and family getting the photos of getting ready before the wedding and then during the reception and this worked out great.

  • Afternoon tea vs sit down 3 course meal:
And that is exactly what we did. Rather than the traditional sit down meal we went for a afternoon tea (mine and Anil's favourite type of meal). This took approximately £20 per head off the price. We also stayed with the venues caterers. We then had Cornish pasties with some salad accompaniments for our evening food which went down amazingly.

  • Alcohol:
A lot of our guests weren't drinking because they were driving so we didn't need a lot of alcohol for the toast. We decided on having alcohol up at the coastguard hut but, had an elderflower sparkling non alcoholic drink as well. This saved us a lot in money terms. We only had enough alcohol for 1 glass per guest but again we found this more than enough and people were happy to buy their own alcohol for the rest of the day.

  • The Cake:
We did ask my mother in-law to make the cake for us as she has some immense baking skills. However, she decided that she would ask a friend instead and she gifted us the cake which was amazing. 

We did have a lot of help from family and friends that reduced our outgoings and I feel that is important to say. However, we managed to save a lot through these tips and although things took longer to find we both enjoyed hunting out bargains for the wedding. I hope you find them useful in planning your own Weddings.



  1. Weddings are high ticket events so having a budget is a wise thing to do. Thanks for sharing these tips. Especially on Alcohol and Flowers

  2. Great ideas for a budget wedding. Beautiful decor and your dress is just beautiful.

  3. Weddings can get so expensive! I just got married in a court house to save money. I doubt my daughter will do the same, so I'll keep these in mind.

  4. Such great tips! I intend to have a small intimate wedding when I get married. I'll have to save this for when my big day comes along. :)

  5. These are some awesome tips, I couldn't imagine myself ever having a big wedding, so these are some ideas to think on.

  6. I love the idea of a afternoon tea. My daughter had a wedding on a budget and she found a dress for $100 that was on clearance.

  7. Weddings can be so expensive and they don’t have to be. These are all great tips for people ready to tie the knot.

  8. We all know that wedding is so expensive but your post gives those future brides and grooms a great ideas and tips that they can be done on their future wedding plan.

  9. thank you for sharing, i am happy to hear about this, sounds like everyone had a lovely time

  10. I paid around $100 for my wedding in total. I know all about budget lol.

  11. These are amazing tips! I'm starting the wedding planning process and you've made me think about some things differently.

  12. these are all amazing tips! especially to people who are not married yet and are planning on doing so too. weddings are so expensive!

  13. My best friend just got engaged, so I will have to help her budget. These are some great tips.

  14. I am always SHOCKED by how much people spend on weddings! We got married in our backyard for under $500, LOL!

  15. Okay first of all what a beautiful wedding! Also you really made me wanted to get married!

  16. So many amazing tips for such an important day! Your dress was absolutely lovely! And I love how your family pitched in and got involved with the process from the dresses to the decorative elements for the table. Congratulations!

  17. My sister's gonna get married soon. So I have bookmarked this one. Will come handy and we can plan better now :)

  18. Oh my, look at that cake! If I didn't know better I would have thought it was a decor piece, looks stunning! Sweet of your MIL to gift it.

  19. These are some great tips. I think it's really doable to have a budget wedding and it still be as beautiful and brilliant than if you had spent loads on it x

  20. I love this post so much. Specially your dress and cake. Great tips for a wedding on a budget. My wedding was on a budget too and we loved every minute of it.


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