I’m so excited to share this beautiful colourful wedding on a budget with you today! Abby and Liam got married on the 10th August last year on a £3k budget. Thanks to London Wedding Photographer Miki Photography for sharing this wedding with us.
Abby gives us the lowdown on her amazing day…
Liam and I met in the music mobile at High School - he was 12 and I was 13. We loved each other’s company from day one, and after brief canoodling Christmas ’03 and again in ’04... We finally got together during Summer ’05. As cheesy as it sounds, we knew right away we would always be together.
We decided not to have a wedding theme as it was simply because it was too much hassle. We literally chose something if we liked it, and hoped it wouldn’t look like a jumble sale on the day.
The aim for the wedding was just to make it as ‘us’ as possible. Why, on a day of celebrating the love of two individuals, would you not celebrate their individuality? I was determined not to become a Bridezilla! I purposefully tried to be easy going, knowing everything won’t be perfect and that numerous things could go wrong at any stage. The flowers in particular, it was a pretty big gamble deciding to grow all the flowers and although we did buy more – we ended up with much more than we knew what to do with!
We wanted the ceremony to be fun and light, so we wrote it ourselves with Chris, my brother in-law’s uncle. Chris was amazing! He was perfect for the job, and really made us feel at ease when all the eyes were staring. He got all the kids involved and shouting out, and made everyone laugh (and cry). When we exchanged rings, Chris read the ring inscription from Lord Of The Rings, and finished the ceremony on a quote from Harry Potter! It was brilliant.
I also really wanted to source as much as we could locally. I have seen the struggles of small business owners first hand, and knew that if I could get it locally, I would. Chris happened to live opposite a pretty awesome pub, and the owner Andy supplied a real ale bar for us on the day. The cake, food, flowers, dress, bowties, venue, hair, confetti, hay bales and any printing was also sourced locally or from Etsy. We were really pleased and surprised we could do so much in this way!
Being creative people, we knew there was no other option than to DIY. Of course this helped our budget greatly, but it also made it US. If we saw something we liked, we had it, regardless of colour/tradition/what other people expected. We also got rid some wedding traditions like cake cutting etc. It just wasn’t us. There were many frowns and ‘really?!’s from relatives along the way, but on the day everyone said how great it was. How it was a true reflection of us as people, and how all our hard work made it that extra bit special! We were shocked at how many people said it was the best wedding they have ever been to!
We made all the decorations ourselves. We spent nights hole punching circles, sewing garlands, making pom-poms, painting signs and glass jars, sorting pick & mix, creating kiddie goodie bags and wrapping thread around nails. It was SO much fun but a lot of work. We thought towards the end that we might not have enough, so near doubled what we had originally made. In the end most didn’t even get used! I made an awesome ‘All You Need Is Love’ banner that just would not stick to the wall! Countless teeny glitter flags, red hearts, pom-poms and tassels on sticks to go in the deserts that just got forgotten.
One of the best parts of the day for me was driving to the venue with my sister and Maisy - she was hilarious! Waving at everyone going past, giggling and making jokes. I really think I would have started to panic they weren’t making me laugh. I’m not very good being in the limelight! Another great memory is our first dance – we completely missed our song! We were supposed to have Bob Marley, but were too busy drinking whiskey on hay bales to hear it come on! We decided to have a quick dance when we heard Ed Sheeran, and everyone came and gathered around us cheering and taking pictures. It was perfect. It was also great to get millions of texts the following day from people waking up covered in glitter, with blow up guitars in their beds and jars of flowers on their windowsills!
Our photographer was the only thing we splashed on. We decided that with all the hard work we were putting in, we needed amazing pictures! I would have been gutted if after hours, weeks, and months of sitting in our spare room making all the little details – that they weren’t captured. I am so glad we did this! Miki was just amazing. We couldn’t count the number of people who came up to us during and after the wedding saying how awesome and lovely he was! Everyone has been blown away by his photographs. We are so glad we found him!
The biggest wedding savings came from the invitations and decorations. I made the invitations myself on Photoshop, after being inspired by something on Pinterest (as always!). It was a pain getting the colours right, as the printed version never matched what I saw on screen! But eventually they were perfect. We spent £80 in total (including postage!) for the invitations. The other huge saving was on decorations, as we made them all ourselves, we really only paid for a load of coloured card and tissue!
If I could go back and change anything, I would have been more organised on the day itself. We had a rough plan of timings etc, but we forgot to do a couple of things due to being distracted. This resulted in numerous people (including us) running round trying to find or fix things. We wish we had given someone else a plan of the day and a ‘do not forget’ list to keep us on track – it is very difficult to think of anything on the day as you are constantly being pulled left right and centre.
I really don’t think that a big budget is important. We had exactly what we wanted, at a fraction of the cost of most weddings. Don’t think that because it is a wedding, you have to go to wedding suppliers only! Don’t think that the kick ass dress you saw for £100 isn’t good enough because it’s cheap. If you like it, get it. It will all look amazing on the day, and no-one will know you spent an hour scrubbing the peanut butter label off the beautiful blue jar the flowers are in.