Ivanya and Peter were married September last year in a tiny medieval church near Folkestone. With a tight budget of £5000, Ivanya really went to town with her creativity, ensuring that her and Peter could throw a DIY Budget Wedding to be proud of!
Ivanya, tell us how you and Peter met?
We initially met through my best friend Charlotte and his best friend Ashley, who happen to be brother and sister. The first time was on a New Year’s Eve get together; I walked in and thought ‘he’s handsome’, but unfortunately he didn’t say very much! Then, later the next year I went to Charlotte’s Blessing, and there was Peter again. We had a group photo, all huddled in together and there were Peter and I on the end - with him standing about a foot away from me! Turns out he was shy around me So it took a drunken encounter in a dodgy nightclub, before we actually properly spoke for the first time and the rest is history!
What was your total wedding budget?
£5,000 and we didn’t go over! We did get some help from our relatives however – my sister in law made our cupcakes and my Mum bought my dress, so we were very lucky in that respect.
Tell us about the day…
The service and atmosphere was stunning and we were so lucky that as the vicar announced us as married and we turned round to face the congregation, a stream of sunlight flooded through the windows and lit us up! It really set the tone for a gorgeous wedding day.
The church was decorated by some local ladies, who charged a reasonable price and after the Ceremony, we were able to take some of these flowers to the reception hall, to add some extra decoration.
I had bought fairy lights and beaded silver coasters chargers etc to decorate the hall in the Christmas sales. All alcohol for the tables and toasts I bought when Sainsbury's had offers on wine and half price Brut. It cost under£200 for 75 people! As it was my first order online, I also received a discount. I took advantage of lots of company’s offers for first time online ordering which helped and I got my bunting and paper pom poms and cup cake holders on offer from Lakelands.
We really wanted this DIY budget wedding to be fun, comfortable and unofficial for families! We had a village hall for our wedding reception venue with a local band called Liquid Jacket playing and a Spotify playlist for DJ afterwards!
We know that you’re a creative kind of girl – what did you do to make this DIY Budget Wedding a success?
I made myself a brooch bouquet with lots of sentimental pieces incorporated within it, which I used as a decoration on our table at reception , as didn't look right with my last minute dress!
I scoured charity shops and antique markets and collected lots of glassware and ceramic pieces to use as reception decoration and to create a sweet table for favours. I sewed all of the favour bags for the sweets, with an initial on each.
I had some of my bridesmaids round one evening and we decorated picture frames with famous quotes about love as our table numbers. My bridesmaid made the most fabulous table plan out of a canvas, string, luggage labels and flowers . We also decorated jam jars for flowers on tables.
I designed my own invite cards. There ended up being quite a lot of cutting out and assembling involved and two of my bridesmaids helped with this - it really did take a lot of man (lady!) hours to do these - more than I thought.
Tell us about the Dress!
I managed to get my dress last minute, after two unsuccessful attempts to make my own. I ended up with a designer dress worth over £1100 for £600! I can certainly recommend not leaving it too late to create your own wedding dress! Make sure your dress (if you are mad enough to make your own!) is made well in advance. I kept putting it off! I did a lot of research into dress shapes for my body shape, but when I made it and put it on, it just wasn’t as flattering as I had hoped.
What would be your top tips to share with other brides wanting a DIY Budget Wedding?
I got all my bridesmaid dresses and shoes in sales and opted for dressy dresses instead of official bridesmaid dresses, which saved a bundle. They ended up about £30 each. Ditto for the children’s outfits - I got Amelie’s dress after Christmas in Monsoon sale. I also bought my jewellery in the after sales as lots of sparkly things are reduced at this time, so forward thinking is really helpful on the accessories front. I managed to get the sweets for the favours from a cash and carry, which saved a bit and making the sweet pouches was also a great money saver.
I work in a hairdresser’s, so was very fortunate that they did my hair for me. My friend, who is also a Beauty Therapist did my make up too. As she didn’t have any prior bridal experience, I bought my own make up and we had fun with a few trials before the wedding. I made really good use of the different make up counters and in the end had 4 different make up trials, just by going in and saying I wanted to buy some make up for my wedding. I picked up loads of great tips from the makeup artists, which I wrote down afterwards, in case I forgot, and made a note of which piece of makeup I liked best. I then mixed and matched with the brands I had tried, to get the best items from each company.
What was your favourit moment of the day?
The church ceremony was absolutely magical. The atmosphere and light in the church was beautiful. The ceremony was funny (thanks to the wonderful vicar) and poignant. All the right people were there and we felt truly blessed we’d made it! That was the favourite part for us both, closely followed by the dancing 🙂
Our Wedding Photographer Andy, set up an impromptu photo booth and we got some really fun photos from this later on in the evening, when the vino had been flowing!
Thanks so much for sharing your lovely DIY Budget Wedding Day with us - top tips too! Congratulations to you both :D
All images courtesy of Andy Childs Photography