Vintage Styled Wedding on a Budget – Meghan and Benjamin


Vintage Style Budget Wedding

 Image Courtesy of Pacific Curd Photography

Meghan and Benjamin met in 2009 and have been madly in love from the word go! One beachside proposal, two beautiful babies and four years later, they had a gorgeous vintage themed wedding on a budget, full of handmade details. Over to you, Meghan!


Vintage Style Budget Wedding

 Image Courtesy of Pacific Curd Photography

Benjamin and I met back in 2009. Ben has always been so romantic and spoiled me rotten on birthdays and special occasions, trips to London and romantic walks and gestures! In 2010 I fell pregnant with our gorgeous yet cheeky little monkey Alfie who was born in March 2011. We had a whirlwind of moving house and settling down as a new family.

Ben then proposed on a weekend away in May 2012 with his family while the sun set at the beach & we lit a lantern and tried to let it float away but failed miserably When I turned around he was down on one knee and asked me to marry him! All of our family and friends were so excited for us and we booked the wedding for 1 year exactly on the meaningful date of 18th May 2013 which was Bens grandparents wedding anniversary. 

Six weeks later we had another little surprise, I was eight weeks pregnant and due on the 13th January 2013, little Mia decided to make an appearance eight days early on the 5th Jan. Despite the fact everyone thought we were absolutely mad planning a wedding and having another baby in less than a year, we still went ahead with the plans! We were crazy, yes but also crazily in love!


Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Vintage Style Budget Wedding

 Images Courtesy of Pacific Curd Photography

My favourite part of planning the wedding was searching for all of the ideas, creating the mood boards, thinking of unique ideas to make our day that bit more special. Creating the theme and turning it all into reality on the big day! I love being unique and making the little details stand out to people to make it unforgettable.

We had always had a tight budget but when little Mia made an appearance the budget had to get even smaller! I made the most of this by being as creative as possible and picking up bargains along the way.


Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Images Courtesy of Pacific Curd Photography

When planning your own wedding you need to stick to the original budget you've always had, and try to get bargains along the way. The more you do for your own wedding the more personal it becomes; try doing the invitations yourself and add personal touches linking to your big day. Find all of your family members and friends that can chip in and help, or if they have any hidden talents then get them involved!

One of my favourite budget wedding suppliers were SouthWest Marquees, they turned a small village hall into a modern looking marquee. It was beautiful and well worth the money although it was one of the biggest parts of our budget. Also, we had a friend who knew of a cake maker and she charged us a fraction of what we had been quoted and she couldn't have done a better job if she tried, it was fab!

Apart from the main items such as caterer, the inside of the marquee and the cars, we did everything else ourselves. From the setting, the centrepieces, the stationary, the favours and the decorations right down to the wishing tree and sweet buffet.


Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Images Courtesy of Pacific Curd Photography

My favourite part of the day (apart from becoming Mrs Keates of course!) was seeing everyone's faces at the venue and the lovely comments we got from all of the personalised items we had.

Our theme was Vintage for our wedding day, I decided on this as it was a very popular theme at the time, and I believe it still is! There are thousands of ideas for weddings with this theme and I loved picking and choosing my favourites and tweaking the ideas to make them even more personal.

My tips for the brides to be planning their own wedding, especially on a tight budget is don't stress! It's your big day; don't let panic over money ruin the whole planning process. Each item you choose should be magical and personal to you as a couple, that's what makes the day more unique and unforgettable.


Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Images Courtesy of Pacific Curd Photography

I enjoyed the experience of planning my own wedding and I went away wanting to do more! I put myself through an event and wedding planner course and with lots of hard work I qualified within just 3 months. I then started up my own business called Vintage Rose  and I've been going to wedding fairs, joining wedding guilds and meeting lots of lovely new people. I get such a buzz when I meet clients for the first time, finding out what they want, getting to know who they are and turning their big day into their dreams come true! I'm also organising my own wedding fair in Frome at a popular venue where I have lots of lovely local suppliers coming along for the day! I am loving my new job, but most of all I love helping all of the brides to enjoy their wedding days as much as I did mine!


Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Image Courtesy of Pacific Curd Photography

What a lovely wedding and romantic story 🙂  Congratulations Meghan and Benjamin!

Laura xx

A mid-week Winter Wedding on a £5k Budget: Natalie and Andrew


Natalie and Andrew were married at The Lynnhurst Hotel in Renfrewshire, Scotland on the 12th December last year. Natalie decided to incorporate a Cadburys purple theme into their winter wedding and here she shares how she achieved her wedding day dreams on a frugal budget.


Natalie, tell us how you went about setting your wedding budget?
We calculated our income for the eight months that we had from setting the date to the actual wedding day, so we worked out roughly how much we could spare after all our other outgoings.  Once I had a rough figure I then started getting quotes on the cost of everything for wedding to make sure it was realistic.


What was the most important element of the wedding to you?
The most important element of the day was the gathering of the people I love the most to witness me marrying my soul mate. The atmosphere when I walked down the aisle was amazing, sensing all the happiness in the room.


And what was your most memorable moment?
Seeing my husband’s face as I walked down the aisle with my Dad and two year-old daughter. My little girl held our hands as we stood in front of the registrar, it was perfect.


Where did you spend the most?
My biggest spend was the venue, but it was also my biggest save as I got a half price midweek package. It is amazing how much less it costs to get married on a Wednesday when you are getting everything the exact same as you would on a Saturday!


What would be your top tips for our other readers?
Tips for brides to be on a similar budget would be to decide if it has to be a Saturday wedding as a venue would use up most of your budget and you would be left scrimping on other important things whereas midweek wedding will allow for more spending on other things!

Make a plan of when certain things need to be paid off such as the cake, wedding rings and photographer etc. Bearing in mind that full payments usually need to be paid six weeks before the big day, so include this in your budgeting plan.  Do not book the first service you look at! Most consultations are free of charge, so speak to a few photographers to see what packages they offer and if they will be doing any deals.  Make the most of cake-tasting open days at cake shops to ensure you like the taste of your wedding cake and not just the look.  Use eBay for the smaller things such as favours and bridesmaid and groomsmen keepsakes and gifts.  Also consider foam flowers, as the quality is amazing! They look so real, can be kept after your wedding and are often cheaper than fresh flowers.


How did your wedding budget break down?

Our total spend on wedding was £5,245
♥ Venue including ceremony room hire, chair cover and sashes hire and a four course meal for 48 guests, evening buffet for 100 guests and  toastmaster: £2,500

♥ Wedding cake: £150
♥ Photography by Stacey Macleod Photography: £295
♥ Flowers: £150
♥ Wedding dress from Berketex: £1,000
♥ Grooms outfit: £100
♥ Bridal accessories: £100
♥ Wedding Rings: £100
♥ Bridal Hair and bridesmaids including bride trial: £150
♥ Bridal Make up including a trial: £60
♥ Bridal tan and nails including trial: £60
♥ Bridal Lingerie: £80
♥ Wedding invites and other stationery: £70
♥ DJ: £180
♥ Evening centrepieces: £50
♥ Accommodation: £200

It sounds like you had an incredible wedding day on a £5k budget! Thank you for sharing all of your advice and tips with us Natalie and congratulations to you and Andrew 🙂

A beautiful waterside budget wedding in Ireland: Judith and Trevor


Judith and Trevor were married on the 15th June this year on a 5k budget at the Pier Head Hotel in Mullaghmore, Ireland.

Judith tells us a bit more about how she created the wedding she had always dreamed about on a realistic budget. Over to you Judith!


After being together for 10 years we decided that we always wanted a small wedding. £5,000 seemed like an affordable budget and we kept this figure in mind as we began to plan our day.

Being together in the place we loved so much was such an important element of our day. We actually got engaged there the year previously and we wanted to share our special memories with the people closest to us. Everyone was stunned by the beauty of our location!



My biggest spend was on the wedding dress; a Maggie Sottero ‘Lena’ purchased from Beautiful Day Bridal Cottage in Greysteel, Northern Ireland.

Our biggest save was probably the wedding cars. These were free as our Best Man’s family business is a car dealership! We had 2 new white BMW’s. We also had our photographs taken for free by my Uncle, an amateur photographer. Our entertainment was provided by the Hotel at no extra cost.



I would say to other Brides to Be on a budget to make sure you do what YOU want to do and don’t let family persuade you into things that are not vital and not special to you and your groom. Don’t try to put on a show for your guests by overspending, it’s your day and do what makes YOU happy as this will be the lasting memory once it is all over. Use your family and friends if they have a hobby/speciality as this can save big money – don’t be afraid to ask as they will most likely love to help out.



My favourite memory from the day was hearing the music begin as I waited outside the ceremony room, then walking up the aisle and seeing everyone’s faces, reaching Trevor as he turned and said “you look beautiful”. Trevor loves remembering hearing the guests whispering “she’s arrived” as the music starting to play.



Judith and Trevor’s total wedding budget was £5,150 – here’s how they made it work for them:

♥ Dress and shoes: Beautiful Day Bridal Cottage - £1,300
♥ Groom’s outfit: Reiss, Belfast - £450
♥ Rings: Sproules Jewellers- £610
♥ Room decorations: Bride and Room- £400
♥ Bridesmaids dresses: Coast - £450
♥ Reception: Pier Head Hotel - £1,275
♥ Flowers: Jayne Morris Creations - £230
♥ Hair and makeup for bride and bridesmaids: Ashburn Image - £255
♥ Cake: Quirky Cakes - £180
♥ Cars: James O’Hara Car Sales – Provided by the Best Man's family business for free
♥ Photographer – Provided by a family member for free
♥ Entertainment – Provided by the hotel and included in the venue fee



Thanks so much for sharing your wedding day and top tips with us Judith! Congratulations to you both 🙂 

Real life Budget Wedding – Charlotte and Rob


We have such a lovely wedding to share with you today – Charlotte and Rob were married at All Saints Church in Settrington, North Yorkshire on the 16th February. The total spend on this lovely day was less than £5,000! Charlotte tells us more about how she had her perfect wedding day on a budget…


We decided that our wedding budget would be £5,000 when we got engaged and worked it out by deciding what really mattered most to us. Neither Rob nor I like being centre of attention, so we wanted it to be as personal and relaxed as possible.



Our son Harry was six months old at the time we got engaged and I do think that your money priorities change when you have children. We wanted to make sure we didn't end up in huge debt after the wedding and always had the mind-set that you don't need to spend tens of thousands of pounds to have an amazing day… and we were right!


Our parents didn't contribute in terms of giving us money for the day but they did really want to help, so they paid for the church service and the cake which was really lovely of them.



The most important element of the day was the service; it was so lovely to be able to say our vows to each other in front of everyone we care about in such a beautiful and meaningful setting at the church I attended when I was growing up.


My most memorable part of our day (apart from walking out of the church as man and wife) , would have to be the best man’s speech! James made it so funny yet personal, it really touched us. Quoting words from Robs favourite song by green day “I hope you've had the time of your life" still makes me well up a little now!



Our biggest spend of the day was the reception with the food and the room hire. But we also managed to make a massive saving here as we skipped the three course wedding breakfast and top table, and had an amazing buffet instead, which saved us thousands in the end. This meant we were able to have all of our guests attend the whole wedding - service and reception. It was so important for us to know we could include everyone, plus we didn't have to think about day guest / evening guest issue or about table plans or favours, so that one decision made the whole planning process much less stressful too!


I saved quite a lot of money by doing as much DIY as I was able to. I decided to create my own sweet buffet table by going a few car boots & charity shops over the months leading to the wedding and picking up various glass jars and vases. I got a wholesalers card and bought all the sweets myself. I then printed some cute signs off and put them in some lovely frames and the overall effect was great!



I also kept an eye out in the sales for things like bridesmaid’s dresses and accessories. I also loved using eBay! I saved so much money making things myself, I created the invites and order of services which really helped me to stretch my budget.

It’s also great if you can get your friends and family to help you out. People are always willing to help when a wedding is involved!



My overall Wedding Budget breakdown was:


Church service: £489

Reception: £2,050 (this included room hire, drinks on arrival and food)

Dress: £300 (pre-loved worn once RRP £1,200)

Accessories: £51 (veil, shoes and jewellery)   

Bridesmaid outfit: £78

Sweet table: £150

DJ: £150

Entertainment: £300

Suits: £206

Flowers: £150

Make up: £50

Guest book: £15

Pom poms: £12

Bunting: £6

Rings: £139

Centre pieces: £58

Cake: £120

Candles for the church: £32

Chair covers: £85

Invites: £35

Order of services: £20

Tan and lashes: £30


Total: £4,526


My favourite tip to share with other brides on a similar budget would be to keep it as personal to you and your husband as you can. People really notice the personal touches and it's usually these elements that make the whole day seem like you spent a lot more than you actually did! The atmosphere is key, as that is one of the main things people remember.



Thank you so much for sharing your wedding with us Charlotte! It looks like you had an incredible day on less than a £5k budget and there are some brilliant tips here too. Congratulations to you and Rob!


Laura x

Halloween Themed Budget Wedding – Lucy and Ian

I was absolutely thrilled to bits when this unique wedding popped in to my inbox! Lucy got married to Ian last year on the 27th October and they decided on a fantastic Halloween themed wedding.

One of the things that I love most about working with Brides to Be is the amazing array of ideas and the amount of individuality that comes out of the planning process. And this is definitely an individual fun filled wedding… Lucy gave us the low down on how she had her day, her way.



Tell us a little bit about how you met your fiancé and how you got engaged?

 Ian and I were introduced on Facebook by a friend and after chatting online for about five weeks we decided to meet up. It was the funniest first date that I had ever been on and we clicked instantly. I especially loved the fact that he didn't take the mickey out of me when I told him about my fear of darleks! I knew I was on to a winner! 14 months later, on my birthday, he got down on his knee and asked me to marry him… Funnily enough, I still haven’t actually said yes! My reply was “are you being serious?!”


What was your favourite part of planning your wedding?

Wedding planning can be stressful, so I decided to share out the tasks! Ian chose the venue and luckily, my best friend had recently got married and knew exactly what to do, so her help was invaluable in the planning of our wedding.



Did you have quite a tight budget to stick to and how did you make the most of it?

We started off with a £5k wedding budget but pretty soon, we started adding in all of those extras; we had balloons, pumpkins and a rock band!!! In the end our budget was about £7k, so it is totally possible to have a fabulous wedding day on a smaller budget.



What is your best money saving tip for other brides on a budget?

Make sure that you shop around and always get as many quotes as you can before deciding on a particular supplier. Where possible, try your hand at some DIY to create custom elements for your day. Also, you’ll be amazed at what you can find on eBay for half the price! Take up any offers of help from friends and family and make sure you put their talents to best use!


Who were your favourite budget wedding suppliers?

My Florist was Marion from Mals Bespoke Bouquets on Facebook she was the most lovely, friendly lady and she did everything she could to fit in with our theme - I couldn't have asked for more perfect flowers.



Did you do much DIY?

 I did as much DIY as I possibly could - even down to my wedding dress! Making elements of your wedding yourself will save you so much money. Ebay was a fantastic source of materials for me.


What did you enjoy most on your wedding day?

The whole day was amazing, getting married to the man I love and having all of our family and friends there to celebrate it with us. Finally getting to see my amazing wedding cake which one of my best friends made for us was brilliant! Also, the comments people made about how brave we were to have our wedding just how we wanted – my mother-in-law nearly had a heart attack when I told her my dress was black!!



Tell us a bit more about how your amazing Halloween wedding theme came about?

Even when I was little, I knew that I would never want the big white wedding. I was lucky enough to find a man who agreed with me. We didn't want a formal wedding, just a nice relaxed get together with all of our nearest and dearest. I knew my dress would be black, so first of all, we decided on a black and orange colour theme and then we decided to set the date as October as it would be so much cheaper out of wedding season. It all pointed towards a Halloween theme, so we just thought ‘why not?’.




What would be your best piece of advice for all of our other Budget Bride Company readers?

Don't think that just because it’s a wedding that it has to be expensive and don't give in to other peoples wishes. It's YOUR day, do it how you want.



Wow Lucy, thanks so much for sharing your very inspiring day with us and well done for doing it exactly how you wanted! Congratulations to you and Ian.

Laura xx

Real Life Budget Bride – Harry Potter Themed Wedding

Photo Credit:


Today, I’m very pleased to introduce you to the lovely Jasmine Potter – a real life bride to be on a budget who is going to share her story (and top tips!) with us! Jasmine is going to be marrying her Beau on the 16th August in a Harry Potter themed wedding.



Hi Jasmine! Tell us a little bit about how you met your fiancé and how you got engaged?

Well, we first met when we worked together in a record shop in Hampshire. We were really good friends for a few years and then we started dating. I knew we were getting engaged as we’d talked about it for almost a year before it happened and had chosen the ring in January of last year. He proposed at Legoland in the form of a story inside my birthday card and when I’d finished reading it he was down on one knee with a Lego ring box he had designed and put together himself with the ring inside!



What has been your favourite part of planning your wedding so far?

I think my favourite part has been delivering the invites. As we are going to be having a very small wedding and all the invites were wax sealed, we wanted to hand deliver them. Everyone loved the invites and the theme that we had decided on, so it was really special to see their reactions.


Did you have quite a tight budget to stick to and how did you make the most of it?

Our original budget was £1,000 but we had to stretch it to £2,000 as my dress was a lot more expensive than we had been planning! I just couldn’t put my faith and judgement into a mail order wedding dress knowing that I couldn’t try it on first and wouldn’t be able to easily send it back. Other wedding items also ended up costing a bit more than I had expected too. We haven’t spent the full £2,000 but it was nice to have a bit more to play with.


What is your best money saving tip for other brides on a budget?

I have so many! I would say to every bride, this is the most important day of your life but it doesn’t have to cost the earth like lots of weddings do these days. Spending a lot of money won’t necessarily give you the effect that you want, however putting lots of time and thought into planning can give you the wedding you’ve dreamed of. Be prepared to spend at least 6 months of hard research to find the cheapest deals! Don’t go for the first person you see and don’t be worried about asking for a discount - suppliers are always willing to give even a few pounds off because they want your business. Also ebay! Never be afraid of buying things off Ebay, I bought our ties off there for £1.99 there and they look just like the house ties from the Harry Potter films! And finally check out registry offices.  I know lots of people want a big hotel or gardens and shudder at the thought of a registry office, but there are so many beautiful places you can hold a personalised ceremony for around £200. Having a registry office ceremony does not have to mean compromising your vision.


Who have been your favourite budget wedding suppliers that you have used so far?

By far my favourite supplier so far is our wedding photographer! Carl and Dan of 1 Thousand Smiles photography are amazing and I managed to find them on gumtree with a fabulous offer of the entire days’ wedding photography for £280.   Whilst their normal package prices aren’t quite that cheap (Six hours for £595 with both photographers is their standard package) they are always running offers and discounts to take advantage of. Carl and Dan are really easy to chat to so it’s worth speaking to them whatever your budget might be. They always give you copyright on your photos too, so no need to buy any additional photographs if you don’t want to.


Have you done much DIY?

We have done some DIY. We are constructing all of my Harry Potter Lego sets as decorations, we’re making a fingerprint castle (instead of a fingerprint tree) and are making our own order of the day booklets. We’re also doing our own sweet table but that’s just a case of putting some sweets into some cauldrons really. Oh and I knitted our ring cushion as it’s the shape of a golden snitch! These are very expensive to buy as anything Harry Potter tends to come with a hefty price tag!


What are you looking forward to the most on your wedding day?

Firstly and foremost, it will be getting married to my fabulous fiancé! So that aside I am looking forward to all of the guests enjoying what we have created. We’re doing all of the decorating, having lots of Harry Potter themed decorations and even a wand toss in place of a flower one! I just can’t wait to see our guests enjoying our Harry Potter themed wedding day.



Tell us more about why you have chosen to have a themed wedding?

I know many people see themed weddings as cheesy or tacky but I have found having a theme has saved me a ton of money. Instead of having to buy all of the wedding stuff for decorations, I found that I could be more inventive and use plastic cauldrons for sweets, lego as decorations and even invites were cheaper because I could make them on vista print rather than a bespoke wedding invite company. I also found that entertaining guests is much easier because you can make the room an adventure… I won’t go into it too much in case the guests see this, but every person is involved in the adventure and it has cost me about £20 for decorations and interactional bits. I definitely think themed weddings are the way forward for budget brides, it means that you can have a theme personal to you and your other half and also makes the day even more memorable.


What advice would give to other brides to be regarding your wedding guest list?

As most brides know, no matter how you scrimp and save, the number of the guests eat up most of the budget ( literally!). I've found on so many help pages people worrying because of family opinions on who should and shouldn’t be invited. We are having an intimate gathering of just close friends and family and if you make that clear from the start, your family will understand. We can't all spend £10,000 on catering and a massive venue, so if you just want your nearest and dearest then just invite them. It also means that you can have a less formal meal, like a buffet or a hog roast which cuts the cost in half for serving staff and even the amount of tables, as you can have a few long tables rather than lots of little tables dotted around which will save on table linen and table plans! Remember it's your day, so have it how you want and with who you want.


What would be your best piece of advice for all of our other Budget Bride Company readers?

In times of austerity as we live in today, remember that whilst spending £20,000 on a wedding will buy you a lot, that £20,000 could have been the deposit on a house, spent on an unforgettable honeymoon or just to be put aside for the future. If you can have the wedding that I have planned on a £2,000 budget, spending a further £5,000 could make something even more spectacular. You just have to be prepared to do the leg work and to go for dresses in the sale or deal with sellers on eBay, And finally sign up to vista print! If you get their newsletter they are always doing discounts on invites, postcards and lawn signs etc. I have bought banners, posters and almost the entirety of our invites from them.


Thank you so much for sharing your budget wedding tips with us Jasmine – it sounds like you have achieved so much on your budget. We can’t wait to hear all about how the big day went! We hope you enjoy every minute of it 🙂


Laura xx

A joy filled wedding with a vintage twist – Congratulations Tamara and Lawrence!

When  one of my BFF’s, Tamara, handed me a plump envelope with mine and John’s name on the front, my tummy did a little flip! Having first worked with Tamara (who is a talented Marketing Manager) and very quickly becoming firm friends, I was absolutely delighted to find out that John and I would be able to share hers and Lawrence’s special day.

Working in Marketing meant that Tamara had a very trained eye for what would look good and she pulled out all of the stops in making her wedding budget work as hard as it could for her.




So Tamara, you and Lawrence have been together for almost 9 years now - how did he pop the question?

After nine years, I had began to wonder if he would ever ask me to be his wife! We met in 2004 when I was a ‘penniless student’ and he had just graduated from Birmingham University. By the time September 2011 came around and Lawrence got down on one knee, it really did feel like the perfect time in our lives to be getting married.

He had apparently been planning for over a year, saving his pennies for an engagement ring and he took me to a beautiful spot in the Lake District looking over Lake Windermere. I wondered why he was so adamant to take this long walk in the pouring rain, but he still got down on one knee (in a big puddle)!

I was so stunned, I didn’t speak (and anyone who knows me knows that is highly unusual) and Lawrence eventually had to ask ‘is that a yes then?!’.

We celebrated with a bottle of a bottle of champagne, taking in the views and met a lovely couple who took our photo. He had even booked us into a gorgeous five star hotel to go back to once I had said ‘Yes’!


What was the main aim for the wedding day  (apart from saying ‘I Do’!)?

Obviously my main objective was to become Mrs Holland, Lawrence and I were always meant to be! But for the day itself, I really wanted to make sure our guests had the most epic time and would reflect on the day as not only being so wonderful for us, but that they had the best time ever.




Having been a guest at several weddings, I would always look back and pick out all the best bits that I loved and I wanted our whole day to feel like that for our guests too.

Weddings are rightly about the bride and groom, but if your guests aren’t happy, then  you don’t have a wedding. I am a massive believer that your guests can really make a wedding and our friends and family proved us right on the day.

Lawrence would say his original objective was to keep things on a shoe-string budget. Typical husband to be!




What did you enjoy most about planning your wedding?

My friends know I LOVE planning, organising and general list making, so a wedding was my dream to plan. Having organised a few events in my time working in Marketing, it was great to finally have something personal to us for me to plan.

If I had to pick one thing, I would honestly say that friends and family really made planning the wedding so much fun. I was lucky enough to have seven bridesmaids and a very organised mother! It really bought us closer together in such a positive way. They did so, so much for me and were always there when I needed them for random chats about the positives and negatives. I will always value those times.




One of my favourite times was sat with my family with random production lines of making save the date cards, my button bouquet and lots and lots of paper pinwheels . It was such a personal touch that I can keep forever and it was great to get everyone involved in the big day, even my one year old nephew got involved!

What was your best budget find?

Despite the fact that our venue and food costs were more expensive than we originally anticipated (but totally worth it!) we managed to reign in the budget with everything else for the big day.


I have so many examples of where we made our budget work for us, including our stationary designed by our wonderful friend Lucy, of Lucy Hills Design who is a super talented graphic designer, favours made by my parents who run a company that make chocolate lollipops called Oh Lolly Lollipop and a cake produced by our friend who runs Capells Cakes. I also found many bits and piece found in vintage shops, charity shops and good old Ebay!

But the best budget find came when I had a vision for vintage lemonade bottles with cute stripey staws. I knew the cost of purchasing bottles would be expensive and I happened to be at a local garden centre when I noticed they sold bottles of vintage lemonade and ginger beer in their café. I sent an email to the manager and asked whether I may be able to take away some of their bottles if they happened to throw them away (and would have happily given him some money) and he called me straight away to say I could have them for free! In the same store they were throwing away some vintage wooden crates which I pinched for display on the day and served cloudy lemonade from glass drinks dispensers which our guests could serve into their bottles. It looked brilliant!



How did you maximise your budget to make sure you had what you wanted?

I think my main tip would be to be realistic about what you can and cannot have on a budget.  I would argue that if you have something that is your dream then you should always try and have it. You may want a £1k wedding dress, but it just means you have to rein it in when it comes to the areas that aren’t as important to you. 

Luckily Lawrence loves a good spread sheet and happily got organised right from the very beginning by comparing venue costs and prices for other expensive parts of the day.

You generally know the things you have to have, so make sure they are planned out first.

And make sure you ask around - everyone seems to know someone who makes cakes, is a photographer or has other great skills that you can bring into your day and often on a budget.


What is your favourite moment of the day?

It is so difficult to pick my favourite part of the day. It was just brilliant from start to finish. Some highlights include a great moment my brilliant photographer – Sharon Cooper captured - she decided I should get into my dress but make my dad come into the room to put on my jewellery for me. She made him come into the room with his eyes shut and I was surrounded by my bridesmaids and mum, we all burst into tears as his first words were ‘wow’. She captured the moment beautifully in the photos and it will be a moment I will always treasure.

Another was the speeches. Not only was I treated to a brilliant speech from my husband, best man and dad but I also had a ‘best girl’. She treated us and our wedding party to the most amazing speech I have ever heard, with so much thought and love put into a hilarious and touching rhyme about our friendship.

Wow - you had seven bridesmaids. Was it difficult to find dresses within budget that suited them all and made them feel great?

Lots of people ask me about having such a big bridal party. I absolutely loved having some of my ‘best girls’ as such a big part of our day. It was an interesting shopping trip when we started looking on the high street to find dresses to fit all of the different shapes, sizes and ages.

It was also difficult as I didn’t really have a colour theme in my mind and had the age old problem of knowing in my head my ‘vision’ but not being able to locate it.

I then managed to find a local dress maker called Grace Face who makes beautiful handmade clothes, who managed to create my 1950s style dress vision from some fabric I found online and even created matching petticoats to go underneath. The girls looked INCREDIBLE and it was fabulous to have something unique and the girls felt like a million dollars.

It was also so much cheaper than anything we could have got from a bridal shop or the high street and Emma at GraceFace was brilliant, especially when we had to make a dress for my heavily pregnant sister.


What is your single biggest tip that you would pass onto other brides to be?

My biggest tip would be to take time to breathe, reflect and do what you and you partner really want to do. Everyone will have an opinion - it’s unavoidable. But you have to really do what your head, heart and budget tells you. 

There will be brilliant times, and times when you wonder why you bothered, but honestly it all pays off in the end!

I felt so relaxed and excited on our big day and I do think that was because I had been so organised. I knew I had every box ticked and had faith in the suppliers we used, so I really enjoyed the whole day from start to finish.


Any regrets?

I honestly have no regrets about our day - it was PERFECT to us and our guests had a great day too, which is all I could have hoped for.

Having said that, if the opportunity had arised for me to eat and drink more, I certainly would have! We had an amazing sweetie buffet which our guests adored, but I didn’t get a look in and nor did I get a piece of the wedding cake! So make sure one of your wedding party or the venue do that for you!



Wow Tamara, thank you SO much for sharing your day and all of your amazing tips with us! Every amazing sparkly wish from The Budget Bride Company for an incredible married life together 🙂

Laura xx

All Photography by Sharon Cooper




A Budget Kent Wedding

At the Budget Bride Company, we are always on the lookout for gorgeous weddings where a lot has been achieved on a smaller wedding budget. We love showcasing budget weddings with style and I was delighted when this one came up!


Chris and Sarah were married at St Mary the Virgin Church in Stone, Kent in June. It was important to the couple that they had an old fashioned themed wedding. “We wanted our wedding to be relaxed with lots of beautiful wild flowers and romantic candles” explained Sarah.


Featuring a sky blue and dusky pink theme throughout, there was a wonderful English country garden feel to the day. “The wedding bouquets were home grown in our own garden and the reception flowers were from a company specialising in meadow and garden flowers” said Sarah.



The couple were able to make great budget savings on their wedding, by making small decisions that made all the difference. “We made savings by only having one bridesmaid and two flower girls. We also bought our dresses in the sales at Monsoon” explained Sarah. “The wedding cars were a favour from one of our friends who have a vintage Jaguar and a Crysler”, she continued. “We managed to keep to a budget of around £6k and touches like having a family friend making the wedding cake all really helped”.



The reception was held at the Bexley Park Social Club where Chris and his band, The Tumbling Dice, provided the entertainment.


What a lovely couple - thank you Chris and Sarah for sharing your day with us and thanks to James Grist for the lovely photos!








Ceremony ~ St Mary the Virgin Church:

Evening Reception ~ Bexley Park Social Club:

Photography ~ James Grist Photography:

Dresses ~ Monsoon: