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
Make up: £50
Guest book: £15
Pom poms: £12
Centre pieces: £58
Candles for the church: £32
Chair covers: £85
Order of services: £20
Tan and lashes: £30
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!