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Real Life Budget Wedding – Annalisa and Glen

Real life budget wedding

Annalisa and Glen were married last May in a gorgeous real life budget wedding for just £1,200.

As a keen member of her local church choir, Annalisa managed to get the Church, Church Hall for a vintage afternoon tea after the wedding, and the Organist free of charge which really helped her stick to her budget. The couple got their Prosecco for the wedding from Lidl and had a mixture of home-made and shop bought wedding cakes. All of the vintage napkins and paper plates were sourced from Ebay.

Real life budget wedding

Real life budget wedding

The couple were really lucky with their wedding transport owing to friends with beautiful cars! They travelled in style in a luxury BMW, a Vintage Jaguar and an Audi TT.

Annalisa was delighted with the Grooms outfit which came in at £9.99! And again by shopping on Ebay, the couple managed to dress their bridesmaids for just £32. Annalisa had an absolute find with her wedding dress – paying just £183 for an Ian Stuart Baroque wedding dress which included dry-cleaning and seamstress fitting. Annalisa even managed to sell the dress after the wedding to help with costs!

Real life budget wedding

Real life budget wedding

 

Annalisa knew that saving on budget would mean having to take on a lot of wedding DIY herself and rising to the challenge, she took on the making of the bouquets, decoration of the afternoon tea hall and the evening reception hall, doing the Bridesmaids hair and make-up as well as her own.

Real life budget wedding

Real life budget wedding

 

Annalisa loved her naked vintage wedding cake!  Having seen them in a magazine, her daughter tried out the recipe once and was then able to bake and decorate the official one the day before the wedding. The guests loved the Victorian sandwich cake which was absolutely beautiful.

Real life budget wedding

Annalisa kept the reception buffet on budget by cooking all of the food herself along with some help from her family. This kept the evening food budget down to just £6 per head for her guests. There were traditional sandwiches and cold meats, lasagnes and vegetable pies, salmon and even a four tier cheese cake decorated with grapes. Normally this would be around £200 but Annalisa found a local cheesemonger who did it for £90!

Real life budget wedding

 

The couple managed to secure the evening venue in a beautiful Tudor Hall for just £60, and provided entertainment with Glen’s band. The hall had been decorated the night before and Annalisa adorned the tables with lace runners, tea lights in glass bowls filled with red and white crystals, and heart shaped tiny soaps and bath bombs with rose petals that made the room smell gorgeous and the guests could take away as favours. The candelabras and crystals were all sourced from local interior shops during sales.

Real life budget wedding

There was a crazy rush on the last day before the wedding with decorating the halls and then in the morning sorting out all of the hair and make-up, but it was all worth it in the end! Annalisa says that she was super lucky with the help and talents of their family and friends. She said that the trick is to shop around and don't hesitate to ask for assistance, people are always willing to help.

Real life budget wedding

Thanks so much for sharing your real life budget wedding with us Annalisa – congratulations to you and Glen 😀

Laura x

A colourful wedding on a budget – Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

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.

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

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!

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

 

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!

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

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!

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

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!

 

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

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!

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

Real life colourful budget wedding - Abby and Liam

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.

 

Thank you for sharing your amazing day with us Abby and Liam!
Laura x

All photography courtesy of London Wedding Photographer Miki Photography contactable on mick@mikiphotography.co.uk

Real life Rustic Themed Budget Wedding Planning – Sarah and Simon

Meet Sarah and Simon, this lovely couple are planning their rustic themed budget wedding in Devon on a £10K budget with lots of DIY elements to make their money stretch further.

Rustic Themed Budget Wedding

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

We met in University; we were both on the same course. At first we weren’t really friends - I freaked him out with my bubbliness and he freaked me out with his bizarre clothes and hair. During our second year we became friends after working on a project together and ended up sharing a flat as mates in the 3rd year and eventually as a couple!

As for the engagement, it started with Simon refusing to visit my family for my birthday weekend (RUDE!) so he could instead see his family to tell them he was planning to propose to me; unbeknown to me. He also took an old ring of mine to get the right size, he then brought a ring he had been keeping an eye on and kept it in his bag until the right moment.

We arranged a date night for a Thursday in November 2013, to go see Skyfall and have a meal out. Unfortunately the film had sold out, I’ve never seen Simon so horrified before; for me this was a normal night out so I suggested we go for a drink at our local pub Dogstar where I chatting away about my day and I could tell Simon wasn’t really listening!

We then went for dinner at Honest Burger in Brixton Market; our favourite restaurant since we moved to London and while we were waiting for food we got chatting about how happy we are with our relationship; at this point Simon said “What if we were more than we are now?” and slid the ring across the table (his hands were shaking like mad!), to which I replied in shock “Are you serious?” to which he replied “I wouldn’t have bought the ring if I wasn’t! So what do you think? Will you marry me?” Of course I said “YES!”

When the server found out we had just got engaged she brought us over free limoncellos and got all the staff to cheer us. For me it was perfect; low key, a total shock, in a place I loved and to top it all off in a place where no one else had got engaged before: completely unique and completely us!

 

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

Visiting the venues; you see such a diverse range of places and it’s great fun travelling around to see them all; it makes the event suddenly seem so real and it helps you visualise the day (exciting!) and decide what you actually want.

Also you will always see something you never get on the website; at one location we walked out onto a balcony and received a massive shock when we saw two peacocks sat on the balcony ledge.

At our chosen venue we didn’t realise until we got there that the hallway would be decorated like a forest; it was a massive surprise and we had a great time pretending to hide in the foliage.

Rustic Themed Budget Wedding

What is your wedding Budget and how are you making the most of it?

£10,000, which for this day and age is quite a small budget, but feels MASSIVE when you break it all down. As our parents can’t help us with the wedding we are being really strict with the budget.

To make the most of it we are getting a lot of our items homemade which is saving us a lot of money; we have also researched every item prior to booking to get averages worked out beforehand.

 

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

Search, Search and Search some more! It’s too easy to settle for the first item you see, but if you’re willing to put the effort in, you will usually manage to find something cheaper.

When searching, don’t ignore recommendations; other brides are more than happy to offer you money saving tips and recommend the websites that helped them. All of the information and suppliers that you need to have a budget wedding are out there, you just need to search for them!

 

Are you doing much DIY for your wedding?

We have done quite a lot of DIY for our rustic themed budget wedding; at the moment we’ve agreed the following will be homemade:

- All our favours, which will be jars of marmalade, jam and chutneys.

- Simons step mum is making the cake for us; she makes loads of cakes every year so we know it will be delicious!

- My mum makes flower arrangements every year for Christmas so I’ve asked her to help plan and organise the table decorations.

- Getting chalkboards ordered so we can write our own signs for the day.

- Personalising my bridesmaid dresses with ribbons.

- Creating some funky picture props to sit on the tables: I’ve seen these in store, but they can be easily replicated with card and some lollypop sticks!

- Making our own confetti holders as well; again these are really easy to make with some card!

 

Tell us about how you decided on your theme for your wedding day?

Our theme is rustic; with orange, reds, yellows and purples being our main colours. We chose this wedding theme because we love the country; we picked our venue for the views of the countryside and we felt rustic fit in with this and the kind of style we like. We picked the colours because it reminds us of bonfires and sunsets but also because they are bright, vibrant and energetic.

Rustic themed budget wedding

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

Keep organised to keep your budget in check; it’s too easy to buy things on a whim and forget you’ve brought 10 other things on a whim; and end up spending hundreds but by knowing what you want and setting yourself a limit you can keep this in check.

 

Rustic Themed Budget Wedding - Sarah and Simon

Wow, Sarah – it sounds like you’re totally on the case with the planning and keeping on top of your wedding budget 🙂  We can’t wait to see the photos and hear all about how you enjoyed your rustic themed budget wedding day!

 

Laura x

Planning a wedding on a £6k Budget – Gemma and Stephen

Gemma and Stephen are going to be getting married this year on the 15th August at Dorton house in Aylesbury. The couple have been planning their wedding on a £6k budget and today Gemma is sharing some of her tips with us for how she has created her dream day…

 

 

How did you and Stephen meet?

Stephen  and I have been together for seven years; we first met in august 2001 when we were at our annual summer camp with the Army Cadets. We lost contact and then found each on Facebook in 2007 and the rest as they say, is history 😉

 

Can you tell us a bit about the proposal?

Steve proposed on the 14th December 2012. It was a complete surprise as I had had a bad day with our daughter, so he had suggested that I go for a nice relaxing bath which I agreed would be a good idea! When I finally got out of the bath, I got dressed in to my pj's and went downstairs. When I went into the front room, all of the lights had been turned off apart from  the Christmas tree lights… Steve was wearing his dinner jacket and was down on one knee he said 'will you spend the rest of your life with me'! Of course I said yes 😀

Gemma and Stephen and planning a £6k wedding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is your favourite part of planning your wedding so far?

 My favourite part so far has been choosing everything! The wedding has pretty much planned its self as we knew exactly what we both wanted, so it has been great fun pulling all of our ideas together.

The Bridesmaids Shoes

 

The Thank you Gift Bag

 

What wedding budget are you aiming to stick to?

Our wedding will cost in total around £6,000, with the biggest expense being our venue at £4,000.

 

Gemma and Stephen are getting married at Dorton house in Aylesbury

 

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

My best money saving tip is to call in favours from friends and family wherever you can. My mum and I are going to make the wedding cake and favours; my hairdresser is a close friend of ours as well which helps! But the best tip that I have is to look in the sales - we got our bridesmaid’s dresses for £15 each instead of £70.

Table Place Settings

Bridesmaids Jewellery from River Island

 

Are you doing much wedding DIY?

DIY is a major part of our wedding. I made our invites, table plan and place settings so they all match perfectly. We will also be doing our own venue decoration which will include bird cages and lovely sky blue chair sashes.

Bird Cage Centre Pieces - Wedding Table Decoration

 

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

My best piece of wedding advice would be to have the most important members of your family to the ceremony during the day and everyone else can come in the evening. Also, it's your day and don’t let anyone tell you what you should do!

 

Thanks for sharing your wedding plans with us Gemma! Hope that you love every minute of the remaining run up to your wedding in August and we can’t wait to hear all of the details and see the pictures of the day afterwards!

 

Laura xx

Real Life Fifties Styled Budget Wedding: Elaine and Bryan

Real Life Fifties Themed Budget Wedding

I was so happy to get this gorgeous Fifties styled budget wedding land into my inbox and I had to share with you as soon as I could! Elaine and Bryan married on a budget of 5,000Euros (just over £4,000) in Ireland. Here, Elaine shares her story and wedding day tips with us…

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

I met Bryan on a night out in County Waterford in Ireland. We were both Scottish so with that in common we got on well straight away. We were together for a while and had a little boy when Bryan asked me to marry him; I was very shocked as he had never been keen on getting married! The plans were put on the backburner for a while and we had another baby, a little girl. After she was born we started to think seriously about having an actual wedding!

Real Life Fifties Themed Budget Wedding

What was your favourite part of planning your wedding?

I actually loved all of it! I’m a creative person and I work as a photographer so I knew quite a bit about weddings and that we wanted to do something different, so it was definitely a challenge! We also didn't want to spend a lot on the wedding, so we had to do it on a very tight budget which meant lots of DIY.

Real Life Fifties Themed Budget Wedding

What was your wedding Budget and how did you make the most of it?

We had about €5000 to spend and to do this we needed to find a venue that would let us plan a much simpler menu and find suppliers that would work with us on our ideas, hence the five wedding cakes instead of one!

Real Life Fifties Themed Budget Wedding

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

Think differently - you can get some amazing ideas from blogs and websites that aren't necessarily traditional and will cost less. The most important thing is to have fun planning your wedding and to have fun on the day, so if little details don't work out it's not a problem. Also make sure you talk to the venue and tell them your ideas. We got married on Kippure Estate in Wicklow and they tailored the wedding to our requirements within our budget and made sure we had thought of every detail! We also did not have a traditional meal but instead gave all of our guests milkshakes, burgers and fries with apple pie for dessert which was a big hit.

Real Life Fifties Themed Budget Wedding

 

Real Life Fifties Themed Budget Wedding

 

Who were your favourite budget wedding suppliers?

I had so many!!! Maria from www.mariaslittlewrappers.com made us the coolest little chocolates in the shape of old 45 records as our favours and I found the most amazing cake maker The Swell Bakeshop who made us five different cakes all with an American Diner theme which cost us much less than a traditional wedding cake. I think the most useful cost cutting was actually the dress which I got from Bella Bleu in Cork, I loved it when I tried it on but it was raw silk and way out of my price range, the owner of the shop offered to have it made in a cheaper fabric which still looked gorgeous and was a fraction of the price (and didn't crease!). I also managed to get some Elvis converse for dancing at night, my shoes would never have lasted!

Real Life Fifties Themed Budget Wedding

 

Real Life Fifties Themed Budget Wedding

Did you do much DIY?

LOTS!! I made the bouquets myself from buttons, we got some fab sweets from Candy Cabin in Edinburgh and put them in sundae glasses for centrepieces. We printed out pictures of Fifties icons and used them as table names, I set up my own photo booth with a backdrop and camera on a tripod and we printed photo booth props from the internet for everyone to use for a pic. We also decorated the room ourselves the night before the wedding with paper pompoms and Diner posters. We also bought a job lot of old 45 records from eBay then had a designer create us a record sleeve for them. She gave us the template and we printed and cut them all out and used them as invitations.

Real Life Fifties Budget Wedding

Real Life Fifties Budget Wedding

What did you enjoy most on your wedding day?

The whole day; we made sure it was very personal, so my uncle dressed in a teddy boy suit and blue suede shoes and drove myself and my dad to the venue in a Fifties car. My brother in law sang ‘I've got you under my skin’ for our first dance which was a very special moment. 

Real Life Fifties Budget Wedding

Real Life Fifties Budget Wedding

 

What would be your best piece of advice for all of our other Budget Bride Company readers?
Do things your way and research different ideas and possibly themes to help you to pull your day together. Tell suppliers your ideas and see if they can come up with cost cutting ways of realising your dreams without bankrupting you in the process!

Real Life Fifties Budget Wedding

Congratulations Elaine and Bryan, what an awesome wedding! Thank you for sharing your day with us 🙂  

Laura xx

All photographs by Linda Clarke Photography

Wedding Supplier Spotlight with Silly Jokes: Sumptuous on Saturday

 

Silly Jokes Logo
Todays Sumptuous on Saturday Supplier Spotlight is with Silly Jokes – our latest budget friendly wedding supplier to join The Budget Bride Company.

Silly Jokes specialise in fancy dress, photo booth props from £1.99 and brilliant printed chalkboards from £2.99 that you can use for anything from Menus to Signage at your wedding. Their great array of wedding budget friendly items are all available online making it super easy to browse and order what you need; they even offer free shipping on orders over £40.

 

Silly Jokes Bride Board

 

Silly Jokes Groom Board

The Printed Wedding Chalk Boards are one of Silly Jokes’ most popular items at the moment - the printed chalkboards come in two sizes and are made of sturdy MDF. They look like chalkboards but are printed so there is no mess and they stay neat and clear all day. You can also personalise them yourself too – just use the online editing tool or upload your own file, especially if you have a special font you are working with.

Silly Jokes also create a brilliant range of budget friendly photo booth props - perfect for your making your own DIY wedding photo booth.

 

Silly Jokes Photo booth
We had a chat with Caroline at Silly Jokes to find out more about why she loves working with weddings…

Tell us a bit more about why you love working with Brides to Be?
I love working with Brides to be because a good bit of their enthusiasm rubs off onto me and leaves me feeling uplifted for the future!
We have striped back our store from being plain retail to manufacturing something we have designed ourselves which feels really positive. It’s like a fresh beginning for the business and the response has been incredible. I can see us making so many more wedding products in the future so watch this space!
What has been your favourite wedding that you have worked on?
I recently helped a couple who were having a Gothic wedding. I sell Halloween goods and always have stock year round. They wanted skeletons, skulls and black muslin cloth. It was a second marriage and they were having immense fun creating a day based on scarlet and black that no one was going to forget.

 

What would be your top piece of advice for Brides to Be?
Focus on the day as a couple and approach and plan it together as much as possible because its just the beginning of a life you are going to share.
And what do you like to get up to when you’re not creating wedding photo booth props and fancy dress?
I love to play Irish music; one time I was at a big family wedding in Ireland and the bride had looked collected and cool the whole long day even when a car rammed the harpist’s van. At about 2am I got out my whistle and played her a wedding tune I’d learnt and she broke down in tears. It was all too much. Might have been my playing though!

 

You can find out more about the full range at Silly Jokes on their online store, by emailing Caroline on enquiries@sillyjokes.co.uk
or by calling the store on 01908 904066 (open Monday through to Friday, 9am until 5pm).

Laura xx

Real Life Budget Wedding – Karla and James

£5k Budget Wedding: Karla and James

Todays Real Life Budget Wedding is with Karla and James who married with a budget of £5,000 on the 27th August last Summer near Chichester.

Karla and James created an incredible wedding celebration planned during a seven month engagement. Karla told us a bit more about how she created the wedding she dreamt of on the budget she had available…

 

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

James and I knew of each other from school but got talking when I was on a night out with my cousin. She also met her fiancé that night! We got engaged the day before my 25th birthday, after a walk in the snow near Arundel Castle. I knew something was up as we're not normally people who go for walks for fun! The engagement was only 7 months and so we had been together 3 years when we got married. 

£5k Budget Wedding: Karla and James

What was your favourite part of planning your wedding?

 I enjoyed most of it, especially buying things - I loved receiving packages! My favourite parts were ordering my dress, looking at venues, getting together with the girls and planning the hen night, making food with my mum and eating trial cake!

 

What was your wedding Budget and how did you make the most of it?

 Our budget was £5,000. We saved most of the money on the Ceremony and Reception venues and also the catering. We had a gorgeous ceremony at Wiston House, Steyning and stayed for a couple of hours for drinks and photos. Therefore the only cost was for the ceremony room and drinks. We then moved on to Boxgrove Village Hall, where we did the catering ourselves. We had a buffet of breads, cheeses, meats, quiches, pastas, salad, fruit, home-made brownies, cupcakes and sweets. We also had filled rolls, tortilla chips and home-made cakes for the evening. 

We also saved on my dress and flowers. I bought my dress from eBay, and all bouquets and buttonholes were made by James’ Mum. 

£5k Budget Wedding: Karla and James

£5k Budget Wedding: Karla and James

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

 Use family and friends skills where they are willing to help! Our Wedding Cake and Flowers were made by friends, our photos were taken by a friend, our favours were cupcakes made by my Step-Mum, and her friends supplied 6 quiches. A lot of family offered to help with the catering, so get people to bring along a cake or dish!  

£5k Budget Wedding: Karla and James

£5k Budget Wedding: Karla and James

Who were your favourite budget wedding suppliers?

Reggie's bars were awesome, we hired them for drinks at the hall. The prices were good and they were friendly and organised. The Works have great invitations for only £5, which can be personalised and accessorized. Moss Bros in Hove were helpful and had great deals and it was cheaper to buy the suits than hire. And of course Wiston House, best value for money and the staff are lovely. 

£5k Budget Wedding: Karla and James

Tell us more about how you used DIY to save money on your Wedding?

Apart from food, most of the decorations were also DIY. I spent days with my Mum and Sister making pompoms and bunting. I also bought lanterns and the night before there was about 16 people hanging lanterns and pompoms! Get friends to help, decorating takes longer than it looks! Making tissue paper pompoms is so much cheaper than buying them and they're simple to make. For the bunting I used thick pastel-patterned paper and ribbon from Hobby Craft. Instead of table names, each table had a photo of one of our pets. 

£5k Budget Wedding: Karla and James

What did you enjoy most on your wedding day?

Seeing James, the bouncy castle and the speeches! My 5-year old nephew thought the best men's jokes were hilarious, and I was crying with laughter. 

£5k Budget Wedding: Karla and James

 

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

Enjoy the engagement, enjoy your big day and don't worry! Just relax, make time for each other and it will be a beautiful day.

£5k Budget Wedding: Karla and James

Thank you for sharing your gorgeous day with us Karla! Congratulations to both of you 🙂

You can catch up with all of our other gorgeous Real Life Budget Wedding stories here. Would you like to be featured on the Blog? Just check out our Submissions Page and drop us a line!

Laura xx

Photographs by Ali Khan

A creative and colourful DIY Budget Wedding for £5,000 – Ivanya and Peter

Real life Budget Wedding - Ivanya and Peter

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.
DIY Budget Wedding - Ivanya and Peter

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.

Village Hall Budget Wedding

DIY Budget Wedding table styling

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!

Budget DIY Wedding

Budget Wedding Ivanya and Peter

Budget Wedding Entertainment

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!

Budget Wedding Button Bouquet

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.

Budget wedding table decorations DIY
 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.
Budget Wedding Table Plan

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.

Budget Wedding DIY Decoration Ideas

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.
Budget DIY Wedding

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.

 

Budget DIY Wedding
 

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.

Budget DIY Wedding Ideas

Bride on a £5k Budget - Ivanya

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!

£5k Budget Wedding - Ivanya and Peter

Thanks so much for sharing your lovely DIY Budget Wedding Day with us - top tips too! Congratulations to you both :D

Laura xo

All images courtesy of Andy Childs Photography

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

Top Ten Budget Wedding Favour Ideas

I have always been a massive fan of all things keepsake. I still have various shoe boxes filled with cherished items from my childhood and teenage years and opening up the boxes to look at all of the assorted odds and ends from over the years always takes me back and makes me smile! This is one of the main reasons that I love favours… the opportunity to give a little gift to your guests to say thank you for sharing the day with you, and also to give them a reminder of the day in the years to come. Saying that, I am massively partial to a good edible favour – the prettier, the better!

The great thing with many of the favour ideas that we have suggested below, is that they can double up as wedding name place settings, which means you can save even more of your budget to spend on other things…

But, as always, it’s the small things that mount up and when you need to give favours out to lots of guests it’s more important than ever to keep a firm grasp on your budget. Our Top Ten this week is all about budget beautiful Wedding Favours.

 

1. Show your guests how much you love them – write them a poem! The only limit to this one is your creativity. The poem can be cute, sentimental or funny. You could go one step further and make your poem specific to each of your guests; this is truly a big ‘thank you’ to your friends and family for attending your big day and will give them something really special to remember it by. Get yourself some colourful paper from Hobby Craft or Paperchase to match in with your themes and get writing! For presentation, you can tie the poems up with ribbons, wool or string. Or how about popping them in a tiny glass bottle or folding them into a cute origami heart?

2. Hand painted and varnished pebbles. I love this option as it includes a bit of elbow grease from you (collecting the pebbles – great excuse for a pre wedding weekend away to Brighton?!) but results in a really lovely way to let your guests know where they are seated as well as giving them something to take home as gorgeous keepsake. You can stick to writing your guests name on the top of the pebble and perhaps the wedding date and you and your Husband to Be’s names on the back, or go further and paint pictures or use glitter to add a bit of fun and colour to your wedding breakfast tables.

Photo Credit and step by step:  http://www.inspirationrealisation.com/2011/08/my-table-name-tags.html#

 

3. Sweeties in a beautiful box. This is a good one as you get the best of both worlds – some yummy sweets to eat when you fancy on the wedding day, and a box to take home with you at the end. Check out the lovely gift box options from Wedding Favours Delight. These start from 0.31p per box, so certainly won’t break the back. You can then go to town with what you fill the boxes up with: you could go for delicious home-made fudge or marshmallows, or how about stocking up on jelly beans from your local pick and mix?

 

4. Following on with the edible theme, muffins are always a firm favourite. Easy to make at home, these cost saving favours are sure to make your guests smile! Invest in some pretty cases and maybe some glitter or coloured sugar and you can make sure your celebratory muffins fit in well with your wedding theme. Make sure they are baked nice and fresh the day before your wedding and once they’re cool, wrap in cellophane (clear or coloured), tie up with some ribbon and you have one tasty budget favour!

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/wedding-cake-cupcakes-00420000006351/

 

5. Giving seeds as a favour is a really nice idea – especially if it’s for something that you know your guests will be able to grow into a tree or maybe a really beautiful flowering plant. This is both symbolic and long lasting. You can buy the seeds from Wilkinsons or your local garden centre and then create your own packaging to ensure your favour matches in with your theme. Alternatively, you can buy the seeds all ready packaged up and printed with your details from £1.20 – I like the ones here: http://www.wildflower-favours.co.uk/categories.asp?Sector_ID=11

 

 

 

6. Candle favours can make a great cost effective option. With all of the colours of the rainbow to choose from and the option to package up your candles in boxes or organza bags, or wrapped in string or ribbon, candle favours are a reliable favourite. You can get two tea lights in a presentation bag or box from Partylite for under £2 per person – call Debbie for more information on 07530 484890.

 

7. Are you having a vintage themed wedding? The favour options with a vintage wedding theme are endless, but I love the idea of giving each of your guests a vintage book that might say something about your wedding, or you and your husband to be, or perhaps about the guest! You can find really inexpensive job lots of old books on ebay, ready for you to tie up with twine and label ready for your wedding guest. If you have plenty of time before your wedding, be sure to trawl some local car boot sales and charity shops, where you will be able to pick up old books for pennies.

 

 

8. If you are handy in the kitchen, you could try making up your own jam and sealing in little pots, topped with coloured cloth and tied up with some ribbon or twine. You can add in the guests name on one side of a label and your wedding date on the other side. If you don’t fancy making the jam, why not buy those gorgeous little pots that you always seem to get at B&B’s by the seaside with your breakfast?! You can buy these individually at Morrisons or you can bulk buy on Ebay where I have seen 72 of the TipTree Strawberry jam mini pots for £15 plus P&P. Use patterned material (flowers or gingham would be pretty) to cut into fabric trim tops to go over the jam jar lids. Perfect!

Photo Credit: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/DoMeAFavour Custom made shabby chic jars from £1 each

 

9. Decorated wine glasses make a fun and pretty budget wedding favour. You can purchase wine or champagne glasses cheaply (get the own brand versions) from Waitrose, Tesco or Matalan. You will need enamel paint and some paintbrushes and then let your imagination do it’s thing! There are some good tutorials on www.wikihow.com

 

Photo Credit: www.wikihow.com

 

10. Button Badges take me straight back to when I was Ten years old and I was given a badge making machine for Christmas! Who doesn’t love a badge to show off on their lapel?! You can create your badges as place settings with your guests names, or how about making a couple of smaller ones for your guests to take home – one with their name and one with a keepsake reference to your wedding day on it? You can buy the machines for under £10 on Amazon and you will probably have to buy a refill pack to ensure you have enough materials to make the badges for all of your guests. You'll have SO much fun making them!

 

Badge from http://www.zazzle.co.uk/mr_mrs_1_pin-145521120965714858

Happy favour making!

Laura x