I’m so pleased to share this lovely budget wedding at Twycross Zoo with you today! Vanessa and Luke were married at Twycross Zoo in Warwickshire on the 17th May. Pictures kindly shared courtesy of Lacie Cox Photography.
I love the dramatic backdrop for the pictures – what a great location to celebrate your wedding day!
Vanessa shared some of her tips with us for having a beautiful wedding on a budget…
The Dress: I bought my dress at The National Wedding Show at the NEC, so was ableto secure a 25% discount off the shop price.
The Flowers: All of the flowers were arranged by a family friend, so we only had to pay £60 for the flowers themselves including my bouquet and the bridesmaid’s flowers and centrepieces.
The Table Centrepieces: We bought all of the teapots, cups and saucers from car boot sales and charity shops in the run up to the wedding, so we only spent about £30 in total!
The Bridesmaids: We were able to get 30% off the bridesmaid dresses at BHS as we found money off vouchers online.
The Favours: My sister works in a boutique chocolate shop and so we were able to get a great discount on handmade chocolates. We then bought boxes and ribbons from EBay for less than £20 to present them in for our guests.
Thanks for sharing your gorgeous budget wedding at Twycross Zoo with us Vanessa and Luke – congratulations to you both 🙂
All pictures courtesy of Lacie Cox Photography
Back at the end of July, I was thrilled to get together with the amazingly talented Danielle Mobbs to create our second styled shoot together.
Having worked on a vintage themed wedding styled shoot last Summer, we wanted to try something really different and decided on working with a Barn theme with a Western ranch feel twist. Danielle is quite a regular in the States and brought along her authentic cowboy boots to feature in the shoot!
We chose Brampton Grange as the perfect venue for our Western Barn Wedding Styled Shoot thanks to its incredible setting in the Northamptonshire countryside. The Venue has a beautiful manor house with gardens, converted barns and stables – giving us loads of gorgeous photo opportunities to fit in with our theme. And when we found out that the lovely Wedding Co-ordinator Tracey kept her horse there, we jumped at the chance to feature him in the shoot 🙂
We chose our suppliers to bring the Western Barn Styled Shoot ideas to life very carefully. We were really lucky to work with some super talented companies that understood exactly what we wanted to achieve!
Big thanks to these guys for bringing their talent to the shoot…
♥ Venue: Brampton Grange
♥ Models: Bride with Horse - Abi. Bride and Groom – Scot and Carly. Bridesmaids – Katie and Becky (my lovely little sister!)
♥ Wedding Dresses and Bridesmaids Dresses: Jewkes Bridal
♥ Flowers and Table Centres: Bloom In Scents
♥ Wedding Cake: The Bluebell Bakery
♥ Hair and Make-Up: The Beauty Outfit
♥ Stationery: Quills Wedding Stationery
I hope that this shoot has given you some ideas for styling your own wedding! Are you going to be having a barn wedding? Join the conversation over on our Facebook page 🙂
All pictures courtesy of Photography by Danielle Mobbs. Danielle offers wedding photography from £650.
I’m so excited to share this beautiful colourful wedding on a budget with you today! Abby and Liam got married on the 10th August last year on a £3k budget. Thanks to London Wedding Photographer Miki Photography for sharing this wedding with us.
Abby gives us the lowdown on her amazing day…
Liam and I met in the music mobile at High School - he was 12 and I was 13. We loved each other’s company from day one, and after brief canoodling Christmas ’03 and again in ’04... We finally got together during Summer ’05. As cheesy as it sounds, we knew right away we would always be together.
We decided not to have a wedding theme as it was simply because it was too much hassle. We literally chose something if we liked it, and hoped it wouldn’t look like a jumble sale on the day.
The aim for the wedding was just to make it as ‘us’ as possible. Why, on a day of celebrating the love of two individuals, would you not celebrate their individuality? I was determined not to become a Bridezilla! I purposefully tried to be easy going, knowing everything won’t be perfect and that numerous things could go wrong at any stage. The flowers in particular, it was a pretty big gamble deciding to grow all the flowers and although we did buy more – we ended up with much more than we knew what to do with!
We wanted the ceremony to be fun and light, so we wrote it ourselves with Chris, my brother in-law’s uncle. Chris was amazing! He was perfect for the job, and really made us feel at ease when all the eyes were staring. He got all the kids involved and shouting out, and made everyone laugh (and cry). When we exchanged rings, Chris read the ring inscription from Lord Of The Rings, and finished the ceremony on a quote from Harry Potter! It was brilliant.
I also really wanted to source as much as we could locally. I have seen the struggles of small business owners first hand, and knew that if I could get it locally, I would. Chris happened to live opposite a pretty awesome pub, and the owner Andy supplied a real ale bar for us on the day. The cake, food, flowers, dress, bowties, venue, hair, confetti, hay bales and any printing was also sourced locally or from Etsy. We were really pleased and surprised we could do so much in this way!
Being creative people, we knew there was no other option than to DIY. Of course this helped our budget greatly, but it also made it US. If we saw something we liked, we had it, regardless of colour/tradition/what other people expected. We also got rid some wedding traditions like cake cutting etc. It just wasn’t us. There were many frowns and ‘really?!’s from relatives along the way, but on the day everyone said how great it was. How it was a true reflection of us as people, and how all our hard work made it that extra bit special! We were shocked at how many people said it was the best wedding they have ever been to!
We made all the decorations ourselves. We spent nights hole punching circles, sewing garlands, making pom-poms, painting signs and glass jars, sorting pick & mix, creating kiddie goodie bags and wrapping thread around nails. It was SO much fun but a lot of work. We thought towards the end that we might not have enough, so near doubled what we had originally made. In the end most didn’t even get used! I made an awesome ‘All You Need Is Love’ banner that just would not stick to the wall! Countless teeny glitter flags, red hearts, pom-poms and tassels on sticks to go in the deserts that just got forgotten.
One of the best parts of the day for me was driving to the venue with my sister and Maisy - she was hilarious! Waving at everyone going past, giggling and making jokes. I really think I would have started to panic they weren’t making me laugh. I’m not very good being in the limelight! Another great memory is our first dance – we completely missed our song! We were supposed to have Bob Marley, but were too busy drinking whiskey on hay bales to hear it come on! We decided to have a quick dance when we heard Ed Sheeran, and everyone came and gathered around us cheering and taking pictures. It was perfect. It was also great to get millions of texts the following day from people waking up covered in glitter, with blow up guitars in their beds and jars of flowers on their windowsills!
Our photographer was the only thing we splashed on. We decided that with all the hard work we were putting in, we needed amazing pictures! I would have been gutted if after hours, weeks, and months of sitting in our spare room making all the little details – that they weren’t captured. I am so glad we did this! Miki was just amazing. We couldn’t count the number of people who came up to us during and after the wedding saying how awesome and lovely he was! Everyone has been blown away by his photographs. We are so glad we found him!
The biggest wedding savings came from the invitations and decorations. I made the invitations myself on Photoshop, after being inspired by something on Pinterest (as always!). It was a pain getting the colours right, as the printed version never matched what I saw on screen! But eventually they were perfect. We spent £80 in total (including postage!) for the invitations. The other huge saving was on decorations, as we made them all ourselves, we really only paid for a load of coloured card and tissue!
If I could go back and change anything, I would have been more organised on the day itself. We had a rough plan of timings etc, but we forgot to do a couple of things due to being distracted. This resulted in numerous people (including us) running round trying to find or fix things. We wish we had given someone else a plan of the day and a ‘do not forget’ list to keep us on track – it is very difficult to think of anything on the day as you are constantly being pulled left right and centre.
I really don’t think that a big budget is important. We had exactly what we wanted, at a fraction of the cost of most weddings. Don’t think that because it is a wedding, you have to go to wedding suppliers only! Don’t think that the kick ass dress you saw for £100 isn’t good enough because it’s cheap. If you like it, get it. It will all look amazing on the day, and no-one will know you spent an hour scrubbing the peanut butter label off the beautiful blue jar the flowers are in.
Thank you for sharing your amazing day with us Abby and Liam!
All photography courtesy of London Wedding Photographer Miki Photography contactable on firstname.lastname@example.org
Having a wedding day that truly reflects how unique your relationship is, is a wonderful thing. By adding any of these ten thoughtful ways to make your wedding unique, you can really celebrate your love and maybe share a thing or two with your guests that they didn’t know about you and your beau before!
1. Name each of your wedding breakfast tables after an element of your relationship. How about the name of the restaurant or pub where you had your first date, the name of the country where you spent your favourite holiday together, or the name of the road where you had your first home together. Add a little note on the reverse of the table name to give your guests the story!
2. Have an instrumental version of your favourite song to walk down the aisle to – it will add a unique slant to your big entrance and will be more meaningful to you than the venues stock classical pieces.
3. Make home-made favours for your guests to take home with them. Cookies, home-made booze in miniature bottles or mini pots of jam make cute, inexpensive and thoughtful favours which guests will really appreciate.
4. Frame a selection of cute childhood photographs of you and your beau and display on your gift table or near one of the bars, so that your guests can enjoy them during your evening reception.
5. Wear an unusual wedding dress – how about a prom style or traditional dress in your favourite colour? My number one celebrity wedding dress of all time is definitely Gwen Stefani’s.
6. Choose an unusual venue for your wedding – how about an outdoors tipi wedding or getting married on a boat?
7. Use a personalised stamp on everything from your wedding invitations through to name place cards and thank you letters after the big day. These are an inexpensive way to create a unique feel for your wedding.
8. Loving social media? Make up a hashtag for your day and let all of your guests know about it, so that they can join in on the fun during the day!
9. Whatever your feelings are about cake toppers, this can be a really fun way to individualise your wedding and celebrate you and your beau! If you have a family pet, include them in the topper, or incorporate you hobbies into the finished topper look. It’s fun and a lovely talking point for your guests.
10. Custom made drinks labels look great at your reception and really help pull your theme together. Include thoughtful details like you and your beau’s names and the date and place of the wedding.
Having an individual wedding is all about celebrating what is unique to you and your love. Make your wedding memorable to your guests with lots of little touches that will leave both them and you with amazing memories of your day 🙂
What are you going to be doing to make your day unique? Let us know over on Facebook!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I love that weddings are one of the few occasions in your life where you can really go to town with your imagination and throw a party that is purely you and your partner’s vision. I also love that you can spend years coming up with lots of ideas, squirreling away cut outs from magazines and swatches of material into wedding planning scrapbooks that you know at some point will come together to create the day that you have been plotting and planning for, for so long.
So, you can imagine that it makes me sad when Brides to be say that they are not going to be able to have their day the way they want it, because of budget reasons. I have seen, time and again that it is all about the energy and love that you put into your day, that will make it special – not how much money you have spent. Don't get me wrong, sometimes reality will get in the way when your £4k wedding budget won't stretch to cover a private fireworks display and brand new Vera Wang wedding dress, but I am a big believer in making the most of what you have and focussing on what you can do to ensure small wedding budget success.
Granted, creating a beautiful wedding day when you don’t have the assistance of a stylist or wedding planner, can be demanding on your time (and patience!) but it is possible.
Here are five of my top tips for small wedding budget success:
1. Create a plan:
Everything in life is easier when you have a game plan, and weddings are no exception. Grab yourself a scrapbook, shoebox or just create a folder on your laptop and start collecting everything that inspires you for your wedding – magazine articles, colour swatches, the names of particular flowers that you have fallen in love with over the years – put EVERYTHING in there and once you look through your inspiration collection, you will be able to move your plans forward.
2. Give yourself plenty of time...
One of the best tips that I can share with you, when it comes to planning your wedding on a budget, is to give yourself enough time to collect together everything that you need to pull off your wedding day. When you don’t have the money to make things happen at the snap of your fingers, time will give you the luxury of being able to search for suppliers who can come in on budget as well as giving you space to create your DIY wedding decorations amongst the myriad of other items on your to-do list.
3. Internet stalk – It is ALL about the online resources!
Online wedding planning and shopping is your friend – full stop. Pinterest and Facebook can give you buckets of inspiration for free – just be sure to take note of where you have seen certain ideas (or Pin them to your own page) to ensure that you can easily look them up again. Wedding sites like Sell My Wedding mean that you can pick up absoloute bargains that would otherwise cost a fortune to buy new. Ebay is fantastic for sourcing favours and materials for DIY projects and don’t forget our Budget Bride Boutique where we have sourced hundreds of budget friendly goodies for your wedding from dresses through to personalised wedding items.
4. Car boot sales and charity shops
This can be a really fun part of your wedding planning and I totally recommend heading out to every car boot sale, vintage and homemade fair and charity shop that you can in the run up to your wedding. If you visit enough of these cheap and cheerful events and stores, you are pretty much guaranteed to be able to find what you are after for your wedding – from teacups and saucers to bundles of old vintage romance novels, making gorgeous unique wedding decoration ideas.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help - borrowing is a great solution!
On the whole, most of your friends and family will be falling over themselves to help you in any way they can with preparing for your wedding. So, if you have spied a beautiful mirror at your friends’ house that could make a lovely table plan mount, or if you know that your Aunty has an epic bunting collection, then just ask! More often than not, whoever you confide in will be delighted to help you out!
So, good luck with your planning and don’t be afraid to dream big for your wedding! If you give yourself enough time and the right resources, you can have small wedding budget success 🙂
I’d love to hear how you’re dreaming big and spending small on your wedding – head over to the facebook page and join in the discussion!
I know, I know, we all hate the term ‘cheap’ when it comes to planning our wedding days, but sometimes, with certain elements of your wedding the bottom line is that you just need something cheap but lovely. Cheap wedding favour ideas are top of the list when it comes to saving money on those ‘smaller’ things on your wedding planning list that actually all really add up.
I have touched on this before in my Top Ten Budget Wedding Favours post that you can catch up on here and I thought it would be a nice time for an update.
I have selected these lovely cheap wedding favour ideas from our Budget Bride Boutique Online Store, so head over and have a browse if the options below are close, but not close enough to what you’re after - we have hundreds of ideas for you to choose from 🙂
Cheap Wedding Favour Ideas Number 1 – Wedding Favours under£0.50p each
These little white candles are really delicate and pretty and will make a lovely cheap wedding favour idea. They come in packages of 28 and start from £0.30p each.
Cheap Wedding Favour Ideas Number 2 – Favours under £0.60p each
These tiny tied bouquets will look gorgeous displayed for your guests at the dinner table. Simple and rustic, they would work well as a Barn Cheap Wedding Favour idea to tie in with your outdoorsy theme. They come in packs of 12 and are £58p per miniature tied bouquet.
Cheap Wedding Favour Ideas Number 3 – Favours under £1
These lovely little good luck charm cheap wedding favour ideas come with a little loop so that you can thread them onto ribbon or string to give to your guests as a cute thank you. These come in packs of 12 and start from £0.50p per lucky horse shoe.
Cheap Wedding Favour Idea Number 4 – Favours under £1.50 each
I really love these environmentally friendly seed favour cards. They are cute enough to double up as place settings if you wish and you can personalise the text and colour to make sure it fits your wedding perfectly. These start from £1.12 each.
Cheap Wedding Favour Ideas Number 5 – Wedding Fvaours under £2
I just couldn’t resist sharing this little campfire candle favour with you! This would be completely perfect if you are having a barn wedding or if you are an outdoorsy kind of couple. These come in packages of 6 with each campfire candle starting from £1.92.
I think its great that there is so much choice available at the moment for cheap wedding favours that you can still have fun with and feel proud to give to your guests but whilst keeping your budget on track. We have hundreds more creative cheap favour ideas over on the Boutique pages here so have a browse and get inspired!
How many guests will you be buying favours for? Join the conversation over on the Facebook page!
Emma and Ash are going to be getting married next year at a Purple Themed Wedding with lots of DIY wedding touches. We had a chat with Emma to find out about her wedding story so far...
My other half's name is Ash and we met six years ago when Ash started working as an apprentice at my Dad's company. Ash was told never to go anywhere near his bosses daughter! Ash later left the company but we remained friends and started talking again in April when I wrote on Facebook that I had booked my flights to Canada for a holiday. He asked if he could come in my suitcase and we haven’t stopped talking from there!
We got engaged on 21st November 2013; we had been having a rubbish week with some housing problems and had gone to visit my Sister and her family for some dinner. About half hour after we arrived I was handed my then four month old niece and asked to get her ready for bed. I began getting her ready whilst chatting with the family. After unbuttoning her top, I continued talking until I noticed she was wearing a baby vest with the words "Will you marry uncle Ash?" printed across the front! I couldn’t speak and looked up as Ash got down on one knee next to me, ring in hand.
I am loving the whole process of planning our wedding. We’ve been to lots of wedding shows and wedding fairs and received different ideas from each. We have searched daily for different deals and bargains and are going to be doing some of the bits ourselves to keep a price down. My sister – who is my Maid of Honour - has handmade our Save the Date Invites and she will be making our Wedding Invitations too. We have found lots of cheap but perfect wedding items on Ebay. We also decided to buy bio-degradable paper from Ebay in our Wedding theme colours to make our own confetti. We have also purchased a butterfly shape cutter as this is a major part of our theme too.
We get married in May 2015, so we have started collecting wedding decorations and creating DIY wedding projects now so that we don’t have to pay out a lot of money all in one go.
On my wedding day I am looking forward to seeing all our plans and ideas come together and spending my day with our family, but most of all I can’t wait to become MRS HALL!
Enjoy the rest of the planning Emma and we can’t wait to hear all about the day itself and see your pictures!
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 😀
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!