Budget Bride to Be – Emma is planning a Purple Themed Wedding with lots of Butterflies

Cute Purple Save the Date

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.

Aorable baby grow proposal!

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.

Purple and white handmade wedding confetti


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.

Emma and Ash are having a purple themed DIY Wedding in 2015

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!

Laura xx

An amazing Harry Potter Themed Wedding on a £2k Budget – Jasmine and Derek

Jasmine and Derek Harry Potter Wedding Cake


We last spoke with Jasmine a few months ago when her surname was Potter and she was planning her wedding to Derek.  Now, we’re delighted to share her wedding day with you and how she rocked it on less than a £2k budget…


Jasmine and Derek - Real Life Budget Wedding


Tell us a little bit about how you met your fiancé and how you got engaged?
We worked at a record shop together for a few years and started dating and had been going out for a while when he asked me to marry him at Legoland on my 18th birthday. Derek proposed in a story in my birthday card and the ring was in a Lego ring box designed by him.

What was your favourite part of planning your wedding?
I really enjoyed creating and assembling the programmes. I wrote and designed them and my husband assembled them. They were part of our theme so it was fun working out the design!


Jasmine and Derek Real Life budget wedding


Did you have quite a tight budget to stick to and how did you make the most of it?
Our initial budget was around £1k which was later raised to £2k and we ended up spending about £1,750 in the end. We decided against expensive things that we felt we didn't need from the start - like wedding cars and makeup and hair stylists. I got a lot of things for free or cheaply from companies like Vistaprint and started looking for all of the elements almost as soon as we were engaged, so I had enough time to get competitive prices.

What is your best money saving tip for other brides on a budget?
Don't rush into booking things! Take time to look for better quotes and to ask suppliers for deals. If you rush into it, you end up paying a premium but taking say a year or two to plan means you can get far better deals and have more time to make things which will save you further money.

Jasmine and Derek Budget Wedding


Jasmine and Derek Real Life Budget Wedding


Who were your favourite budget wedding suppliers?

That has to be a tie between our Photographers (1 thousand smiles) and our Caterers (Manor Foods, Grimstone). The Photographers were very reasonably priced and were worth every penny. They even helped me put out the sweets for the sweet buffet! They were lovely guys and captured our day perfectly.
The caterers gave us a gorgeous buffet which was very good value for money. For £225 we got the equivalent of about 25 peoples worth of food ( we had asked for 15 peoples worth) and it wasn't cheap food it was really good quality. Better still it was entirely bespoke. We got exactly what I had asked for right down the mini burgers.

Did you do much DIY?
We made parts of our invites and did the calligraphy on them; we made the programmes, did all the decorating and made up the favour bags. I also wrote a poem for one of the readings and made a poem in a frame for my mother in law.


Jasmine and Derek real life budget wedding


Jasmine and Derek Real Life Budget Wedding


What did you enjoy most on your wedding day?
I'd have to say when it all came together! I'd spent months trying to work out how to make my ideas reality and on the day when it was all sorted and happening it was amazing. And of course marrying the love of my life! But that goes without saying!

How did you decide on your Harry Potter theme for the day?
I thought of it and my husband went along with it! It was a really fun theme and even though some of the guests hadn't seen the films they still enjoyed it. Also it made decorations far cheaper.

What would be your best piece of advice for all of our other Budget Bride Company readers?
Whether your wedding is big or small, with the right planning and enough time you can save a lot on your wedding. Don't always go for the simplest option if you could make real savings by putting in the effort, as the more you put into your wedding the greater the day will be because you helped create it.

Harry Potter themed wedding

Congratulations Jasmine and Derek! Your day looked like so much fun 🙂

Laura xo

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