Planning a low budget wedding can sound like a pretty intimidating task, especially when the whole bridal industry is trying to coax you in to spending as much money as possible! If you’re looking for budget wedding ideas to help you create a cool, fun and memorable day without breaking the bank, here are a few tips Cariad picked up planning her own thrifty wedding!
Budget Wedding Venue
The venue is a key decision when planning a low budget wedding. It’s not just the cost of the venue hire that you need to take in to consideration; larger, popular venues can probably book up your chosen date ten times over, so they have a lot of strict rules that force you to spend money you could be using elsewhere. For example, on top of astronomical per-head prices for meals, some venues won’t let you serve your wedding cake for dessert, and insist you pay for a full 3 (or 5) course meal. This is a double-whammy for your budget because it also means a lot of that lovely cake that you paid for (or roped someone in to making) might go to waste, because guests are too full to eat it! We actually had our wedding at a windmill with our close family and friends, then packed everything up and took the reception on tour.
Low Budget Wedding Outfits
I happened to be going on holiday to New York the November before we got married, and managed to find my wedding dress in a bridal store there for under £400! If you find a bargain wedding dress that doesn’t feel 100% perfect, don’t forget that alterations can be made. I had my dress taken out a bit at the top, changed the colour of the silk belt and ditched the beaded shrug for a cardigan that felt more ‘me.’ My husband bought a whole new outfit, but decided to invest in a great three-piece suit that will last him years, and can be born to lots of different events.
The best thing we did to save money on wedding outfits was to let our bridesmaids and groomsmen wear whatever they wanted. We assigned everybody in our wedding party a colour of the rainbow, some bought new outfits and others wore items they already owned. Our photos of a mismatched wedding party look great, mostly because everyone looked so comfortable in what they are wearing!
Handmade Wedding Decorations
For rustic weddings on a budget, you can’t go wrong with handmade bunting, and if you recycle fabric from old clothes and sheets, it’s practically free! Plus, we have used it several times since for special occasions so even though it took ages to make, it was worth it. We also used scrap fabric from this project to make table runners and napkin rings.
Fresh flowers can eat away at a wedding budget, so we came out with some alternatives which not only saved money, but left us with some unique keepsakes that will last for years. A grandparent grew some flowers from seeds in her garden, and these were displayed in pots in the outdoor area at our reception. We had origami flowers on the tables, made by my mum, and my rainbow bouquet was made of felt. My husband’s mum cut out hundreds of felt flowers, and hand stitched patterns on them, with colourful buttons in the middle. Each flower was attached to green gardening wire, and then we filled out the bottom with stiff netting and ribbon. She even made a small one for each of the five bridesmaids! Our button holes were made using the same technique, but with a small badge in the middle that said who everyone was in the wedding party.
A good photographer is something that you definitely don’t want to skimp on, however there are ways you can save a bit of money. For example, once your photos have been edited, you can just ask for the files on CD or via Dropbox, and get them printed and made in to an album yourself.
We found an app called Wedding Party which meant that everyone took loads of photos on their phones all day and then uploaded them to a private social network (easily uploaded to Facebook) just for guests. If you can’t afford a professional photographer all day, with this app your guests will do a great job of documenting the reception (and probably manage to snap a few things a photographer would never see too!).
Thank you Cariad – we loved reading all your helpful hints and tips for having a low budget wedding! You can see more images and find out more about Cariad’s big day over at Rock n’ Roll Bride.
Have you got a thrifty wedding story to share on the Preloved Blog? Get in touch to tell us yours!