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    Ideas for cheap wedding?
    • #1
    • 8th Mar 07, 2:52 PM
    Ideas for cheap wedding? 8th Mar 07 at 2:52 PM
    Hi Everybody,

    I'm getting married next year and my boyfriend & I are not exactly wallowing in cash so are wondering if you savvy people have any good ideas of how to keep the costs down?

    I've got family all over the world and we would like to travel around visiting them after the wedding so we'll be saving up for that as well.

    One thing we can do ourselves is the wedding invitations etc so that should help...but does anyone have any other ideas? (Other than eloping to Gretna Green )

    Thanks in advance
    Colleen x
Page 1
    • tanith
    • By tanith 8th Mar 07, 3:04 PM
    • 7,873 Posts
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    • #2
    • 8th Mar 07, 3:04 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Mar 07, 3:04 PM
    We got married on a teeny budget , we had a really nice large garden at the time and we used the house and garden for our reception, my brother and his wonderful wife supplied the food as a wedding present and even came and laid it all out beautifully..and everyone had a wonderful day and the two families mixed in together so well.... not everyone's idea of a blissful day even the sun shone from morning till night .....
    #6 of the SKI-ers Club

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  • caslates
    • #3
    • 8th Mar 07, 3:13 PM
    Good idea
    • #3
    • 8th Mar 07, 3:13 PM
    Thanks for that idea - definitely saves on the costs of hiring a venue...

    I don't know what people's thoughts are about the tradition of the brides family paying for the wedding, but we feel that my folks are struggling to afford to retire as it is and so would probably not be able to contribute much to the costs. They live in Australia so would need to buy an expensive plane ticket to get over here, so I would just be happy for them to be there on the big day.

    Are the parents of the groom supposed to contribute at all? I've always heard that they pay for the drinks but I have no idea!

    Thanks again x
    • tanith
    • By tanith 8th Mar 07, 3:26 PM
    • 7,873 Posts
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    • #4
    • 8th Mar 07, 3:26 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Mar 07, 3:26 PM
    Probably depends on the individuals involved some families still offer to help out and others either don't or can't afford to... We planned ours (2nd marriage for me) ourselves and then people offered to help with this and that.. my daughters and son paid for the flowers but it was their choice to do so... maybe a few subtle hints about the cost of flowers etc might not go amiss.. but it all depends what sort of wedding ours was registry office and very lowkey.... good luck anyway
    #6 of the SKI-ers Club

    "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke
  • Katie Pink
    • #5
    • 8th Mar 07, 3:51 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Mar 07, 3:51 PM

    My sister has arranged an amzaing wedding on a budget. My main tips would be. Her budget is probably considered high by some but her wedding will seem much more expensive than it actually is.

    Buy the plain white iced cakes from M&S or similar and decorate with fresh flowers
    Buy bridesmaids dresses from ebay or Monsoon/Coast in the sales
    Use the highstreet - my sister's dress was £150 from Debenhams in the sale and it is absolutely gorgeous
    Rope your friends and family with any skills in to help - decorating rooms, floristry, neat handwriting for invitations and name places, musicians, people with nice cars to drive you, people with big gardens, photographers, needle workers to make dresses or cravats etc etc
    Move flowers from the ceremony venue to the reception
    Make your own favours
    Have a hot fork buffet or similar instead of a sit-down meal

    I hope this helps. You could also look at the confetti forums, they have loads of good ideas on them.

    Good luck and congratulations

  • blue_monkey
    • #6
    • 8th Mar 07, 3:54 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Mar 07, 3:54 PM
    Yes, get everyone to help - but not financially. Someone has a ncie car - ask them to do the wedding day, get a 2nd hand dress. I did mine was £235 and £30 to take it up - I was told it was worth £1400 so I was very pleased. Bridesmaids dresses were £40 each - but if in doubt eBay as there will be loads of bargains there. Congratuations and good luck!!
  • caslates
    • #7
    • 8th Mar 07, 3:56 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Mar 07, 3:56 PM
    Thanks for those fantastic ideas - I'll check out the confetti site, didn't know they had a forum.

    I'm away for the next couple of days so won't be able to reply till I get back, but please continue to give me any other ideas you may have - it's so great to have sites like these, they really do save u a fortune! :-)
  • blue_monkey
    • #8
    • 8th Mar 07, 3:56 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Mar 07, 3:56 PM
    Oh, another thought, if getting married in registary office/church/etc.. ask the registar/vicar who does the flowers ad get them to do your flowers as well. Ours matched the registary office flowers to my own flowers on the day so they all matched. It was a nice touch and all for free!!
  • Nneave
    • #9
    • 8th Mar 07, 4:11 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Mar 07, 4:11 PM
    One thing I would say is if photos are important to you, be careful about cheap photographers. Especially if you want photos of distant reletives you don't get to see often. A friends only regret it the 'photographer' she used damaged and lost most of her photos and the ones she has left have people looking every which way. Having said that a good amatuer is better than an expensive, but terrible profesional.

    I don't know if you fancy it, but out local Oxfam sell second hand dresses etc and they are beautiful. It's definatly worth a look.

    Get everyone you can involved, people love to help with weddings and celebrations and probably know someone who does hair, make-up, alterations etc.

    Have a great time, and it will come together.
    • MrsTinks
    • By MrsTinks 9th Mar 07, 10:20 AM
    • 14,162 Posts
    • 20,822 Thanks
    Also worth a read is Martins MSE wedding article
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  • alison6692

    Here are a few tips.

    .................................................. ......

    Don't bother with wedding favours.

    Maybe ask for holiday vouchers as wedding presents - This will then pay for your honeymoon.

    Buy a secong hand dress - Or get a shop bought one from possibly Marks and Spencer or Monsoon. Or you could try Oxfam Bridal shops - They sell new as well as used dresses.

    Don't include RSVP cards with the invites.

    Maybe ask for things like guest books and wedding albums to be your wedding presents.

    Have candles instead of flowers as centrepeices.

    Have an evening wedding - not only will this be really romanric but it also means that you can totally miss out the sit down meal.

    Buy a shop bought cake - Marks and Spencer do a fab one.

    Don't have BM's or Ushers.

    Do your own make-up.

    Erm ... I am sure I can think of more things later.

    Feel free to PM me if you need more help. I run a wedding info site and would be happy to help you.

    Love alison x
  • jo_b
    I'm getting married next year and my boyfriend & I are not exactly wallowing in cash so are wondering if you savvy people have any good ideas of how to keep the costs down?
    Originally posted by caslates
    Make yourself a nice cup of tea, set an hour aside and have a good browse through this Wedding Ideas Thread

    Be warned - it is very long but it has lots of useful links and ideas.

    My personal favourites are:

    1. Set up your wedding list at Debenhams and you get a free 50 giftcard - regardless of whether anybody uses it or not.
    2. I used for a free wedding website
    3. Having a wedding somewhere more out-of-the ordinary but cheaper, like Gretna Green, isn't actually a bad idea!
    4. If you don't want to go as far as buying a second-hand wedding dress, you can still save s by buying the extras (tiara, veil etc) from eBay.

    Good luck with the preparations!
  • houndour
    We made our own flowers (with the help of my mum) the day before the wedding. Not sure how tight your budget is, but we were being quoted £400+ for 1 top table, 5 normal tables, 1 bridesmaid bouquet and 1 bride bouquet. I did get the bouquets done professionally, but I went with a small local florist and was charged £75 (instead of £120) for the brides and £30 (instead of £50) for the bridesmaid. I then bought 120 white roses for £65, plus spent maybe £20-30 on trays and oasis and then nicked loads of foliage from friends and families gardens (with permission).

    I had a relatively cheap photographer (£650). And I think my photos are great But then maybe I'm biased. is a great forum for getting ideas, I spent everyday planning on there. They also have a for sale forum.

    There are also a few websites out there that sell second hand dresses...there are some proper classified ones so you can try the dresses before you buy (unlike ebay where you're committed to buy without trying).

    Hope that helps.
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    • zulubabe
    • By zulubabe 9th Mar 07, 8:33 PM
    • 828 Posts
    • 3,133 Thanks
    bought my wedding dress today from the charity shop - it cost 300 but have been told it originally cost 1500 - it looks beautiful & can't wait to wear it - even if the big day is 2 years away!

    My big tip for wedding photographs would be that if you know anyone who is a good photographer then buy yourself a good camera and get them to take the photos - you end up with fab photos & a good camera!
  • LisaT186
    Definitely check out they have a great forum and loads of online suppliers, I'm sure I saved a fortune using recommendations from there! They have people that import wedding dresses from the states that work out cheaper than here and they are all the branded ones.

    Cakes - it seems to be Marks and Spencers ones are the favourites, to decorate use some flowers to match your theme unless you are a good cake decorator yourself.

    Although I didn't have many 'talented' friends, where possible we asked for their skills as a wedding present, we managed to get our car and chauffeur given to us and my make up was also done as a present from a beautician friend.

    A friend of mine had a relative make all her invitations as a gift.

    A buffet tends to be cheaper than a sit down (although we still had a table plan), be strict on guest numbers no long lost people just close friends and family. Favours - make your own or go without. Look out for bridesmaid outfits in the sale on the high street.

    Shop around lots, but take the time to enjoy it, it can become tiring!!

    Good luck and give us a shout if you think we can be of any more help.
    • inkie
    • By inkie 9th Mar 07, 9:46 PM
    • 2,498 Posts
    • 2,338 Thanks
    If you are wanting a church wedding, then rather than going for your parish church which can charge for bells/organ/choir/etc, etc- why not try a non-conformist church - their weddings can be much more personal and not 'out of the book'. I am a minister and conduct weddings and do not charge - I just put a plate out at the4 back for church funds, which guests at the wedding put a donation in - they pay, not you!
  • moozikgal
    My partner and i are getting married in June on his birthday and are doing a relitvley small do with family and friends. Ill just go over what we have done or are doing

    My dress was from debenhams in the sale for £18

    for favors we have got everyone a tube of love hears, home bargains are doing 4 packs for 35p so less than 10p per favor. we are also putting these with something else like a tea light holder from ikea with everyones names written on them. the tealights are 9p each and a nice pen will set you back a few pounds.

    we are having a registry office do and then going to a local pub who have put on a really nice buffet for us for £9 per head. at about 8pm we are leaving the pub and coming back to our house for a relaxed evening of bacon butties and eye toy games!

    for cakes, we are making cupcakes

    flowers we are buying from ebay, a link which i found on this site. a shop called the bridal workshop. they make button holes, bags, hair clips the lot all to your colour.

    our total including rings is just over £1000.

    hope some of these ideas help
    • moosetastic
    • By moosetastic 10th Mar 07, 2:23 PM
    • 1,159 Posts
    • 2,166 Thanks
    we managed to have a lovely wedding on a very small budget. My top tip is EBAY!!!! especially at this time of year. Lots and lots of bargains to be had, from cake stands to guest books to bridesmaids dresses.

    I bought my wedding dress and my shoes from Ebay. My dress was made to fit me and cost 220! It was gorgeous. My shoes were 6!

    My other top tip is to buy things now if you can. In a few months the new ranges for this year will be out and you will pay top dollar for them! Try and see if there any sales in wedding shops near you, I managed to get my veil for 8 from a wedding shop near me when they had a clear out to fit the new seasons stock in. Confetti is a great site, and is good as well.

    Hope everything goes ok for you and good luck!!
    You're so very special, I wish I was special

  • Tiger_greeneyes
    I only had 9 guests so we had a sit down meal in a nice local hotel - we were there for hours and the whole thing cost £180 - and that included alcohol. Mostly mine

    My wedding cake cost £37 from Valerie Patisserie in Knightsbridge - they're a really lovely exclusive bakery. I only had one tier and they iced exquisite detail onto it, it was gorgeous

    My outfit was about £100 (including shoes) from the High Street, and rings were about £250.

    I didn't bother with favours or anything like that and there were already flowers in the registry office. I bought four instant cameras and the guests took photos for me to have developed.

    It was a lovely day and very relaxed as there wasn't much to go wrong.

    I'm getting married again (not this year though, the house comes first) and I love some of the tips - thanks for sharing!
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    • savingpennies
    • By savingpennies 10th Mar 07, 7:27 PM
    • 439 Posts
    • 1,154 Thanks
    Our wedding was 20 years ago this August but it cost very little. Our most expensive items were the wedding rings: i wanted something unusual and modern.
    I wore a lovely outfit I had bought for my cousin's wedding the year before (a very expensive county wedding and my outfit cost a fortune).
    My friend provided the flowers from her garden and created a lovely bouquet and button holes.
    No bridesmaids.
    My father had a very nice car and we bought ribbon off the market to dress them up.
    We asked friends to bring their cameras and bought then lots of film, so didn't need a photographer.
    We booked a meal at a local restaurant and bought eveyone lunch. The restaurant was great: we'd said it was for an informal wedding and they were very helpful providing a table for the cake and keeping one of the rooms just for us and our guests.
    The wedding cake was a present from my husband's cousin and his wife (she made and decorated cakes for a hobby).
    Favours? I'm not even sure what they are and why they are seen as necessary. I can't remember a wedding where they were given out. Are they another money making gimmick created by the wedding industry?
    This kind of wedding doesn't suit everyone but friends and family still comment about how lovely it was and how it stands out in the memory against all the traditional weddings
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