View More: http://saraheubanksphotography.pass.us/terriandclint

Image by  Sarah Eubanks Photography – (See the full wedding here)

It’s no secret that weddings are expensive and since starting to plan my own wedding, I have had my eyes well and truly opened to the costs. I have been tirelessly searching for ways to reduce our expenses so that we can have the wedding of our dreams and have been delightfully surprised by the number of inexpensive solutions I have found just from the real brides that have graced these pages.

Here I have listed my top 20 unique tips for planning a wedding on a budget, some of these ideas were born out of budget restrictions and others were just because the couple wanted to get creative, which is fab because it proves just how doable these ideas really are!

So grab a pen and paper and get ready to start planning.

View More: http://saraheubanksphotography.pass.us/terriandclint

Image by  Sarah Eubanks Photography

1. Rope in the skills of talented family and friends

Looking for a cost effective way to cut the costs of your wedding? We can’t think of anything better than working with family friends to create the wedding of your dreams!

“My mother made most of my clothing as a child and all of my prom dresses so it was only fitting that she made the most important dress I will ever wear.” bride, Terri told us.

“My dad, is a very talented welder and carpenter and handmade all the hanging decor, the cake stand and our custom bar, whilst the daughter of our friend designed a beautiful chalked bar sign, as well as crafting a geometric wall hanging to embellish the bar front.”

2. Get crafty

As a florist Terri had a very hands on  approach herself, DIY’ing much of her wedding, including her own flowers, but she didn’t stop there.

“In keeping with our desire to have a wedding full of personal touches I spent the months leading up to our wedding designing and crafting almost every detail” Terri continued. “I crafted string art table numbers, a string art and hand lettered escort display and a string art frame that served as our guest book.”

View More: http://saraheubanksphotography.pass.us/terriandclint

Image by  Sarah Eubanks Photography 

3. Use decor items from your home

And instead of throwing everything away Terri used much of the decor in her own home afterwards.

“The tables were adorned with geometric gold candle holders, brightly colored buds, lots of candles, and pops of teal in the napkins and table numbers. Gold geometric shapes and geometric chandeliers embellished with florals hung above the tables creating a whimsical feel to the room. We created a hanging wire and flower installation over the head table to continue the string art and geometric theme. We now use a lot of the geometric décor throughout our home which reminds us of our wedding day every day!”

4. Don’t have a bridal party

Not one for tradition Terri also chose to not have a bridal party.

“To keep things intimate and focused on our union we opted to not have a bridal party. This allowed us to have a unique circular setting for the ceremony in the courtyard. It was so special to have our guests surrounding us and to be able to see their faces and reactions as we became man and wife. Many of the guests commented on how wonderful it was for them to experience our ceremony that way as well.” she added.


Image by  Carly Bevan Photography – (See the full wedding here)

5. Recycle household items for decor

And it seems that Terri isn’t the only one recycling, newlywed Amy, along with the help of her family and friends spent months collecting old household items for use at their wedding.

“We collected jam jars to use for flowers, an old bike, tin baths & old suitcases to use as props” she told us.

Recycling is any old household items like jars and bottles are not only totally inexpensive but they work well for any wedding. We recently featured a DIY on 5 different ways to hand paint bottles to turn them into beautiful table decor and it has already been extremely popular on Pinterest.

6. Grow your own flowers

By choosing to recycle not only are you saving money but did you know you are also helping the environment? Another way to give mother nature a helping hand whilst saving yourself some dollar is to grow your own flowers.

“Our wonderful families took to their gardens, growing an unbelievable amount of flowers for decorating the hall. Amy continued.


Image by  Carly Bevan Photography

7. Pick a venue that wouldn’t normally be used as a wedding venue

With the average wedding venue costing an average of £6,5000 it isn’t surprising that couples are turning to unconventional venues. Amy’s taste in adorable jars filled with handpicked flowers were the perfect touch to her quaint village hall wedding.

“We weren’t keen on blowing all of our savings on one day, as we were in the midst of renovating our house, so we decided to hold our ceremony in the church where we lived and where better to hold the reception than in the village hall next door.”

“We wanted a day spent with our nearest and dearest, at a venue we could have the freedom to make our own, so this seemed to be the perfect place!”


Image by  Twin Hearts Photography – (See the full wedding here)

8. Have your friends DJ the reception

If you are anything like me, then you will just want your wedding to be one massive party with lots of singing and even more dancing, so you are going to want the best music at your wedding. If you can’t afford a band or DJ, don’t despair, why not let your friends DJ for you? All you need is an iphone with Itunes or a spotify account and your guests can easily download any song. If you are going to be in the middle of a field without Wifi then send out a notification to all you pals for the recommendations and make a wedding day playlist filled with all yours and your friends favourite songs.

That is exactly what bride shannon did!

“I can’t emphasize enough how important having our friends DJ the reception was to us. We wanted songs we could dance to with our friends–not wedding reception standards. Watching my friends have near spiritual experiences over “Back That Azz Up” is something I won’t soon forget” she laughed.

9. Opt for an alternative to a wedding cake

When  you think of wedding cake most people picture an extravagant cake adorned in flowers, 3 tiers high. Well it probably comes as no surprise that these cakes can also come with an equally extravagant price tag and it’s not surprising with all the hours of work that go into them but when your budget is nearly non existent, how can you have your cake and eat it?

Beautiful beach bride Ali opted for donuts instead!

“We have a love of all things confectionary, so we feasted on powdered donuts and had a dance party under the full moon – we never wanted the magical night to end” she told us. (See the full wedding here)


Image by dKin Photo – (See the full wedding here)

10. Support small & local

Whilst we totally understand it might not always be possible to get everything you need for your wedding on your doorstep, it will certainly cut costs if you can keep as many of your wedding day essentials provided by a local supplier. As someone that lives in a very small town it is not unusual for the local baker to throw in a couple of extra cupcakes for living in the same village or for the local pub to offer you a discount when providing the catering for you and your guests, especially if you are regular.

“Since we met whilst giving back, we wanted to continue that theme throughout our wedding. We tried to support local small businesses and chose a Nature Center not only because it is beautiful, but also because it’s a worthwhile non-profit that makes an impact in the community” newlywed Kelli told us.

Shopping local is not just kinder on your wallet but is kinder on your community to, it boosts local economy, is more ethical and the best thing is you’re more likely to come across one of a kind and unique finds, perfect for bespoke brides.


Image by Babb Photo – (See the full wedding here)

11. Choose secondhand

Second hand doesn’t always mean second best! As bride Laura explains.

“We wanted a bright colour scheme based around Mexican Papel Picado as we visited Mexico a few years ago and absolutely loved it! My mum is really crafty and went decoration crazy, making our bright table runners by sourcing doilies through Freegle, dying them and sewing them all together.”


Image by  Six Hearts Photography – (See the full wedding here)

12. Host the wedding in your own backyard

We have already mentioned the idea of holding your wedding in an unlikely wedding venue but if you have little to no budget how about hosting the wedding in your backyard.

“We looked all over Seattle for a venue that would be as fun, casual, and easy, and while we found some great places, not one felt right.” explained Rebecca.

“In the end, we decided that we really loved the home we’d created together (I am an interior designer and Damian is a contractor and we had remodelled every last inch of our home two years earlier) and we wanted to share that space with our family. That meant that we’d need to level and re-landscape the whole backyard, but we figured why not spend that money on something we’d get to keep rather than a venue that was for one night only?”

Ok, so Rebecca’s story is a little more extreme than most, we aren’t expecting you to dive in and renovate your garden but if you have fairly decent sized backyard then why not?



Romantic Wedding in Spetses island, Greece 1

All Photography by Anna Roussos

As a newly engaged couple you might have been shocked when you realised the true cost of a wedding, I know I was! When I first started blogging, I pinned countless numbers of photos to pin boards creating the ideal wedding in my head, then when I started making enquiries and planning budgets I soon realised the cost of my ‘dream’ wedding would soon mount up! I don’t know if anyone has ever told you this but weddings can be expensive – fact!

I recently had lunch with a bunch of girlfriends all newlyweds and I was surprised to hear them complain about how expensive their wedding was. These ladies all had different budgets and yet all of them were of the same opinion that weddings cost too much! So where do we start in our bid to cut the costs? This is exactly why Legal & General have set up Google hangouts as part of their campaign to help people feel confident about money at each of life’s milestones such as planning a wedding.

For some spending £2000 on a photographer is well worth its weight in memories for others that cost would be insane! Of course both opinions are equally valid, in general price is often associated with quality but for others this is simply not the case!

As a hardcore DIY’er I don’t necessarily think throwing money at it, will make it look good, however in the same breath I would never want to risk quality over quantity which is why today I want to share with you my top tips on how plan your ideal wedding without breaking the bank.

Romantic Wedding in Spetses island, Greece 2

1. Compromise

Ask yourself what you really want from your wedding day? In my opinion this is the very first conversation you and your significant other should discuss before any planning takes place. Once you have nailed down the specifics you can start getting down to the nitty gritty. How much do you have to spend? How long will it take to organise? Are you going to have to give something else up?

Making these decisions will be hard! But they will really help you focus on the aspects you will find the most important and getting rid of those you don’t. I recently had this discussion with two close friends who will be getting married next year and they told me how they had decided to cut favors as they would rather use the extra £100 or so towards something that wasn’t going to be left on the tables at the end of the night? To me this makes perfect sense! Don’t shell out a lot of extra cash on something just because you think you it’s the done thing! Make your own rules!

2. Budget

This is probably the most obvious one to ask yourself, but what can you really afford? Some of you might already be lucky enough to have a wedding fund whilst others might have some saving to do before they can go ahead with planning. If you are one of the latter, first things first you need to know how much you can realistically afford to save each month and how long it will take to save the type of money you will need to plan a wedding. The next step for everybody would then be to do your research. Check out the type of venues you had in mind and look at the costs, talk to photographers and find out how much they charge and so on.

There is no point putting aside £400 aside for a photographer only to find out later they actually cost in the region of £1400 (trust me, I’ve seen it happen and ain’t pretty!). Once you have a better idea of your budget and ballpark figures of what everything will cost, you will then have a better idea of where you would like to spend your money!

Romantic Wedding in Spetses island, Greece 3

3. Manage Your Guest List

This is always a bit of a touchy one if you ask me, but one that needs to be addressed! I recently read this article on Wedding and thought it was super helpful. First things first you need to only invite people you actually want at your wedding! Think about it? Who do you see yourself celebrating with? Who would really love to be there with you? When was the last time you saw them?

It will no doubt be another hard decision and you could risk offending people in the process but if these people truly loved you and wanted what was best for you, they would just be happy that you were having the time of your life marrying the love of your life – simples!

4. Off Peak

Is there a certain time of year or day of the week that could be cheaper? Ask any supplier in the wedding industry and almost all will tell you that Spring/Summer tends to be their busiest season. Think about your wedding? Does it specifically rely on season? Of course if you are planning an outdoor wedding, the weather may play a huge part in your decision, but if not, perhaps consider getting married in ‘off peak’ seasons such as Autumn or winter?

Would you get married on a weekday? Venues are often cheaper on these days as the demand is not so high? Be mindful however that not everyone will able to get time off work so if you do decide to marry on a weekday it might a cost you a couple of your guests. Ask yourself would you be ok with that, if not you might want to think about getting married on a Sunday. Again not everyone will be able to get time off work the next day so this might affect how late you guests can stay and how much they can drink. So if you envisioned your wedding as one big party you might want to consider this before you dive headfirst into booking that Sunday rave!