A VERY LOW budget wedding!

(85 Posts)
debandkids3 Fri 08-Mar-13 12:03:06

I am getting married next year on a very low budget.. I am wondering if anyone has had a wedding reception at a pub and got the guests to pay for their own 'price per head'? I know it sounds cheap but thats all i can do, cheap. please can you help me? Thank you! X

TobyLerone Fri 08-Mar-13 12:05:34

Don't invite people if you can't afford to pay for them. Just have a register office wedding with your parents/other immediate family, and buy them a drink afterwards.

debandkids3 Fri 08-Mar-13 12:08:59

Thank you

mistlethrush Fri 08-Mar-13 12:11:33

Some pubs have rooms that you can hire (or borrow) and then people could get what they wanted in terms of drinks etc - you might find that you could get the pub to do some platefuls of inexpensive nibbles if you ask them and explain the issue... but make sure people know they're not going coming for a buffet or sit down meal.

MousyMouse Fri 08-Mar-13 12:13:10

registry office.
our ceremony cost 100£

debandkids3 Fri 08-Mar-13 12:17:17

mistlethrush, I have asked for a Buffet and the charge is £8.95 ph but its free to hire the room and open bar x

mistlethrush Fri 08-Mar-13 12:27:27

Yup, if you ask for a 'buffet' that is the sort of price you'd be talking. However, ask them how much they would charge for, say, a tray of samosas, or a tray of sausage rolls, or a tray of quiche cut into small chunks - say that you're not expecting people to have a full meal, but would like some things for them to nibble and enable them to stay a bit longer (and drink more!). Hopefully something like that would come in quite a bit cheaper (but make sure you know how much is coming on the plate).

mistlethrush Fri 08-Mar-13 12:29:01

Oh - and it would be unreasonable of them to refuse to allow you to bring your wedding cake - so get an inexpensive wedding cake and make sure that's freely available - perhaps have a small, simple one iced nicely and then find some plain slabs (or get someone to make them for you as a wedding present?) that you can also use.

sweetheart Fri 08-Mar-13 12:29:53

Why don't you have a bring your own picnic type of wedding reception?

ethelb Fri 08-Mar-13 12:36:58

Can you hire a village hall and just bring along your own trays of sandwiches/sausage rolls/quiche/cheese and crackers etc. Some village halls let you hire their plates etc in the price.

And make it BYOB? I wouldn't mind bringing along some booze if I wasn't expected to bring a pressie.

You can hire glasses for free from Sainsburys, without having to buy anything.

And defo just get an M&S/Asda plain iced cake.

GinAndSlimlinePlease Fri 08-Mar-13 12:37:39

Why not have it at afternoon tea time, then you won't need to pay so much for nibbles?

Also, don't mention it's for a wedding as that instantly inflates the price.

I had an evening party for my wedding. We paid for some bottles of bubbly, and put about £200 behind the bar. We then spent another £150 on platters. It seemed to go down ok.

givemeaclue Fri 08-Mar-13 12:37:55

I don't think is a great idea to ask people to pay for their own food, just invite less people or have it at home and put some sandwiches out.

Welovegrapes Fri 08-Mar-13 12:38:39

Pot luck supper is better - I went to a wonderful wedding where every guest brought a dish.


Welovegrapes Fri 08-Mar-13 12:40:22

Also went to a lovely wedding reception themed as an afternoon tea. - you could ask people to bring scones, cakes, tray bakes and serve lovely tea and coffee, have bunting and cheerful table clothes - would be fab!!

Theas18 Fri 08-Mar-13 12:51:51

Hire a hall and do own food or get guests to Maybe bring a bottle and a buffet item instead of presents. That would work well IMHO as you'd only have to mastermind a bit of a list so you don't get all crisps and no puds!

Own music on ipod- again appoint someone who thinks they're a bit of a DJ to sort that.

It'll be a great " do" and if you have proper mates not fair weather friends they will love to contribute instead of buying expensive gifts that they can't really afford either and that you probably don't need!

debandkids3 Sat 09-Mar-13 06:28:52

Thank you everyone, you've given me some pretty good advice and i may have to change things around a bit to suit my budget... Thank you.. X

MarjorieAntrobus Sat 09-Mar-13 06:55:34

Have a look at the Which website budget-wedding page

Remember that until about thirty years ago it was almost compulsory to marry, and so it was done to a variety of budgets, whereas now people often wait until they can afford a "wedding" along the lines of what the wedding fairs and magazines dictate, and they also feel the pressure to copy friends' and families' weddings.

It's a ceremony followed by an optional celebration. You can do it however you want, and invite whoever you want. If they are good friends they will be happy to buy their own drinks and bring a plate of food.

debandkids3 Sat 09-Mar-13 09:00:45

Thank you MarjorieAntrobus, i'll have a look at that now... I have spoke to a few of my closest friends and they have said they will help me in every way possible, they are not keen on big huge fancy weddings and neither am i, just simple and inexspensive.. I am getting married July next year so i will have plenty of time to get 'bits n bobs'.. I have a local charity shop that also have wedding dresses as little as £50...

ZumbaZara Sat 09-Mar-13 09:07:26

Also had afternoon tea wedding. We catered it ourself and had it our home.
Best value for money was asking an ice cream van to come and shouted ice cream on us!

toomuchicecream Sat 09-Mar-13 09:09:30

For our 40th birthday party we asked people to bring a plate of food to share rather than presents as we already had enough "stuff" to fill several houses. In my observation, people don't like walking into a party not holding something so bringing food got round that problem. I have never, ever seen so much fantastic food at a party. Even the band commented it was one of the best catered events they'd been too (and as one of them was my brother I know they've played a LOT of very upmarket venues). I think people are more than happy to help out.

I think the key to a DIY approach is having a team of friends who all know what their job is and can get on with it without you having to intervene - brief them well in advance. Could also be useful for any relatives you want kept busy and out of the way... Finding extra plates or setting up chairs are the last things you want to be thinking abut on your wedding day.

TinyDiamond Sat 09-Mar-13 23:22:24

we are doing this, super low budget. we are having a register office wedding (£50) and have booked the last ceremony of the day (4.30pm) to prevent lots of hanging around. only close family and friends are invited to ceremony, the ones who will help us set up for the night time party which we are having at my parents house.
all our money will be spent on booze and food. go to aldi, their wines are drinkable and cheap!
where abouts do you live? if it's a place with lots of Indian restaurants shop around for catering deals. we are doing a curry buffet everything kept warm in slow cookers for people to help themselves and bulk buying naan, salads, yoghurt etc from wholesaler. here you can get 25 fresh samosas for £6.
whatever you choose, don't mention the word wedding. also if you need glassware/plates etc try IKEA it may work out cheaper to buy it all then sell on eBay afterwards.
I am not having bridesmaids to save cash, just two little flower girls who will only be 2 so have high street dresses and will get matching shoes etc nearer the time.
favors often get discarded so I wouldn't bother with these.
I am making all our decorations and am only going to have minimal flowers as I don't like them anyway.
in terms of getting your booze if you do decide to self cater. start stockpiling now when you see offers. put in a few bottles or beers in with your weekly foodshop .

when is the wedding?

debandkids3 Sun 10-Mar-13 07:38:01

Thank you again, very much appreciated..

TinyDiamond, i am getting married July 2014 which gives me plenty of time to get alot of bits n bobs in.
I am having a bridesmaid and 2 flower girls, bridesmaid got her dress already and its perfect as it works around the colour theme 'red/white'.
I've spoken to the family and friends that i wantto come and they said they don't mind and are prepared to pay £8.95 each or bringing a plate of some sort, means i am not wanting presents which has helped me out loads.
I live in Derbyshire and also having Registry Office wedding (£280).
I just want a perfect day at a very low cost and with the amount of time i have to get the small things and i also have family that will help. I'm not having real flowers cost really are a waste of money if you ask me.

Yoooo hoooo.
Congratulations deb, allow me to introduce myself. I am Norks, supplier of tiaras to Mumsnetters.

I have been delighted to be able to make tiaras for five or six mumsnetters and would be very happy to make one for you. No charge, just spreading the MN love, PM me if that would help you

TobyLerone Sun 10-Mar-13 07:46:20

How lovely, Norks smile

Oooh, and asking people to contribute THINGS instead of money is always much more acceptable and fun.
Someone made our cake as our wedding present, someone else made my bouquet as a present etc etc. people are usually happy to bring a plate of food, but MAY be less willing to pay.

BrittaPerry Sun 10-Mar-13 07:51:51

I got a few of my friends to make my flowers from scraps of cloth :-). We had a session at the hen night and friends sent some in the post, then I sewed them on to a kind of cushion and tied feather boas to the handle :-)

Oooh, and there was a LOVELY thing suggested by one Mumsnetter who was handed a flower by each of her relatives and friends and they made up her bouquet, all random and colourful and meaningful. I love that idea

Jayne266 Sun 10-Mar-13 07:57:05

Sorry I don't think I could ever ask people to pay for the food at a wedding.

I hired a room cheap but their buffet price was too expensive so I searched online and found a cheaper alternative.

Lurkymclurker Sun 10-Mar-13 07:57:16

We are having a low budget wedding in may 2014 too smile

We are basically doing things now as we can, have you thought about catering your buffet now? Buying a bit of food and freezing (depends on dates of course) and a beer or two as previously suggested might be a good idea smile

I recently went to a low budget wedding where the bride had made the most of everything! Favours were cupcakes made by a friend giving everyone something to nibble on to start, decorations were home made bunting from scrap fabric, love hearts cut out of newspaper scattered all over the place and cheap chalk boards placed all over for people to write messages.

A friend with a camera set up a photos booth and her hair was styled by college students and makeup done by a friend.

I think what I'm saying is call on everyone you can, you will be surprised at what skills your nearest and dearest have!

Personally I would rather make/provide something than be asked to pay for my own meal smile

thistlelicker Sun 10-Mar-13 08:01:38

When I got married, we only invited 15 people to wedding, we went to the pub next door which I think was a whether spoons, let everyone order off menu and paid for it and a round of drinks! We spent around a grand in our wedding

A friend had a post wedding picnic. Looked lovely. You could get away with that in July

Tbh I would do something pot luck. So if you provide say champers and some nibbles/salads/cakes then ask people to being either a bottle or food rather than a wedding present. Bet you'll get a huge spread.

And no-one could be offended!

And I'd prob go for a church hall - they're very cheap.

Zoomania Sun 10-Mar-13 08:09:25

Have you considered hiring a village hall? Our local one is about 30 pounds for 3 hrs and is lovely. You can do bring your own booze and I am sure most friends wouldn't mind providing a platter of something and gradually stock pile nibbles etc. hen do could include making crafty table decorations eg jam jars and ribbons and tea lights etc, or bunting.

Hopeforever Sun 10-Mar-13 08:10:23

Just wanted to say how happy it has made me to know that you and your DH to be are putting your marriage above money! It's fantastic that you are not planning on starting your married life with huge debt.

Personally I would far prefer to be invited to the wedding of a friend and pay for my drinks than not go.

As long as you make it clear on the invite what is provided and what needs paying for then your friends and family can make their own minds up if they want to pay and make the effort to travel

Having been to a few low cost weddings as Vicar, I have seen as much joy and celebration in a back garden buffet as a three course sit down meal with wine flowing.

At marriage preparation we keep saying, keep focused on the reason for the day rather than the day alone

Have a wonderful time planning

pinkmagic1 Sun 10-Mar-13 08:11:20

Congratulations! How about a fish and chip supper? I went to a party once and they did this, it was great! I am half way through a cake decorating course, I currently make them for friends and family but hope to be doing them proffessionally soon. I am in nots so depending on where you are in Derbyshire I would be more than happy to do your cake. Would have to charge you for the ingrediants but that is all.

TinyDiamond Sun 10-Mar-13 08:59:15

well seeing as you are in such a beautiful county I would definitely go for hiring a village hall with a green and do the bring a dish thing. plenty of wine you've bought, cakes friends have made and then some games or a bouncy castle on the green if there's any children?

I am in a county next door to you and when I looked into church hall prices it was somewhere between £50-£150 for the day. the only downside to this is that if you wanted a nighttime party you wouldn't be able to go on late.

you could also look into getting a hog roast and then ask guests to still contribute bowls of salad/crisp etc. people will be quite generous I think. my friend is having a festival type wedding in a field after mine and even though its on the south coast we are still happy to take down food contributions

debandkids3 Sun 10-Mar-13 09:02:07

Thank you Norks, i have PM you.

BikeRunSki Sun 10-Mar-13 09:02:35

Hopeforever, what a lovely post. I totally agree too, I have been to an amazingly slick, smart wedding that can't have had much change from £30K. Also afternoon tea in the church hall. Both were lovely.

Astleyleighmum Sun 10-Mar-13 09:04:25

I had a registry office (cost £50) wore my grans dress and had the reception at home!

My friend had their reception in a social club and just paid for a buffet, everyone bought their own drinks.

Astleyleighmum Sun 10-Mar-13 09:06:27

Afternoon tea in village hall sounds lovely! and would be cheap to do too.

AryaStarksDancingMaster Sun 10-Mar-13 09:08:34

I've been to two weddings where the couple asked the guests to bring & share buffet food and/or a bottle, in leiu of gifts. They were both really lovely occasions, especially as everyone was there because they genuinely loved and supported the couple rather than there being a few hangers-on who were there because of being distantly related to them and out for the free booze.

debandkids3 Sun 10-Mar-13 09:08:45

I would just like to thank you all for your advice, tips and best wishes. Hopeforever, i thank you so much for such a lovely post, i see it as if we love each other no amount of money can show that, money doesn't buy happiness in my eyes. Again thank you all so much (thanks)

debandkids3 Sun 10-Mar-13 09:14:24

Thank you very much pinkmagic, i shall PM you. I am new to Mumsnet and i cant believe how generous everyone is. I appreciate all your offers, means so much, thank you smile

keep your eye on groupon

im in notts and there have been loads of wedding offer.

one on now for Mansfield, 3 course meal for 50 day and 80 night on offer for £1500

we found our photographer on there

debandkids3 Sun 10-Mar-13 20:28:04

Thank you littlemiss, a few friends have told me to look on there too. I'll have a look in morning.

debandkids3 Sun 10-Mar-13 20:57:18

There's so many great ideas that's been given, I will take them all into account. From one Mumsnetter to others, I thank you all so much and I am very greatful for all you opinions and advive. X

aufaniae Mon 11-Mar-13 07:17:16

"Don't invite people if you can't afford to pay for them."

This attitude is what's wrong with modern weddings IMO.

The most important bit of a wedding is the statement of commitment between two people, witnessed by friends and family who mean something to the couple. Drinks, food etc are just fluff. Very nice fluff, but fluff all the same, whether it's cost the couple £30K or £30.

I would much rather pay my own way and be there to witness friends I cared about getting married, than be excluded because they were worried about not being able to afford to buy me a drink! Any real friends don't need to be bought, and will understand you want to actually get married, not wait till you have some money to put on a display of wealth.

Sorry, just had to get that off my chest!

I think some of the suggestions on this thread are lovely, and I may well steal for my own wedding smile

"if we love each other no amount of money can show that, money doesn't buy happiness in my eyes."

Absolutely smile It sounds like it will be a lovely day. I'd much rather be at your wedding where it's about people and love, than one where it's become all about matching napkins, flowers and bridesmaids dresses (which at least one of them inevitably hates because she's being made to display her bingo-wings to the world) at the expense of what really matters.

TobyLerone Mon 11-Mar-13 08:12:49

The important part of a wedding is that the couple get married. Friends and family witnessing it... that is 'fluff'. Nothing about the day is more important than the actual marriage. You are no less married if you pull 2 strangers in off the street as witnesses.

So, if you want people there to celebrate with you, that's lovely. But it's odd to 'sell tickets' for your reception by saying "please come to our wedding. That'll be £8.95 each, please".

There are many ways around not doing that, and there are some great ideas on this thread.

debandkids3 Mon 11-Mar-13 08:20:33

All each to their own. I have family and friends that are willing to do 'pay £8.95 ph' if I was going for that option. Yes they are your opinions and I appreciate everyones opinion.

TobyLerone Mon 11-Mar-13 08:33:22

Of course you have people who are willing to pay. I'm sure most of us do. Doesn't mean it's not weird to ask them to.

Anyway, luckily you put this in Weddings, not _Chat or AIBU.
You'd barely have left those boards alive with this question grin

aufaniae Mon 11-Mar-13 09:45:19

Most weddings costs the guests money one way or another, and I would hazard a guess that many expensive paid-for weddings cost the attendees more than budget pay-you-own-way weddings do.

I've been invited to a wonderful wedding with everything paid for, it looks amazing. Once you get there that is, it's in Thailand! Plane fares to Thailand are slightly more than £8.95 last time I looked.

Another all-paid-for wedding I went to, cost us £200 in hotel fees.

Anyone who resents paying £8.95 to attend a wedding for someone who means something to them is an arse IMHO.

debandkids3 Mon 11-Mar-13 09:54:30

I don't have the kind of money that people are born into so a wedding that costs 15k+ are as lucky as those who spend 1k. Its not the amount of money that gets spent or asking guests to pay £8.95 its the day itself that counts. I will do what I want on my day whether it cost 100 - 1k aslong as I have a wonderful day and my guests have a wonderful day, that's all I'm bothered about. Like I said before, everyone is entitled to their opinion. There is some really good ideas but at the end my day, my choice.

aufaniae Mon 11-Mar-13 10:04:57

deb I'm sorry I don't want to turn your thread into an argument about how much people should pay for a wedding! (And I fear my posts may be). So I'm going to stop arguing the point now.

You sound like a genuinely nice person, and I hope you have a lovely wedding day, I'm sure you will.

I hope you continue to share your ideas with us, I need inspiration for my own wedding on a shoe-string!

dothraki Mon 11-Mar-13 10:13:18

Deb - there are some lovely ideas on here. I'm loving the tea party idea. I'm sure people would be more than happy to bake a cake - or make some bunting. (I would have no problem paying for my own meal eithersmile)

lainiekazan Mon 11-Mar-13 10:17:05

My top tip is my wedding flower one.

I went into Tesco the day before my wedding and bought ALL their daffodils. Hundreds of 'em. They gave me a discount and let me have the buckets grin And then they started to open at home and on the day of the wedding I put them along the table in glasses (bought from Woolies; IKEA do mega cheap ones now). Everyone remarked how lovely they looked. There was no stinting, every glass was full and the room was abundant with flowers.

Kendodd Mon 11-Mar-13 10:34:15

I'd be more than happy to pay for my own meal, and would completely support and understand why I was being asked to do so.

But, I would feel a little embarressed about it if it was my wedding, sorry. Personally I think a village hall bring and share is a better idea. I would even prefer to go to that than an all paid for event because I would feel like I was helping with the wedding, really supporting it.

As for the 'don't invite people if you can't pay for them' just ignore. Weddings are expensive enough already and I don't think people you love and really want there should be excluded just because you can't afford to pay for their dinner.

debandkids3 Mon 11-Mar-13 10:42:41

Aufaniae no am not arguing with you or anyone love, I appreciate everyones opinion and take it on board. I am a very nice person and speak my mind. I have also had offers off other mumsnetters helping out with my head dress and cake and I have taken them up on there offer. I am having 2 bridesmaids who have their own dresses, 2 flower girls and buying their dresses off ebay £25 each and 3 page boys (my sons) and also getting suits off ebay for £20 for 2 youngest £35 for my oldest. I have decided to go for atrificial flowers. I am just undecided for reception whether home or pub.

debandkids3 Mon 11-Mar-13 10:47:09

And I am not wanting any gifts either

Startail Mon 11-Mar-13 10:54:25

Be honest, I'd much rather get a invitation that said,

"I'm stoney broke, but want more guests than Mum and Dad and great Aunt Maud.
Please bring a bottle, a plate of food and cash for chips if you want to dance till late.
I'll organise a hall and music and we'll deathen Uncle Fred!"

Than an invitation to a posh hotel with no partners or DCs or a do I knew the couple really couldn't afford.

I got married as a student and it was a cheap buffet in the village hall. I made head dresses when I should have been revising.

DH had been an alter boy so the vicar charged only what he had to and by dressmaking aunt made my dress as a wedding present.

aufaniae Mon 11-Mar-13 11:14:35

Ooh, no I didn't think you were arguing with me! I was arguing with TobyLerone / people who think asking people to pay a modest amount for food is wrong.

I was trying to say I'm withdrawing from arguing about whether low budget weddings are a good thing (and I think they are!) as I don't want to derail the thread.

You're getting some lovely practical suggestions about your wedding day, it would be a shame if this thread turned into a bunfight instead! It occurred to me I might be leading it that way so I've decided to shut up on the subject!

debandkids3 Mon 11-Mar-13 11:15:28

Exactly startail. I have never wanted a big fancy wedding that's going to cost 1000s of pounds and get us into alot of debt. I want to be able to enjoy married life without the trouble of money I haven't got. I might have a garden party at home and ask guests to bring food or a pub buffet and ask guests to pay £8.95 each.

aufaniae Mon 11-Mar-13 11:16:54

And yes it's obvious you're a very nice person smile

debandkids3 Mon 11-Mar-13 11:18:44

I am so sorry aufaniae, please don't shut up on the subject hun, if you also have ideas then I will take them on board also. I am having a lot of super great ideas

Startail Mon 11-Mar-13 12:48:53

I've felt slightly guilty about the last two weddings I've been to. My youngest cousins both got married last summer and the one before.

Both big hotel do's with our hotel bills covered.
I know my aunt and uncle probably picked up the hotel bill and can probably just afford it, but it felt wrong.

DD2 was bridesmaid for one of them and my cousin and his bride wouldn't let me pay for anything. They spoilt her rotten, dress, hair do, £35 high heels, she had a ball, but...

We are 10-15 years older and not badly off, it felt slightly uncomfortable being quite so spoilt. (And yes I did stick a decent sized cheque in their card).

aufaniae Mon 11-Mar-13 14:37:49

Thanks Debs smile

I'm enjoying this thread very much though for inspiration for my own wedding smile

DP and I are planning on getting married, but we're pretty skint atm, and I'd rather not wait years and years!

I think for us the key will probably be to ask friends and family to help with things they're good at, in lieu of presents. We're very lucky to have friends who are keen to help out. DP's mum makes wedding cakes as a hobby for example, so that's brilliant! We also know musicians and DJs so we've got the music sorted. But working out a venue and all the rest of it - that's the hard part, as our friends and family are spread far and wide. If you do a BYO type thing, it would probably help to ask some specific friends to do things you know they're good at, as well as a general call to bring food (if you go that route). Having said that one of my best friends is a photographer, but we're not going to ask her to to the photos in lieu of her present, as I know she takes it very seriously and I want her to be able to relax and enjoy the day.

I'm not keen on a traditional wedding dress at all, and don't want to spend an absolute fortune on it. Someone here suggested a Salwar Kameez, which I'm seriously considering as they're just beautiful, and very reasonable indeed! All of these are under £100:

It would be seriously my hippy credentials to my sleeve but I just love this beautiful dress
or this one - only 64!
Or this amazingly colourful one, only 45!
Or I could go with or this as a nod to white

I have no Asian heritage, but I think these kinds of outfits have an amazing sense of occasion - besides being very reasonable - one of the reasons they're so cheap on that site is you either often have to sew them yourself or pay them extra to do so (but luckily I have a relative who's a great seamstress). Having said that you can buy them ready made and they're still very well-priced!

I know they're not for everyone but I'm quite excited and just wanted to share! smile

aufaniae Mon 11-Mar-13 14:44:22

Oops, I got one of the links wrong:

Amazingly colourful, only 45

Smudging Mon 11-Mar-13 15:05:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MorningHasBroken Mon 11-Mar-13 15:07:35

deb have you thought about borrowing a dress? If you have married friends, most of them will have their dress shoved in a box somewhere. They may be quite pleased to see it being used again! (Obviously this was depend on you being a similar size/shape to them).

debandkids3 Mon 11-Mar-13 15:43:58

aufaniae, i have been with my partner for 16yrs and just getting round to getting married lol... It is so expensive these days just to say 'i do'... I have seen a dress on ebay and its stunning under £100. I dont want to spend a fortune on my wedding day as have no money.. I am buying little bits here and there ie:Flowers (artificial) and making my own bouquets and button holes, shoes, ties for the boys and men (couple quid primark). just the little things that actually add up at the end.

I hope you manage to have a day of your dreams on a low budget and it would be great if you could let us know how you get on smile

I am starting to take to the idea of a home reception because hopefully the weather will be nice and warm in July..

I like the idea to cut heart shapes out of old papers (idea from another mumsnetter) and have them scattered around.

I'm starting to get used to all these ideas now and getting more and more excited smile

debandkids3 Mon 11-Mar-13 15:45:11

Hi morning, no i haven't thought about that. There is a couple family members thats recently got married so yes i think i would concider asking, thank you

debandkids3 Mon 11-Mar-13 15:47:00

Smudging, that sounds great, i am asking family members if they wouldn't mind chipping in. Thank you

Pootles2010 Mon 11-Mar-13 15:50:19

Flowers can be done cheaply, we had little posies done for tables at ds's naming day for £5 each, they were lovely, she did them in ikea tumblers with a ribbon round, something like a sunflower, irises, and some other spring flowers, they were really nice. Something to consider at least.

Congratulations smile I'm sure you'll have a lovely day whatever you go with.

Teahouse Mon 11-Mar-13 15:53:43

Years ago I went to a wedding where all the guests we asked to bring food and drink. It was great, one of the best weddings I had ever been to. Every one mucked in and a friend ran their disco. They had virtually no money but were so happy together. She was Catholic too and didn't want to live in sin; we all understood and helped out. All they provided was paper plates and napkins, and plastic cutlery and glasses.
Be up front about how cheap you want it to be, and most people will respond positively I am sure

MortifiedAdams Mon 11-Mar-13 15:55:55

Ive been to a 'pay your own way' wedding where SIL and BIL said "we are getting married on x day and going to the pub after for some dinner. Anyones welcome to come along but we arent able to pay for that". The bride had a tuna baguette and we all sat in our coats as the heating was broken. Few rounds of pool and a couple of drinks and it was an enjoyable afternoon. Didnt feel like a wedding, but I still enjoyed it.

I wouldnt mind at contributing for the big day at all but would rather bring food and drink than be asked to pay x amount for a buffet. For instance, I always rhought a big picnic would be good - everyone bring a hamper of nibbles and some fizz and lay all the blankets out.

Fluffy1234 Mon 11-Mar-13 16:11:03

How about having a BBQ or hog roast? Good value and would be a good atmosphere.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Mon 11-Mar-13 16:14:20

I would much rather go to a cheap and cheerful wedding than a country house/ no kids/ ££££ wedding overnight.

I see a lot of threads lately on couples not inviting partners because of cost. IMO that means weddings are completely going in the wrong direction and the meaning is getting lost.

Much nicer to have a cheaper, more inventive wedding that's not lining the pockets of Poshington Manor.

I have been to a wedding where we had to pay for our food. It was under a tenner and not one single person minded in the slightest, in fact, they all massively overpaid so the bride and groom would have some left over. It was a happy wedding and nobody had to pay for overnights so the price of the food was about 300% cheaper than other weddings I'd been to.

However, there are some lovely wedding ideas on this thread. I especially like the pot luck idea and the afternoon tea idea. For afternoon tea you only need cakes, sandwiches, pots of tea and a bar.

Good luck and congratulations. You really do have the right approach and it's very refreshing. You're taking weddings back to their roots and I'd love to see more of that happening.

ivykaty44 Mon 11-Mar-13 16:34:39

hire a hall and send out home made invites, on each invite

For each invite give the people coming a choice of wedding presents in the form of food. So write out a list of food for a buffett

for example

butter and french stick x 30 people
trifle x 10 people
trifle x 10 people
egg sarnies x 20 people
egg sarnies x 20 people
ham sarnies x 20 people
sausages on sticks x 30 people
sausage rolls x 30 people
sausages on sticks x 30 people
sausage rolls x 30 people
fruit sticks x 30 people
chocolate gateaux x 10 people
straberry gateaux x 10 people

onion bajies
cheese and onion quiche
tomato quiche
mushroom quiche
chicken drum sticks
potato salad
tomato and mozzerella salad
three bean salad

then give one slip of paper to each person invited and ask them to bring that item of food - if it s a couple then give them two items of food to bring

that way everyone shares the cost of the food and it is not a price in a bar set and choosen by you - some people will bring waitrose food others will make their own or go to iceland, they have the choice.

it will probably cost each guest around £10 in food average

The other thing is not one person is preparing all the food and everyone can lay out the food in the room on a table

remember knifes forks and spoons and plates and get someone to bring napkins

This is how we do a lot of sporting award functions and it works really well - the fruit sticks and fruit salad always go before the chocolate desserts - which is curious.

Also on the list black bags for rubbish and paper plates are easy to throw away.

I would much rather go to a wedding where all the guest muck in and bring something to the wedding in this way - it is about two families along with friends coming together to celebrate.

Posh weddings are all very well but they never seem to have the same atmosphere as a good ole knees grin

Kendodd Mon 11-Mar-13 16:56:19

I like the idea to cut heart shapes out of old papers (idea from another mumsnetter) and have them scattered around.

If you do this use the FT because it's pink!

aufaniae Mon 11-Mar-13 17:28:51

This is really helping me think about my own wedding (in a non hijacky way I hope!)

Can we do a list? I like lists grin

Wedding essentials :

Groom's outfit
Place of marriage (incl registrar / celebrant)
Wedding Banns

Good to have

Reception venue
Food (savoury & sweet)
Plates, cutlery etc
Soft drink
Something to keep the kids occupied (if kids at wedding)
Tables and chairs


Bridesmaids' outfits
Best man outfit
Thank you gifts for bridesmaids, best man, parents etc
Table cloths, napkins etc

If everyone does something in lieu of a present, then the only things there I can see which you'd have to pay for are the banns, bride & groom's outfits, the rings and the registry office (or wherever the actual marriage took place).

For our wedding if we do go for BYO, I guess we'll also pay for the venue, a contribution towards bridesmaids outfits and thank you gifts. Oh and booze grin

Doesn't seem so insurmountable now smile
What am I missing?!

debandkids3 Mon 11-Mar-13 19:36:11

Not at all aufaniae, glad it can help you and maybe others that have a low budget..

I like lists too and I like your list smile

Time to do some checking off me thinks smile

debandkids3 Mon 11-Mar-13 19:38:00

Just shows how so much advice from others can help smile

CuriousMama Mon 11-Mar-13 19:54:19

Thank for starting this thread. It's the sort of thing I have in mind.

I don't want a big wedding, fancy going to Wales and just having dcs, dsd and her bf there. DSd is in her 20s so they could be witnesses. But will need to have a celebration when we get back.

Dp and I go salsa jiving and will have the party in the club where we go. It has a fantastic dance floor and they don't mind you bringing food. I'll get people to bring a plate and provide salads, nibbles etc.. and a glass of vino. Dp and I love cooking so no doubt there'll be a lot of food from us anyway. But we don't want gifts as we live together now.

There's a place in our village who does the balloon decorations for a good price so will have those. And I am arty crafty type as are a lot of my friends so can do the favours.

Good luck to you OP and all those getting married.

debandkids3 Mon 11-Mar-13 20:30:44

Glad it could help you and I hope you have a wonderful day smile

MERLYPUSS Mon 11-Mar-13 21:33:24

We had a registry doo on a Friday as it's cheaper. We had a local indian restaurant deliver food that we reheated and ate in our garden. Didn't do flowers, cake, professional photos or disco as there was only 15 or so of us. It was great. No hassle of who to invite as it was immediate family only. Parents, siblings and neices nephews.
My suit and jewellery was made abroad and paid for by MIL as it was a dowry kida thing. ish.
She would've loved a massive hotel job with 100's of guests but it wasnt our thing.

debandkids3 Wed 13-Mar-13 08:12:34

Wow I can't believe all the good ideas on here. I have decided to go for reception at home then go for a little garden tea party in the evening. I am so excited now and really looking forward to our big day.. Thank you all so much, I have met some lovely people to talk to on here smile xx

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