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wedding on a budget

(36 Posts)
olafthesnowman Sun 02-Feb-14 11:38:46

Hi there my dp and I are going to be getting married next year.
We have around 4k for everything.
We woukd like a shabby chic and vintage theme.
Do u credit crunchers have any idea where to start cutting costs or saving money on things.
If my mum doesnt turn her nose up at it we would like it in a lovely hall that we could decorate ourselves.
Not sure about food.
Any ideas would be so grateful! !

IPokedABadgerWithASpoon Sun 02-Feb-14 12:55:55

Doing a similar thing ourselves but my battery is dying so I'll come back and add more when its charged!

mmmmmchocolate Sun 02-Feb-14 13:07:42

Are you crafty? Have a look on Pinterest at things in your theme and copy recreate them.

I got my dress custom made from Hong Kong cost under £150 including delivery. They will recreate whatever style you want for the fraction on the cost.

eBay is fab for most bits and pieces especially craft things/favour boxes etc. I got my bridesmaids dresses from there.

Catering can be done quite cheaply, something like a hog roast is always lovely (if you're not veggies that is..)

princessalbert Sun 02-Feb-14 13:14:41

4K is quite a good budget really, especially if you plan on keeping things simple.

We had a budget wedding - we could have spent more, but I just didn't want to.

My dress was the shop sample - it fitted perfectly.
The cake was made by my mum - she isn't a baker, but did a good job
We didn't have cars to get to the venue (wedding and reception all in the same hotel)
I made my bouquet - and the bridesmaid posies. Oh, and the men's buttonholes. Amateur, but they looked fine.
No prof photographer. I am not a massive photo fan - my cousin is very good and she did loads of photos and made us an album. Other people took lots too, and we have them all on file on the pc.

I didn't do 'favours' as such , but donated the money I thought I would spend to a charity instead. So each person's place card had a pin. Gave the feel good factor.

I spent a lot of time on wedding forums - Wedding Ideas mag forum was good back then.

Just remember it's your day (you and your husband) not anyone else's. So it is up to you how you choose to celebrate it.

Splatt34 Sun 02-Feb-14 13:33:25

I did the charity pin favour think too. Just printed out little cards with why we choose the charity.

I bought vases & table mirrors from florist suppliers (Google them) for a couple of pound each (a fraction of what the florist wanted to charge to loan me them). Then sold them on after. Also ikea for glass tea light holders and candles.

Ruprekt Sun 02-Feb-14 13:39:42

Buy potted herbs from Aldi (59p) and put in painted pots for table decorations.

Get a team together to make bunting! smile Lots and lots of bunting will look fab!

Keep food simple. Only feed guests once. We got married at 3pm so everyone had had lunch. Had a sitdown buffet and bacon sandwiches at 11pm. smile

Veggie quiche
Potato salad
French bread

Wedding cake for dessert.

olafthesnowman Sun 02-Feb-14 14:25:46

Thank you all.
Do people expect favours?

Splatt34 Sun 02-Feb-14 14:33:26

I don't think people expect favours. But for �1 each to a charity which meant alot to me I was thrilled to see everyone wearing the charity pins in the evening.

olafthesnowman Sun 02-Feb-14 14:50:49

Something to think about. Was going to buy lottery tickets. Dknt fancy shelling out 100 quid on them. Any other ideas?

BackforGood Sun 02-Feb-14 14:59:23

Just don't do favours - absolutely no need, and quite often just a faffy thing cluttering up the table.
Another thing invented in recent years by the wedding industry trying to get more money out of everyone.

BackforGood Sun 02-Feb-14 15:02:21

I'd start from what you need, or feel is very important to you, and also by doing a rough count up of how many people you'd like to be there. Catering is going to be your main cost, so it's important to know how many you are catering for. Other things can be 'details'.
So, do you want Church (or other religious service) or registry office, or a venue that is licensed for weddings that is neither of these?
Do you want a sit down meal, or buffet?
Do you have friends / family who could contribute things - skills maybe?

olafthesnowman Sun 02-Feb-14 15:34:29

Was hoping day would go a bit like this:
3pm Register Office Wedding
330-430 Photos
530 Reception at Lovely Village Hall with Hog roast salads buns and jacket potatoes and desserts.
No evening do everyine come to whole day as marriage is at 3pm.
100 guests approx.
Relative to do cake.
No one else in family really is any thing yo fo with what we need.

putthehamsterbackinitscage Sun 02-Feb-14 15:46:48

That sounds great...

I always think its nicer to invite everyone to the whole event anyway...

Keep the costs down on dresses etc.... Would you look for dresses in charity shops?

Monsoon or similar have good sales that you might be able to do bridesmaid dresses if you want them?

Print your own stationery... Coloured card and simple white inserts look classy....

Decorate your own car with ribbons etc....

Keep it simple in terms of drinks.... Maybe a drink on arrival and something for toasts but other than that, use boxes of wine... Soda stream and encourage guests to make their own?

Bunting can be very simple for decs.... Coloured napkins folded to make triangles with coloured string.....

Paper table covering and table confetti....

Rings.... How about a jewellery designer to make something bespoke ... Doesn't have to be expensive but it will be personal ...,

Disco/music/entertainment... Any friends who can help out?

Have a lovely day and ignore anybody who tries to say you HAVE to do anything out of budget or that you don't like wink

Preciousbane Sun 02-Feb-14 15:46:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

souperb Sun 02-Feb-14 22:04:23

I think it's worth spending on the rings, as hopefully you'll be wearing them for a long time. Ephemera like favours, posh invitations etc., are best cut to pay for the things that are important to you. Check local charity shops to see if any have a photo book of wedding dresses - our local hospice shop is very organised with wedding dresses and I bought one with tags still on that had been donated by a big wedding show organiser. But if the dress is a big thing for you, then cut elsewhere from your budget.

If you are decorating the hall, check what you are allowed to do when booking as some are exceedingly fussy about pins/blu-tack and about access beforehand. Balloons are jolly and fill up a lot of space. Bunting is simple to make out of cardboard triangles, holepunched in the corner and strung up on string or curling ribbon. If you have time or the will, you can stick a smaller (different colour or patterned) triangle on the big triangle to make it look nicer. Wrapping paper is good for the smaller triangle. Any friend/relative you trust with scissors can be given a pile of coloured A4 card and a template and if you choose the right colours it does look good!

Chatelaine123 Sun 02-Feb-14 22:43:24

Consider a "bring and share" for the catering if you are hiring your own venue rather than the full package. It can be amazing and generally people respond very generously and positively, bringing their best signature dish. Needs a little co ordination (delegate this) so that you have a balanced variety of food.

MsAspreyDiamonds Sun 02-Feb-14 23:28:00

Buy flowers from a wholesale market & get a friend or family member to watch a few wedding floristry demos on you tube

Get someone with a posh car to drive you to the wedding instead of spending ��� on transport costs.

When viewing venues do not mention that it is for a wedding as the price will go up, just say it is for a party/reunion etc.
The same when booking services & goods as soon as the word 'wedding' is uttered, the price will go up. Just say its for a family reunion.

Buy your rings in the sales so you can afford to buy something a bit more expensive but within your price range.

Start selling stuff on e-bay/car boots sales that you do not need anymore to generate extra cash to supplement your 4k budget.

for eg. I recently sold some gold bracelets that I inherited for 2k. If you set your mind to it it is amazing how much you can raise.

Open a high interest, fixed term notice account where you can save specifically for your wedding.

Cancel Christmas gift s this year, just buy small token presents if need be.

Cancel your annual holidays.

Cancel hobbies/subscriptions for a year

M&S do lovely wedding cakes for a fraction of the price of a proper wedding cake maker. My brother ordered the white choc ribbon cake for �240 whereas a specialist wedding cakemaker asked for �800 for a similar style.

Have a late afternoon ceremony (4/5pm) so you can invite everybody to the wedding ceremony & reception afterwards. That way you have one set of catering costs so you can feed everyone. My friend did this & avoided paying an additional 2k for a buffet.

This is a good site to help you budget for the wedding

Sign upto costco or a cash & carry so you can buy big catering multipacks of food & drink for a fraction of the price of going to the supermarket.

Nojustalurker Mon 03-Feb-14 18:53:05

What is happening between 4.30 and 5.30?

Photographer costs a lot. Hotels often do good deals out of season.

olafthesnowman Mon 03-Feb-14 22:31:02

Travelling to reception venue milling around. Got drinks to hand out and a photo booth.

delasi Fri 07-Feb-14 16:26:46

For décor/theme, eBay is very good. You can buy lots of mismatched tea sets/china quite cheaply, and other similar things, they look so lovely and very much in line with your theme. Unfortunately I don't have a link but there was an article or blog about a woman who did a vintage tea party on a shoestring budget, there were photos and it looked lovely, a lot of it was through eBay and a few simple craft projects. The big ticket items (dress, food, music, marquee) were haggled. She held it in her parents massive garden hence marquee instead of venue. Nonetheless marquees can be silly expensive, so I think it's equivalent to hiring a hall.

In terms of what you need, you really don't need much at all and it will still look great. Venue, some food, invites, clothes, flowers. A few extra decorative touches to polish it up, like little centre pieces, or swags of fabric. I agree that little potted plants look really nice - you can get some cheaply and put them in old vases or tea cups for an extra vintage touch.

Go to places: warehouses/wholesalers that sell to retail, markets, eBay, antique/charity shops and markets. You can get some simple fabrics cheaply in a nice colour to dress the hall, for example.

When we got married I wanted mixed country style bouquets and buttonholes, vintage-y, I spoke to our local florist with my overall idea and colours. She gave us a discount for getting the lot with her, did my bouquet and DH's buttonhole for free because we got bridesmaid/groomsmen bouquets/buttonholes, and it was cheaper because I asked for whatever would look good that was in season, rather than demanding an out of season flower. Florists have to get stuff at market very close to the day so if you're flexible you can get a great deal - what she created fit right in with the colour and style I requested, that was all that mattered and it looked lovely. My DGM picked her field flowers for their wedding reception! She lived in the countryside and it looked very nice (in pics, obv, I wasn't there!).

We made our own invites. I got some little additions on eBay - the bride I bought from had changed her colour scheme so was selling a lot of coordinating stuff and I got a good deal. There were quite a few listings like that.

I bought an antique knife for the cake cutting, just because I thought it would be nice! Again, a cheap eBay buy but a nice little touch.

If you want a professional photographer shop around, and have them for the shortest time possible. You most likely want pro pictures of the ceremony and perhaps afterwards with family. So have them for that time, rather than the entire day. Make sure everyone else has cameras (maybe appoint a few relatives who are alright with a camera) to make sure some pics get snapped. And take your own! My favourite photos from our day are of the ceremony/immediately after with family (professional), and then when DH and I went around to all the tables to catch up and armed with a camera. I wasn't keen on lots of posed photos though and going to special sites for pics.

delasi Fri 07-Feb-14 16:27:08

There are dressmakers about that will custom make a dress cheaper than dresses from the bridal boutiques. I found one through Google that had a good reputation and this is what I was going to do, but then a relative seamstress offered so that was that. The price would have been around £200-300 for the style I wanted - not dirt cheap, but everything else seemed to be at least £800 confused Again, eBay is another good one - think about it, they wear the dress for one day only! It's practically new!

Don't put alcohol on all of the tables. Have a drinks station and rope in a person or two to keep an eye on it, to put out more bottles when stocks deplete rather than having tons out. We had this, we had about 10 bottles out at any moment and people would come and either pour themselves a glass or bring the bottle to their table if it was for a few of them, no one thought this odd yet we saved so much in avoiding half drunk bottles as we could return anything not opened - a lot of drinks specialists do this, like Majestic, they'll also loan glasses and tubs with ice for chilled drinks. We went to a wedding where a few different bottles were on each table and someone would open a bottle, drink one glass and then be done with it (eg one had red, one had white, one had rose...). It cost the couple a lot. Or get cheap boxes of wine, and decant into some nice carafes - cheap ones (eBay again!). It will look nice but be much cheaper than bottles!

Music: we hired a music student to play the piano, because our hall had a piano in it already. About £50 for the whole day - that was their rate, we didn't haggle them down. During the meal we just used a regular speaker system playing nice music quietly in the background.

And... congratulations! grin Definitely don't worry about anything extra for guests, like favours or special entertainment, maybe I'm miserable but I've always thought that the guests come to join in this happy day, and the 'recompense' is a nice meal with loads of people, a catch up with relatives or friends, maybe meet some new people, and cake! Why would they need anything else?!

Dollybird86 Sat 08-Feb-14 11:19:47

Hi I had a shabby chic wedding in 2011 we spent about 2k all in if you want PM me and I will send you some photos of our super cheap table setting invites and some of the blog/companies I used! Xxx

MsAspreyDiamonds Sat 08-Feb-14 15:54:29

For large catering packs of food & drink join a wholesalers like costco as it will keep your costs down a lot.

Make sure you have a good selection of posh soft drinks & water for the none drinkers/drivers. You can make your alcohol go further by putting out soft drinks & water on the tables and alcohol behind the bar.

You can also buy a marquee from Argos & costco for the same price or less as hiring one.

sooperdooper Thu 20-Feb-14 23:14:01

We didn't have a cake, nobody even noticed, cake tends to get wasted at most weddings I've been to unless it's served as desert

I had a smart taxi rather than a 'wedding' car, cost about £30 rather than £100's

Check out preloved sites for wedding dresses, is good

If your venue allows it people could bring their own drinks? I'd be more than happy to bring my own wine to a wedding

Check out websites like Wowcher and livingsocial, I've seen very good photography deals and also wedding package deals

idinnehaveaclue Fri 21-Feb-14 11:01:23

Where are you roughly?

I could give you a hand with the flowers....

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