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How quickly & cheaply did you plan your wedding? Help!

(24 Posts)
LittleAbruzzenBear Mon 14-Jan-13 11:10:45

Indith reminded me, another friend made little beautiful gauze bags with ribbons and we filled them with white, pale pink and silver confetti (as in the Italian sugared almonds) for our guests. Another friend brought a basket and put rose petals in for our friends to 'throw' at us. Made me realise how wonderful our friends are. Also, I didn't have a traditional 'hen' night or anything costly. My five closest friends came round and we had fab wine, food and karaoke at my house. DH had a poker night at his friends. None of this stuff has to cost lots.

Indith Mon 14-Jan-13 09:56:30

Mine was done in 6 months and was a fairly traditional do on a budget.

Registry office with just family and any guests who had come from abroad etc as that was the size of room we could get. That was around 30 people I think.

Family came back to my mum's house for picnic type lunch.

Then reception was in a community hall. Not the prettiest but cheap and functional and most importantly BIG for the ceilidh later.

We greeted people with homemade cakes and a glass of fizz. There was mingling etc. A friend of dh's plays the harp, he did the music for the registry office then took his harp to the reception and played while people arrived and chatted.

Dinner was a buffet done with a local caterer and was very, very good. We looked at their menus and then picked and chose what we wanted so we had nice cold meats and salads and things instead of all the random shite you get offered. Pudding was fruit salad and our wedding cake which was the traditional French stack of profiteroles so we saved money there smile

For table decorations we had small bunches of flowers which were done by a friend so at cost because she got all the flowers from a flower market not a shop then we scattered the favors over the tables which looked fab. We had flying saucer sweets and those finger fright things and some of those foam gliders. We used candle numbers.

We set up the hall ourselves. Tables etc were booked by us through various suppliers. Harder work but you can shop around more. We used our own table cloths as between my mum and my MIL they had enough big white cloths. YOu can always borrow, everyone has a big white cloth at home somewhere!

Then we had a ceilidh. The band were our wedding present from FIL.

We didn't have a photographer. We just asked all the guests to upload their pictures to a snapfish account and made sure those with digital SLR cameras were bringing them.

My mum made my dress.

I had bridesmaids but since there wasn't really a theme I told them to wear whatever they wanted, I wasn't at all bothered about matching so they culd just wear whatever they would have worn had they not been a bridesmaid.

There is a lot to be said for finding out what skills people have. Everyone will know someone who can do something. If you plan for this summer then in the spring you can sew a load of flowers for cutting and have really natural bouquets for the price of the seeds. Ask your respective parents if they would mind buying part of your wedding as a gift (the cake or the band or the decorations). If friends have skills they can contribute then see if they mind doing it as a gift, music, photos whatever.

LittleAbruzzenBear Mon 14-Jan-13 08:05:55

Ours was around £5,000 and we got married in Abruzzo, Italy. We had just under 30 guests, although we thought we would only have 10, but our lovely friends paid for their flights and hotel. We had a civil ceremony and had a wedding breakfast at a restaurant nearby. The restaurant cost £1,500 including 7 courses, prosecco, wine, limoncello, our beautiful wedding cake and flowers on the tables. We hired a coach and driver to pick everyone up at the airport and take them to hotel etc, that was £1,000 for two days. My friend did my hair and make-up, although my parents did buy my dress. I bought my non-wedding high heeled shoes in the sale for £40. DH's Dad took the photos (I hate cheesy photos anyway), so we just had candid shots and everyone was far more relaxed. A friend made our invites too.

PeppaPrig Mon 14-Jan-13 07:55:49

Oh, and wedding cake from waitrose

PeppaPrig Mon 14-Jan-13 07:54:46

Guest list under 30.
Sunflowers are cheapest flowers.
Reg office plus normal restaurant - keeps food costs down
No evening do
Dress from Coast or similar
Student photographer to just do wedding, you'll get loads of reception snaps from guests
No car - same venue or venues near each other
Do your own make up

EvenBetter Mon 14-Jan-13 07:48:59

Did ours in 9 months, I didn't want a bog standard dreary £20k job but still wanted a nice wedding.

Invites were £20 from vista print, RSVPs were by email.
There was a wedding website for all the info like venue, no presents etc.

Dress was £1200
Flowers were free from neighbours garden
Food was a buffet of curry etc £18 per head including staff, cutlery, tablecloths etc.

Cupcake tower was a gift
Photographer, videographer, band, dj were free-friends did it.

I made the decorations. Took about 100 hours. Grim.

Venue was £6000
Registrar was a few hundred quid
Car was a gift
Hair was £20

It was lovely, personal, beautiful & special & IMO better than a bland yawn fest at a hotel.

icepole Tue 18-Dec-12 08:34:06

From engagement to wedding - 4 weeks. Asked for money for presents and this paid for it. Reception as my Gran's house (small wedding), friends mum did cake, bridesmaids bought own dresses. I bought a dress from a small wedding shop, it was 'last season' so cheap. Sometimes I feel sad that it wasn't a more grand affair but everyone who I talk to says it was there favourite ever wedding.

Jux Tue 18-Dec-12 08:28:54

We decided to get married and did so a couple of weeks later. Cost about £90 for the licence. We catered for a few guests ourselves. A couple of days before our wedding a company which owed me money actually paid up so we then had enough for a night in a decent hotel. Whoopdidooo!

So, very small, very quick, nice hotel. Done and dusted. grin

noblegiraffe Tue 18-Dec-12 08:04:20

Planned mine in 3 months, we got married in a nice country hotel, reception dinner at the same place, then they opened a private bar for us in the evening. If you can get married on a weekday, it makes things a lot easier to book things like hairdressers at short notice.

Ebay has loads of wedding shops on it, which is brilliant.

If you're not fussy, you can get very nice fake arrangements of wedding flowers, buttonholes, bouquets, hair arrangements etc.

Borrowed a friend's nice car to get there, decorated with ribbon bought from ebay.

Did invitations ourselves (bought a calligraphy pen!)

I hate wedding cake, so we bought a massive chocolate cake from M&S which was very popular!

I got my wedding dress from Monsoon.

FlimFlamMerrilyOnHigh Tue 18-Dec-12 08:00:06

We planned ours in less than 6 weeks as we wanted to get married before a family member was posted to Afghanistan. It was fine, the only difficulty was finding a good reasonably priced photographer, but got one in the end. You don't need to do the whole bridezilla big production number. We hired an upstairs room in a restaurant, they did us a 5 course meal and a cake, we provided some soft play stuff for little kids, ceremony was at picturesque town hall, dress from high st shop, made up invitation myself on computer and had them printed at high st print shop. It was a lovely day. Enjoy it!

FoxtrotFoxtrotSierra Tue 18-Dec-12 07:56:15

We planned ours in 7 weeks, or rather planned it in one week and then spent 6 weeks waiting for it to come around.

We already attended church, so spoke to the rector and sorted the date for the wedding and then just booked stuff that was available. Our lack of time meant that our choices were fairly limited - we booked one of our favourite local restaurants, I bought a dress from Karen Millen, we booked a Routemaster to take us from the church to the restaurant and got a photographer. Then bought lots of booze. We had 30 odd people for the day and it really was lovely.

Himalaya Tue 18-Dec-12 07:53:18

You really don't need a lot of trimmings to have a nice wedding.

- my SIL made the invitations
- friend made the cake (a big flat sponge, no one really likes fruit cake)
- nice dress and a suit for DH from the high St
- flowers in pots
- a pub and a buffet
- a bouquet
- dinner the night before for family in a local Italian restaurant
- a friend took photos

That was it really. We spent less than 1K. Don't buy any wedding magazines if you want to avoid getting in a flap!

DowntonSprouts Tue 18-Dec-12 07:52:33

You can easily do it for that.

My DN just got married, 3 weeks in the planning.!

Registry office, 2 course meal for 30 in a pub hotel. (wedding cake for dessert!)

I was photographer, DH chauffeured them in his car. Everyone did something.

Lovely and intimate.

Welovecouscous Tue 18-Dec-12 07:49:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

roughtyping Tue 18-Dec-12 07:41:10

Love all of your weddings smile thanks so much for replying.

I've been looking at different places - there's a lovely hall owned by a cafe, which has a hall to rent up the stairs, which is looking likely. They've only just started marketing as a wedding venue so loads of availability. They do catering as well and their food is lovely... We'd be having a humanist ceremony (we're in Scotland). Only thing that bothers me is less time to lose weight shock. Between me and my mum we've already saved £4.5k... I KNOW it's doable, just need to convince my mum!

Pizzaexpress2 Mon 17-Dec-12 22:12:26

Hi, totally agree about avoiding the package deals.
We did it for £2500: register office was lovely, chose a local, rather exclusive restaurant, they offered a choice menu rather than package. We chose to eat at 2 .30 so they were happy to accommodate us at. That time ad in between services.
We then went on a riverboat cruise early evening which was brilliant. Had loads of balloons, jazz band and. Buffet.
Got my dress from a flood sale for£25.
All great fun. The best thing is even now, 13 years later we still laugh at how it all came together.

blueberryboybait Mon 17-Dec-12 22:05:00

We decided to get married on 7th Feb and got married on the 28th. Small wedding with 28 people, wedding dress from a local shop, booked a smallish room in a local hotel and the vicar was happy to marry us on short notice.

CointreauVersial Mon 17-Dec-12 22:01:55

Decided to get married in the November; got married in the following May, so 6 months. We were very much on a budget:

Registry office wedding.

Lunch just for family and closest friends (30 people) in a private room at a nice pub.

Evening do in a barn at a local farm (for 100). Local pub provided buffet and bar.

Wine from Calais.

Flowers from the local market, arranged in Ikea vases by my mum.

Cake made by my aunt.

Photographs by my best mate and my brother.

Wedding dress was a posh frock from Jigsaw (that I have worn several times since).

Didn't bother with bridesmaids, car, bouquet, party favours or professional make-up. We had a nice honeymoon, although we took my parents and DS and DD1!

The key to staying on budget is to avoid the wedding "packaged" offered by hotels etc. which seem to be an excuse to add a couple of zeros to any price. Don't feel obliged to follow every wedding cliche/tradition and you can make a lot of savings. And if you think of the day as just a big party it becomes a lot less stressful.

Austenozzy - my brother had his wedding at the Trafalgar too!

austenozzy Mon 17-Dec-12 21:45:53

Ours came in at about £5k, iirc. We had plenty of time between engagement and wedding, but planning was only a couple of months' worth, and that wasn't at all 'stressy'.

- Registry office ceremony (we're not religious, not fussed about church setting)
- Private room in nice pub (Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich, right on river)
- Meal and speeches for about 30 family & friends
- Party for all-comers in the evening with casino tables and a grand behind the bar, plus buffet and lovely cupcakes from posh place on columbia rd
- Other bits included flowers for bride, bridesmaid and buttonholes for groom and usher; peggy porshen cake; favours for each seated guest; bubbly on arrival for the seated guests; bride's outfit (not white wedding dress); prizes for casino players (bit of fun).

It was a cracking day, remembered fondly by all. The best thing was the casino tables as it got all of the various guests interacting with each other instead of sitting in family tables and staying put.

Hope this helps.

Sexolette Mon 17-Dec-12 21:19:53

Getting married in a week, decided 5/6 weeks ago. Cost less than a grand for four bridesmaids, custom made bridal dress from China and morning suit. Afternoon tea and lots of prosecco for thirty included too.

Very low stress, I really recommend it!

TobyLerone Mon 17-Dec-12 14:59:48

Got engaged August this year. Getting married in January (3 and a bit weeks! Argh!). So 5 months in the planning.

We haven't tried to do it particularly cheaply, although at the same time we did it so quickly in the first place to get it out of the way because we want to have a baby and move house in 2013, so the less we spend on the wedding the more we can spend on our other Big Plans.

I think it'll come in at just over £7k, all told. We're not going on honeymoon because we're spending the time/energy/money on getting our house ready to sell. But the £7k includes all outfits for us/DCs/bridesmaids, food, all alcohol and soft drinks, venue, flowers, registrar, band, disco, photographer, rings, decoration, linens, staff... and whatever else I've forgotten. We're having about 80 guests.

caramal Sun 16-Dec-12 21:11:44

We decided on a date in march 2011 got married aug 2011 (we'd been engaged a while together 6 years) we spent around 2k and family friends paid for things totalling about £500

My dress was from a department store £200 cake was through a friend, nice 3 tier £75, cake topper eBay £20, register office £150, evening venue £500 hiring out a room at hotel/pubs etc you'd be surprised how good they can look once decorated. My dad paid for a stretch limo at £150.
Bridesmaids to pay for own dress
I went to a wedding in Oct and as their gift they asked everyone for money towards a honeymoon.

Erm my minds gone blank. Let me know if you need help ideas on anything

roughtyping Sun 16-Dec-12 21:03:41


roughtyping Sun 16-Dec-12 18:56:39

So, OH & I got engaged back at the end of June - happy days. Booked our wedding for summer 2014. All good, lots of time to plan etc. However, one of our friends died a few weeks ago. It has really thrown us and made us rethink everything in our lives, basically. We're now thinking about marrying next year.

I'm finding it hard to be creative though as the budget would be v v small. So, I'm looking for your inspiration and tips! Anything appreciated. smile

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