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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

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

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 Mon 11-Mar-13 20:30:44

Glad it could help you and I hope you have a wonderful day 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 19:38:00

Just shows how so much advice from others can help smile

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

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?!

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!

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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 15:43:58

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

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).

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

Oops, I got one of the links wrong:

Amazingly colourful, only £45

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

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).

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

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 11:15:28

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.

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