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Tips for a low cost wedding please!

(39 Posts)
polarbearshuffle Tue 07-Jul-15 21:29:50

DP and I are getting married next summer. We have booked the local registry office and have about 60 guests. We will probably have the reception at the local social club or function room.

So any tips/ideas for a low cost wedding would be great! We'll probably hire someone for the food. Any advice about weddings would be appreciated as I have no idea what I'm doing! Thank you! grin

evelynj Tue 07-Jul-15 21:38:24

Bbq in outside area of social club-went to a registry office wedding last week & social club after, so chilled out, fab day all round. They had caterers bring bbq stuff but all cooked so arrived hot & everyone ate.

polarbearshuffle Wed 08-Jul-15 07:46:34

Thank you that's a lovely idea. I'll look into it!

Pixa Wed 08-Jul-15 07:53:04

Go to a printing company (like vistaprint) for your invites. Don't be scared to eBay things! My sisters Bridesmaid dress came from eBay, we had it cleaned and it was lovely. We used our aisle liners as centrepieces (so think of dual purpose). We definitely made a lot at home. Shop around for cake/flowers etc. We had some quotes for over £600, but found a lovely lady who made it for £150.

Pixa Wed 08-Jul-15 07:53:31

Oh! And congratulations. grin

FeelingSmurfy Wed 08-Jul-15 07:54:37

Nobody cares what the chairs look like (don't pay out for chair covers)
Wedding favours are a waste of money, if you are wanting to pay xamount for your guests they would rather a free drink (but totally happy with nothing)
Food food food - don't scrimp on amount of food as people will remember it for wrong reasons if they were hungry

Most people (off MN wink ) don't expect anything, weddings are all different now, don't think you have to pay out for first drink, favours, tons of flowers for venue or anything like that, people really don't care

If you know anyone with skills like cake baking or decorating (can always get plain sponge and decorate it) or photography or someone with a nice car then ask them to do you mates rates instead of a gift, most of the time they will just do it for you, suggesting mates rates instead makes them happier to help as its not like you are just expecting it

Bridesmaids - ask to wear something they already have, or choose a dress they like and will wear again and go halves

Ebay is real!y good for fake flowers (good quality, cheaper than real, can keep afterwards) and things like personalised ribbon to go around the cake if you want anything like that. Invitations are really reasonable too, can get personalised ones for about same cost as buying packs in a card shop!

nuttybananas Wed 08-Jul-15 07:57:09

Don't get sucked into the feeling that things you need to buy are necessary or make a special wedding.
I'm thinking favours, table sprinkles, bows on chairs, sweet trolley and other such gimmicks...
I've never been able to tell if a brides dress is expensive or cheap - they are usually so happy it really isn't important.
Fancy wedding cars also seem to be an extravagance - put a ribbon on yours or get your mate with the nicest car to drive you...

FeelingSmurfy Wed 08-Jul-15 07:57:09

Oh, don't mention the word wedding!

We had a wedding cake made for a 1/4 of what it would cost had we said the word wedding, it was the exact same cake and declaration! The lady who took our order mentioned that one quietly. We just added a bride and groom

Friend of ours had a great dj at their wedding, asked him if be was free to do a party on the date we needed and got a price, 1/3 cheaper for longer time!

frangipani13 Wed 08-Jul-15 07:58:14

A relative made our cake as a wedding pressie, check out a website called Pre loved I got my wedding shoes for £20 (instead of the £120 they were in the shops) they also have loads of dresses on there. Made our own invitations, did our own flowers (bought loads of yellow gerberas and daffs from a local market and put in simple vases instead of centre pieces), get your own booze if you can (keep an eye on morrisons who always do fab deals like prosecco for £4.99). Pinterest has some great ideas too.

FeelingSmurfy Wed 08-Jul-15 07:58:38

Yea sweet trolleys etc aren't cheap, people would rather you paid for more proper food (doesn't even matter what that is) if you really wanted to then put little packs of haribo at each table!

starsandunicorns Wed 08-Jul-15 08:00:14

I got everything off ebay apart from dh suit which was off the sale rack from asda my dress was a prom dress even got my buttons off ebay as i made my own button boquet smile

Enchufla Wed 08-Jul-15 08:07:11

I'm BM for my sister soon, we found the bridesmaid dresses in TK maxx. Its going to cost more for them To be altered than they cost to buy in the first place and theyre better than any of the £200 ones we tried on. We did have to go to about 4 different shops to find enough for everyone but its worth it. My sister is doing sweets but shes been buying cheap glass jars and will be going to costco for the sweets to fill them

Sootgremlin Wed 08-Jul-15 08:11:52

Definitely make own invitiations, orders of service and place cards I designed and printed mine at home, bought fancy paper and ribbons etc. it made them really personal and you couldn't tell. Saved a fortune.

I was lucky in that a relative made the cake for no charge.

Also a friend of a friend had a fancy car, so we were able to call in a favour there and was much cheaper than hiring.

Flowers we paid for but went minimal - bouquet and buttonholes.

Centrepieces were tumblers from pound land filled with classic sweets. They doubled as favours.

I got my dress from a bridal boutique but went high street for shoes and accessories. My dress was at the cheaper end but I loved it and it really suited me so don't be put off by prices, it doesn't have to cost a fortune to look fantastic on.

Food is the main expense if you're catering for 60. We had a sit down meal for 30, so can't help there.

We decided early on that rings and photographs were the two things worth spending on, as they would last longest from the day, everything else we weren't precious about and cut back where we could.

Sootgremlin Wed 08-Jul-15 08:16:08

Should add we also went for it with food, because hungry guests don't make for great wedding memories. We also did first drink at the bar free, again only because we had such a small do.

stressbucket1 Wed 08-Jul-15 08:27:19

Mark's and Spencer for wedding cake they do plain white iced tiers. We got those and borrowed a cake stand bought our own ribbon and the florist did some flowers to put on it was lovely

polarbearshuffle Wed 08-Jul-15 11:15:09

Thank you for your replies and brilliant ideas. I definitely think eBay is my friend! grin

polarbearshuffle Wed 08-Jul-15 11:16:38

Also the hungry guest point is very good. I am happy to pay for decent food (which ever way we decide to do it). I'll definitely keep that in mind!

RosesandRugby Wed 08-Jul-15 11:32:24

You could ask your guests to bring food, the brides family bring deserts and the grooms bring buffet food (coleslaw/potato salad etc) friends bring drinks.

If you don't mind not having a bouquet then just have a single flower with a ribbon purchased from a florist on the morning of your wedding or cut some flowers out of your garden or friends/parents garden.

Use jam jars with a tea light inside and ribbon tied around the neck as centrepieces on tables.

Get married midweek. I saved thousands by getting married on a Wednesday. Everyone we used (venue,food,music,transport) gave us heavy discounts some were 50% off.

Ask friends to take photos on your behalf and ask them if you can take the memory stick/sdcard to print out the photos you like. Don't bother with a video. I don't know anyone who has actually watched theirs.

Don't have bridesmaids to save money. Extra dresses,flowers,gifts just add extra money that you don't need to spend. It was so much easier saying no bridesmaids rather than saying sorry I didn't pick you etc.

Borrow your Mums/Grans jewellery instead of buying new.

Ask aunts/family if they can pay for hair/makeup as a gift.

BikeRunSki Wed 08-Jul-15 12:06:46

Do your own hair and make up
M&S white celebration cake and decorate with flowers/fruit/minifigs/whatever
Walk to venue!

BikeRunSki Wed 08-Jul-15 12:07:50

Ask local college if they have any music students who'd be willing to play for you. Intersperse this with recorded music.

Sootgremlin Wed 08-Jul-15 12:34:08

Oh yes, I did own hair and make up (just spent a bit extra on some nicer stuff than I normally would) and no bridesmaids, or maybe just one, saves a lot of fuss and expense.

We did get a professional photographer, as it does ensure you get some good 'standard' images of everyone on the day, but have to say my favourite picture of myself and the groom was taken by a friend as we were walking out, it is the one I have up.

I think it can be really enjoyable doing it on a budget, it's quite fun seeing how much you can make do with and it involves everyone more in helping out too!

polarbearshuffle Wed 08-Jul-15 16:09:24

Great ideas! I can't believe how expensive weddings can be. I never wanted a big wedding but even "smaller" weddings seem to get expensive. But the ideas on this thread are fab (some I'd never have thought of!). Will definitely be looking at high street shops. Some do some lovely wedding dresses I just hadn't looked further into it. Also I'll be avoiding unnecessary things (chair covers etc). Thanks again everyone....feel free to keep the tips coming! smile

thatsshallot Wed 08-Jul-15 16:26:07

We did similar, registry office then do at labour club that had lovely garden. Outside co did bbq and club let us bring our own fizz. Spoke to woman at local flower stall as to what would be in season and spend £150 on my bouquet, bridesmaids flowers, box of gerberas for bottom holes and boxes of gladioli as what's in season and cheap, which we shoved in metal buckets (think an abundance of anything is better than miserly amounts of something posh). Costco meant to be good for cheap cakes.

My dress was from sale rail in Monsoon DH bought cheap nice suit from Zara he's worn loads.

Would think what makes a good night to you and go from there, and a theme easier and cheaper than colours.

Have fun!

thatsshallot Wed 08-Jul-15 16:26:37

^button holes!!

Pinksuitcase Wed 08-Jul-15 16:33:29

Agree with M&s for cakes, they do lovely plain iced fruit, Sponge and chocolate cakes and they are really reasonable, just add flowers or topper and voilà wedding cake!

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