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Any other low-budgeters/bargain hunters out there?


Getting married April 2012 on a budget of £2K for the whole day. We've booked our local parish church and are coming back home afterwards for a barbecue (let's hope it doesn't rain image ) to keep the costs down. Really don't know how we will achieve this after trying on dresses and being quoted £900 yesterday (without the accessories)!

Sadly already cut the guest list from 120 to 50.

Would like a reception venue but just don't think we can manage it.

Any ideas around the Berkshire area would be very much welcomed.


  • AngeGAngeG Posts: 67
    Me! £2k is do-able!!! My budget is a little bit more than your at £4000.

    We are getting married in Gretna Green next August (a year tomorrow), we booked an all inc package for 26 guests in day & an additional 16 in the evening & that came in just under £3k.

    Where abouts in Berkshire are you? I'm originally from Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire. Have you thought about looking a local golf courses for your receiption? After being quoted silly money by hotels/manor houses etc, my best friend started contacting golf courses & was given reasonable rates. She ended up having hers at Stockley Pines (Stockley Park near Heathrow)& it was lovely

    I was really worried about the cost of dresses & was planning on getting one from the High Street. All my married friends had told me to go to wedding dress shops, just for the experience & to see if the style of dress that I wanted (simple empier line) actually suited me.

    Anyway, I made a couple of appointments & it was probably the best thing I done, I fell in love with a dress that was everything I said I don't want (strapless with a corset back) & best of all it only cost £340(this isn't included in the budget as my mum & dad have kindly said they will pay for it for me image)!! It's actually actually a Ronald Joyce bridesmaid dress in ivory & the few people that have seen a pic of me in it are shocked when I tell them its not a wedding dress.

    Have also saved by not having flowers, I have made Swarovski crystal bouquets & button holes, I get everything I needed in ebay & its cost me £34.

    Also managed to get bridesmaid dresses at an outlet place reduced from £125 to £29.99!

    Oh god, Ive been going on a bit!!! I look forward to hearing how you get on & hopefully sharing some money saving tips image! x
  • hi, im not from your area but is there a holiday inn near you?? they do a wedding package for a 1000 pounds which includes sit down meal and evening buffet. you could also try on dresses in wedding shops then look to see if someone is selling it on ebay or on here. good luck with everything image
  • khabkhab Posts: 9
    Hi, I'm not sure if there's a Britannia Hotel anywhere near you ( but they have a great wedding package for £1499, includes 50 guests for wedding breakfast & 100 guests for reception - all food & table plans etc. included. I'm having mine at the one in Manchester - it has seriously helped my budget (I'm aiming for £3k).
  • Look for sample dresses hun, my maggie sottero was supposed to be £1100 and i got it for £500!!
  • I went wedding dress shopping in bridal shops. ONce I found which one I wanted, i scoured Ebay and sites like Preloved. I ended up getting a £1000 dress on Ebay from a seller who owns a bridal shop and was selling it new (it was a sample) for less than half the price.
  • A lot of bridal shops are having their end of season sales at the moment - or, you could find a style that you like, and search for it second hand. Alterations with a seamstress are not as expensive as you'd think, and a lot of 2nd hand dresses come dry cleaned. It is well worth looking for something second hand as it saves so much money.

    Silk flowers are also a good route to go down as you save at least half on what fresh flowers would be, plus you get to keep them afterwards, and not have to worry about what is in season.
  • I'm surrently looking for a tiara and veil but it is proving hard to find what I like on a budget.
  • laura2988laura2988 Posts: 332
    hi, im not from your area but is there a holiday inn near you?? they do a wedding package for a 1000 pounds which includes sit down meal and evening buffet. you could also try on dresses in wedding shops then look to see if someone is selling it on ebay or on here. good luck with everything

    I have been to one of these and although at first i was like "a wedding at the holidy inn?" It was THE best wedding I've ever been to! And the food was really good!
  • hi

    im on a very small budget also and have decided on my local pub which has a massive garden for my reception, our sit down meal is costing £6 a head and our wedding cake is being served as desert. the bar manager is also doing alot for us to keep prices down, she is quoting us for the evening food of cheese ham and crackers but is happy that if it is out budget then i can bring my own. we are doing most of the wedding diy to keep costs down and my dress is a sample dress that was on sale and hubbys suit is from the high street.i also have decided on fake flowers instead of real.
  • Try ebay for fake flowers!! I am having fake ones and i saw a style of bouquet i liked on ebay but not in my colours so i emailed the seller and asked how much for my colours for my bouquet, moh one, 2 fg ones and 5 buttonholes and top table arrangment and she has done a lovely job for £80!!
  • We did our wedding on a budget & i loved having the reception in the garden. However it was pretty stressful & if we had the chance again i would look into a villiage hall as they a very reasonable & most have kitchen facilities & hire all the bits need. Our wedding cake came in at £38.50 as i bought a 3 tier fruitcake from tesco & decorated it myself decorations cost £10 in total from local craft shop.

    My bouquet were from a florist for £20 & we bunched them myself although i would happily bought them from supermarket. The button holes were bought in Morrisons & cost £7 in total for us to do everyone. The flowergirls bouquets were sweet peas from mums neighbours garden & all the other flowers for decorations were donated from the neighbours too.

    Heres my report hun also my dress i ended up with was new with tags & £200
  • Also don't be scared to ask for discount I completely forgot when we bought our rings at the same place. They can only say no. If your getting married on a day that isnt a saturday defo ask. If booking transport/wedding cars maybe a double decker bus so everyone can use it after?? (ps no one noticed my car tbh). Also if you shop at tesco the vouchers are worth 4 times the amount if spent elsewhere & i think it's goldsmiths accept these (one of my friends paid almost nothing for her wedding ring as a result).
  • Have you tried local sports clubs for a venue? Some rent out the clubhouse at very reasonable rates. And it might sound a bit morbid, but some independent funeral directors will rent you their limousines far cheaper than a wedding car service. The one I used to work at charged £25 per car to pick up to go to the ceremony and then on to the reception.

    Pound shops are good for candles, party tableware and glittery shapes that can be used as table confetti. Check out your local party supply shop for decorations. Mine turned out to be a lot cheaper than eBay for some items.

    The AdTrader newspaper always has lots of dresses listed. Charity shops sometimes have beautiful dresses (my friend bought a gorgeous vintage 1970s wedding dress in perfect condition for only £40)

    A fab wedding on your budget is do-able, and there are bargains to be had if you don't mind searching. So don't panic, with a bit of careful planning, you can have the day of your dreams.
  • Cheap dresses at In Reading Berkshire.

    They dont stock a dress over £1000!!

  • I think no matter what budget, every one loves a good bargain!!

    Go DIY for as much as you can, which will help cut costs alot, ebay etc

    PDA card and craft were the cheapest by far I thought for stationary bits image
  • Hiya, from my experience it's totally doable but I learnt:

    1) Don't buy your dress too soon, or unless you are 100% because I ended up buying 3! image Ended up with Mark Lesley's Emily in perfect condition, for £124 so would have saved a few bob there if I'd have waited! Hey ho!

    2) Figure what is the most important and stick to it! Be strict with yourself which is a tough one because it is too easy to get sidetracked and swayed! Especially if you come on here and see what everybody else is doing! :S

    3) Wedding packages as mentioned by others. If not, what about local social clubs, cricket clubs, etc, if you want a cheap reception?? We had our reception in a church social club, which was pretty smart and cost £100. I decorated it for less than 20 quid with buttermilk tissue paper pom poms. I bought the tissue off ebay and used 5 sheets (folded) per pom pom and hung them with fishing wire at different heights from the ceiling with paperclips. Cheaper than balloons!

    4) I got loads of stuff off ebay. My BM dress was a worn once and dry cleaned, silk Coast dress for £24 inc P&P! Packs of generic invites are on there, cos no matter how much we kid ourselves otherwise, it'll only be close family members who keep them! I also got my shoes from Schuh Ebay for £20 inc P&P!

    5) We got married on a Friday and had drinks in the pub next door afterwards, but had our reception the next day. This meant that we could do our own buffet, which saved a lot! If you have, know anyone who has, or have a Costco near you, and if their sandwiches are like the ones at my local one, then they are brilliant!

    6) Our DJ was shit! Seriously shit!! I am still traumatised at how shite he was and that was a huge waste of £170. I'm not joking! Doing it all again, I would have borrowed an iPod! Seriously!

    7) Cake? I wish I'd got a Waitrose one! We got a cupcake tower stand and my sis and I decorated Asda cupcakes, with a famous make of ready made vanilla flavour icing and sprinkles etc! I gused a dummy cake for the top tier with a ribbon in a bow with a brooch. Was really chuffed with it, but then the cake stand had gone walkies the next morning! Probably chucked away by my drunk hubby! image So that was £30 down the drain in the end!

    8) Weekday weddings! Everything seems to be cheaper in the week, venues, cars, etc.

    9) Prosecco/Cava instead of champagne, cheaper brand booze for pitchers of cocktails for your BBQ!

    10) "Wedding season" is over so some shops may still have sales on (loads of stuff in John Lewis was cheaper when I went in, but not online) so you may be able to grab a bargain somewhere image

    11) Are you crafty, have any crafty friends? I got 24 large foam ivory roses off Ebay for £13! I got 2 bunches of 6 smaller ones from Dunelm Mill for £4, some ribbon, and made 3 posy style bouquets and buttonholes. I got some foliage aswell for a few quid, and used the "pearls" off a bunch of Primark bracelets, with a bit of wire twisted through, in the centres of the flowers.

    12) Anything you don't want or need? Used/don't want to keep?? Sell it! I need to do this! image

    I'm waffling sorry! There are probably loads of other things I can't think off at this moment though! I really found it dead satisfying finding bargains, because we have 2 kids, mortgage, 1 income cos I'm at uni, hubby is in the forces 200 miles away so I'm mostly on my own, etc. But with some things (like the sandwiches) we did pay and I'm really glad because with a 3 year old and a 3 month old, it would have been a bit of a nightmare image In the end though, because everybody gave us money (we didn't ask) the wedding didn't cost us anything, which was a big bonus image

    Good luck with everything image xx
  • I'm also on a low bugdet (tho a little higher then yours.) We have saved a fortune by having a Thursday wedding in December and booking a late availability deal. We have also saved by spending hours trawling ebay for bargins, and I've made loads of stuff myself.

    My dress is gorgeous and from romantica of devon, brought from a bridal shop as an ex sample for £299! It's perfect condition and doesn't need to much alteration either.

    Food is the one thing where we have spent far more than I intended, but our venue hire was so cheap it made it a bit easier (and we had fallen in love with venue by this point.) So if you can find somewhere that allows you to pick your own caterers etc this could save you a lot of money.
  • hello

    my sister hired her wedding dress and only paid a few hundred pounds for it and the lady altered it to fit her. Its a really good idea because it will only sit in a box when you've finished with it. Good luck xxx
  • MMDVDMMDVD Posts: 79
    Hi how about ask guests to tak their camera, then they can email you all their pics of the day and you can select the best, save them to a memory stick, then take them to be printed at asda or tesco etc.

    I have some lovely photos for do it yourself centrepieces, shabby chic, vintage, hardly any cost. Involves asking family and friends for any stemmed glasses, eg wine glass. You turn them upside down, trapping a flower head inside the glass, then place a votive candle on the base. You get flower centrepieces and candle holders in one. The people who lean them to you get them back after the event and your costs are minimal. Hard to describe, but I do have a great photo I just cannot put it on here I don't know why. Don't do favours who cares if they get a few sweets etc. People don't go for the favours.

    Post in the wanted (swap and sale) your size of dress you need, in your area, you can try before you buy, and most people will have fab photos to email you before hand, you can pick up a bargain, only worn once.

    If you want any more ideas contact me at

    [email protected]

    Good luck.

  • mism1mism1 Posts: 307
    My budgets fairly low to save my mums doing stationary his mum doing the cake,and his mums partners doing photos were having a cavery and cakes including wedding cakes which is keeping costs down phAse eight have lovely bridal wear for max £400 good luck
  • Hi, Although some DIY stuff can be cheaper - be careful.

    We were planning on doing DIY invites but when I actually priced up card and the crafty bits, it was getting quite expensive.

    Have a look on vistaprint - some gorgeous invites on there!

    We have 45 day guests and are just sending 1 invite per household, and then 80 evening invites, all include matching envelopes and its ony costing £40!

    Best advice is to look, look, look! Don't take Ebay or your craft stores for granted (alot of places have cottoned on to scrapbooking/diy). Definitely look into artifical flowers and try and think of different ways to decorate.

    We're having a Nov wedding so I'm using Xmas snowflake decs and getting them all just after xmas when they're at clearance prices. Also, avoid using the word "wedding" when getting quotes...they'll triple the price!

    Have fun!!xxx
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