whos saved the most on their dream wedding?

hi I saw the link for wedding spurges and people that are spending in excess of 25k on their wedding. I couldnt believe it image so I thought I would see who like me is trying to do their dream wedding as cheap as they can. We are paying for our own wedding in full and we are getting a brand new house in a few months. Iv decided that is more important for me to have the house I will live in forever nice rather than my wedding Day. Although in saying that I wanted a really good day as its a once in a life time thing and I didnt want to look back with regret.

I have set a budget of 5K. We have spend so far the magority on the venue 2.5k and entertainment £750. I am doing all my own stationary, favours, table centres and flowers and in total have cost about $700. We are really lucky to have a photographer and cake maker in the family that are doing these as gifts. so that leaves us about 1k for hair, make up, dress and suite hires. image


  • spunfaerieukspunfaerieuk Posts: 1,347
    We're trying to do our dream wedding for as cheap as possible too. My flowers (including my bouquet, bouquet for five BMs, buttonholes for eight men and corsages for four women, several centrepieces and venue decor) has come to £300, including deposit, because the lady works from home. We'll be getting our cake from M&S, and we're making all the stationery ourselves at home which will come to £60 (for 70 invites).

    I bought my BM engraved trinket boxes from America on sale for only £3 each, rather than the £15 each they cost here. Then my friend in the States who was shipping them over said she would buy them for me as a wedding gift so they were free anyway!!

    BM dresses will be coming from America at a cost of £55 each. We will be getting married on a Sunday because it saved us £600 on venue hire.

    Our biggest spends are our honeymoon (£2,700), our venue (about £3000 incl. catering/drinks packages), and our photographer (£1145).

    [Modified by: spunfaerie on August 26, 2007 02:32 PM]
  • Our wedding is going to cost us about £5500 (all saved cash, no loans thank goodness!), not including our major splurge dream honeymoon to Australia, New Zealand and San Francisco (£4500!!). The only way we can afford the honeymoon is that H2B parents very kindly gave us £3000 and we thought why not?!

    Everything that we've bought I've tried to get underbudget, my dress was £180, BM dresses were £35, suit hire £300, photographer £330, flowers £150, venue hire £200 and food and drink £3500.

    Just got to get both sets of parents a really good present as they've both helped out so much with things and saved us lots of money which has meant we've been able to have our dream wedding and honeymoon.
  • tinksyuktinksyuk Posts: 1,672
    our budget is £4000. We are both students so it will have to be cheap - no student discount on weddings apparently! Yet to actually pay for anything, tho we did buy some favour bags off ebay for £5.98 for 120! perfect colour and beautiful! honeymoon is not included in that but we wont have had a proper holiday for a few years so we will splurge on that bit!
  • rosekate15rosekate15 Posts: 2,440
    Our budget is max £4000. Our reception is going to cost us £1300 including fork buffet after service with drinks, evening buffet for 40 people and DJ, bridal suite for night and breakfast in morning.

    My dress is costing £210 plus £50 alterations allowing another £150 for underwear and shoes.

    I have offered to pay for the fabric that my Son's Girlfriend will use to make her dress, she is an unofficial bridesmaid.

    Friend and neighbour is making the cake as a wedding pressie.

    MIL2B has offered to pay for flowers.

    Have paid £60 to serve notice of wedding will have £185 to pay on day

    H2B's outfit including shoes etc approx £100. My Son's about £50

    Table centres, gifts, favours and incidental bits that we fancy image £100

    Invites managed to get half price from work £12.50 gonna make our own.

    Transport we still have to organise but don't plan on anything fancy I would be happy to walk lol but would prefer an open top Triumph Stag but not a priority. H2B would love a Ferrari reckon he will manage with less. Guess around £100 for both is realistic for us.

    We are planning on a good 2 weeks honeymoon 3 days in Rome then down to Sorrento for rest of it. Approx £1000.

    We are trying to arrange things as economicaly as we can but still have a good day


  • I was trying to budget for £5k wedding but discussed the finances with h2b this weekend and he's more than happy for us to push that up to £6k as I know there will be unexpected add ons (such as chair covers I hadn't thought of in original sums).

    Again, we're doing as much as we can ourselves - made 100 lovely invites for about £20, very pleased with that one, also favours and thinking about doing flowers myself too (though I'll need to visit the library to see if I can read up on arranging first). H2b already ownes kilt and accessories so his outfit is sorted. Going to ask my uncles to get bridesmaids dresses as wedding prezzies (their young daughters are BMs). Have a photographer on each side of the family so no shortage there. M&S cake seems cheapest for traditional three-tier.

    One thing we couldn't compromise on was venue (£1000) and they insist on doing their own catering (£1500) and drinks (£1100 - £1500 depending on if we go for sparkling wine or champagne) so that's most of the budget blown. Not yet spoken to parents about whether they want to contribute anything - sure they will - so that will help us out also.

    I don't think cutting costs means you have to cut on the quality or compromise on your dream wedding. I like doing things myself as it adds a personal touch and can't wait to share the big day with all my family and friends.

    Good luck with your budget weddings everyone!

    [Modified by: Fayzie on August 27, 2007 12:52 PM]
  • rachelemmarachelemma Posts: 517
    I am still at the very beginning of the planning process but I'm the sort of person who likes to do things myself.

    I'll definitely be making my own invitations (and any other stationery we decide that we need - but we want the reception to be informal so we probably won't have a seating plan or anything like that). This should save a lot of money compared to buying them - but the main reason I'm doing it is because I want to! image I was quite shocked though when I realised how much money we'll be giving to the royal mail on invites as we have quite a long guest list so are likely to be spending £30-50 on postage, depending on how many we can give out in person!! (That's not counting if we send 'save the date' cards, but I might do 'save the date emails' instead...)

    Definitely making & decorating my own cake, luckily with fruit cake you can make it a long way in advance so I can do it before I get stressed over all the last-minute details.

    Also, we haven't picked a venue yet but we're going to make sure we have the reception somewhere where we can bring in our own catering and drinks so that we can have everything just how we want it.
  • We are going for as little spent as we can. Im making my own invites, Im not having any flowers because I don't like them. My table centers were only £7! Bargin! Both sets of parents are paying half towards the reception and evening do and my mum is buying my dress. So just as little as possible!
  • Hi ladies,

    I am a budget concious bride too..... my 3 biggest saves so far have been:

    1 - No paper invites (except for Golden Oldies) 90% of friends and family are on the net, and as my H2B is a web designer, he is making us a fab website with an online RSVP section - we will design a beautiful e-mail to send, and print out paper versions for the grannies. Not only does it save us money, but also the guests as they do not have to buy RSVP cards!!

    2 - Haggled with the band, They quoted £650, I haggeld and we have secured them for £500. Better to have a confirmed booking for £500 than wait and see if someone will come along and pay £650!

    3 - No bridesmaids or best man. We will have a witness each at the civil ceromony. This means no extra outfit costs........ we will buy them a small gift of thanks instead.

    Please keep sharing your ideas.............

    FS x
  • MrsA86MrsA86 Posts: 997
    As our venue is quite a lot we have tried to cut down on everything else.

    My bridesmaids dresses are coming made to measure from china and including postage are £25 each.

    I saw invitations I liked but they were £4 each so i'm making my own, about £60 for 100 including RSVP, directions and hotel information. Also making table plan and place cards.

    I'm making my own favours with boxes that are £13.99 for 100 from ebay. I'm also thinking of making and wrapping my own chocolates for these.

    I'm getting my veil from ebay £12.99

    And lots more to do, so i'm trying to find the cheapest way. x
  • hello

    is everyone including honeymoon in your budgets you mention here?

    i thought we were doing well as trying to keep to £3k (prob will be £3500)_ but that excludes honeymoon.

    i agree using people who work from home is good, e.g.florist, but it's difficult to keep disciplined.

    i've booked a hairdresser but i ve only used her once and will work out halfprice of my usual one- yet i will have to drive 10mins to her salon on the day.

    my usual hairdresser whom i have used for years would cost £70 but she would come to the house - but it would cost this much because i'm 10miles from her salon.

    what to do for the best? the new hairdresser didmy hair fine for a trim incidentally.
  • My budget's not as small as some here (not quite the 25k though lol!), but I still think it's worth mentioning that you can get some fab deals if you look round and instead of showing off on how much i've spent on my wedding, i feel MORE chuffed telling people how cheap I got some things instead! For instance, instead of the £10000 venue and catering cost my venue would be normally, I'm getting it all in for £4000, simply because I brought my wedding forward from May to February to make the most of the off-season discounts.
  • AnnioAnnio Posts: 66
    Ladies, I noticed someone was thinking of making their own chocolates for favours. I know a really simple chocolate fudge recipe if anyone is interested and it tastes fantastic. You may need more than one batch to cater for all guests.

    500g dark chocolate

    75g unsalted butter

    400g condensed milk

    break up the ingredients into small pieces and place in a pan together. Melt them on a really low heat (if you do it too fast you burn the chocolate and get lumps) and keep stirring. Once it's smooth pour into foil trays (or propertrays lined with foil - it's so you can get it out easily) and once it's cooled enough put it in the fridge.

    The only downside is it doesn't keep for very long, maybe about 3 weeks, and it needs to be kept in an airtight container. I suggest trying it even if you don't want it for the wedding - i've had several proposals of marriage from men other than h2b for my choc fudge!
  • We saved a lot cos h2b won most of it image by bunjee jumping and proposing at the same time

    we have loads to buy stil but now we can have a fairytale wedding and it's going to cost us around 5k xx
  • When we started looking we couldn't believe how much things cost in this country. And you can't get married outside.

    It sounds funny, but getting married in NZ has been an excellent option for us. I know I have an advantage with family in NZ, but hear me out. I do think a wedding overseas can be a dream at a reasonable price.

    We are having our wedding and honeymoon in one. The flights lhr to akl cost £604 return each on Korean airlines. We are having a small wedding in NZ and a massive party in the UK. At the UK party we are having a pig roast and friends are bringing savories and desserts.

    Our friends are coming to NZ and yes, they have had to save themselves, but NO ONE has complained and everyone is having so much fun planning their own dream trips to NZ. We gave them plenty of warning with home made wedding invitations - saving money!

    In NZ

    The evening meal before for 20 people at an amazing restaurant in an amazing venue (Mt Cook) is about £400. We have chosen to pay for this for the guests.

    The next day we have hired two planes to take 16 of us to land on a glacier where we have half an hour for the ceremony. (£800 for the planes total, £80 for the person to marry us, £50 for personalised champagne flutes from the US, £50 for pink champagne, chocolates and bubbles, my big splurge is £140 for the flowers and I didn't even think I like flowers but they are gorgeous and h2b wanted me to have flowers) Luckily, a friend is a really good photographer and with his girlfriend is doing the video and photos. (We would have invited them anyway.) We are buying the film, video and a memory card. Then we will have printing costs of course. So probably between £100 and £200. Once the plane engines have turned off it is just silence and you. My dad is going to sing at the end. He has a beautiful voice and I know we will all be blown away.

    In the afternoon we are going for a walk in the national park and having a luxury picnic lunch which will cost about £200. I have special plates, serviettes etc.

    For the evening meal we are going to another fantastic place called the Old Mountaineers' Cafe. We will be sharing it with others but given we have just had a wedding on a glacier all to ourselves we will cope! The guy has been brilliant and is letting us order off the menu. Guests are all happy about that. Will cost us about £450, £500 at the most! We have ordered four different cakes instead of a wedding cake and that is costing about £80. We have decorations for the fruit cake that have cost us about £15 although we might splurge on a fancy cake topper. We have indoor sparklers that spell our our new family name and will light those on the fruit cake. Not too tacky I promise.

    My dad has bought my h2b and the best man top of the line arc teryx salopettes which they are going to wear on the day.

    All of the above (except for our airfares to NZ but including salopettes) comes to just over £2500 for the day and the evening before. My dad has very generously given us the money. We are actually under his budget.

    Our additional costs

    My wedding dress - designed and made in hong kong - gorgeous cream lace with beautiful detailing £350 plus accessories, boots, tiara and underwear etc another £450 in the UK.

    Very kindly my mother gave me £400 towards the dress and accessories.

    H2B's and BM shirts and bowties. £100 at most.

    Loads of favours and stuff for the guests £350. (We are getting personalised matchboxes with pictures of the glacier, heart shaped sparklers, crackers and other cool stuff too.)

    I have been paying for all the favour stuff and extras as we go along spending about £50 per month for the last 12 months.

    Honeymoon with lots and lots of luxury and action £3000

    Sounds like so much when you add it up but we figure an amazing wedding like no other and a dream honeymoon for just over £7000 is much more than we could have had in the UK for this amount. We are having an intimate wedding with the 18 people we want. This price includes absolutely everything except the rings.

    We were very lucky because my cousin is a jeweller and he made the rings and only charged us the cost of the metal and the stones. We paid for those in 2006.

    The best thing of all is that it has taught us we can save. We have been working towards this for a year and have six months to go. We now know that after the wedding we will be able to continue to save and then will be able to treat ourselves without going in to any debt. This month has been particularly difficult with a car dying and a few other unexpected expenses out of our control, but over all, we have really learned how to save and still live a good lifestyle.

    I read on here about people's budgets and I think at the end of the day it doesn't matter what it costs, but it matters you don't start married life with a huge debt. With creativity and hard work you can have an amazing wedding at any price.

    Have fun planning and saving everyone!

  • Oh - a few savers

    A friend of mine is a hairdresser and is going to show me and my friend what to do so we can do it on the day.

    No makeup as I don't wear any anyway so that saves money.

    BM is wearing whatever she wants and she is very happy about that.

    Using a picture matte (the cardboard that goes around the picture inside the frame) as guest book. People can sign that and then we will put a picture of the wedding inside. £5 at Hobby craft.

    We made our invites and are making order of service cards with items from Hobby Craft.

    Keeping my eyes open at places like poundland.

    For me the key has been doing little bits all the way along - trying to do something every couple of days and buying the bits and bobs on special offer when possible.

    And tomorrow we are doing a car boot sale. All proceeds to wedding fund of course.
  • I wanted a castle wedding, which is costing quite a bit at the venue, so i bought my wedding dress on ebay, Forever Yours, was £1600 got it for £35.00, tiaras, £4.00 each, earrings £0.99, necklace £2.50, shoes, brand new, £4.50, bouquets, fake to put away for the big day, confetti, 99p, table name cards, doing myself, got the card and some little flowers to stick on, favour bags, 100 for £9.99, all from ebay doing my own hair and makeup,doing my kids hair, they are the bridesmaids, 2 of the waistcoats BHS sale, and the other, Ebay £5.00, guest book £4.00 ebay, invites, on a website, 50 for £84.00, but they are celtic and beautiful, castle table number holders, 24 for £8.00, won't use all of them, but will be able to sell everything afterwards to recoup some of the money. We are trying to save money every month for the wedding in June 2009. I really begrudge the prices people charge for anything wedding related, especially most of the venues.
  • Saz39 that is brilliant. £35 for a dress! And as you have shown, looking about for things really makes a big difference in the overall cost. And to still have so much time to go. You will breeze in to your wedding stress free and start your wedding a very happy wife with no money worries!

    People are so creative at saving money. I have found so many great ideas on the forums. Thanks everyone!
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