Friday, 18 September 2015

The Simple Things: Our Budget Wedding

Bride and GroomThere were lots of reasons why we didn't want a flash wedding. Mainly, it's because we are just not flash people. We have always enjoyed a quiet, unassuming lifestyle. We don't really enjoy big crowds or lots of fuss. So it was a long time before we even got around to starting to plan. It was going to be tricky. There was lots to consider, not least the fact that with children to provide for, we couldn't really have justified being too lavish, even if we'd wanted to. What we really wanted, was to reflect ourselves.
So we began with a small ceremony at our local church, followed by an intimate buffet for our closest friends and family. When it came to choosing my wedding dress, I was never going to spend a small fortune. A bride deserves to have what she wants on her wedding day, and I was no exception. I have been a penny-pincher all my life, and I wanted to not spend crazy sums of money on something I would only wear once. So we hit the sales. My dress came from the Bridal Section at Monsoon and cost just £54 in their sale. My daughter chose the bridesmaids dresses in the same shop for the same price, and so began our 'Cadbury purple' theme! My best tip for saving the most money on your wedding, is to be prepared to be quite flexible about what you actually want. It's amazing the bargains you can find and be totally happy with, if you approach the shops with an open mind.

It also pays to have fabulous, supportive friends. One friend made our amazing chocolate and Tia Maria wedding cake and another provided my fabulous bouquet of white roses and freesias, I can still smell it now!

Wedding Cake and Bouquet
The bouquet and cake

We put a lot of time and effort into choosing the venue for the reception. We wanted somewhere small and intimate, but also easily accessible. What mattered most to us was that everyone had a nice time and, knowing how difficult the local roads can be, we didn't want anyone getting lost or stuck in traffic. So we looked around for somewhere nice and local to the church. The village hall we eventually settled on had the most beautiful little garden which we knew would make a lovely backdrop for the photographs. It rained all morning and we were worried it would ruin the day, but it stopped about half an hour before we were due to leave for the church. When we went into the grounds for the photos, the rain had turned the grass into a stunning, lush green and you couldn't have paid for a better backdrop!

Bride and Groom Seated
The scenery was beautiful

One moment I will always cherish, was when my nephew arrived. All that mattered to us, was that everyone that wanted to be there, was able to come. Sadly, one of our nephews was unable to make it, because he was sitting a very important exam in Oxford. At the reception, with all the other nephews, niece and family gathered, his absence was really felt and I knew he would be sad to miss it too. Then came The Husband's speech. Now, I was aware how nervous he was, and everyone was marvelling at how well he was doing, when who should walk in and take the wind right out of his sails? Our missing nephew! I am getting emotional writing this now, I couldn't believe the lengths he and his girlfriend had gone to, just to get there. His girlfriend waited in Oxford in her car for the duration of his exam and the second he was out, they drove from Oxford to Bristol to make it in time for his Uncle's big moment. Neither of us had any idea he was even going to attempt it, and it will always mean the world to me that he did that for us.

Walking into the reception was quite something. I am not reknowned for my organisational skills but, thankfully, there is one person who is. My stepmum is easily the most organised person I know. She keeps my Dad in check and that is a full time job in itself, as well as working full time and taking care of an over-excited beagle with a compulsive eating problem. So, I will admit, I had no idea what was involved when we set a date for the wedding. I had never been married before, or even been to that many weddings. I knew I needed to buy stuff and organise the venue, but we really relied on my Dad to tell us what we needed to do and organise. He took care of the seating plan and my stepmum 'volunteered' to sort out decorating the venue. And thank goodness she did! When they arrived with a car full of flowers, balloons, ribbons and silk butterflies, it occurred to me just how much we had underestimated the task! On the morning of the wedding she gathered the groom, best man and family, along with other unsuspecting guests and had everything decorated beautifully in plenty of time for the efternoon ceremony and it looked fabulous. Even now, I don't think she will ever realise how much we appreciate what she managed to achieve for us that day.

This post was written in association with the Something Borrowed, Something Blue campaign with Ocean Finance.. I received vouchers in return for my wedding day bletherings.



  1. Lovely post Lucy. What ppl fail to realise is, when arranging a wedding, they aren't doing it for them, but their guests. Things would be so much cheaper if they did just as you did, things you wanted, not what is expected of them.
    My 2nd wedding was cheap, not cos we couldn't afford it, but didn't see the point in spending all that money. Was back in the days of Ebay and bargains to be had, sadly no more as Ebay is so business like now.

  2. Very lovely post and lovely sounding wedding and photos also. Like you, my husband and I aren't into "flash" things either, we just had a simple wedding ourselves, very simple and understated. And I never regretted it. I just wish I had done like you and bought a cheaper wedding dress! I wanted a simple, cheap dress, but some family members convinced me to spend more, because they felt that all brides should. So now I'm stuck with a dress that cost £575 that I only wore for a few hours! I definitely wish I had stuck to my guns and did as you did. And your dress is lovely btw! x

  3. Good tips, will bear in mind for the future when my time comes :p


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