A Blue Burlesque Wedding with a £900 Budget: Sally & Mark

To say that I’m excited to be sharing Sally & Mark’s wedding with you this afternoon would be an under-exaggeration of HUGE magnitude. Not only is their wedding freakin’ awesome on so many levels, but they pulled the whole thing off for £900!

Let me repeat myself to make sure you got that, because I didn’t quite believe it when I read it on Sally’s submission either – the whole wedding cost just £900!!

“We had approx 6 weeks and a budget of around £900 for our wedding,” Sally wrote. “Where we could we handmade items or got friends to help us out. We were lucky that our photographers, performers, DJ and cake makers were all friends so did us special deals. We were also able to get both our venues (the afternoon reception was held at William Steads Pub and the evening afterparty at the Tap and Spile Pub, Darlington) for free as we didn’t hire them exclusively.”

“Our inspiration came from our love of burlesque and the fact we wanted a fun day loosely based around the 50’s,” Sally continued. “Once we’d found the dress then we built from there. I had searched and searched for a perfect dress but couldn’t find one in my size. I very luckily stumbled across Pixie Pocket who hand makes dresses for amazing prices. I really wanted to add colour and we managed to find most things that matched my hair!”

The couple decorated their evening reception venue themselves, mostly using items they found in their local £1 shop! “Our sweets, table confetti, table gems and sequins all came from the £1 shop and we made the bunting ourselves from off cuts of old material.”

“It was a small intimate event (just 33 guests) but it was just what we wanted and we were able to incorporate our two children in with the day. The day was exactly what we wanted. We started at 9.30am (we had been told that the registry office was fully booked but one morning I decided to call them and BEG them to fit us in! Eventually they relented and said we could have a 9.30am wedding and they opened an hour and a half early for us!) Then we went to our local pub for bacon sandwiches and a full English breakfast. From there we came home for cocktails and popped to our local park for pictures. Our photographer was amazing! Just what we wanted nice and laid back with no pressure and added to the fun.”

“After my parent’s had taken our kids back to theirs, we had the evening upstairs at our local pub. An evening of booze and burlesque! The whole day was amazing fun. My face hurt from laughing and smiling!”

Sally & Mark have also been kind enough to provide a breakdown of what they spent for their day, as I know a lot of you are on the look out for money saving tips for your own weddings. Check out the ‘Supporting Cast’ credits list below the gallery for the amounts they spent on each item.

More loveliness in the gallery below. FYI, a few of the following images may not be safe for work…

Huge thanks to Sally & Mark for sharing their inspiring day with us today.

Supporting Cast:

Photography Credit: GASP Photography (Undisclosed. Discounted as they were friends of the couple)
Ceremony Venue: Darlington Registry Office (£179 for fees)
Reception Venue: William Steads Pub & Tap and Spile Pub (both free)
Bride’s Dress: Pixie Pocket (£120)
Bride’s Shoes: Irregular Choice (£30 on sale)
Bride’s Headpiece: Diablo Jos Rockabilly Accessories (£12)
Bride’s Jewellery & Groom’s Cufflinks: Clutterfly (£25)
Bride’s Veil: from a charity shop (£10)
Groom’s Outfit: Affleck and Moffat (hired – £99)
Cake: Fiona’s Cakes (£70)
Flowers: DIY (£10)
Burlesque Performers: Tallulah Cherry & Tobi James (free – friends of the couple)
DJ: Frank Burdess (£70)
Stationery: Kindly Spoken (£10 for artwork, printed themselves)
Food: William Steads Pub (for 33 people – £80)
Rings: (£20)
Archway: eBay (£12)


  1. wow, think helps they got their reception for free, that’s my biggest expense so far!
    I’m gonna be charity shop hunting after seeing this and your other blog post on charity shops! :D

  2. bride on a budget

    I love it! Been so excited to see this. Definitely confirmed that the pub’s the way to go. I’ve 100 pound more and ten guests less. Wonder if I can make it RnR Bride worthy like they have. love Sally’s shoes tooo x

  3. Lou Liddy

    Karen – I have one of those umbrellas – think you can get them on Find Me A Gift? :-)

    Much better than boring black umbrellas!!

    Fab wedding by the way. :-)

  4. Sally

    Thanks for all the kind comments :o) We got the umbrella from T K Maxx but that was agggggess ago! there are some on eBay though :o)

    I’ll ask my sister about the flowers. They were amazing!! :o)

  5. Kit

    That looks like such a fun wedding and everyone seems to really be enjoying themselves I love the photos too.

  6. Kiri


    Assuming that it works with roses the same way as other flowers, I think they’re probably white roses that were put in a solution of blue food colouring and water for a few days. I’ve definitely done with carnations and things for plays before now. Have to experiment with times, but that can be quite fun.

  7. Absolutely out-of-this-world, bat sh*t insane. This is incredible! Congratulations to such a cool-looking family.

  8. Lisa Walker

    I was one of the guests at the wedding & it was just brilliant, it goes to show that money isnt everything & doing it this way was more personalised for Sally & Mark. A job well done & well done to all the contributors especially GASP photography – they certainly captured the memories :-)

  9. Helen

    Its not often I find myself inspired by every photo of a wedding, but this one really did! I love love love it! Now, where can i find myself some burlesque dancers for my wedding…for free….any volunteers?!

  10. Miss Tobi James

    I was a Guest and one of the Burly performers, I just wanted to say that Mark and Sallys Wedding was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!Truly it was a honner to perform for them :)

    TRU LOVE IF EVER I SAW IT xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  11. ok, so far I’ve bought the ebay archway and I’m off to poundland to see what bargains I can find! what an inspirational wedding, and on a phenomenally impressive budget…bet the gorgeous matching tats were one of the most expensive parts! goes to show money don’t mean sh*t….huge congrats guys! xx

  12. Jess

    that wedding looks like so much fun, massive congratulations to the happy couple. It looks fantastic, well done!!

  13. Debbie H

    I attended the evening celebration of Sally and Marks wedding and had a great time, they both looked amazing and the burlesque ladies where great!
    me and my fiancé have been planning to get married for years but just couldn’t afford it, but Sally and Marks wedding go to prove us wrong!
    Congratulations again guys, I love these pictures!

  14. Nicola

    I’ve been dying to see this wedding and it was better than I imagined!!! So cool and styley!! Love the cake!

  15. Mark Wylie

    I also attended this wedding, it’s a good job too as I was the groom. Well and truly, absolutely loved the whole day (we were up for 23 hours!) The day was awesome and just what we wanted. All the way upto the day itself we were always mindful we wanted things to be fun and something we enjoyed, we certainly achieved it. We were also lucky to have such fab family and friends who all helped to make our day great!

  16. Charlotte Todd

    Hi – I’m Sal’s (the bride) sister. I did her flowers so thanks for the compliments! To be honest I’ve never done anything like it before but knew she was working to a budget and wanted to help. Sal had asked about in florists about blue flowers but the chioce was limited (and expensive) so a friend at work gave me the food colouring tip! I did a bit of experimenting to get the right effect and the flowers in the bouquet were put in a solution of water with a large amount of basic blue food colouring added from the supermarket – just as if they were in a vase of water but it had the colouring added. After two days this was the outcome (if left in for a week the flowers went totally blue). I followed this tutorial from you tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNc5-axfhAo and attached the skull beads (from ebay) with flower pins. Cost very little and I loved making the bouquet :):):)

  17. I have no words to say how I’m impressed with this wedding!!! Congratulations for everyone! I wish I can do something like that on my special day!!!


    Renata – Brazil

  18. Sally

    Thank you so much for all the kind comments!! It was an amazing day made more amazing by the people involved :) I loved it from start top finsh :)

  19. Victoria Hamilton-Barritt

    I’ve just seeped all over this page!!!,!
    Looked like it was a magical day beyond belief xxx

  20. Victoria Hamilton-Barritt

    I meant weeped all over this page,……not seeped…I’m naughty but not that naughty…. Anyway…absolutely stunning!

  21. quick note

    “Beacon House is that it’s one of the only wedding venues in the UK that’s licensed for an almost outdoor wedding” you will want to change this for legal reasons as it is drastically incorrect. It is true for England and Wales only- Can get married ANYWHERE outside in Scotland :)


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