Nicole and James set £5000 as the budget for their September wedding, and remarkably they actually spent less than that! Having the day at a village hall, hiring a fish n chip van for catering, and asking guests to bring along dessert, was how they saved the majority of their money. They also didn’t spent a lot on fancy outfits.
“We’ve been to a LOT of weddings, so we had strong feelings about what we didn’t want for ours” Nicole began. “Probably our first decisions were what we wouldn’t have – speeches (boring and cringe), a seating plan (we like relaxed, informal affairs) or chair covers (yuk!) By knowing they were off the table, our more unusual wedding was the only way to go really. I think because we’d been together for so long (we met when we were 17!) we didn’t feel as much pressure to follow traditions that we didn’t see the point of.”
“We didn’t have a theme, just stuff we liked that we hoped would look OK when it was all in the same room!” she said. “It ended up a bit of a mix of Batman, dinosaurs, festivals, rock music, cake, dancing and games. Somehow it all came together and looked good! We took inspiration from lots of places including Rock n Roll Bride but we never got bogged down in what would ‘go’.”
I’ve followed Helen Anderson; YouTuber, Instagram megastar and all round cool girl, for a few years now. I think I first found her when she did a video about how to get pink hair or something! I secretly always thought she was funny, awesome and that if we met we’d probably hit it off immediately.
When she got engaged last year I tweeted her to say congrats and offered to send her a magazine, and to my utter surprise she not only replied, but told me she’d been reading my blog for years too! What followed was a whirlwind internet romance of mutual fangirling (we’re both not ashamed to admit that we’re a little bit obsessed with each other – ha!) and messages like “OMG one day we have to actually meet OK?”
Then, a couple of weeks ago, she emailed me to ask if I’d like to film a video with her all about planning a festival wedding. It took me approximately 5 seconds to reply and we arranged for her to come down to Reading for the interview at my house following week!
As you can see, my predictions were very much correct. I LOVE her. Like, I’m pretty sure we’re officially best friends already. I’ve invited her to the National Wedding Show to come and hang out again too, so it’s not too long until we get to meet again. Yay, aren’t new friends just the best?
Tara and Aaron had a woodland wedding in Canada. They wanted their day to feel natural, organic and to be as enjoyable for their guests as possible. “The theme for the day was really brought to life when I chose my wedding dress”, Tara said. “It was dip-dyed so that it had a very subtle purple ombre. That was the moment that our colour palette was chosen. We used lavender, grey, white and green. We wanted everything to look very natural since we were in the woods.”
The wedding was held at Sunwolf, a five acre woodland setting in the Coast Mountains, an hour from Vancouver. “Our wedding venue was beautiful on its own, so we didn’t need to overshadow that with any bright colours or over the top decorations. I think understated and ‘accidental’ beauty is often much harder to pull off than extravagant beauty. We wanted the event to be beautiful, but to feel natural and effortless, like it just kind of happened that way. We also loved the idea of using light to decorate. I wanted chandeliers in the trees during the ceremony to create a fun juxtaposition of nature meets elegance. I had no idea the chandeliers were actually going to light up; I didn’t learn that until I was walking down the aisle with my parents. I was just blown away by how something so simple could add so much to an outdoor space.”
There’s just something about a Vegas elopement. Yes, for many people it might seem like a cliché, but I never fail to get excited about seeing a super cool, super in love couple getting hitched on their own terms. After all, there’s nowhere else in the world quite like Las Vegas!
“Our inspiration was Ainsley and Sebastian’s epic Vegas elopement AKA the coolest wedding you’ve ever blogged!” said Linda. “We had a trip to the US booked but weren’t planning on getting married there, in fact we weren’t even going to Vegas! One day, I was scrolling your blog, saw their wedding and showed it to Dan. We decided then and there to use the trip as an excuse to get married! When we saw that wedding blog we knew that it’s what we wanted to do too! We basically owe it to your blog that we got married at all and had the wedding that we did!”
Helen and Mike had a homemade wedding in Slough, Berkshire. With just £3000 to spend they knew they had to do a lot of things themselves, and they relished that fact!
“We described our wedding as rickety, homemade, chaotic and lovely!”, said the bride. “We just wanted a day that reflected us. We don’t enjoy fine dining or formal event and we have been to so many weddings where you walk into the venue and see no sign of personality of the bride and groom. We wanted people to walk into our venue and think ‘This is so Helen and Mike’.”
“I feel like we saved money on every aspect of our wedding. Everyone who knows us is aware that we love our charity shops and jumble sales and enjoy being thrifty, so all the little details of the wedding came from second-hand shops or were homemade. Our biggest expense was feeding our 150 guests but instead of traditional caterers we had a fish n chip van and an ice cream van. I bought a pop corn maker and had boxes of popping corn so people could make their own pop corn during the drinks reception. These were all cheaper options and way more fun!”
Philip and Stacy pulled off their awesome steampunk inspired wedding for just £5000! “Our venue, Papplewick Pumping Station was the perfect backdrop for a steampunk wedding”, the bride said. “The theme inspired the groomsmen’s styling. The bridal party were more traditional, but with an alternative twist, much to the surprise of my family who assumed I would wear a gothic or neon pink dress!”
“We both wanted the celebration of our marriage to be fun and memorable”, she continued. “The reception was akin to a children’s party with candy floss, lucky bags, games and toys. We gave guests raffle tickets at the ceremony, and during the speeches we drew it. The prizes were various toys and games we had collected in the previous year.”
“To keep costs to a manageable level, the majority of our accessories, such as the groomsmen’s buttonholes, were DIY. My Auntie and I had a crafty week before the wedding where we made the order of services booklets and customised all the bridal party accessories. We even bought a cheap bunch of roses to make a few buttonholes and for some guests which was the only expense on fresh flowers. My own bouquet consisted of skull buttons and feathers!”