Adorable couples with budget-friendly weddings make my heart soar! Sarah and Matthew were married in London in June. They spent just £2000 and had their reception at home.
“Matthew and I met on OkCupid”, Sarah told me. “I’d started online dating when I moved to the UK from Canada in 2013; it was a great way to meet new people and see different parts of the city. However, I also found it could be extremely boring when you don’t click with someone and spend the evening pulling teeth trying to make conversation. Once I’d settled into London life a bit more and found myself busy with work and new friends, I decided to throw in the towel, but I’d already set up a date with Matthew. We clicked right away! We broke all of the first date taboos by chatting about everything from politics and religion to feminism and pop punk. We’d been dating for 8 months when we got engaged and 4 months after that, we got married. I used to think people were daft when they’d say ‘When it’s right, you’ll just know,’ but for us, that was completely true.”
Their ceremony was held at Wandsworth Town Hall. “We had a town hall ceremony followed by a garden reception at our home later in the afternoon. Things wrapped up in the evening so we could head to a hotel for our mini-moon, so it was much shorter than many weddings. Everyone commented on how laid back and fun it felt. I think a big part of that was only incorporating traditions that felt meaningful for us. For example, we exchanged rings, but there was only one speech, no bridal party, and no feeding each other cake! We focused on the things that were important to us: good company, good food, good drinks, and good music. Everyone mingled in our back garden; it was very relaxed.”
Emi and Phil were married in their own back garden. They had a relatively small budget, so they wanted to do as much as they could themselves. They didn’t have a theme, they just wanted it to be laid back and fun for everyone.
“Phil and I had a brainstorming session where we sat down and wrote a few words we wanted to describe our wedding”. said Emi. “The words were fun, easy, comfortable, Mariachi band, simple décor, cupcakes, unique, and awesome. Then we had a list of words that we DIDN’T like which were rules, stuffiness, formality, show-offy, pretentious, themed, boring, and fancy. Then we tried to follow that loose rubric when doing our planning.”
The bride wore an amazing emerald silk dress made Cargill Custom Costumes. She made her own headpiece from gilded copper and attached glass blackberries by Elizabeth Johnson to it!
“So much of our wedding was created by our talented loved ones”, the bride continued. “My dad, Jim, built the AMAZING outdoor bar. Our friend Michael constructed our dance floor while Collin and Tristen applied the glitter (very enthusiastically, may I add; Tristen fashioned a ‘glitter application tool’ by strapping a bottle of glitter onto a large bamboo pole). Phil’s mom made the outdoor linen curtains, and Phil’s dad grew the succulent gardens for the table décor.”
Sam and Timm were married ten years ago in Vegas. They wanted to renew their vows and so they invited all their friends and family to a party in their own back garden.
“We had originally planned to have a big wedding ten years ago, but we had a few hiccups so we decided to run off to Vegas, keep things small and get married by Elvis instead!” Sam began. “We’d always wanted a big wedding though, so renewing our vows was our chance to do just that. As we didn’t need to worry about any of the legal stuff, we hosted it at home so we could have everything exactly to our taste. We didn’t want to have compromises or restrictions this time!”
The couple have had a tough few years with Sam being very ill, so the vow renewal was also a really amazing way for them to celebrate coming out the other side. “Our renewal fell a year after, almost to the day, of my first life saving surgery so it was a really poignant moment”, she continued. “I had struggled enormously with my self esteem and confidence after the surgeries left my body totally changed. The day was just so amazing. I loved all of it. It was the best day ever from start to finish.”
Did you ever see a wedding as pretty as this one?! From the paper poms, the delicate blooms, the pastel crockery and the flamingos, prepare to lose your shit just a little bit…
Monika and Mike were married in the Hazelbrook Gardens in the Blue Mountains, Australia. The bride wore a vintage dress, which she found in her friend’s attic!
“I am an artist and so wanted our wedding to reflect the style and palette of my work, said the bride. “I paint in a delicate and restricted pastel palette of translucent watercolours, and one of my main painting series’ was titled of lace and moss. It depicted delicate girls dressed in pastel silks with flowers in their hair, reclining in mansions lost in the woods, with vines and ivy creeping through abandoned windows.”
Seven years after their wedding, Cati and Ash renewed their vows. They did so in their own back garden in Johannesburg with just their kids and their photographer in attendance. They wrote their own vows and had them printed on the back of their wedding album, which they read out to each other.
Rebecca from Runaway Romance helped them plan the whole thing. “This in essence was a styled shoot that included my very dear friends letting me take over their home and gorgeous children”, she wrote. “On a deeper much more personal note this was part of my own healing process. It felt like I had been holding my breath for months, watching my friend and her family go through the excruciating stages of cancer treatment. I couldn’t do anything, I couldn’t change anything. So when it finally did come to an end, this was my way of exhaling, rejoicing and doing something. For me the point of the afternoon was to celebrate the fact that this family had gone through incredibly hard times and come out not only intact but thriving.”
“When Rebecca originally approached us with the idea of a vow renewal, I did not expect it to be as meaningful and powerful as it was” Cati continued. “She presented us with a moment that was unbelievably beautiful and intimate. She really understood who we are and how we would celebrate. Her attention to detail and her thought behind each aspect really blew me away. We have come so far, and we are not the same kids that promised for better or worse seven years ago. To be able to renew our vows to each other, with our children standing right by our sides, made us realise just how much we have done together and just how much love can accomplish.”
Jessika and Brett’s October wedding had a small budget, but that didn’t hold them back! They were married in their local park and had their reception in the bride’s father’s back garden. Both these things saved them a lot of money and meant they could transform the spaces to fit the rainbow wedding of their dreams!
“Our Mexican fiesta theme came about because we wanted a low key wedding with a party atmosphere”, explained the bride. “We both knew that we didn’t want a sit down wedding and this allowed us to focus our money and design efforts on the music, food, drinks and decorations. Collecting all the decorations was actually easy as it seemed as soon as we sent out the save the dates we just saw Mexican themed things everywhere we went!”