I am always so incredibly inspired when I see weddings where the budget was small. Far from it seeming like the couple had to make compromises, the ones I get to share always seem to prove that a small budget doesn’t have to mean a budget-looking wedding. In my opinion it is actually often the weddings with the smaller budgets that seem to have the most heart, the most personal details and the most inspiring ideas.
Jon and Alex had a budget of £2000 for their wedding but wait for it… only spent £800! A big reason for this was that the wedding was held on the bride’s parent’s farm and they helped out with the cost of the marquee. Their professional photographer was a friend (always handy!) which also clearly saved them a big chunk of change. They decided not to have any flowers, Alex’s sister in law made some cupcakes and her mother did all the catering. Instead of hiring an expensive wedding car Alex drove herself to the wedding in her own Ford Fiesta!
Emilie & Antony spent just £3000 on their wedding. They were married on a Friday and were really lucky to have a friend who worked at Lains Barn in Oxfordshire, who was able to get them a really cheap deal on the rental and food costs. “Lains Barn is perfectly charming and was perfect for our shabby chic wedding!” wrote Emilie. “We chose to have a hog roast. It was served with buns and apple sauce. My grandmother didn’t seem a big fan of the way it was served, but not everyone agreed – one of my friends said ‘Burgers at a wedding – genius!’ with a big smile on his face and a couple of burgers on his plate!”
This wasn’t where the money saving stopped though. Emilie found her dress for just £30 on eBay and Antony’s suit was from TK Maxx. They also didn’t have any bridesmaids or groomsmen, the bride’s mother did the flowers and they kept the reception décor minimal. “The venue already came partly decorated”, she continued. “The main barn had long flowing fabric hangings which I thought looked perfect as they were, so I just added the flower arrangements to decorate the tables. The second barn, where the bar is, already had fairy lights and greenery decorating the animal troughs. I hung lots of silver stars along the wood beams to add some shabby chic whimsy to the room. I made them myself using the inside cardboard from toilet rolls, cutting each roll into 5 roundels. I flattened each roundel to make it a little pointed, and then hot-glued them in the middle to make stars! All that was left to do after that was spray-painting them silver.”
For their March wedding, South Africans Angelo & Candice wanted a colourful day that oozed fun…so a rainbow theme it was! “Angelo and I are generally out of the box thinkers and the ‘same old same old’ wedding décor was not what we wanted”, began the bride. “We knew we wanted colour and fun and we went from there. There were a few elements I needed to ‘sell’ to my parents but they went with most of my ideas (thankfully). Angelo and I are both involved in film and TV (Angelo is an actor and I am a Junior Creative Producer) so a strong film element had to be prevalent in our day. We had popcorn holding up our table numbers and a picture of a clapper board on our invites.”
Candice’s gorgeous custom wedding gown was made by a costume designer, Julita de Wet and her shoes were from Nine West. She wanted her bridesmaids to be comfortable but colourful and stylish so instead of stuffy bridesmaid’s dresses they wore maxi skirts – each in a different colour – and white tank tops. They all carried giant paper flowers instead of bouquets.
If there’s one thing I’m never seen without, its something bright and colourful on top of my head. And as the weather gets warmer, I’m rocking my flower crown collection as often as possible – the bigger and brighter the better I say! So it goes without saying really that I was pretty darn excited when I saw Kayleigh’s bridal ensemble. I know that if I was getting married now, I’d so be wearing something like this. Also, be sure to check out her amazing nail art. Daaaamn this girl’s got style!
Kayleigh & Jason were married in Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle, with just Jason’s children and his best friend there as witnesses. “I’ve always felt that weddings are a bit of a show for others and having both been previously married, we wanted our wedding to be focused completely on our love and family alone”, explained the bride. “Becoming a family unit is a private thing for us, we wanted my husband’s children and our best friend to be the only ones in attendance. We tried to plan as much as we could but even the location of the ceremony wasn’t settled on until the day before! We wanted a laid back, go with the flow, let’s go to the park and get hitched on a Monday type day. We wanted it to be intimate and romantic and personal, I think we achieved that.”
Spring has very much sprung over here in the UK. And as the daffodils start to line streets and parkways, I usually forgo featuring any obviously winter weddings. After all, who want to be reminded of the cold and bleak mid-winter when it’s so glorious outside?! Well Meghann & Nathan’s wedding was different. They were married in the Colorado Mountains, where snow is a pretty regular feature. They also had a steampunk theme and only spent $2000 on the day, making it a wedding that I just knew you guys would flip out about. So, yet again, my self-imposed rules are being broken today. Oh well!
The wedding was held at Brush Creek Pavilion in Eagle, Colorado, and was planned by the mother of the bride, Jen, who runs her own wedding planning company, I Do Weddings. Jen did pretty much everything for this wedding, even so much as designing and making Meghann’s dress and headpiece herself! Nathan wore an outfit made up of things he already owned alongside a few items rented from a costume shop, and the bridesmaids and groomsmen were invited to wear anything they liked, as long as it fit them steampunk theme of course!
“Meg & Nathan decided to marry in a simple, local winter wedding in February and announced their plans to our friends and family shortly before Christmas”, wrote Jen, mother of the bride. “I wanted to find a way to help them host an event that really reflected their personalities. The steampunk theme allowed us to honor the love of drama that they share, and the result of the theme was a colorful, joy filled event.”
Have you ever heard of a couple deciding to get married and do so within 12 short hours? And, no, a couple in a movie don’t count! Well that’s exactly what Thomas & Kimberly did whilst on holiday in Belize. They were married, just the two of them, in the middle of the ocean, on a sandbar in Ambergris Caye.
“We like to be laid-back, relaxed and chilled”, explained the bride. “We wanted to avoid any wedding planning stress, and to instead spend our time enjoying the sand, water, and each other. We wanted an event that would set the bar high for our life together, and we were very lucky to find Keli Engleson from “I Do” Belize Weddings. Keli coordinated the whole wedding in less than 12 hours. We were so excited about the location she suggested and she was great to work with. The ceremony itself was beautiful and touching.”
What first attracted me to this story though was their amazing and dramatic wedding photographs, taken by local photographer Leonardo Melendez. While the trend for a lot of wedding photography is still very (sorry but there really is no other word to describe it…) vintage-inspired, his work is bold, daring and as far removed from vintage as possible! “We had a great time having our pictures taken with Leonardo,” Kimberly continued. “He is the best in Belize as far as far as we are concerned. He came up with some really creative ideas.”