With just £5000 to spend, Ali and Andrew knew they had to get creative for their wedding. They decided to skip the traditional wedding venue, instead bravely hosting their day completely outside at a camp site by the beach in East Lothian, Scotland.
“Initially when we thought about what we would do for our wedding we thought we would go back to St Andrews, where we met, and have a huge party on the beach”, said Ali. “However this proved to be out of our budget, so we decided to downsize to East Lothian, which is much more reasonably priced. We wanted to make the wedding reflective of us, so there were nods to our shared interests of writing and comics, to Andrew’s love of Doctor Who and my fondness for bright colours!”
“The main thing was we wanted it to be fun for our guests”, she continued. “We didn’t want anyone to get cold and bored, particularly in the ‘standing around waiting for formal photos to be over’ portion of proceedings, so we instructed everyone to bring a jumper, and brought along tennis rackets, swingball and various board games.”
The ceremony was held on the beach underneath an archway decorated with paper hearts cut from old copies the Beano. “We wrote our own vows, which were intended to be warm and affectionate – but also funny and irreverent. Traditional Scottish weddings tend to have a bagpiper on hand to play the bridal party in, but we opted to give each of our guests a kazoo instead. They piped the bridesmaids down the aisle to the Jurassic Park theme, seamlessly seguing into The Final Countdown for the bride.”
In terms of DIY, this couple really went to town. “The favours were made from pebbles we collected a little way up the coast from the venue”, Ali said. “I painted them with different characters and objects, Andrew wrote individual poems to go with each one, and Ali’s parents helped make the boxes to put them in. We also made all the flowers from book and comic pages.”
“We saved a lot of money by doing these things ourselves but the biggest saving was on our venue – which we got for free! We had the wedding at Harvest Moon, which is a glamping campsite. The deal is you get the whole place to yourself for the weekend, including space to pitch your reception yurt, if you can fill their six luxury tents with guests. We had people coming from Scotland, England, Wales, France, Germany and the USA, so doing this meant they had the option of staying with us the whole weekend – which worked out cheaper than if they’d booked a hotel, and gave us a much better chance of actually getting to catch up with people properly before and after the wedding.”
“My advice to future brides and grooms would be that wedding planning can get very overwhelming very quickly, so I’d say think about what you really care about, and ditch the rest of it – especially if you’re on a tight budget.”