Alex and Steve’s wedding was all about being thrifty but also not being wasteful. They had a £3000 budget, had their reception at a community hall and the bride wore a dress made by her mum from organic cotton an bamboo. The flowers were all picked on the day and the cake was made by the mother of the groom.
“Our inspiration was our friends, their creativity, and nature”, began the bride. “Most of the decoration was made by friends and family. Our ‘theme’ was handmade, simplicity and local. Steve’s mum crocheted over 100 flowers that were on guests’ plates to wear as corsages. We organised a day of willow weaving (run by a friend) in the run up to the wedding to make the willow hearts and flowers. Alex’s niece and nephew collected and painted stones from the beach for the place names.”
“All the food was local: we got the meat from a local organic small holding, the veg was grown by friends who run an organic veg box scheme, the rest was bought at our local independent health food shop. Alex’s Dad made a barrel of homemade cider, and a friend brewed two barrels of ale for us. We made a big batch of elderflower champagne for guests as they arrived at the hall. Alex’s school friends brought a dessert each to share with everyone. The night before about 20 friends and family helped us set up the hall, and more came in the morning helping us do the final touches. It was a lovely way for people to meet each other and we couldn’t have done it without them.”
“We’re very conscious about our impact on the environment and didn’t want to create a lot of waste”, she continued. “We composted all our food waste and recycled as much as we possibly could. At the end of the wedding we had two black bags of non-recyclable waste, which we thought was pretty good going for a wedding!”
Their ceremony, which took place in a nearby woods, was officiated by some good friends. “Our ceremony was held in the woods, in a clearing that overlooked the sea”, she continued. “Good friends of ours officiated a hand-fasting, and brought their own home made cider to act as the ‘honeymoon’ mead. They also decorated the space with willow and wildflowers from their small holding. Guests were invited to help secure flowers onto the willow structure as they arrived.”
In fact the couple’s only big expense was alcohol! “We bought far too much and still have left over which we need to have a party to get rid of”, she laughed. “It was important for us to not spend enormous amounts of money on one day. People’s time was far more valuable for us and we spent time with friends and family in the run up with various projects which was really special.”
“Maybe our biggest saving was the venue, which was £350 for the day. We were able to pop down, pick up the key from the local shop if we needed to go in to get measurements or see how the tables would be set up etc. Included in this fee was the table and chairs, a newly refurbished kitchen and use of the good sized garden. Also my friend Becky gifted us the photos. We are blown away by them and forever grateful!”