Bride and Groom: Chris & Emma.
Emma works as a teacher and artist and Chris is a Graphic Designer
Ceremony Venue: Ashton Memorial, Lancaster
Reception Venue: Ribble Cruising Club, Lytham
Wedding Date: 25th July 2015
Wedding Colour Scheme and Theme: Purple with the subtle inclusion of their love for Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.
Total Wedding Budget: £2,200
How did you decide on your budget? We knew we wanted a small wedding and didn’t want to spend a fortune, but most importantly we wanted it to be very us. We were also moving in to our new home a few months before we were due to get married so we knew that the budget had to be small.
What elements of planning were the hardest with your budget? There were so many ‘extra’ things that we would have liked to have but just couldn’t afford within the budget. Though these really didn’t matter on the day.
Chris and Emma’s fabulous wedding suppliers:
The paper flowers and table décor were created by Emma herself.
For their catering they had Hot Pot and Cheese and Potato Pie from a local vendor.
Their wedding cake was a small white cake from Tesco which they added to with home made cupcakes.
As a way to cut costs Chris and Emma forewent a DJ and instead they made a playlist full of their favourite songs and songs from their guests suggestions and played these through the sound system at the venue.
Victoria was Emma’s MUA and nail tech and Emma’s aunt did her hair for her on the wedding say as her present to them
Tell us all about your Bridal outfit? My Wedding Dress was from Debenhams in the sale and cost £60. I spent a while looking for the ‘perfect’ dress but knew that this could take a massive amount from our budget. When I saw this dress in the online sale at Debenhams two months after we got engaged and nearly 2 years before we got married I took the risk and ordered, it fitted perfectly.
What about your beautiful Bridesmaids? We had 2 Bridesmaids and one ‘Lady of Flowers’. Our two Bridesmaids wore black and white dresses from Miss Selfridge which cost £40 each and was a dress they could wear again and my friend who was the ‘Lady of Flowers’ bought her own black maxi dress to wear. Their dresses were teamed with purple pashminas from eBay at approximately £6 each. They also wore their own shoes so they were comfy.
And the Groovy Groomsmen? We had 5 Groomsmen altogether. We didn’t buy their outfits, just asked that they wore what they would like with a grey tie. This way they all looked like themselves and where comfortable in what they were wearing.
What about the bling bling? My ring was from H.Samuel and was about £60 and Chris’ ring was his Grandad’s wedding ring which we had cleaned and re-sized.
What was your Old/New/Borrowed/Blue? My old was a photo of me and my Grandad which was attached to my bouquet. My new was my shoes, my borrowed was a bracelet from my mum and my blue was my garter which one of my bridesmaids made.
Did you get your DIY on? I think the majority of our wedding was DIY. We made our own invites for the wedding, I made the bouquets, buttonholes, table decorations, along with a 3 tier wedding cake all from paper (which is where C&E Designs started).
I spent months drying out flowers for the confetti, I even made over 100 cupcakes for the evening do. We made the table plan, place names, we decorated the wedding car (my dad’s Land Rover) with bunting and flowers and we decorated the Reception Venue and the Ceremony Venue ourselves (with help from family and friends). Although this all took a massive amount of time it really helped to keep to our budget.
What was the biggest hurdle you ran into when planning your wedding? My main hurdle was how to get everything to come together at the end, particularly decorating the venue for the ceremony without me being there. My brother, his girlfriend and Chris had instructions of what to do and not knowing if it would be how I had imagined until I got there was a little stressful.
What was/were your best budget buy/s? I think my dress was the best budget buy as this really helped us keep to our budget.
What was your biggest blowout spend for the wedding? As it got nearer to the day for the wedding we decided we would spend a bit extra on things that weren’t really that important or necessary in the grand scheme of things, for example, the light up ‘LOVE’ letters which we borrowed from a friend. They were lovely but they weren’t a necessity.
Was there anything that didn’t go as planned? I arrived at the Ceremony about 40 minutes before I needed to be there and had to sit in the car. We’d left earlier than planned originally as the traffic was really bad but it didn’t take as long as first thought and guests were still arriving.
Most memorable part/s of the day? Obviously just ‘being married’ but I think knowing that everyone had a really good time and enjoyed the day was amazing. We had tried really hard for it to be a relaxed, no pressure day and this paid off.
Any tips or advice you’d give to others planning on a small budget? Start planning early if you can, we started planning two years before our big day and this really took the stress off, particularly when you are doing most of it yourselves. We also spent time putting together a scrapbook right at the start of all the things we wanted (and didn’t want) and this really helped us to narrow down exactly what was important and what would be nice but that we didn’t really need.
Final Thoughts and Feelings:
Right from the start of discussing what we wanted our wedding to be like we knew we wanted a relaxed and stress free day surrounded by our family and close friends. We asked our guests to not wear formal suits, hats or fascinators and to wear clothes they felt comfortable in and this fitted with our ‘informal’ approach to the day.
We really wanted the day just to be about ‘us’ and it to really show who we are as a couple, so we included a lot of our favourite things, for example, all the paper flowers were made from Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings books, my wedding car was my dads Land Rover which we decorated and our wedding outfits, my dress and Chris’ outfit where very us. Nothing about the day felt forced, just relaxed and fun.
We were also very lucky that my best friend is a Photographer and her Wedding present to us was being our Photographer.