Real Budget Wedding: Chris and Emma’s 2k Purple July Wedding

Real Budget Wedding 2k Crafty

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 40Chris and Emma's 2k purple wedding details. Real Budget Wedding Feature on 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.

Chris & Emma's 2k Craft packed wedding in July 2015. Real Budget Wedding Feature on

C&E Designs was set up by myself following my wedding. I realised their was a niche market for those people who, like myself and Chris didn’t want traditional flowers. Paper Flowers offer a fantastic alternative, as well as tending to be much more cost effective, they also last as a memento of your special day.
“At C&E Designs we are bespoke paper specialists offering a range of exciting alternative paper items for your special day with Wedding Packages starting from £170. Everything is made by hand in our studio in Lancashire using your paper choice. Our items are a perfect keepsake for your day too!
From bouquets to boutonnieres to table decorations to wedding favours and paper confetti all created to fit with your wedding.”
 To find out more about Emma and her fabulous paper flowers business visit her website, like her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter or Instagram 

3 Great Wedding Discoveries

3 New Wedding Ideas You will love

Here are 3 very different wedding ideas I have discovered recently that I think are definitely worth sharing with you.

1) A fabulous recycling idea…
Recycle your wedding dress to make a christening gown. 

Previously I discussed my reasons for donating my wedding dress to charity. One of my reasons for not keeping my gown was because I couldn’t see the logic behind keeping the dress when most people store their dress away never to be looked at again, or to be pulled out once a decade or so.

But instead of simply storing, selling or donating your dress why not turn it into something else?

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Real Budget Wedding: Katherine & Richard’s dusty pink July wedding

Real Budget Wedding Essex Title

Bride and Groom: Katherine & Richard
Katherine runs a wedding planning business and Richard is a Claims Assessor. They both live in Suffolk.
Wedding Date: 7th July 2013

You wouldn’t believe from reading about their wedding in this feature and from looking at their wonderful pictures that Katherine and Richard planned the whole wedding from start to finish in just 3 months! But they did. They got engaged in the April and were married in the July. 

Wedding Venue: Leez Priory
Colour Scheme: Dusty Pink

Photographer: Photography was done by a friend who lived in Sweden. My brother also took some photos and was in charge of videography too but unfortunately the batteries ran out during the speeches! 

MUA: One of my Bridesmaids did my make up for me after a visit to a beauty counter for a tutorial!  We bought some of the recommended items and had a great fun few hours getting made up.  She did a great job on the day too!

Total Wedding Budget = £7,000 (roughly)


How did you decide on your 7k wedding budget?

It was the total amount we had in our savings and the money we had gifted to us from our parents.

What elements of planning were the hardest with your budget?

Catering was one of the hardest elements due to the numbers, and ensuring that all dietary requirements were catered for. We ended up going for a vegan option and one other for the mains.

RegisterMy fab dad!






The extra cost was for the evening buffet so it was just a numbers game.  I catered for exactly the number who were invited and said they were coming & was just a bit peed off when some of them didn’t turn up!  There was more than enough food but I think the extras who didn’t come ended up costing an unnecessary £200.  So I would say cater for a few less as there could always be a few people who won’t make it.

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Real Budget Wedding: Ira and James’ Icehotel Wedding

Real Budget Wedding Sweden Title

Bride and Groom: Ira Blake & James Humphries are both lighting designers and advisors based in Salisbury, England.
Wedding Venue: Icehotel, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
Wedding Ceremony venue: Ice Church

Ira and James decided to get married in Sweden because their both ‘Scandiphiles’ and they fell in love with the place when Ira took James there for an early 40th birthday present whilst he was working in Stockholm.

Wedding date:  31 December 2013
Wedding colour Scheme: Not white!

Number of Guests: 6

Their guests consisted of, Ira’s sister and brother-in-law, Ira’s brother and sister-in-law and Ira’s best friend and her husband.

Photographer: James and Ira’s guests acted as their photographers, taking all the pictures they have of their day

Total wedding budget: 10K

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Round-Up: Discounts Available for SayIDoOnABudget Readers

Discounts for Readers

I think now is a good time to do a round-up of the discounts featured suppliers have provided especially for readers of the SayIDoOnABudget blog. Over the past few months many awesome suppliers that have been featured have provided discounts off of their products and services especially for you that are still available for you to use!

5% off of a photo booth with Giraffe Monkey

The photo booths available through Giraffe Moneys are incredibly small budget friendly to begin with yet they were kind enough to extend a 5% discount off of any of their packages for all SayIDoOnABudget readers. For further details and the code you have to use at check out see the original blog post

25% off your Alexem Boutique order 

This discount from Alexem Boutique can be used when making a purchase via the website or the Etsy shop. Alexem Boutique are a stationary company with a twist, you can order everything from your save the dates to your place cards, where you work with Alexe on the design that you’re then sent to print yourself or upload to a service such as Vista Print. For the special order code and the T&C’s see the full original post from January 2017

Free Delivery on your order from The Hand Dyed Shoe Co.

Simon founded and set up The Hand Dyed Shoe Co. to create incredible, custom, hand crafted mens’ shoes. All of you Say I Do On A Budget readers have been kindly given free delivery on your orders with The Hand Dyed Shoe Co. when using the code detailed in the full original post published in May 2017

Discounts Available for SayIDoOnABudget Readers

Real Budget Wedding: James & Lucy’s Blue & Yellow September Wedding

Real Budget Wedding

Bride and Groom: Lucy & James Price
Lucy is a photographer and James is the manager of a coffee shop. They met through a mutual friend and had been together 18 months before James popped the question.
Wedding Date(s!): 22nd September 2016 & 24th September 2016
Wedding Venue: The legal bits were conducted at St Georges Hall and their wedding day was at The Racquet Club. Both venues are in Liverpool.
Number of guests: at The Racquet Club on 24th September Lucy and James has 60 day guests and an additional 35 in the evening.
Colour Scheme: Blue & Yellow

Photographer: Heather Rachel Photography

I’m a wedding photographer so photography was (obviously) important to me. Just like everyone else I wanted beautiful photographs to capture my day and look back at, but I also understand the importance of someone giving a photographer, who may have not shot weddings in the past but wants to, that first break. So my photographer wasn’t someone who had years experience in weddings. I’ve known Heather for years and knew she could take beautiful photos so I trusted her completely and the photographs are beautiful. Heather had also assisted me at weddings I photographed so I knew she understood the style I liked.

MUA: Lucy didn’t hire a professional make-up artist. Instead her sister did her hair and makeup for her. 

Total Wedding Budget = £5,500 (roughly)

How did you decide on your budget?
We didn’t really make a plan for the budget when we started planning the wedding (which we probably should have) We just knew we wanted it to be affordable, we didn’t want to take out loans or anything like that to pay for it. We got engaged in the October (2015) and about a week later booked the wedding for the following September so we didn’t have years to save for it, so everything had to be within our means, Real Life Budget Weddingbut that was what we wanted. Neither of us wanted a big flashy day as that didn’t really fit our personalities.

Phew! So even though Lucy and James made the mistake many couples make when in the early stages of planning of not working out and setting a budget, it would seem their grounded approach kept them on the straight and narrow. For advice on how to work out your wedding budget click here.

So what about these two wedding dates?
Well Lucy & James technically had two weddings.
“James had always said that he wanted someone we knew to marry us, which isn’t exactly legal (in the UK). So on the 22nd Sept we went to our local registrar office with my mum and James’ parents as witnesses to get the legal stuff done. We didn’t tell friends/family until our ‘real’ wedding on the 24th.”
Instead of a registrar, James announced to the guests that they’d done the legal bits a couple of days before but that they wanted their friends and loved ones to be there to see their vows. Lucy found example ceremonies online and used them to write their own personal ceremony which their parents conducted for them.
“We saved a lot of money on registrar fees doing it this way, but we chose to do it like this so we could have a truly personal wedding.”

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Flash Sale with Record The Knot

Just a quick mini update to let you know about a flash sale a wedding video company is having…

“See your wedding through the eyes of your guests with Record The Knot. We gather all the videos and images your guests capture on their devices and transform this amateur footage – with professional video treatment and editing techniques – into a totally unique, bespoke wedding video.

For the next two days we’re slashing €50 off our price, meaning you can get a full multiperspective wedding video for only €100 – British Pound: £87.03 (estimate based on current exchange rates).

But hurry, this offer ends Thursday 01/06/2017*”