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How to plan a wedding on a small budget

Weddings can be expensive, but you don’t necessarily need to spend tens of thousands of pounds in order to have the best day ever. If you want to be a little more frugal when it comes to your wedding days, here’s some ideas and inspiration that you can use.


Choose your venue carefully

The venue will be a big focus of your day and it will likely feature in many of your wedding photographs. You want to choose a venue that not only reflects your personality, but that will also match the theme of your day.

There are plenty of venues that don’t have to cost the earth. You could choose a small village hall in an idyllic village or a small boutique hotel. if you’re wanting to hold a wedding on a budget, then expect to be hosting a small wedding – the bigger the venue and the more people you want to invite, the more the cost goes up.

Don’t forget – it might be better to hire a venue and spend more money on decor and dressing than it is to spend all of your money on an expensive venue.


Consider wedding packages

Now, lots of hotels are geared up to host weddings. In fact, hotel weddings have become so popular, many hotels will have a package that you can choose for your big day. The package normally includes the venue hire, food and drink, a cake, all the linen and crockery, the venue dressing, chair covers, etc. Not only is this minimal organisation for you, but you could save a lot of money by allowing the hotel to do everything. All you’d need to do is hire a wedding photographer and choose the bridal party outfits and wedding planning is complete!

Plus, by hosting your wedding at the hotel, you’ll be saving on the cost of a church wedding, which could add an extra £1,000 to your wedding costs.


Re-loved wedding dresses

Some brides don’t like the idea of a second-hand wedding dress, but there are plenty of companies in the UK that offer amazing quality dresses that have previously been worn at a discount price. They’re still in pristine condition and will have been thoroughly cleaned, ready to be worn again. You could save around 50% compared to the price of a new dress, plus you’re doing your bit for the environment by re-using something that was made to be worn once.


Choose in-season flowers

Did you know that flowers are at their cheapest when they’re in season? Different flowers prefer different climates, temperatures and humidities. This means some thrive in early spring, others in late summer. Flowers that are in season can be locally grown and will be in the best condition for your day. If you choose flowers that are out of season, you may need to pay extra to have them imported from abroad and they may not be as good quality. Below, we’ve listed a few of the most popular flowers and the time of year they’re at their best:


  • Roses
  • Tulips
  • Hydrangeas
  • Peonies
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Jasmine


  • Clematis
  • Sunflowers
  • Phlox
  • Iris
  • Chrysanthemum


  • Lily
  • Camellia
  • Dahlia
  • Begonia
  • Physalis


  • Hyacinths
  • Juniper
  • Ivy
  • Pieris
  • Snowdrops


Cater for one meal

Food and drink is one of the biggest costs associated with weddings. Therefore the more food and drink you want, and the more people you invite, the more the cost will shoot up.

You might want to consider a late wedding. By having your wedding at 4pm, you can serve just one evening meal. But if you wanted to get married at 12pm, you’d need to provide an afternoon meal as well as an evening buffet. This could cause the price to shoot up.

You may also want to think about serving your wedding cake instead of dessert – this could save you a bit of money and the cake will all get eaten, instead of living in your freezer for the next few months.


Get married during off-peak months

Peak wedding season is thought to be from around the start of May to the end of September. It’s during this time frame that the cost of everything will increase, including your wedding venue. If you want to try and save some money, consider having an Autumn or Christmas wedding.


How to deal with wedding planning stress

Although wedding planning should be fun and exciting, there are  absolutely times when the whole process can become stressful. Many couples might become worried that they’re “supposed” to be happy and enjoying the planning process, but this just isn’t the case for everyone.

There may be times when the stress becomes too much. I’ve written this post that tells you exactly how to deal with wedding planning stress to keep you calm and content.


Don’t Worry About Other People

A lot of couples spend their time worrying about what other people might want on the day. It can be easy to get caught up too much with what others want so you forget what you want. It’s your day, so try not to get too bogged down about pleasing other people.


Take a Break

Sometimes, you and your partner may forget that the whole point of your wedding is to demonstrate your love for each other. It might be worthwhile to go on a short getaway to spend some quality time together and get away from table plans, invitations and cake designs.


Try to Avoid Drama

You might have a guest who’s stressing because they couldn’t book a room at your recommended hotel, or two of your friends bought the same dress for the day and both are refusing to return it. Your mum doesn’t like the idea of an outdoor ceremony (at all) and your dad is adamant that your dress should have sleeves.

You should try to avoid any drama that surrounds your big day like the examples above. People will need to sort their own problems out themselves without getting you involved, particularly when it’s issues like booking a room. It may feel like you’re responsible for the issue, but you’re not.


Ask Others for Help

You won’t be able to cope with all of the planning yourself – this is why you have bridesmaids and groomsmen. You should ask them to get involved to help you out with certain decisions or appointments.

If you’re DIYing a lot of aspects of the wedding, such as your invitations, you could organise a girls’ night. Get your ‘maids over, crack open a bottle of wine (or two) and do it as a fun task together. Not only is it a way for you to de-stress, but you’re also being productive which is a bonus!

If you’re worried about certain tasks that need to be done on the day, such as handing confetti out or taking the flowers from the church to your venue, you can always ask friends and family members for help. Tell them what they need to do on the day and they’ll do it, leaving you completely stress free.


Be Organised

For some people, organisation doesn’t come easily. However, the more organised you are, the more likely it is that your stress levels will reduce. You should keep track of any appointments in a diary. Make a to-do list to ensure that you’re staying on track. There are tonnes of wedding to-do list templates, like this one from Bride Magazine, that you can use for free. It’s also a good idea to keep a list of all of your supplies and their contact details in case you need to phone them.


Take a Step Back

Occasionally, the wedding planning process can become too much and it’s more than okay to take a step back when you need to. If you find that you’re becoming overwhelmed, take a week off planning and instead, focus on doing some fun activities. If you enjoy walking, you could organise a hike with your partner. You may want to go on a spa weekend with your mum or even just go out for a drink with the lads.



How to build your own photo booth

Looking to cut costs and build your own photo booth? Here’s how you can do it.

Entertaining your guests can become expensive – bands can cost hundreds of pounds, as can DJs, and what about the cost of a magician? Whether you’re trying to save the pennies or you want to do something fun for your guests, creating your own photo booth could be the answer.


How to make a photo booth

First, you’ll need a camera or a smartphone with a good quality camera, and a tripod to put it on.

You’ll need a mixture of props. Think hats, glasses, masks, inflatables, false beards, wigs, etc. The crazier the better! To make it easier, you can buy ready-made sets of photo booth props. Just take a look at somewhere like Hobbycraft for ideas.


Where should I put the photo booth?

Now that you’ve figured out what props you want, you need to find a place for your photo booth.

It would be a good idea to have it close to the dance floor or in the same room where the main reception is. You don’t want to set it up in a place where your guests won’t be able to find it.

You should also consider the backdrop and the lighting. Are there any curtains around a window that can be closed to create a backdrop? You may be able to find a blank wall that can be used.  You don’t want the background to detract from the guests in the photo, so choose something plain. Remember that the camera flash could reflect on a shiny background so, to avoid glare, make sure the wall doesn’t have shimmery wallpaper.

If you wanted to, you could create your own backdrop. You could hang chiffon like this incredible setup:


Backdrop with white fabric and pallets

This backdrop would be incredible for an Autumn wedding!

Or, you could create a colourful ribbon backdrop. For a more simple backdrop, you could hang a bedsheet in your choice of colour. Just be sure to confirm with the venue how you can hang it to prevent any damage.

If you want to push the boat out, you could have a flower wall created. The wall could be used throughout the day, and then moved to the photo booth location for the evening.


How will the photo booth work?

Now that you’ve got all your props and equipment together, you need to make sure the system will work flawlessly on the day.

First, you’ll need to set the camera or the phone on a timer. If you’re unsure how to do this, either check the manual or Google it. A 5- or 10-second timer should be enough. You should also make sure that there’s plenty of storage on the device. You may have to buy an additional memory card. You don’t want the device to stop taking photos because it’s got full memory.

Then, you might want to put a sign out that advises your guests of how to use the photo booth. It could say something like

Press the button and strike a pose!

This lets your guests know to push the button on the camera themselves.

When the day is over, you’ll have plenty of fun looking at all the ridiculous photos of your guests. Don’t forget to add them somewhere so your guests can see them. Facebook might be a good place to do this. That way, you can tag them in the photos!


If you want to take the hassle out of making your own photo booth, there are plenty of companies out there who can take care of everything for you!