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How I planned my Wedding on a £5,000 budget

Weddings are expensive, there is no getting around that BUT if you are willing to break away from tradition and ignore some of the ‘must haves’ that people will tell you are needed, you can cut down a huge amount!

I had a strict £5,000 budget for my wedding so I had to consider what my priorities were, what I really couldn’t live without on my wedding day and what I could let go.


Venues are probably the thing that will cut into your budget the most, but getting a good venue is a must.

My best tip is to think outside the box when finding a venue, there are some great places that are not necessarily a wedding venue that you can still hire for a wedding.

We got legally married in a casual ceremony at a registry office the day before our official ‘wedding’ so that we could have a ceremony in a place that was not registered for weddings. This way we could design our ceremony to be exactly how we wanted it, we created the structure and vows ourselves and had a family member ‘officiate’.

Our venue ended up being a church turned arts center and we had our entire day here, often venues such as village halls and local centers can be a perfect blank canvas for you to decorate however you like.

If you fall in love with a wedding venue, opt for an off-season date, we got married in January and I am sure we would have paid a lot more if we had a June wedding!


Go vintage and get a good seamstress.

I wore my mother’s wedding dress, when I first tried this on it was so heavy. It had seven layers of fabric and giant shoulders! I took this to a local seamstress who asked me what I wanted it to look like by the end, she measured me up, took out most of the fabric layers, took out the shoulder pads and cut off a lot of the length. I was amazed at how different it looked.

If you find a second hand dress that you like the style of, don’t be put off by it not being able to fit or if there are a few things you would want to change. A seamstress who knows what they are doing can completely transform a giant 80s wedding dress into your dream dress!


Three letters: DIY

I was very fortunate that my mother in-law is the queen of crafting. She made lanterns for the tables out of old jars and ribbon, chandeliers out of hula hoops, hessian and fairy lights and even dipped toy farm animals in gold glitter!

I did not have the budget to get fresh flowers, I would have loved to have flowers but it just was not an option for me. Thankfully Pinterest has some great ideas for alternative bouquets. My mother in law made my bouquet out of ribbons, lace and hessian and I absolutely loved it.

My bridesmaids carried lanterns that I spray painted rose gold and filled with battery operated fairy lights, we bought 150 chair covers off EBay and bought mismatched lace tablecloths from charity shops and vintage markets.

It is more effort to DIY but will save you so much money, I can honestly say that all the nights I stayed in hand painting glitter on pine cones was worth it in the end!

Photographer / Videographer

I’ll admit with this one, I got lucky. I got a very good discount from an amazing photographer who I had worked with before, she did us a massive favour.

The thing is, you can get a good photographer on a budget. A lot of the time you do get what you pay for, there are some shocking wedding photographers out there offering very cheap all day packages, there will be the odd person who is just starting out who will offer low prices as they build their portfolio but this is hard to find.

A lot of photographers will offer various packages, do your research and find a good photographer, that you like the style of that will offer a half day or basic package without extras for a lower price, they do exist and they are around if you look for them. It helps to find someone local to you so you don’t have to pay for their travel expenses.

I couldn’t write this post and not mention videographers! They often get left out but I think it is worth doing so that you can hear back your vows and your speeches. I did not actually have a videographer for my wedding and I massively regret it because I would love to hear back all those things I have completely forgotten about now! I know that this will be similar to photography in that if you can’t afford a full day package, a lot of videographers will offer a half day more affordable option.


My husband and I still reminisce about how delicious the food at our wedding was! We had two huge vats of Spanish paella – much cheaper than a fancy 3 plus course meal but equally as yummy! Buffet style catering is the way to go, I would contact street food suppliers for value for money and it is something a bit different too.

For dessert, my mum baked some amazing cheesecakes and puddings which went down very well. It is well worth contacting a talented auntie or cousin to see if they would be willing to provide a few sweet treats for your guests.

I am not saying in any way that my wedding was the most amazing wedding out there, there are always compromises that you will have to make if you don’t have all the money in the world but what I will say is that I look back very fondly on my day, I don’t regret saving money and the most important things are the things you don’t pay for; the people that are there and the promises you make to each other in front of them.

All photos by Elina Photography

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