Although mine was large ie large amount of guests family, work friends, church friends we had an inexpensive wedding, after all I’d just finished university and hubbie had been forced to close his business as a contractor and take a very badly paid job as an IT technical staff member at a private school. We couldn’t even afford a car or rent on a flat. Money was extremely tight.
So I went looking at bridle gowns and decided not only was there nothing I would want to wear they were far too expensive and I could go twice to London to a certain fabric shop and buy all the materials required raw silk brocade lace, for my dress, a Bridesmaids dress, matron of Honours dress and a flower girls dress. I bought some lovely fabric from a local Indian fabric shop to make my mother’s dress and a going away outfit for myself all for less then a quarter of the price of a shop bought wedding dress.
We did our own catering including a sit down 3 course lunch for 250 guests. But my brother was a chief and we bought all the supplies from the local Cash and Carry Store. As hubbie worked for a school he knew the catering staff and we paid 3 ladies to cook the prepared food and 2 ladies from church headed up two teams made up of volunteers from the youth group at church serving the guest.
We did pay for a local hall and friends of my heads bridesmaid said don’t worry we’ll sort the decorations.
A friend made my wedding cake but then refused to take any money for it so we sent her tickets about a month or so later to a concert at our local theatre.
I did get a lady to make my bonquet but she wasn’t expensive and it was lovely. I bought flowers from the local shop and our Pastors wife decorated the church with them for us. I made the little poses for my bridesmaid and matron of honour and a little flower basket for our flower girl the basket was picked up in a charity shop for 40p I just added some ribbon, the oasis and flowers. I made the button holes for the best man hubbie bow tie, best man’s bow tie and the ushers bow ties. I even made my younger brother’s cufflinks as he broke his about an hour before we were suppose to leave for the church. I used some Victorian black glass beads and highly polished metal shanked buttons. They looked amazing and he still uses them.
I did an huge cold buffeut in the evening of homemade food things supplied from my mother, mil, sil Head brides maid a friend of my mother and a few ladies from church.
We got a very cheap deal on printed invitations which fil then went sent us a cheque for which was very nice otherwise I was going to make them myself like my SiL had done. I did make all the thank you cards though.
We only had one official wedding car hubbie arranged for me to have a white vintage convertible Damelia through the friend of one of the teachers he worked with. The owner was proud as pouch to show it off for a wedding and he was our special guest with his elderly disabled wife.
My head bridesmaid said I wasn’t to spend money arranging another car as her’s was white and she’s put ribbons on it and drive the ladies herself which she did very well. My brother’s best friend drove my 2 brothers and mother, while our best man took hubbie in his brand new imported sports car.
But as said you first need to decide how big ie how many people then work from there.
A friend of mine had a huge garden tea party with croquet and French bowls after her official bit. She used miss matched vintage china from charity shops which myself and her family looked out for over a period of about 18months and would buy as and when we saw a piece. The croquet set was found in a charity shop the other one was lent by one of the guests. The French bowls sets were 4 of my sets, one set she had and another set from her new BiL.
We had some cheap hoopla from the poundshop and some made some small beans bags from scarp fabric and dried peas. We bought charity shop teddy bears so children and young at heart could through bean bags and knock a teddy off a improvised shelf (plank of wood covered in a piece of charity shop fabric placed across two chairs) If you knocked a teddy off you could keep the teddy, each one had a brown luggage label tied around it’s neck with a ribbon with it’s name on one side and for so n so wedding day on the other side. We did those ourselves us girls one evening it was fun.
I went to a wedding a few year ago in a barn everything was either handmade or bought in a charity shop. There had a big bbq, home made cakes, salads, drinks and dancing. There were candle lights in jam jars strung along the path up to the barn. They’d saved jam jar and collected coffee jars and pickle jars decorated them with a simple piece of pretty ribbon and some where hand painted. They had a few small tables near the entrance of the barn decorated with the same jam jar candles, some small tables inside the barn around the edge with decorated jam jars with a few flowers in. The salads and drinks where laid out along a planks of wood ontop of bails of straw.