Folksy Ltd

Has anyone organised their own Wedding on the cheap?

Just thinking about it really. I’ve been with Mr Dottery Potter for over 20 years and although we never thought getting married was vitally important to us (plus there was a never a time that we’ve had the spare cash), some family things have happened over the last few years and I feel like it’s something that I would really like now.

I was just wondering if any of you have done a Wedding on the cheap?

Have you made your own flowers/ stationery/ dress/ buffet etc?

It’s still only a thought and I will probably talk myself out of it (I hate being centre of attention and I also don’t like the after party bit much either - lol)

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My hubby and I got married last year after 14 years together. Due to awkward family relationships and a dislike of attention as well as what so many modern weddings have become, we got married at our local registry office with my mother and father in law as witnesses and my grandmother in law who 98 as our only guest.

We then went to a local restaurant for a lovely lunch and then back home for some snaps in the garden and afternoon tea (with loads of yummy cake made by my MIL).

I made my own dress, dyed my own shoes and my bouquet was made by my MIL and GMIL using flowers from their gardens.

My engagement ring came from eBay from what turned out to be a Cash Converters in Grimsby (don’t laugh!) and our wedding rings both also came from eBay. All were excellent value.

We all had a great day and don’t regret what we did one bit! Everyone we spoke to understood completely and many seemed jealous that we could get away without all the pomp, ceremony and great expenditure!

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I wouldn’t say we did it on the cheap but I didn’t want much fuss so we had a low key wedding. I wore a dress from Monsoon, a small bouquet from a local florist, friends took photos, and we had close family and friends only to the wedding itself (about 20-odd guests). We did our own invitations too. We didn’t want any gifts, and said to our guests they could wear what they wanted. We had a main meal at the hotel we got married at, but the evening was back at ours with take-away.

It can be whatever you want it to be, whatever will make it most comfortable, enjoyable and stress-free for you.

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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.

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What wonderfully sensible people us Folksy sellers are! Mine was very low key and we’re still together 37 years later. Weddings seem to have become a competitive sport- who can blow the most money on the most useless things… :slight_smile:

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We were engaged for 16 years before we finally tied the knot in 2014.

I’m so glad we finally took the plunge, but I think it was me that kept putting it off for so long.

I was petrified… honestly… the thought of being centre of attention for the day was enough to turn me into a complete nervous wreck.

After much deliberation we decided to keep it small & cosy with a handful of family and friends.

I didn’t go for a pricey bridal shop dress. I had a lovely high street shop dress.

I just didn’t want to blow a huge amount of money. It just wasn’t about that for us.

We got wed in our local registry office, and then we all went to a restaurant we had booked for a slap up dinner. My hubby had ordered some lovely champagne on arrival :clinking_glasses:

Later in the evening an handful of us met up at the local pub for a celebration drink.

It was a fab day. One I will always remember, and the best bit is we didn’t spend a complete fortune doing it.

Karen x

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Thank You for all of your replies.

I like the afternoon tea and games idea very much.
I think part of my problem is the big lead up to it - the anticipation! I don’t know if my nerves could take it.

We knew the vicar of the local church and also the organist, so they did our wedding for free. We belonged to the local operatic society and again got the hall for free. The wedding food and drink cost about £50 and my mum knitted my wedding dress from free samples of crochet cotton. I crocheted flowers all around the borders of the dress and only had to pay for a tiny packet of beads that went into the centre of each flower.
I made my own cake and decorated it…(my artistic flair)…and I got some white satin stillettos in a sale for 12/6 (60p ish)

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We got engaged in mid June and married at the end of July the same year! No time for a big lead up!

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We avoided a big lead up and didn’t go to a lot of expense. My husband was in the RAF and got a posting to Scotland and the only way I could go with him was to get married. We had 6 weeks from hearing about the posting to the move to Scotland so I actually pretty much organised it in a couple of days. I took a day off work to go shopping with my sister for a dress and accessories which I managed to get in a sale (less than half price!) Then I took another day to book the registry office, reception (a small sit down meal for close family and friends) followed by drinks in the bar. The same day I ordered the flowers, photographer, cars and went to a cake shop where they cobbled something together out of a few cakes they had in the freezer (there wasn’t enough time to get something made) We had a wonderful day and I was back at work the following week as I had to work my notice and would have had to stay longer if I wanted a honeymoon! My sister had quite a large wedding so my Dad said he would give me the equivalent amount of money and whatever we didn’t spend on the wedding could be our wedding gift…needless to say we decided not to blow it all on one day. I don’t regret a bit of it especially the timing - I had a friend who got engaged about the same time but wasn’t getting married for a year. She had so long to plan her wedding but seeing the stress she went through it seemed far easier to do it the way I did!

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Think I had one of the cheapest wedding’s ever, we never thought we’d get married, but after living together for 17 years we just suddenly decided that it felt right to.
We didn’t want a lot of fuss and I hate being centre of attention, so we went to the registry office, wore just our nicest clothes, had our baby boy, our two bestest friends, their little girl and baby boy there and that was it. Then we finished up with a curry after, which our friends insisted on paying for, so all we paid for was the license and a wedding ring which altogether cost just over £40.:grinning:: (The ring was from Argos)

Not that I would say it would be anyone else’s wedding choice but it was great for us very down to earth kind of people.

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That’s pretty much what we will do (when we get round to it - 12 years and counting). We already have the wedding rings, I have no use for fancy clothes and the guest list is:daughter, son +partner + grandchild. I’ve been married before, did the whole “big day” thing, and it was so not me.

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We had no money when we got married so I bought a dress in the sale, made my own headdress, my brother in law was the vicar so didn’t charge us fees, my friend made the cake and two cousins happened to have white cars so we used those. I got pretty bridesmaids’ dresses from an ordinary shop. The whole church came to our wedding as well as family and friends and it was a lovely day. You don’t have to have all of the latest designer things and loads of money to make your wedding special.

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We got engaged in Nov and married the next May so nice & efficient! We did lots of it ourselves and being in the Forces we had access to an amazing venue for little cost and were able to supply our own wine that we brought over from France! Hubby wore his uniform, my dress was simple, a friend made the Bridesmaids dresses with Liberty fabric I got in the sale! Friend of my Mum’s made the cake and a Royal Marine Jazz Band played at the reception for a bit of cash and beer! Would love to do it all again now!

PS - I have some great contacts for wholesale Wedding stuff - stationery, table wear, etc so would happily order stuff for you & help you make the invites etc! Would be lovely to meet up & do this!

How exciting :slight_smile:

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Haha - don’t get too excited Dottie - I’m already talking myself out of it again - lol!

It;s very lovely of you to offer to help out with the invites etc - thanks x

Go with your heart xx

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We got engaged in April and married July 2011 so 3 months. Invites were designed and ordered from Vistaprint. My dress was from nomads around £30 and I treated myself to a designer silk jacket off the web - Armani for £200 (it was new just not this season!) Hubby bought himself new clothes costing approx £100, and some lovely purple patent pointed shoes which was his little treat! We had our own restaurant so staff served our wedding breakfast, and we had a barbecue night at the pub across the road two days later for everyone, as our wedding day do was only small (the registry office was small). It was great and probably cost us about £1500! and not too much stress as done very quickly.

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Me and Mr. Bekoko got married 5 years ago. It cost us about £3500, that’s including honeymoon and spends. I made all of the invitations and stationery. A friend made the cake, another did my hair and make-up, another friend made table cloths for tables in a small but nice village hall where reception was held. Guests brought food for buffet in the evening. Our florist gave me all of the unused flowers he had ordered for the bouquets and things so we could make some table arrangements in teacups and jamjars. A gaggle of friends came around the day before the wedding and made the floral arrangements together. My husband bought an ordinary but nice suit and all other men came in suits they already owned. My dad borrowed a suit from my brother. My dress came from a warehouse in liverpool that sold off ex-model and display dresses. For favours I bought small glass jars in bulk and baked biscuits to put inside with stickers we printed out ourselves on the fronts.

A wedding doesn’t have to be expensive. My wedding day was great (apart from the rain) and done on a very tight budget. My advice is to think about how you want to feel and how you want your guests to feel on the day and book and order according to that. That will stop you from being overwhelmed with the choice and spending too much on things that don’t add to the day. A friend of mine got married last weekend; they had cards at the table settings with the guests names on and inside a little note on their favourite memory of time spent with that guest. It was a small and cheap way of making the day really special for everyone.