When we were planning our wedding we had a budget, granted we went way over that budget but we didn’t go crazy! We tried to do everything ourselves with the help of family so we weren’t paying fortunes for things. In the long run we really did save so much money by doing things ourselves, luckily when I was on maternity I had more time to create things and put them together!
We were so lucky as 3 days before the wedding myself and my then husband to be were running around like headless chickens trying to sort out last minute things and my family were setting the church up. We got to the church and they had cleaned, put decorations up, ironed 60 chair covers and sashes and pout them on. We really were extremely lucky, lee’s parents and nan had Oscar a few days before the wedding so it was easier for us to run las minute errands and that was a huge help also.
My bridesmaids were fantastic too, any help I needed they were there for us. My one bridesmaid Megan used her 2 days off work to help us set the church up which I was so thankful for, they all came to the wedding rehearsals too.
I think sometimes people forget the meaning behind marriages. It’s to celebrate your lives together with family and friends, to celebrate the love you have for each other. Not a competition to see who can spend the most, I think the true meaning of a wedding is getting lost.
We were in the church 2 days before the wedding setting up and it just looked a little bare we needed something else to add to give it a little more character. We googled hiring flower arches to stand under when we said our vows, people were charging hundreds of pounds for a few hours hire. When you think about it really you are only there in the church for about an hour or so, we didn’t want to pay that much money for something for an hour, would have looked incredible but we just couldn’t justify paying that much.
So we had a brainwave of making our own, we went to Home Bargains and picked up a garden arch for £5.99 and decorated it ourselves with left over sashes and bouquets of artificial flowers from home bargains. It actually looked quite good, we were really happy with it and I think that’s what counts. Our photographer also caught some lovely images with the arch, it just made it look a little more like a wedding.
All of my images are a credit to our amazing photographer Brett James Photography.
Here’s a few ideas from our DIY wedding to help with ideas for your wedding:
We went through so many ideas for favours, our favourite was the one we used and they really didn’t cost much. We had a few left over from what people didn’t take with them but if you’re anything like me, I keep everything!
We purchased some brown boxes from Ebay, rose gold coloured chocolate hearts from Home Bargains, wedding scented tea candles from Home Bargains and some rose petals for the scent from Ebay. My mum ordered some little personalised tags from eBay too for that extra special touch and some stickers to close the box.
It cost us around £30 for 53 adult favours.
For the kiddies favour we purchased some little glass jars from Home Bargains for 39p, I hand made the tags myself with a little thank you message and the younger toddlers were filled with Rainbow Drops and the older ones had Haribo.
All in all these cost me around £8 for 7.
For our seating plan I used a photo frame we have in our living room, as we were going for a rustic themed wedding it was perfect. All I had to pay for was the flower garland around it and the card I wrote names on.
My seating plan cost me approximately £10, (not including price of photo frame as I’ve had it years, it was from B&M and it was less than £10.)
I find people go absolutely crazy on centrepieces! I loved the fact we created our own from our own ideas. I would have loved them to be a little bigger on the evening as the tables were really big and the centre pieces looked a little small but nobody really noticed or cared to be honest.
We purchased some log slices from Ebay, some tall vases from Home Bargains, a bag of sand and table numbers from HobbyCraft, clear crystals, little wooden hearts, candles and bubbles from Home Bargains and large flowers from Home Bargains. We had our little wooden easels to put our name cards on from my Aunty from her wedding.
People did comment in the day that they looked really nice, less is more sometimes.
Our centre pieces cost us between £50-£60.
We looked into hiring a photo booth but we’ve been to weddings previously with photo booths and you always end up with random photos left behind. Plus we thought everyone uses their phones now so why not hire a flower wall and people have the photos on their phones and can take their own photos.
We hired a photo wall from a company close to the venue, they were called Once Upon A Flower Wall, they set up the wall for us and took it all down. We had so many compliments on the wall and everybody was using it throughout the night. The good thing about the wall was we had our own personalised flower hoop with ‘Mr & Mrs Watkinson’ inside that people could take a photo in front of and we got to keep it! It’s currently on the wall above the fire place in our dining room.
We used our own props, we had tons left over from our engagement party and we picked a few more packs up pretty cheap.
Cost of flower wall, named hoop and props was approximately £150.
Children’s activity packs
We decided to put together some activity packs to keep the little ones entertained at the wedding breakfast and they really did work.
- Toy Snakes
- Activity Colouring Cards
- Small Notepad
I then wrapped them all up in left over tissue paper, ribbon, left over cardboard heart for the name and left over foam flowers.
They cost me around £10 to make.
I can’t get my head around paying hundreds of pound for sweets. We decided to make our own, the venue set up a table for us and we purchased some sweet jars from Home Bargains and a ton of sweets. We had so many sweets left over after the wedding and all of the ones on the table were gone by the end of the night. We bought some sweet bags from Ebay too and some scoops.
Our sweet table cost is around £50.
Bridal Party Dresses
As I had 7 bridesmaids and 3 flower girls, we really couldn’t afford to be paying an arm and a leg for dresses. We managed to pick up some beautiful dresses from BooHoo for the bridesmaids for £20 each. I loved the style as the lace cap sleeves matched my lace sleeves.
The flower girl dresses I picked up for around £12 from Primark, I loved the design on them. I added a ribbon to all the dresses and my nan put a few tacks in to hold them into place. The bridesmaids all had a little white flower head crown on, these cost me 99p each from Holly Bush. I absolutely loved the dresses on the girls. I asked the girls to buy their own shoes which they had absolutely no problem in doing.
My bouquet was from HobbyCraft, my mum jazzed it up a little with some pearls and ribbon. We also added a charm from Ebay to add photos of my late grandad’s in. It was such a perfect touch to the day, having their charms on my bouquet because I was with it all day. Originally I wanted real flowers but people charge ridiculous amounts for bridal flowers. I loved my bouquet.
My bouquet was £12 & the charms were £5-£6.
Bouquets, Confetti & Flower Girl Baskets
My mum picked up the confetti and flower girls baskets, I think she paid about £2 for the baskets from Ali Express and the confetti wasn’t much from Ebay. The baskets also came with white artificial flower petals also to scatter down the aisle.
My bridesmaids bouquets were from Home Bargains, we added a few pearls into the roses and added a bit of ribbon on to bring it all together. I also went for artificial bouquets as it’s nice for the girls to keep as a memory too.
My mum made all of our button homes, we literally got everything from HobbyCraft and Ebay. She put them all together herself and I absolutely loved them!
They cost less than £20 to make.
We really tried to do as much as we could DIY for our wedding, it was absolutely perfect from start to finish and I literally wouldn’t have had it any other way! We made it our own.
Thank you for reading,
Mrs W x