After deciding not to have a long engagement, my husband and I planned every detail of our wedding together in just three short months. At the time, Bret was busy running his own company and renovating our house and I was teaching full-time whilst studying for a Master’s degree at Durham University so we already had plenty to keep us occupied!
Setting the date of our wedding to be so soon meant that we had to be highly focused on our wedding, but only for a short time and we felt this actually relieved a lot of the stress that can come with planning a wedding. We simply didn’t have the time for any indecision.
We started by setting a budget and deciding on what was important to us and what wasn’t. We were clear from the outset that this was our day and we were going to do it our way. Above all, we wanted it to to be a very relaxed, informal day that both we and all of our guests would enjoy.
Neither of us wanted a church wedding, but we did want to get married in a beautiful location. We wanted the ceremony and reception to be small and intimate, with just close family present but we also wanted to provide the very best for them.
Because we only had a few guests, we could spend time on our wedding day with the people who were the most important to us and we could afford for the price per guest to be quite high. Had we wanted to invite more people, then obviously we would have had to look at ways of reducing the cost per person.
Our main splurge was on the venue – almost half of our budget for all of the food and drink costs and exclusive use of two rooms (one for the ceremony and one for the wedding breakfast).
Even so, we saved money here as our wedding venue was newly opened and so had more flexibility on dates than more popular well-established venues. Also, we had our wedding on a Friday, rather than a Saturday, and we married in spring instead of one of the busier summer months.
We opted for an open bar which actually worked out cheaper than the lowest priced wine package and allowed our guests to have exactly what they wanted to drink – some had coffees, some had cocktails!
My designer wedding dress was expensive too but, as planned, it is now for sale to recoup some of this cost. The rest of my bridal accessories came from high street shops and this proved much cheaper than the bridal houses. Although we spent a large initial sum on wedding photography, buying all of the negatives rather than an album, this has worked out far cheaper than having an album and buying extra framed photographs and prints for other family members etc.
The main areas where we saved money were on the cake (this was made for us by my very talented mum) and on transport and flowers. Having the ceremony and reception at one venue meant we had no transport costs to consider – we simply used my husband’s car.
To save money on the flowers we collected them ourselves on the morning of the wedding to save on delivery costs, and the flowers were used in the ceremony room and then transferred into the restaurant to be used as table decorations for the wedding breakfast.
They also doubled up as extra gifts for our guests as well. As we made all of our own stationery, favours and CD’s of music this saved us a quite a lot of money too.
Overall, we stayed within the budget we had set ourselves for our wedding. It wasn’t a vast sum of money by today’s standards, but we felt it was affordable and an appropriate amount of money for us to spend on our wedding.
We had a beautiful, memorable day, everything went just as planned and yes, the sun did shine even though it was March! We enjoyed a fabulous honeymoon in Mauritius and a year later celebrated our first wedding anniversary along with our beautiful two month old son!
We now also have a second gorgeous son so we still have plenty to keep us occupied but every now and then we find time to look at all of our wedding photographs and remember our special day. I sincerely hope that this site will help you to have a fabulous wedding day too, and save you money regardless of how large or small your budget is.