When you're planning a wedding, it's SO easy to let the budget run away with you and spend spend spend like there's no tomorrow. This savvy pair knew they wanted a beautiful wedding from the off, but also wanted to make sure they didn't bankrupt themselves in the process. Between them and their amazing wedding guests, they've pulled off a gorgeous wedding, for less than 5k. Yep, you read that right, less than £5000. Want to know how they did it? Read on for the low down...

Local Wedding With Local Suppliers

Shelley & Sam: Sam and I always knew that we wanted to get married in Lewes since moving there together five years ago. We knew it was meant to be when the renovations were completed on the Grange Gardens registry office the year we got engaged. Especially as we walked the beautifully kept grounds countless times, dreaming of having a ceremony here before the renovations had even begun. We also wanted to be our own planners and do everything ourselves to curate the ultimate DIY wedding. We aimed to keep the majority of suppliers local: the groom/best man’s corsage, bridal and bridesmaid bouquets were all done by Go.Botanica, a lovely local florist based at Lewes station, and our entertainment was a local DJ - Fruitful Soundsystem - who specialises in soul, disco and Motown – the best kind of music to guarantee the dancefloor was full all night. Our photographer was Sussex based Dale Weeks, who I always knew I wanted for our wedding (way before Sam even proposed to me) We both loved his artistic style and non-formal approach, completely fitted in with our laidback wedding vibe. His candid shots were exactly what we were after, especially as Sam isn’t a big fan of being in front of one. The resulting photos were absolutely perfect.

Beautiful Eco Friendly DIY Village Hall Wedding For Under £5k

Sam and I share a love for the outdoors and nature, so we wanted a woodland influenced wedding. We designed the invites together (the bonus of having a graphic designer as a partner) and kept the design/theme throughout the wedding - including table plan, recyclable cup stickers, and the food labels. We kept the decorations green with an array of foliage which we foraged the day before the wedding (all sustainably sourced and with permission from the owner of a private woodland) which made up our centre-pieces and all the decorations throughout the reception hall. This made the room smell beautifully of the great outdoors with pine, fresh foliage, and added lavender and rosemary. Our tables were represented by different woodland animals such as pine marten, badger, woodpecker etc. These were all made from card paper-cuts by my incredibly talented brother. All of these added touches meant that everything was compostable and recyclable so it was all eco-friendly, in particular the palm leaf plates, wooden cutlery and green disposable napkins. It meant clearing up after was extremely easy and no washing up in sight. Right from the beginning, we both said we didn’t want a hugely expensive wedding. All throughout we stuck to our budget, proof that you can plan a beautiful and successful wedding all for under 5k!

Bring A Dish

Our caterers were our guests. Instead of wedding gifts, we asked our guests to bring a dish and drinks. This meant we had an incredible spread of an eclectic and surprising selection of food. It was so varied; from sushi, to aubergine and paneer curries, and back to pao de queijo. It was exactly what we wanted and added a personal touch - with food labels hand written by the guest chefs.

Needle & Thread Wedding Dress

I was pretty lucky with my wedding dress. I had no idea what style I wanted apart from embroidery. I came across Needle and Thread within a couple of weeks of being engaged and saw one of their dresses from their non-bridal selection. I fell instantly in love with one particular dress. The dress wasn’t even white but I loved that it was non-conformist and rolled with it. When it arrived, it fit almost perfectly - needing minimal alterations. So I was set on the first and only dress I tried on, and all with a year still to go! I always liked the idea of my bridesmaids being in jumpsuits, and was in complete luck when looking through New Look one day. The blush pink colour worked perfectly with the tones of my dress and complimented it so well. Sam’s outfit was a steal, he didn’t tell me until the day of our wedding that his beautiful grey woollen jacket was from Primark and the DM’s he wore were bought from a house sale a few doors down from us. A touch of class was added by the burgundy Farah shirt which accentuated the burgundy flecks in the jacket. The best man, well, we left him to have free reign, which did not disappoint, especially with his two tone snake skin shoes!
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Ceremony Venue: Lewes Registry Office | Flowers: Go Botanica | Entertainment: Fruitful Sound System | Bride: Needle & Thread | Bridesmaids: New Look | Groom: Primark

Inspirational articles you may also find useful