Rebecca and Will decided that saving for a house was far more important than splurging on a wedding. So they set a budget and stuck to it. This meant lots of crafting, bargain hunting and clever tricks to make things look pretty.
Don’t worry – Rebecca will tell you all about her genius thrifty ways so you too can create a beautiful wedding on a small budget.
The cute couple married at Rebecca’s family church where her Granddad planted a tree when he was a boy. What a lovely way to honour past generations.
I also love the idea of including recipe cards as RSVPs with your invitations and asking your guests to write down their favourite recipes. Imagine all of the delights you’d end up making that you would never have thought of before!
Rebecca The Bride:My dress found me, as coincidence would have it the owner used to live in the village I grew up in. I went to a designer day and met Geraldine Tulloch of Forget Me Knot Bridal and she helped me make a couple of tweaks. Knowing that my dress was being made just for me on the Isle of Wight and having met Geraldine made it all the more special.
William has always worn red trainers and in an effort to make our day as much about us as possible, I thought it would be fun to both wear red shoes. We have both already worn them on several occasions since. William is a big comic book lover so as a subtle salute to one of his many loves I found him suitable, socks, pants and a hankie. Teamed with a tie and corsage I knitted and crocheted for him.
We have been saving our hard earned pennies for several years to invest in the country cottage of our dreams, so when it came to reception venue we decided to get creative in order to have the wedding we wanted within our rather modest £10k budget. Kingston Village Hall – “The Barn” ticked all the boxes.
We bought a marquee from Argos in the sale which worked really well on the lawn for arrival drinks, tea and coffee in the evening while the band where setting up in the hall. We married in the church half a mile around the corner from my Mum’s house. My Granddad planted the tree on the green outside when he was a child. This was the perfect setting for our family photographs. The vicar and most of the choir have known my family for many years and this made for a great atmosphere.
We did not have a colour scheme as such. The décor of the venue was very important to me, as while we had a village hall venue I wanted to make it really special and magical. Hiring chairs and tables with crisp linen really transformed the hall. I collected bed sheets and curtains from boot fairs and my mum helped me make meters and meters of bunting for around £10.
I wanted to jazz up the not so pretty cupboards at the back of the hall and after much searching decided on origami butterflies (along the theme of Japanese cranes) 1 x £2.50 pack of printer paper a reel of tape, some garden twine and several hours of paper folding with the help of a very kind friend and we had 500 strung butterflies in the form of garlands. William helped me cut out butterfly name places from card I had leftover from making the invitations.
Then there was my little indulgence, the giant balloons, I had seen on many a wedding blog. The just over £100 spent was well worth the effect and really did make the venue look extra magical.
We love tea and while we did not want to go the full hog and have afternoon tea, we did have teapots (borrowed from a friend’s wedding) as vases, I made tea table name flags, a tea caddy table plan, a giant cup and saucer planter with giant teabag sign for the wedding cards, teabag RSVPS and my speech was themed around of mutual love of the hot and steamy brew!
In our invitations we included recipe cards (free online printable) and a request for guests favourite recipes. As big foodies for us this was a far better option than a guest book. On the day we had a recipe box for our guests to deposit their culinary wonders and I found an absolutely brilliant wooden wall hanging with the recipe for love printed on it (now hanging on our wall at home). Since the wedding I have been cooking up a culinary storm and posting images of my accomplishments on Facebook.
Instead of hiring napkins at 70p each I trowelled the boot fairs and picked up vintages one for around 20p each, I had a variety of colours and tried to tie in colour themes for each table.
In our invitations we informed our guests that bow ties and moustaches were welcome, but not essential. The boys really did us proud we had pipes, bow ties, braces and hats and the girls really rocked the tea dresses.
I had the barmy idea of knitting every guest a rose corsage, it took a long time and crochet would have been much quicker. I then thought it might be fun to knit the flower girls bouquet, the whole thing then somehow snowballed into a unexpected mass “knitathon”.
For the flowers in the venue I wanted hydrangeas as they remind me of my Granny who passed away. In the end I managed to use some from the plant she gave me. We used flowers from my garden, my Mums garden and Williams Mums garden topped up with beautiful blooms from Covent Garden Market. I showed Karen, Will’s Mum, what I wanted and the results were beyond expectation, we were blown away.
As a wedding gift my work colleagues bought us two bay trees, I covered them in hessian and added bows. They looked perfect outside the entrance to the venue and they are now in our garden waiting to frame the front door of the cottage we are in the process of buying.
We made gift bags for all the guests, printed our own orders of service, in the theme of a vintage poster, rolled them in scrolls and tied them with bakers twine, included Mints with little “mint to be” labels, Cath Kidston paper tissues for tears of joy and a pot of bubbles. They went down really well and cost around £25 in total to do.
I walked in to the butterfly waltz and the organist kindly learnt to play Elvis’s I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You. This was in memory of my Granny who was born on the same day as Elvis (something she often reminded us of).
I had all along wanted a magician and my Dad had a friend who could help. He really did set the tone for the reception. We borrowed my sisters garden games, giant jenga and crochet. I bought a few cheep balls, giant bubbles and hula hoops and managed to borrow a coconut shy. £10 worth of coconuts kept guests entertained for ages.
During dinner we played best man bingo and I made a personalized crossword for guests to complete at the table. We did not have formal speeches, instead we all wrote little poems/rhymes and the best man played MR & MRS using our shoes. The favour’s were paper Chinese fans for the girls and foam gliders for the boys, wrapped in brown paper and lace ribbon bows left over from the invitations.
For the bit in between finishing dinner and the band starting I organised a balloon man to entertain making head pieces, flowers etc. He very kindly dressed as a vintage clown and kept us all entertained.
In the evening I had set up a DIY dressing up photo booth area with wigs (Will’s parents randomly had a bag full), hats, moustaches, glasses etc. I made a Polaroid boarder from white card and a wanted sign from brown cardboard. For those who did not want to dance we had retro board games and a saucy “guess who is naked.”
William and I made sloe gin (his favourite) and had sloe gin fizz in champagne saucers as our welcome drink. On the tables we had bottles of homemade blackberry and damson vodka with vintage glasses I had picked up for around 20p each during a season of boot fairs.
In the evening we had a family favourites menu, so guests could order a “Bride” Prosecco, “Groom” shandy etc, I think we covered everyone in the Bridal party. We had a couple of cocktails in drinks dispensers which went down really well and used a wheel barrow for beers.
On meeting Gavin it felt like we had known him for years, he is incredibly enthusiastic and passionate, which is infectious. We showed him the style of photographs we wanted and that was exactly what he delivered. He managed to speed through the family shots, allowing us all to enjoy the day and have beautiful lasting memories.
Our amazingly talented friends who are somehow able to capture the whole day in a short and sweet bite size video that you can’t help but be moved by. I must have watched ours at least 50 times and smile every time. What a wedding gift.