Wedding VowsJen and Martin are getting married and like many couples are on a tight budget. They are looking for cheap wedding ideas to help their money go further.

Can you help with any ideas to make their wedding fly, without costing the earth?

Do your own catering

It is much cheaper to do your own catering. Ideally try to rope in some members of the family.

Have the reception at a family house

If you can do the wedding reception at a family members house it will save on the cost of hiring a venue. You could always put up a marquee in the garden.

Rent the village hall

Village halls can be rented quite cheaply – which will make your budget stretch further.

Supply your own wine

If you are using outside caterers you will probably find that it is cheaper to pay corkage (a cost for serving the win) that it will be to buy the wine from the caterers. You can also have a lot of fun tasting wines to find the right one for your weeding day (Thanks to Pam)

Do your own invites

Rather than having expensive wedding invites printed you could design your own. You can either hand write invites on card (a nice personal touch) or you could design your own using a computer programme like PowerPoint. (Thanks to Amy).

Picnic in the park

Some friends fo mine who were on a very limited budget had their reception in the local park. This saved the complete cost of the venue. Some other friends brought along a croquet set and we had a very memorable day. It helped that the weather was nice and sunny. (Thanks to Pam).

Get your wedding dress on ebay

Ebay is a good place to go looking for a wedding dress. You can pick up a designer wedding dress for around £100 ($200). The dresses have only usually only been worn once and are excellent condition. Only the bride (and groom!!) would know. (Thanks to Pam).

Business suits

Rather than hiring morning suits you can save money by just wearing a business suits. If you want everyone to match you just need to buy the men a set of matching ties. (Thanks to Reece).

Do your own flowers

Flowers can cost an absolute fortune but you can do your own. My Auntie did flowers for me as a wedding present, which was really nice. They looked wonderful. You can get really nice flowers from a supermarket and they don’t cost a lot. You could even get pot plants from a garden centre to put on the table (Thanks to Tracey)

Make everyone the photographer

Wedding photos can be really expensive so a cheap alternative is to ask everyone who is bringing a digital camera to make a copy of the photos for you. You will get some really nice and unexpected shots. See if you can rope in a forceful relative to act as the ‘official photographer’ to ensure that you get the regular family shots. Uncle Stan did my photos, but the photos from friends were also really lovely. (Thanks to all of the ideas from Amy)

Put your wedding photos on Flickr

If you want to share your wedding photos with family and friends – put them on Flickr. Its free and pretty easy to use. A great way of saving mementos of the special day.

Buy a shop bought cake

Buy a shop bought cake. There are some really nice ones at Marks and Spencers. They do a three tiered wedding cake- 74 Portions for £49.50 (Thanks to Beth)

Do you have any other cheap wedding ideas? Simply add them in the box below.

July 27, 2007 Filed under Wedding Ideas -


Ideas submitted by our readers on: Cheap Wedding Ideas

Get married mid week – venues, photographers, discos all charge less – and distant cousins won’t come for a free feed because they won’t want to take a day off work!

Thanks to Broke Bride — October 9, 2007

Your biggest expense will be your wedding reception, in most cases this counts for half of the total costs. To keep the costs down limit the numbers to your reception, you don’t have to invite everyone! Look at close family and friends not just everyone you or your parents have ever met.

If you feel bad about not inviting everyone have a cheap and fun party after the honeymoon.

Thanks to Anonymous — October 18, 2007

Make your own wedding favours. Use sweets wrapped up in tulle fabric, make chocolate truffles, give seeds or small plants that you’ve grown yourself or give candles or tealights. You can finish them off with some ribbon, a luggage tag and personalised message for each guest.

Alternatively – skip favours all together! The last four weddings I’ve been to, there were no favours!

Thanks to Anonymous — November 3, 2007

look for good deals and search that product to see if u can get a better deal

Thanks to Anonymous — November 5, 2007

If you do have friends/relative to do the photos and they dont turn out as good as you would have liked there are many places that will edit them for you so you have better quality ones and the editing wont cost you the earth.
Submitted by

Thanks to Anonymous — December 21, 2007

At your house

At your home you could hire caterers and invite family and friends over , you can be with your guests as the cataerers are doing all of the work !

Thanks to Anonymous — December 27, 2007


Thanks to Anonymous — January 17, 2008


Thanks to Anonymous — January 18, 2008

get your favours of ebay!

Thanks to Anonymous — February 1, 2008

Have a late wedding and skip the sit down meal, then just have a light lunch after the photo taking!

Thanks to Anonymous — February 12, 2008

Make your own flowers – you can save a lot on the cost of flower arrangements if you simply buy the flowers and arrange them yourself (or get a particularly artistic friend to do it for you). Have a look at these How To videos which will give you some ideas of what to do:

Thanks to Anonymous — February 13, 2008

Dont get married!

Thanks to Anonymous — February 23, 2008


Thanks to Anonymous — February 29, 2008

just go with the flow and let others help you from fiona legge

Thanks to Anonymous — March 4, 2008

have your wedding in a venue which does everything for you my wedding cost 10,000 x

Thanks to Anonymous — March 5, 2008

Have your wedding outside

Thanks to Anonymous — March 7, 2008

Leave disposable cameras on the reception tables, adding a note that asks your guests to take photos and leave the camera on the table.

Thanks to Anonymous — March 25, 2008

Do the money dance!

Thanks to Anonymous — March 25, 2008

How to do give you reception a touch of vintage?

Go to your local Oxfam and purchase vases in all shapes and sizes. Ask a friend or family member to fill the vases on the day with fresh seasonal flowers bought from your local supermarket such as ASDA or pre order them from a florist. This will give your reception a real quirky vintage feel as well as saving you hundreds of pounds which would have be used on a florist. shooting star weddings

Thanks to Anonymous — April 3, 2008

How to save money on wedding make up?

Why not make an appointment at your local department store makeup counter. You will be able to have an experienced makeup artist applying top quality make up for you on your special day costing on average £20- £30. laleh

Thanks to Anonymous — April 3, 2008

Hire a wedding planner, with an average wedding taking 300 hours to organize, let your planners do the sourcing, negotiating, running around. Sit back enjoy and relax knowing that not only will you get your monies worth but you will also be making huge financial savings. Wedding planners are well worth investing in. The cost of a wedding planner is offset against savings! by Shadi Ganjavian-Connor

Thanks to Anonymous — April 17, 2008

rather than go for traditional bridesmaid dresses look out for sale bargins of ball gowns or smart evening you’ll find it saves a bomb ! Look also in high streets shops such as monsoon debenhams or BHS for Bridal wear much cheaper than bridal shops even better if you go online and get it delivered to your door..Good luck to all Lisa Leonard (getting married in october 08)

Thanks to Anonymous — April 24, 2008

My partner and I asked our guests for money as a wedding present and used the money for our

Thanks to Donna — June 22, 2008

Honeymoon at a Vacation Rental instead of a Hotel. Vacation Rentals are a lot cheaper than hotels, you can also save on food–you can prepare your own meals or hire a chief as needed and you can still have access to hotel amenities. We found this cutie in Exuma Bahamas and turned our honeymoon into a honeymoon vacation. The cottages came with snorkeling gear for two and owner even helped us plan all of our activities.

Thanks to Anonymous — July 8, 2008


Thanks to ROSANNA — July 23, 2008

Make up on your big day well what you do is keep to light colours no matter what colour code you have if you put light shades on your eyes and the make them big by highlighting the top lids then applying your mascara and eyeliner not to much eyeliner remember the lighter the better and always add a little pink blusher as it stands out in your picturesand bet of all you and you maids can have a good night in trying this REMEMBER less is better

Thanks to Michelle — July 31, 2008

brides maid dresses i went to debenhams and got mine £12 for the skirt which was long and cream with a little train and £14 for the top which was burganday the always have a sale about august and the have a different kinds its worth a look

Thanks to Michelle — July 31, 2008

Buy simple favour boxes put sugared almonds and a lottery ticket inside,my friend did that and three of her guests won,only small amounts though!

Thanks to ali — August 4, 2008

i am getting married in two days and have done the wedding as cheap as possible.

* I have done all the bouquets myself (with silk flowers i found on ebay)
* We are having a hog roast done by a friend
* The reception is in a field near our house (we have simply brought a marquss (again off ebay) and are using an inordinate amount of gazebo’s
*Alterations are cheaper than a really detailed dress. I shopped around for a long time and finally discovered that if you order a simple yet elegant dress it will be much cheaper, the shop can then usually arrange for alterations for you. I had a sash etc added to mine, and it needed to be taken in….all for £50
* SPEAK TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY-i cannot stress this enough. We invited our aging landlady to the wedding and have subsequently got our reception venue/proffessional photographer and a months rent all free. Our friends are making decorations for us, we are doing the music, and much more than i can even think of right now!!

I am not going to say that it has not been stressful but it really is possible to plan a wedding on a budget….after the 8th August 08 we will find out if it works!!

Thanks to Anonymous — August 6, 2008

Make your own Swarovski crystal tiaras! You don’t have to be particularly crafted and the beads can be bought very cheaply on ever reliable Ebay. I made my own and two bridesmaids Swarovski crystal tiaras for around £30 including the wires. Also look on Ebay for style ideas. Have a go – you’ve got nothing to lose and could save a fortune!
I also made strings of beads using stiffer wire to add into my bouquets for another crystal touch. The effect is stunning.

Thanks to Lisa — September 10, 2008

This website is a good idea and a great way to save money on wedding invitations.

Thanks to Tracey Tidiman — September 21, 2008

have your wedding the day before a public holiday, like on a sunday before labor day. that way it’ll be cheaper but people can still stay out late.

Thanks to Steph — October 1, 2008

Hire a wedding planner, helps you stick to the budget.

Thanks to Laura Gibson — October 2, 2008

For cheap food. Have a pot luck asking your friends and family to make a salad. ect. It works great. Have a themed wedding and rent costums from your local rental or theater.

Ask the judge to marry you in a historic place, just the bride and groom with one witness each. Then have everyone else meet you at the reception area.

Thanks to mandy — January 10, 2009

Leave out stamped addressed envelopes and blank CDs on the wedding reception tables with a sign asking guests to download their photos after the day onto the discs and post them back to you. Be sure to warn people in the invites though that they should bring their cameras with them.

Thanks to Lucy — March 2, 2009

Don’t go near a shop in the last ten days before your wedding day! You’ll end up panic little extras that you don’t need! I bought a pashmina, a diamante hairband, and new underwear for the big day and I didn’t wear any of them. Save your money and stick to your wedding budget.

Thanks to Anonymous — March 2, 2009

I made place names out of salt dough, cut out hearts made a hole at the top to thread a ribbon thru,painted them to match my colour scheme, then wrote the names on one side and the date on the other. Looked great, 100 cost approx £2 with the ribbon. Can use the same idea for the table numbers, put the heart on a kebab skewer, insert into half a potato to make it stand up and then cover the base with fabric/organza and a ribbon…very effective…about a £1 for 12

Thanks to Julie — March 21, 2009

Buy your wedding dress on e bay i got mine 4 £43 including p & p, thats the only thing so far i’vr bought but I will without a doubt buying more from there!!!

Thanks to Mairi — March 22, 2009

Find local flower arranging groups and ask if members would be interested in making up your bouquet – I will pay for the wire and ribbon etc (about £5 but it costs a fraction of the usual florists price (£70!) and my bouquet will be full of scented, seasonal, homegrown and hand-arranged blooms. Plus the carbon-footprint will be minimal!

Thanks to Shelley — April 15, 2009

We wanted a unique way to celebrate our marriage with my relatives in Spain but didn’t have the money to spend on a blessing ceremony. Instead we are going out for tapas and will conduct our own ‘ceremony’ by asking our guests to write their good will messages onto Chinese lanterns (we got 20 for £25) before launching them en masse after the meal. Total cost will be about £150 (about £400 less than having a celebrant, venue etc…) and far more personal!

Thanks to Shelley — April 15, 2009

Instead of having a ‘spa day’ in a salon with my friends and female relatives, I have stocked up on sale items from Boots, Avon and Body Shop. We’ll have an evening at home with face masks, nail varnishes, hot oil for hair, foot soak, and body butters. I have spent about £20 in total, and it is wholly unnecessary but I think that is a cheap alternative to my local salon where I could easily add a zero to that price. We’re worth it!

Thanks to Shelley — April 15, 2009

For centerpieces I got elegant glass jars from dollar tree and just added a goldfish to each jar. The feeder fish at PETCO are about $.30 per fish.

Thanks to Tera — May 13, 2009

Find a Mary Kay beauty consultant to do a free facial on you the day of your wedding. They might even do your bridesmaids for free too.

Thanks to Tera — May 13, 2009

I have used a catalogue to buy my wedding dress. I used Littlewoods as they have a buy now pay later. It has just meant that I don’t have to worry about apying for it right now and the money can go towards other wedding costs. The only down side is you can’t try on, but can send back free anything you don’t like. It has saved me some money and i have a lovely dress and can pay for it next year when i will have more cash available.

Thanks to Amelia — May 14, 2009

Finish the day off with Sky Lanterns, really affordable and will make the day really memorable to all!

Thanks to Sky Lanterns — August 12, 2009

Do NOT use a living animal as a ‘center piece’ for your wedding!
It is cruel and inhumane. They will be sat there, in their own waste and then gods knows what will happen to them afterwards!
Fish are not objects.

Thanks to char la — August 19, 2009

In the UK it is legal to get married between 8am and 6pm, therefore we are getting married at 5.30pm and then going straight to an evening reception. Saving us a fortune as no wedding breakfast is needed and I have all day to get everyone ready so no rushing.

Thanks to KIM — October 5, 2009

make ur own wedding invitations, get the invitations printed onto plain white card paper and stick a small artificial diamond on the invitation and a small bow in the corner, a VERY long string of bow will cost approx £1 which can be used for 100+ invites and same with the diamonds, so including the card paper, string and diamond your spending about £50 maximum, if u have about 100 guests thats a vast improvement than spending £150+

Thanks to fatty BOOM — October 14, 2009

Im a hairdresser and beauty therapist, so i will be doing my own hair and make up,and also my bridal party. You dont have to be trained in this field to do it yourself, you know what looks good on you, practice makes perfect. if your simply not good st this sort of thing ask around. All my girlfriends who have been married i have offered my services for free, as part of a wedding gift.

Thanks to Nicole — November 8, 2009

I got all my wedding stationery from Ebay – invitations, orders of service, RSVP cards and place cards – all for about £100. And as Id been selling my unwanted junk on Ebay there was money in the Paypal account to pay for it all.

Thanks to Andrea — November 11, 2009

My fiance and I are planning to keep it as low a price as possible and we are going to do pic n mix wedding favours.
Also, I want wooden roses for my table centrepieces and if we’re going to cut the cost somewhere then the favours would go and everyone could take a rose with them. They wont wilt so will be a nice reminder of the day.

Thanks to Lu — January 16, 2010

Amongst the cheapest wedding ideas is to have the wedding at home or hire a village hall.

Invite your closest friends and family and give them a real treat. Place the emphasis on good food & drink rather than decorating and other entertainment. If the food scores 10 points and there is a constant flow of freshly prepared food this will make the wedding a success. Do not cut any corners with the food & drink.

The idea is to have a cheap wedding without making it feel “cheap.”

You can also save on the photography by asking your guests to send you their best photos or upload them to your Facebook page, etc. It is risky, but all you are looking for is a handful of fantastic shots that you can frame.

Save money on your dress by hiring one for the day.

If this works for you, please send me an email via Big Sand’s website (ref: cheap wedding ideas). We have covered hundreds of weddings and seen those on a grandiose scale and those with a simple plan that have worked successfully.

Thanks to Big Sand - Steel band hire — January 25, 2010

We are having a small wedding, then after our honey moon we are having a big party at the local village hall, which we are doing the catering for ourseves.

Thanks to Helen — February 24, 2010

We’re getting married in August and had orginally budgeted £4000. Ive since booked the church with bells, choir and music (£562), bought my dream Ian Stuart dress off ebay (£400), had my two adult bridesmaid dresses custom made in china (£50 each on ebay), bought my three flower girl dresses from next (£45 each), booked my car from a local wedding fayre (£150), my friend at work used to be a florist so she is doing my flowers, another friend is doing my hair and makeup, another friend is doing our photo’s, Im making my own invitations and favours (again buying all the bits from ebay), we’re having our wedding rings custom made by an online company called Smooch Rings and my lovely in-laws have paid for the reception, buffet and dj and my parents are payin for the cake (four tiers of chocloate fudge with cascading sugar flowers). The only things left to do really are the grooms suit and his bestman, three groomsmen and pageboy and our local wedding shop (Formal Affairs) have quoted us £75 each for the adult suits, so we should come in well under budget.

It pays to shop around, we had quite a tight budget but Im still having a big wedding, designer dress, lots of bridesmaids and inviting everyone we know.

Make sure you visit local wedding fayres and enter competitions!!

Thanks to Jodee — February 24, 2010

Make your own wedding invitations. Just pop to your local hobby craft and buy some craft paper, ribbon and glue… easy peasy and will save you a fortune!

Thanks to Keep It Personal — March 3, 2010

get a shoebox at and have all of your friends and family upload photos from your wedding.. I got 100′s more. Also was able to share with friends and family who could not be there around the world.. great idea and product !

Thanks to Helen Plank — April 4, 2010

I am making my own invitations and thank you cards. Cox & cox sell 50 cards with envelopes for£12. They are a nice quality and I am gluing inserts in from my computer. They also sell gorgeous handmade placecards—-50 for £10.

Thanks to Amy — April 9, 2010

I have been saving glass jars for the last year or more to put flowers and candles in. I use them all the time for barbcues because my garden is quite dark. For the wedding I will tie different ribbons and lace and fill with a variety of flowers from my garden, from friends and from the shops. They are perfect for my summer country style wedding.

Thanks to Amy — April 10, 2010

A friend of mine got married on a budget and for the reception they hired the function room in a local curry house and just asked that everyone bought their own meal, food is the biggest expense of your wedding so asking people to do this is a great way to save money and people don’t mind

Thanks to Fran — April 27, 2010

Don’t get married closely before days such as Valentine or Xmas when the flowers will be most expensive.

Do it after, you may still be able to use decorations, so save on this too. Midweek days are also good, as someone said above.
You can get discounts for reception in months such as April on November.
Also, consider church’s parish hall or premises of benevolent organizations if you have a member in your family.

Make your own bouquet and boutonnieres. There are tons of videos on the net showing how you can do it.

Ask your friend who likes taking pictures to become your photographer.

Thanks to Tomas — May 28, 2010

we are planning a wedding under £2000 i got my dress for £200 from an ex display rail and it fits perfectly, my mum is buying the cake, we are hiring the village hall which has a marquee look lining at extra cost, and for food my uncle owns a fish and chip shop so we’re having a fish supper. Most chip shops will do that even if you dont know the owner. And at roughly £4 a head its much cheaper than a 3 course meal. For pudding we are buying large desserts or you can use the wedding cake as pudding.

Thanks to karen — June 22, 2010

i’m getting married in october and cant really afford the wedding i want, so i managed to get a photographer who’s never done weddings before and would like to start, so he’s agreed to take the photo’s at my wedding for next to nothing on the conditon he can use the copies to show people. i’m sure there are loads of people starting out that would do it cheaply.

Thanks to Nikki McCarthy — June 22, 2010

Order your dresses from China.It’s a little risky, but it’s really saving. Just pay more time to deal with it.Good luck.

Thanks to Udreamyrbidal — July 13, 2010

Instead of having gifts from your guests, why not ask them to pay for there own food. I am sure most wouldn’t mind if it was down to the costs, if the wedding went ahead or not. Most people would also be glad that they didn’t have to worry about what gift to buy.

Thanks to With Love Gifts — September 1, 2010

im getting married in february i need help finding a size 8 wedding dress but i only have 100 puound as i am on a low budget any ideas

Thanks to colleen fox — September 3, 2010

If you let a friend or family member arrange your brides bouquet on your special day, don’t be suprised if they are poor quality and you find yourself getting upset on the morning of your wedding. Remember they are not florists they are only trying to help. Think again its your big day and the photographs will be yours forever. Leave it to the proffessionals if you want a perfect stress free day.

Thanks to Jardines Country Florist — September 9, 2010

small wedding parties at my allotment go down a treat.
i have hens and make a breakfast of fresh eggs fresh bread, fresh orange and tea.
i cater from 4 to 12 people.
photographs can be taken in the orchard!
my price per head is £5.00 and depending on time of year, fresh veg, eggs and fruit available.
also homemade produce as thank you gifts for your guests. best regards nora

Thanks to nora hudson — September 19, 2010

Me and my partner are getting married next year and when it comes to cost effective ideas but keeping it stylish, im all for it!

-Use cupcakes for your nametags (name tag stuck to a cocktail stick placed into the cupcake) you can then double the cupcakes up as favours!!!
-Cheap centrepeices – EBAY or ASDA fish bowls, fish tank coloured sand and a church candle…. look beautiful, and cost around £7.00 to make!

Thanks to Sandy — October 18, 2010

im getting married in august and found a cheap idea for center pieces; once finished with a tin of anything keep it, take off lable and give a good clean, cover with with some fabic matching your colour sceam then u can put some pot plants in them which are half the cost and no-one would see ur Eco friendly saving idea :)

Thanks to sarah — October 21, 2010

Consider serving your wedding cake as the dessert at your wedding meal. If you cut the cake before you sit down to eat then it can be served as dessert. Not many people feel like eating wedding cake after a huge 3 or 5 course meal but this way the cake becomes incorported into the meal and will save you money too.

Thanks to Rebecca — November 1, 2010

It is worth asking your photographer if they will simply sell you a disk of all the negatives (at a good resolution and copyright free) rather than an album. The cost for the disk of negatives may seem quite high initially but then you will have all the photos from your wedding, and will be able to print out as many copies at whatever size you would like. You could make up your own album, frame your favourite photos, or perhaps get copies to send to family and friends. If your photographer is not willing to do this, perhaps they will just provide the photographs and let you purchase your own (cheaper) album elsewhere.

Thanks to Rebecca — November 1, 2010

If you have a friend that is a good entertainer, or a singer or musicly talented, get them to perform. Loads cheaper and its always nice to hear a familiar voice :)

Thanks to Leonardo Dicaprio=yum. — December 5, 2010

everyone says the local vilage hall but we dont have one, any more ideas?

Thanks to kelly — December 30, 2010

Just so you know, “pot plant,” and, “potted plant,” are two VERY different things. You may want to edit your article to reflect your actual intentions. ;)

Thanks to Terry — February 21, 2011

for our venue we have hired out an entire hostel with a barn. We are using the barn for the reception and we have asked everyone who will be staying to chip in towards a bed and food and not get us a gift. We have recouped about 1/2 the cost of the venue so far. Everyone knows they have somewhere to stay on site and don’t have to think about expensive hotel rooms or transport.

Thanks to laura — March 2, 2011

We live in a seaside town where a local couple had a seaside related wedding. The local fish and chip shop served the guests at the golf club. It made the local press and seemed to be enjoyed by all. Much cheaper than a fancy meal.

Thanks to stardust — October 9, 2011

When I got married I made my own wedding invitations. I designed a very simple cross stitch pattern with a heart shaped border of flowers and initials in the middle. I stuck them into cards with a heart shaped window and printed out individual inserts for each guest from my computer to stick in the middle. Many of my family and friends still have the invites as a keepsake of the wedding.

Thanks to Yvonne Hull — March 14, 2014

Encourage your guests to show their talents…painting, singing, dancing – you will have so much fun:)

Thanks to Yuli — May 10, 2014

I think there are some great points, but don’t forget that a professional photographer has the equipment and knowledge to capture high quality photos when a point and shoot struggles, such as in a poorly lit church. With a little hunting around, you can always find a talented photographer who is able to work within your budget, even if it is only small. Also, consider hiring a professional photographer for the important shots, and then let your friends and family capture the rest of your day.

Thanks to Anonymous — December 2, 2014

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