Elegance On a Budget: How to Plan a Dreamy, Thrifty Wedding

Published by Claire Gould on

Being creative with your wedding budget can reduce wedding stress. It’s not about looking for bargains, but more about planning and styling a thrifty wedding! Thinking the way our grandparents might have done about a wedding can be a breath of fresh air.

We want to help grooms and brides to manage their expectations along with their expenses.

Don’t despair – this doesn’t mean you have to compromise on elegance and style. There are several tricks and steps you can take to plan a sustainable, unforgettable wedding without breaking the bank.

Make a list of priorities

First, grab a pen and paper to calculate how much you hope to spend on your big day. Split everything into different categories to have an overview of how much all your wedding components might add up to and check if they fit within your budget.

Katie Livingstone-Evans Lowes, weddings and events coordinator at North East Wedding Venue Langley Castle, said: “Once you have determined what and how much you can afford, you will be able to prioritise what is truly important to you.

“Have you always dreamt of tying the knot in a fairytale-like castle? Place it at the top of your list. Not too fussed about desserts? You can save money on the cake and opt for an alternative treat to end the banquet.

“Remember to always discuss your plans together as a couple. If you are both keen on favouring a venue that ticks all the right boxes, think about finding one not too far from your home. A venue that is closer to reach will make everyone smile while reducing everyone’s impact on the environment!”.

Choose modern outfits over traditional white dresses or suits

Picking the perfect outfits for your special day is one of the most exciting parts of organising a wedding.

But let’s be honest – it can be quite daunting and pricey too! All the attention can be on what you wear, so it is easy to see why people feel the need to spend that little extra for a memorable piece of clothing.

However, do you really have to go over budget for something that – realistically – you will only ever wear once? There are plenty of stylish, elegant outfits out there that could easily work as modern wedding attire and have all your guests talking and admiring your choices.

If it needs an extra touch of class and sophistication, you could ask a tailor or hire a seamstress to adapt the design a tad. This way, you can strut to the altar in style with more pennies in your purse.

Vintage wedding rings

A wedding ring is what you need, at least symbolically, to actually get married. So it is only natural to want to find a classy piece of jewellery to seal such a special moment in your life.

If you are looking for something unique, but can’t afford to overspend, think about opting for a vintage wedding ring. This could even be a family heirloom bound to make relatives shed a few tears.

The good thing about vintage rings is that they are more sustainable than fresh, contemporary jewellery. This is because you are giving a new lease of life to a ring rather than consuming a new product. The production of new diamonds, whether they’re mined (often in Russia) or laboratory-produced (often in China) is never a sustainable option.

DIY wedding decor

DIY decorations can be a creative, eco-friendly way to add a personal touch to the celebrations.

There are infinite, cost-effective ideas you can come up with to sprinkle elegance throughout the venue. Flowers and greenery are always a win – but these could come from relatives’ gardens or even be foraged (don’t overdo it) for a genuine “just gathered” look.

For a country fete wedding you could make bunting or hanging decorations (banners can be gorgeous) from recycled or vintage fabrics. These can also be re-used or given to charity shops after the big day.

Smaller details such as place names can be thrifty and fun! Think nature-inspired place settings with handwritten pebbles or dried flowers on personalised tags with guests’ names on them. It is a simple, elegant way to bring nature in and add some quirky details to your unforgettable day.

Ask your grandparents!

Modern weddings are expensive because we see all the ideas online.

They never used to be like this – my grandparents wore their best outfits, bought a bouquet and a cake, and hired a photographer. They put on a buffet in a local hotel. And there’s a wonderful charm in the simplicity of weddings back then.

If you’re a thrifty couple, it’s perfectly fine to keep all the details to a minimum. Don’t feel you have to aspire to all of the luxury wedding ‘stuff’ you could have for your wedding!

Featured photograph by Lara Rios Photography; calligraphy by By Moon & Tide

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.


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