Thanks to Clare and Glenn for sharing their special day with us – believe it or not, this entire wedding cost less than £7000!
It just goes to show, that with a bit of effort, a sprinkling of imagination and some serious planning, you don’t need an ENORMOUS budget to have an amazing wedding! Read on to find out how they did it…
How He Asked…
“Ever the traditionalist, Glenn had already gained permission from my parents without my knowledge.
We had a date night planned, but he insisted my daughter came with us for a ‘family’ meal. I might add that at this point I was 3 months pregnant, we were going out for a meal before heading around to see my family to announce our baby news…
I have never seen him sit so straight as he did that night, clearly nervous, which immediately aroused suspicion! He did the whole soppy bit of ‘you are the best thing to happen to me’ blah blah blah…, then opened the ring box and pushed it across the table towards me.
I was beaming (I blame the pregnancy hormones!) and of course, said YES immediately and put the ring on. He had pre warned the manager of the restaurant and they were standing by with a non alcoholic cocktail to celebrate!
So, the trip to see my family turned into announcing the engagement, quickly followed by the popping of champagne and me having to decline politely. Well… my family know something is up when I refuse champagne, so immediately guessed the baby news too!!”
“Both Glenn and I had very different ideas for our ideal wedding. He wanted a large, traditional wedding and I wanted to run away just the two of us! The compromise ended up being a small (ish) barn wedding with around 60 guests.
We had a simple, relaxed civil ceremony (Glenn said ‘I do” at the wrong part and we all ended up laughing at him!) with a beautiful reading by my Maid of Honour.
The entire wedding was held at Doxford Barns, a beautiful farm. We wanted a relaxed day and were on a strict budget, trying to do everything possible ourselves…”
“Opting for a ceremony later in the afternoon meant that we saved a little bit of money. We were married at 3pm, followed by drinks and photos. We had a hog roast at 5.30 (child friendly as there were 13 of them there!) So we only had to feed everyone once throughout the day.”
The Wedding Party
“We had 3 Bridesmaids, 2 of my Sister in laws – Roz and Laura, and my best friend Hayley was Maid of Honour. I let them choose their dresses themselves – we set up a group chat and if anyone found a nice dress, it was put in there until we found one we all agreed on…
The dresses we chose were from Chi Chi – added bonus was that they delivered worldwide as my maid of honour lives in Dubai!”
“Unofficially, I just assumed they all knew they would be bridesmaids, talking as if they were until Laura pointed out that I hadn’t officially told them!! So, I had a trip to Sainsbury’s and bought a mug and a bunch of flowers each, using the mug as a vase, brown string and a tag to request them by my side…”
“We also had 4 Flower Girls (our 2 kids and my 2 nieces) They wore Ivory dresses from M&S with fresh gyp garlands. Our Pageboy, my nephew, wore an outfit from Next (we had to bribe him with a bubble gun!)”
“The groomsmen were Glenn’s best friends, Barny, Marcus and Toddy! They wore matching shirts with open collars and just wore their own suit trousers…”
The Bride and Groom’s Outfits
“I wore a traditional style wedding dress. Long with a lace top. My Shoes were heeled Hush Puppies as I wanted to be comfortable all day, I got changed into Clarks sandals later on.
Hair and make up I did myself, I went for a MAC tutorial so I would know what on earth to do and watched hair tutorials to learn how to do my up-do!
I wore ear-rings that belonged to my late aunty. Both of my sister in laws wore the same ones for their weddings. My garter was also the one they wore! My gran let me borrow a pearl bracelet for the day. So I had my something old, something new (shoes) my something borrowed and blue!
Glenn wore a blue open collar shirt (the same as the best men) with a grey suit and brown shoes.”
The Finer Details…
“We did all of the flowers, decorations and favours ourselves as we were on a tight budget. I made signs for the venue and the cake stand out of re-claimed pallets. I also made a chalkboard photo frame for the photo prop area.”
“For favours, we created our very own sweetie table filled with all of our favourites so that people could help themselves.”
“Our wedding cake was a giant Chocolate Brownie tower, with strawberries that myself and my Mother-in-Law made. I did draw the line at making bunting though – it’s cheaper to buy it online, than it is to buy the material for it!!”
“For the flowers, I had bunches of gypsophila for the Bridesmaids and white roses and gyp for my bouquet. We arranged them all ourselves, ordering the flowers from a local flower shop and making them up on the morning. The flower girls had garlands in their hair made out of fresh gypsophila (thank you youtube!) and there were buckets of gyp lining the aisle and used as a centrepiece for the table… We even made button holes for the groom and groomsmen. Later realising that none of the groomsmen were wearing jackets, so had no where to stick them… I suggested a place though!
The table centrepieces were made up of a piece of round log (nabbed from my brothers wedding), with a homemade log candle holder, bucket of gypsophila and candles. We also put a disposable camera on each table, although I must confess… I haven’t had them developed yet! Fairy lights also lined the barn with flowery bunting and 10 GIANT, metre wide, helium filled balloons.
We had a kids table, outdoor games, tug of war, swing ball, photo booth, table tennis table, beer pong and my personal favourite – Nerf guns on every table. All combined with plenty of alcohol, of course!”
What stands out most about your special day?
“The night before our wedding, we went to the venue to set up. I was hanging bunting and got a call that Glenn had hurt himself. I ran over to the cottages and sure enough, there he was laid up on a sofa – almost passing out. Call to 111 later and he was off to A&E. I was pissing myself laughing at this point… Glenn didn’t appreciate that so much!”
“I went with the theory that even if Glenn didn’t make it back, everything was paid for, so if there was no wedding – there would still be a damn good party!!”
Thankfully, he did return 4 hours and a police escort later… on crutches. So when I walked down the aisle he was stood there, leg in a cast, with only one shoe on, a scabby sock and his trousers desperately squeezed over his pot. He got fed up of his pot half way through our day and chopped it off – preferring to limp about instead.
That was not all of the drama though… More ambulances were needed later in the day when, during dinner Glenn’s uncle fell over. He was down on the floor for half an hour. Everything was put on hold, 999 called with an injured leg and a suspected heart attack.
The other guests continued to lighten the mood – with a giant Nerf fight! He got checked over, perked up and decided to join back in… Only to collapse AGAIN half an hour later, in the middle of the room. This time, he was down for about an hour, the ambulance was called back and eventually he retired to the cottages on site. The celebrations were naturally subdued for a while, until we got back into full swing. Again, the nerf fight did not let up though – poor waiters!!
What advice would you give to other Brides/Grooms to be?
“In hindsight, I wish I had hired a DJ, instead we opted for a Sonos Playlist that my husband compiled. He didn’t quite manage to order the songs correctly however, and we went from The Lion King to Insomnia at one point! It did all add to the entertainment though, you never knew what you were going to get next…”
“Go with the flow – things will go wrong but don’t let it ruin your day! All that matters is that you get married. Thats the bit that lasts a lifetime, anything else is material…”
“The day really does fly by. Take time for the two of you and soak it up. Remember it’s only a day…”
Photo credit: Flowers & Fairytales Photography
If you, or someone you know, have recently been married and would like to share your special day with us please, submit it here.