Bride Harriet in her grandmother’s heirloom wedding dress (Picture: Harriet Smith-Walker/Caters News)
According to bridal magazine Hitched, the average price of a wedding in the UK now stands at £17,300 – a lot of money for the vast majority of us.
But this savvy bride managed to spend just £3,000 on the big day of her dreams, saving £12,000 in the process which will be put towards a new home.
Harriet Smith-Walker, 25, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, was originally due to get married in 2020, but like many others, had her special day cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.
However, post-pandemic Harriet and husband Kieran, 28, decided their £15,000 wedding budget was far too extravagant for a couple looking to get on the property ladder, so set off in search of ways to cut costs.
The couple, who’ve been together for six years were married on August 20, with Harriet beaming at how it all went.
She said: ‘It was the best day of my life! I’m so happy about the wedding! It was such an amazing day and I loved every second of it, from start to finish.
‘After the first wedding was cancelled we were stuck deciding mortgage or marriage, but we wanted both.’
Thanks to their purse-friendly wedding hacks, Kieran and Harriet are now in the final stages of completion on a house and are due to move in very soon.
Kieran and Harriet on their big day (Picture: Harriet Smith-Walker/Caters News)
The couple, who met in Magaluf six years ago, revealed their tips to keep costs down, stating that they still managed to have the most perfect day celebrating with family and friends.
Harriet said: ‘We got married in St Mary’s Church in Orpington – this was one of the most expensive costs of the wedding, being around £500.
‘However, we got lucky as my dad only lives across the road, so we held the reception in his garden and decorated it ourselves.
‘We hired tables, a cake table, linen and other decorations for £300 and a balloon arch which cost £260.
‘We also sourced decorations from B&M and Home Bargains, which included lanterns, solar panels, fairy lights and flower wire.’
The couple held their reception in Harriet’s dad back garden, saving on venue hire (Picture: Harriet Smith-Walker/Caters News)
Harriet was initially quoted £75 per bouquet of flowers, so made her own with help from friends, spending £60 for four floral arrangements.
She also didn’t spend a single penny on her dress.
‘My dress was worth £800 but this dress was actually my nan’s and handed down to me,’ said Harriet. ‘She was so excited to see me wearing it!’
In total, the guestlist came to around 70 people, so the pair had to get creative to feed and water attendees on a budget.
Most of the decorations were hired or bought for a bargain price (Picture: Harriet Smith-Walker/Caters News)
Harriet said: ‘The food at the wedding was a Jamaican BBQ and we sourced the meat such as a sausages and burgers with a cash and carry card.
‘That meant in total the food came to £262 and the side dishes such as potato salad and coleslaw were provided by family. Unbelievably, we won our cake too!
‘Booze-wise, we picked up any with damaged packaging which was reduced to clear from supermarkets, and with the amount of beer we got discounted it worked out at 47p a bottle!’
Harriet and Kieran had initially planned to hire a band, which would have cost over £1,000, but opted for two vocalists instead at a cost of £500.
‘Our head usher was supposed to be the DJ on the night but he got stuck in Portugal so it meant we had to stick a playlist on instead,’ added Harriet.
As for capturing the wedding, the newlywed said ‘For our photographer and videographer we used trainees who were looking to enhance their portfolio’s.
‘This meant the photographer only cost £100 and the videographer didn’t charge us at all.’
Kieran and Harriet’s economising means that, as well as treasuring the memories of their special day, they can look forward to a bright financial future in their new home.
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