The average price of a wedding in the UK is around £25,000, which given the current cost of living crisis is too much for most people to afford.
So many couples will come up with creative ideas to slash prices, using DIY and cheaper vendors to save some money.
But just because you’re not spending as much, doesn’t mean you can’t still have a fabulous day – as one bride has recently proved.
Collet Collins, who tied the knot with her partner Kipras Collins in June 2021, during coronavirus restrictions, has shared how she managed to plan a luxurious wedding for under £6,000.
Jessie Leong / CATERS NEWS)
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Kipras, 28, proposed to Collet, 35, on October 15 2019, and they started planning their luxury wedding on a budget straight away.
The pair knew exactly what they wanted from their day and made the most of their friends and any contacts they had to keep the costs down.
They were married at Severndroog Castle in Shooters Hill, London and held their wedding reception at the Clarendon Hotel in Blackheath.
Due to Covid restrictions, their guest list was limited to 30 people and they weren’t allowed music or dancing, but they made the most of the nice weather and spent time outdoors.
One of the ways they made their day more affordable was to try their hand at some DIY.
Collet, a film and television writer, decided to make a photo backdrop from a hula hoop, green ivy and foam flowers for £40, instead of hiring one for £120.
Jessie Leong / CATERS NEWS)
COLLET COLLINS / CATERS NEWS)
The bride explained: “We wanted to keep the costs low, so aimed to spend between £6K and £12K.
“The castle was just under £1000 for the ceremony, and I have had past events at the Clarendon Hotel, so I built up a relationship with the managers already.
“We paid just over £2,000 for the reception, and the hotel included a full drinks package, food and a bridal suite for us to stay in on the night, and the night before.
“They gave us full use of the main restaurant and the garden, we were lucky we could both inside and outside..
“When we were decorating the venue, I made a lot of the decorations by hand. There were handmade flower signs, a bride and groom sign and also made a backdrop with green ivy. It was all very flower heavy.
“We decided to have foam flowers, they look very real, and they were the best way to keep the cost down, plus they didn’t wilt in the sun.
“I was thinking about buying supermarket flowers, but that would have meant buying them the day before so they were fresh and that would have been too much of a hassle.”
COLLET COLLINS / CATERS NEWS)
Collet continued: “In the reception room we had a two-seater wicker chair which was set up like a bride and groom throne, decorated with faux fur blankets and Mr and Mrs cushions.
“I put some of the foam flowers around and decorated with fairy lights as well to make it look like an enchanted garden setting.
“We went with a glamorous garden theme and had metallic wedding colours.
“It looked so beautiful at sunset.
“I also collected branches from my local park, and then stuck white tissue paper around them to make them look like cherry blossom branches and these became the centrepieces on the tables.
“These were completely free, I didn’t spend a penny on them as the white tissue paper was from all of the bridesmaid shoe boxes, and dresses packaging. I already had a glue gun and glue also.
“People were so impressed with the wedding and how it was done. People were complimenting the decorations telling me it looked amazing.”
The couple also managed to save money on their wedding favours, by contacting a coffee shop Collet used to work at.
The owners agreed to provide each guest with a fully stamped loyalty card so they could all enjoy a free coffee.
“I also made everyone a face scrub, made from scratch as another wedding favour. I put them in small little jars, and they all had a little label on with our names and the wedding date, as well as the ingredients,” said Collet. “The jars cost me £30 for 100, and the salt, sugar and essential oils used didn’t cost me much either. In total these wedding favours came to £40.
“We also had a violinist welcoming us to the reception which made it really special. She only charged us £220, but she usually charges around £300.”
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To keep on top of their spending, Collet and Kipras used the website ‘Bride book’ which broke down their outgoings so they could keep track of how much they had spent, allowing them to stick to their tight budget.
Collet continued to say: “My wedding dress was a wedding present from my mum, it was a beautiful dress from Wed2be, and it was £599. I also had a second dress for the evening reception which was a sparkly dress that cost me £50 from a friend’s pageant dress shop, which should have been £100.
“My brother bought me my shoes, they were literally like Cinderella’s shoes, and they cost £13.50 from the shoe shop Deichmann, I knew when I saw them, they were just perfect.
“I had five bridesmaids and a man of honour, and Kipras had two groomsmen and a best girl. The bridesmaids’ dresses were sparkly long-sleeved dresses from ASOS, they were so beautiful, I paid half and they paid half for them.
“I also bought them a matching bag each, as well as a bottle of wine and some jewellery too.
“The groomsmen’s suits were from Boohoo Man for £60 each, and Kipras’ suit was also from there. He has a very particular taste, and we were lucky Boohoo Man had exactly what he wanted. It was a bargain.
“My head bridesmaid gifted me my hair and makeup which was a very kind gift, I was happy enough to do it myself, but it was a really nice thing to have and it made me feel amazing.
“When we were booking our wedding cars, we booked a private service for the wedding party which was only £20.
“For me, my mum and my friend who was also our photographer, we just booked some nice cars at our local taxi service. This was a nightmare as only one actually turned up. I just ended up going on the taxi app FreeNow and booking black cabs.
“It was actually a really nice big spacious black cab, which cost £40 in total.”
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Other wedding expenses included a ‘mates rates’ deal on a photographer Collet had met while working on a film who charged £650 instead of £950.
The cake was kindly gifted by Kipras’ mum and was a two-tier one made by a professional baker and the couple also has cookies and cupcakes with their names and the date on them.
“I am so grateful to the hotel, they didn’t just coordinate the venue but they set it all up to such a high standard as well I was blown away by it,” adds Collet.
“I get this money-saving side from my mum. I like to get something worth a lot for a bargain. It’s how I’ve always gone through life.
“We were determined to keep the budget low and I’m so glad we managed to have a low budget luxury wedding that looked like it cost so much more.”
BREAKDOWN OF WEDDING COSTS:
Wedding Ceremony – £1K
Wedding Venue – £2K
Wedding Dress – £599
Wedding cake – £170
Bridesmaids Dresses – £230
Bridesmaids Hair and Makeup – £120
Bridesmaids bags and gifts – £75 Flower girl – £40
DJ – £350 but only paid £50 deposit as had to cancel due to covid restrictions
Violinist – £250
Evening dress – £50
Photographer – £650
Groom’s suit – £70
Wedding favours – £40
Taxis – £40
Wedding guest cars – £8
Flowers – £70
Videographer – £240
Mothers outfit – £60
Gifts for groomsmen – £41
Groomsmen wedding accessories – £15
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