Bride saves £4,500 on her wedding by getting creative

Yes, it’s possible to have a dreamy wedding on a budget (Picture: Mercury Press)

Putting off getting married because of the cost? Take a leaf out of Xanthe Simmans’ book.

The 28-year-old graphic designer from Romsey, Hanmpshire, decided to take matters into her own hands after she and her fiancé, Jack Watkins, 29, were quoted £5,000 for wedding essentials.

Although the wedding itself wasn’t on a tight budget – the couple spent £25,000 in total – Xanthe managed to save more than £4,500 on her decorations by shopping around and getting creative. 

First of all, Xanthe noticed that products that were geared towards weddings had ‘an extra zero on the end,’ so she avoided products that had the word ‘wedding’ in the description and shopped around herself. 

‘Our biggest save was on flowers, we were quoted £3000 by florists for five bouquets and seven boutonnieres for the groomsmen,’ she said.

‘I had a vision and wasn’t prepared to pay that, so I looked on Etsy and found some colourful dried flowers.

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Spending just £110 on flowers and peacock feathers, Xanthe crafter her own custom bouquets at home.

DIY was a big reason she was able to cut so many costs – in fact, she was made her own garlands, name tags and party favours, which consisted of upcycled glycine bags filled with wildflower seeds (£15 in total) and organza bags filled with sweets, costing another £15. 

‘We were quoted £800 to hire decorations and for instalment so I decided to find a way to do it myself,’ she says. 

Xanthe and Jack made 10 garlands a night (Picture: xanthesimmans / Mercury Press)
The pair saved thousands on their bouquets (Picture: xanthesimmans / Mercury Press)

‘We made a 100 metre long pom pom garland filled with 400 pom poms for the marquee ceiling.

‘I don’t know how long it took as I used to make around ten per night whilst watching TV.’

As well as DIY, Xanthe and Jack relied on their happy-to-help friends and families, who helped them put up their decorations for free.

And, after being quoted £1,000 for a plain tiered cake, Xanthe’s mum Davina Simmans, 56, saved the day by offering to bake one for free.

Xanthe’s mum stepped up and made their cake for free (Picture: xanthesimmans / Mercury Press)

‘When planning the wedding, it is always useful to ask friends and family for an extra pair of hands,’ said Xanthe. ‘I’m sure they will be more than happy to help and would love to be involved.’

Finally, the couple was able to save at least £680 on Jack’s emerald green suit, which would have cost upwards of £800 in suit shops. 

‘We are quite eccentric and I wear a lot of colour and wanted that to come across at our wedding,’ Xanthe shared.

‘It wouldn’t feel right if I was wearing white and pastels throughout the wedding as that’s not our taste and it wouldn’t be a true reflection of us.

‘I managed to find Jack a perfect three-piece suit for £85 on ASOS in the Christmas sales and he got it tailored for a further £35.’

Jack’s emerald suit cost a total of £120 (Picture: xanthesimmans / Mercury Press)

All in all, Xanthe says the longer engagement of 18 months was the perfect amount of time to ‘embrace the process’ and make some savings on the way. 

‘I am an advocate for a longer engagement as your wedding only happens once, plus a bit of extra time for saving doesn’t hurt,’ she says.

‘You should embrace the process rather than race to the finish line.

‘We both knew we wanted the wedding to be a reflection of us and we knew it would take time for our vision to come to life.

‘Initially we didn’t make the decorations to save money but we are delighted that it did in the long run.

‘I would advise other brides to shop around and DIY when they can for the personal touches and the savings!’

Saving breakdown:

  • Flowers: £3,000 quote, £110 paid
  • Suit: £800 quote, £120 paid
  • Name cards: £30 business cards
  • 100 tassels for £10 from Amazon
  • Cake: £1,000 quote, ended up free
  • Décor hire and installation: £800 quote, ended up free
  • Favours: £5 for 100 organza bags from Amazon, £20 for 200 Love Heart sweets, £15 for bag of seeds
  • Card box: £5 from Facebook Marketplace
  • Gold arch: £75 quote, £15 paid on Wish

Quotes total: £4,998

Spent: £355

Savings: £4,643

If you want more tips and tricks on saving money, as well as chat about cash and alerts on deals and discounts, join our Facebook Group, Money Pot.

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