Bride shares how she and her husband spent just £7,000 on the wedding
A bride has shared how she spent just a third of the average spend on weddings for her big day.
By opting for budget-trimmers like a £325 designer wedding dress and £4.60 evening gown, Grace Evans and groom Jamie Wilkins were able to pay just £6,950 for their wedding.
Compared to the UK average of £20,493, according to the Compare Wedding Insurance website, that’s pretty impressive.
Grace, who loves second-hand and vintage clothes, spent £325 on her Justin Alexander wedding dress, which she bought from eBay.
She said: ‘The lady I bought it off originally paid £1,795.
‘Luckily, she lived locally in Gloucestershire so, before I actually bid on it, I went over, and she let me try it on. It fit perfectly.’
Her wedding slippers and evening dress were also from eBay, with her Rainbow Club shoes costing £15 and the garment just £4.60.
Grace, 30, and Jamie, 31, also opted for a small wedding on September 8, 2021, tying the knot at exclusive Cotswold venue Pauntley Court, which has its own Norman church, in front of 24 guests.
Grace, of Worcester, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which affects muscle and soft tissue, in 2017 and does not work.
She said: ‘I’ve only got a certain amount of capacity and obviously, getting married for anybody is really stressful and busy.
‘We decided that we were just going to have a micro wedding and make it a lot easier.
‘For my health, only having a small wedding was less draining. I think when you’re feeling really ill and poorly and then you’ve got to be around 100 people, it’s too much.
‘Covid made us realise our priorities, and it was for our grandparents to see us get married and for everyone to feel safe. They are elderly, so a micro wedding was perfect.’
She added: ‘The fact it was just my closest family and closest friends who know me really well, was really special.’
The couple’s wedding rings were bought at a shop’s closing down sale for half the retail value – with Grace’s costing £500 and archaeologist James’ £250.
Keeping in mind wedding cakes can cost around £200, the couple spent a mere £35 on theirs, using a £15 M&S cake and two cakes from a local café, which cost £10 each.
They then decorated the cake with roses from Grace’s mum and grandad’s gardens – with additional petals turned into confetti.
Grace said: ‘I had enough confetti for 100 people, but we obviously only had 24 guests in the end.
‘I’m giving the rest to my friend who’s getting married in May.’
Jamie’s family pitched in to help too, his mum Avril, 73 and eldest sister Jo, 54, decorating the church with lilies, roses and gypsophila.
Grace’s sister Georgina, 33, made the couple raspberry and chocolate brownies as their favours, and her mum Karen, 58, made Grace a garter using lace bought from Amazon, elastic and a ‘little blue ribbon’ she had at home.
Grace and Jamie made the wedding bouquets and buttonholes for the flowers with the help of YouTube tutorials.
‘It could have cost £35 if bought from Etsy, but she made it for £5,’ said Grace, who also used her mum’s 1920s bag as her ‘something old’ and ‘something borrowed’.
She added: ‘Two of my friends – Rosie and Miriam, both 30, were bridesmaids. They wore multiway dresses that cost £25 instead of £110 from a Coast sale.
‘My cousin, Nina, 32, was also a bridesmaid and wore the duskiest pink dress. Hers was Oasis and she got it from TK Maxx for £11. I think it was originally £95.
‘I just looked through all the sales, keeping in mind which dress would suit which friend.
‘I got some pretty night robes from Primark. They’re cream and green and beautiful. And, instead of being £14 each, they were on sale for £7.’
The couple also intentionally opted to get married on a weekday to save money.
Make no mistake, budget or not, Grace spent a lot of time planning.
She said: ‘I just made a list using Google of all the main things you need for a wedding, like flowers, cakes, all those sorts of things, so I had a rough idea of what I needed.
‘And I kept a note of everything I had, needed to get and what I’d spent as I went along.’
Their wedding wasn’t the couple’s first bargain-hunting roadshow.
They have renovated their three-bedroom Victorian home, which they bought in August 2014, from ‘top to bottom’ so it looks like a ‘little palace,’ even though they got very few things new.
Grace, who grew up going to vintage fairs and charity shops with her sister, said: ‘With our bathroom, we got all the fixtures and fittings ex-display.
‘Also, my grandad, Derek, 88, used to be an engineer, and he built our studded walls with my husband.
‘We bought a lot of things second hand and I gave them a new lease of life by painting them. We love getting stuff from second-hand shops.’
Grace’s top money-saving tips
- Do a quick search for voucher codes before you make a final payment. You may make a quick saving that way.
- Whether you are planning a wedding or renovating a house, spreadsheets are a must. They allow you to examine your budget and plan out what you need, reducing the chance of overspending.
- Shop around. Do not just buy something based on the first quote you get or from the first shop you see.
- Watch money saving shows like Kirstie and Phil’s Love It or List It.
- If you are renovating your home, consider shopping from sites like eBay, second hand shops or buying products from ex-display or discontinued lines.
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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