Thursday, 14 March 2013

Planning a Wedding Without Breaking the Bank (Part 2) - Sarah's Story

After a week-long break we return with our second instalment of ‘How to Plan a Wedding Without Breaking the Bank’! This week we’re featuring a story from Sarah, who got married two years ago in her parents’ back garden. Read on to hear how she and her fiancé pulled off a lovely outdoor wedding on a budget.

(Also - don't forget to scroll to the bottom of this post for a chance to enter our amazing giveaway of 'A Priceless Wedding' - your one-stop-shop for ideas on planning a beautiful, memorable day.)

An English Summer Wedding: Sarah’s story

Photo Credit: Sarah O'Driscoll

1.       Tell us a little bit about you, your wedding, and your wedding budget:

My name is Sarah and I got married on August 7th 2010 in my hometown of Chichester in West Sussex. We had a fun, country style summer wedding (with only a small amount of rain!).  My husband James proposed to me in December 2009 and we planned our wedding in 8 months. One of the challenges of planning our wedding was that we have a lovely large family and wanted everyone to be included. After discussing with both sets of parents we agreed a joint budget that fell within the £5,000-£10,000 range.

2.       What elements of a wedding took top priority for you in your planning?

It was really important to us to have as many of our family and friends to celebrate the day with us as we could. We drew up our ideal guest list and it came to around 250 people! We were able to do this because we realised we could fit a marquee just large enough in my parents back garden. It was also really special that it was at home and everyone could be involved in the planning and preparation of the day. Another thing that was high on my priority list was having pretty flowers - I just love flowers!

3.       What was your experience of working on a budget, and what would you tell a bride who is worried that she needs to go into debt (or wait 10 years) to afford the wedding she wants?

Working on a budget can be a challenge. For us we had to look at all the elements we wanted and decide where we could and where we wanted to cut the costs and where we couldn't. Everyone will have their own expectations or hopes for their wedding day. If you don't want your budget to delay you getting married or push you into debt we found that there are many different ways to celebrate a wedding and have a great party. One of the most important things is to be realistic about what you can afford, think creatively, and enjoy it - it can end up being a lot of fun planning a wedding on a budget.

4.       What did you end up spending the least amount of money on? Why did you spend less on this, and how did you manage to keep the cost down?

One of the things we spent the least on proportionally for the wedding was the food and the flowers. We are so blessed in knowing many talented people who were able to help us out and make this possible.  For the food, we went for a local farmer who did free range hog roasts. He came and cooked the meat which cost around £600 for two hogs. Some of our lovely friends self-catered the rest of the food, simple salmon starters and Pimms; salads and accompanying dishes for the meat; and home-made brownies and strawberries from a local farm for pudding.

We spent around £200 for all the flowers by going to the local wholesaler and ordering them in advance. Our friends helped with the church flowers and decoration and my Mum and Grandma then put the bridal bouquets and button holes together the day before the wedding. I loved my bouquet as it was made of sweet peas which my mum had grown in her garden - they smelt so lovely!

5.       What did you end up spending the most on, and why? What made this particular thing a spending priority for you?

I think we ended up spending the most money on the marquee and all that was included (tables, plastic chairs, cutlery, and posh porta-loos – we used one called the ‘Royal Flush’!). 
We spent the most on this partly because of our guest numbers, but having this venue and the marquee allowed us to be much more flexible and save money in many other areas which other venues may not have allowed.

6.       What would you give as your top ‘insider tip’ for throwing a wedding without millions of pounds to spare?

I think my top tip for throwing a wedding on a budget would be to be creative, enjoy planning and ‘think DIY’.

Photo Credit: Sarah O'Driscoll


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1 comment:

  1. This is simply the most wonderful wedding I have ever seen. The english summer theme is just wonderful and I can imagine the horses cantering around the meadows nearby. Once when I was out fox hunting I passed by a wedding like this in the village of st huntingsthorpe; this was one of the best days I remember.