Weddings on a shoe-string

For a long time we’ve associated low cost with poor quality or less glamour, but more increasingly we’re seeing examples of beautiful weddings, that haven’t cost the earth to organise.  With a bit of planning and a lot of creativity, it’s possible to make the right choices, without the breaking the bank.

Photo: Londji

In a wedding, what usually costs the most money is the catering, so the first step to reduce costs can be to limit the number of guests.  OK, this can be a bit of a minefield if you don’t invite all your friends and family, but at the same time, it can also create a more intimate atmosphere by having just the people you’re closest to there.

Regarding the other details, in my opinion it’s a good idea if the couple write a list of priorities together; put at the top all the most important things, and at the end of the list you should have the most superflous things, that you could easily miss off the list. That way it’s easier to make sense of how to work out the budget. If you dispense of one little thing, maybe you could try and include it later on? and if you don’t include it, maybe that’s better because you might have spent a lot on it?

In this post, I’ll talk you through some ideas for a low-cost wedding, where nothing will lead to an astronomical budget.

Photos: Dress, Monsoon; Bouquet, Style Me Pretty; Hairstyle, Kate Bosworth; Earrings, Accessorize; Shoes, Badgley Mischka

Dress Monsoon – 350 euros (around 275 pounds)
Bouquet – Style Me Pretty
Hairstyle – Kate Bosworth
Earrings Accessorize – 10 euros (7 pounds)
Shoes Badgley Mischka –  200 euros (around 155 pounds)

Styling the bride and groom

I chose a Monsoon dress, that despite not being a specialist bridal shop, have a lot of perfectly adequate wedding dresses in their collection. They  also come in a good range of sizes, and their distinct advantage over other bridal dresses is the price- the quality is excellent, and the dresses are much more accessible in comparison to others of similar style but different brands.  You can buy Monsoon online and they deliver to different locations in the EU. Even better, currently the P&P is free if you spend over 70 pounds (90 euros).

Other shops that do low-cost wedding dresses in the UK:  Coast, House of Fraser, Debenhams and John Lewis. These shops, like Monsoon, all deliver to different locations in the EU when you buy online.

Aside from these, it’s also possible to find suitable wedding dresses in other shops like: Zara, Mango, H&M or Massimo Dutti.

To complete the look, I chose a wavy, vintage-inspired hairstyle and  Accessorize earrings.  Sticking with the traditional “something blue”, I opted for a bouquet of rosas and hydrangeas, tied with a blue satin ribbon. I wore blue Badgley Mischka shoes. OK, the shoes aren’t low-cost, but they have the advantage of being worn again on different occasions; and not only limited to the wedding day.

Photos: Suit and shirt, Zara; Bowtie, Zara; Shoes, Aldo.

Suit and shirt Zara – 180 euros (around 140 pounds)
Bowtie Zara – 13 euros (around 10 pounds)
Shoes Aldo – 94 euros (around 70 pounds)

For the groom, I chose a very elegant Zara suit, that matched with the blue bowtie and blue shoes. There was a good combination of colours, without being too over the top.

Photos: Invites,etsy.com/shop/thewoolberrypress; Souvenir box, idoweddingfavours.co.uk; hydrangeas as a centrepiece decoration, centralsquareflorist.com, jars decorated with crochet,craftsbyamanda.com; Blue Vespa, tain0s.deviantart.com


The invitations could be printed at home, they wouldn’t be any less beautiful or elegant. The souvenirs could be something simple like slices of cake placed in boxes, that could be ordered in bulk. Another idea could be a donation to a charity or other good cause, of a value relating to the cost that you would have spent on souvenirs. It’s a nice gesture, and the guests would surely appreciate it.


For the decoration you could used flowers from your own garden or flowers that are in season, whichever reduces your costs. Hydrangeas, as well as being beautiful, have the advantage of being very voluminous, which helps to bulk out the flower arrangements. Carnations, gerberas, gypsophila and wax flowers can also be good options.

The flower vases can also be reutilised and decorated with ribbons, lace, crochet, burlap and buttons.

You could also place candles as centrepieces and at strategic points in the room to help complete the decoration and create a warm atmosphere.


The Vespa, which I posted as the final image, is an interesting idea for the bride and groom’s transport, and if you could borrow one from a friend of family member, even better!

Guest blogger: Patrícia Oliveira

Wedding planner, fashion adviser and works in event management, Patrícia Oliveira created the  blog Hoje Vou Casar Assim (Today I’m going to get married like this), which has millions of visitors every week and helps readers, spread around the world, in making decisions on the hundred and one things you need to prepare for your wedding and party.


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