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How You Can Plan a Thrift Wedding

In 2022, newly-wed couples in the UK splashed out about £18,400 on weddings, with 47% of spouses going over budget.

By Owen MarshallPublished 4 months ago 4 min read

As we navigate through a challenging cost-of-living crisis, current brides and grooms might need to find ways to mitigate their expenses.

Don’t despair – this doesn’t mean you have to compromise on elegance and style. There are several tricks and steps you can take to plan a sustainable, unforgettable wedding without breaking the bank.

Make a list of priorities

First, grab a pen and paper to calculate how much you hope to spend on your big day. Split everything into different categories to have an overview of how much all your wedding components might add up to and check if they fit within your budget.

Katie Livingstone-Evans Lowes, weddings and events coordinator at North East wedding venue Langley Castle, said: “Once you have determined what and how much you can afford, you will be able to prioritise what is truly important to you.

“Have you always dreamt of tying the knot in a fairytale-like castle? Place it at the top of your list. Not too fussed about desserts? You can save money on the cake and opt for a cheaper sweet treat to end the banquet.

“Remember to always discuss your plans with your better half. If you are both keen on favouring a venue that ticks all the right boxes, think about finding one not too far from your home.

“Guests, on average, spend a total of £981 to attend weddings, with about £196 invested in travel expenses only. So a venue that is closer to reach will make everyone smile while reducing everyone’s impact on the environment!”.

Choose a modern dress over a pricey gown

Picking the perfect dress for your special day is one of the most exciting parts of organising a wedding.

But let’s be honest – it can be quite daunting and pricey too! Last year, the average cost of a wedding dress in the UK was around £1,400.

Wedding gowns are often seen as the most important dress of one’s life, so it is easy to see why people feel the need to spend that little extra for a memorable piece of clothing.

However, do you really have to go over budget for something that – realistically – you will only ever wear once? There are plenty of stylish, elegant white dresses out there that could easily work as a modern wedding gown and make all the invitees blush in awe.

If it needs an extra touch of class and sophistication, you can always alter the design a tad. This way, you can strut to the altar in style with more pennies in your purse.

Vintage wedding ring

A wedding ring is what you need, at least symbolically, to actually get married. So it is only natural to want to find a classy piece of jewellery to seal such a special moment in your life.

If you are looking for something unique, but can’t afford to overspend, think about opting for a vintage wedding ring. This could even be a family heirloom bound to make relatives shed a few tears.

The good thing about vintage rings is that they are more sustainable than fresh, contemporary jewellery. This is because you are giving a new lease of life to a ring rather than consuming a new product.

DIY decorations

DIY decorations can be a creative, eco-friendly way to add a personal touch to the celebrations.

There are infinite, cost-effective ideas you can come up with to sprinkle elegance throughout the venue.

For example, you can use mason jars and recycled glass bottles as upcycled centrepieces or vases for flowers and candles. If you have a wedding theme going on, you can paint or decorate them to easily make them suit the vibe too.

You may even want to design some nature-inspired place cards. Collect leaves, twigs, or stones and attach personalised labels with guests’ names on them. It is a simple, elegant way to bring nature in and add some quirky details to your unforgettable day.

Seasonal flowers

From pastel and blushed-tone blooms to rich-coloured, vivacious sprouts, there are many types of flowers you can pick to adorn your ceremony.

But if you want to do so sustainably and in an affordable fashion, choose seasonal flowers for your wedding.

First of all, seasonal flowers are more readily available during their peak-growing season, meaning that your florist’s bill will be kinder to your finances. Secondly, if you opt for seasonal flowers sourced locally, you will reduce the distance they need to travel to make it to your wedding and minimise your carbon footprint.

If you are planning a summer celebration, roses and sunflowers can be a refreshing choice for your reception and bouquet. But if a winter wedding is what you truly long for, you can create an elegant ambience with purple irises, delicate snowdrops, and cheerful tulips.

ceremony and reception

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