How I had my dream wedding on a tight budget

How I had my dream wedding on a tight budget

I recently wrote a post about Having a baby on a budget and promised the sequel (or prequel really) about having my wedding on a tight budget. So here you are, lucky people.

I was always under the impression that a beautiful wedding without a generous budget was not possible. Do-able maybe, for those who wished to elope or go home for fish and chips after the legal bit, but certainly not anything very wedding-y.

That was, however, until I persuaded my now-husband (obviously) to marry me. And then remembered that I am a huge stingey-pants when it comes to spending money. Yes, even on a wedding!

So what was a girl to do? I didn’t want a really crappy affair, but I didn’t want to put down the equivalent of a small house deposit to fund it. In fact, the most I really wanted to spend was about £1000. So, ladies and gentlemen – that’s what I did.


How did I have my dream wedding on a tight budget?


I got my invitations from Card Factory. Yes, I said Card Factory.

Since the wedding was small (around 50 friends and family in total), I figured fancy invites would be a waste. Might as well let the guests know upfront what to expect… The design was pretty, they were all hand-written and they came with an instruction not to bring us gifts as we weren’t supplying a free bar. No-one really listened to this, but we’d have been perfectly happy without wedding gifts. Although we were very grateful.


Ceremony: We married in Brighton Town Hall in the beautiful Regency room. We lived in Brighton at the time, so it made sense. Plus, the price was around £300, which suited our budget perfectly. They allowed us to personalise the ceremony (I secretly planned for the Jurassic Park theme tune to play as we signed the register haha!) which was perfect.

Reception: After we were married, we all walked round the corner to the taxi rank and caught taxis to The Good Companions pub.  We had rented out the function room upstairs and a full on hot buffet of mini-platters was served. There were no seating plans, speeches or lame DJs – we literally just had a party, which was very chilled. We did have a very drunken first dance, but that’s pretty much where the organised wedding-stuff started and ended. This again cost us around £400 – thanks pub!


As I was having a simple wedding on a tight budget, I wanted a simple dress.

Fluffy and fancy would look a bit out of place in a pub after-all. I couldn’t believe my luck when I was browsing the BHS wedding website on Black Friday and found the perfect dress for only £42. It was simple, elegant and fit straight away (which never happens when I buy online). It was clearly meant to be!

My husband wore a suit from Topman which cost more than my dress. But not that much more. We were so proud of ourselves.

Hair and make-up

My sisters did it for free – little gems.


Decorations and favours

We made our own decorations and favours for the reception – which was almost as fun as the wedding itself.

I am literally the crappest craft-maker ever. The bunting, tablecloths and other random stuff we created looked like a 5 year old had done it. But that’s what I enjoyed most about it – I passed it off as quirky. I ordered a load of sweets online and tied them up as favours. I’m pretty sure drunk me ended up eating most of them, but ah well.

(Oh and my grandmother bought us wedding cupcakes from Marks and Spencer as the main cake. Genius.)


Since we were in a pub, we thought the best idea was to hook the speakers up to my iPhone.

I added a load of party songs to Spotify and then played them on shuffle. However, most of the guests also wanted their own requests and so they could go and change the playlist if they wanted. I enjoyed this freedom – even if it meant my friends had me slut-dropping to Lady Marmalade in front of my bemused family.


This is controversial. I didn’t have a photographer.

A lot of people may disagree, but I found the day a lot less stressful without a photographer. I don’t like the hours of staged pictures. All our friends and family took photos and then we collated them afterwards. OK, we probably don’t have as many posed pictures as most people, but the photos we do have perfectly sum up the fun we had. This obviously saved us a fortune.


Why was it my dream wedding?

With such a casual wedding on a tight budget, I didn’t get the Bridezilla feeling on the run-up to the big day.

In fact, I was completely chilled out about the whole thing. The pressure was off, and I spent the day enjoying time with all of our friends and family rather than worrying about something going wrong. Of course, not everyone wants such a laid-back, party-style day, but for me, it was a dream.

Is there anything that you did that made your wedding perfect? Or do you have any other money-saving ideas that you used for your wedding? Let me know in the comments below!

My Dream Wedding on a Tight Budget

You Baby Me Mummy

The Tale of Mummyhood





  1. Wherejogoes
    April 21, 2017 / 8:11 am

    Very sensible and it looks a wonderful wedding! Plus you haven’t bankrupted yourself in the process. Congratulations! #TheList

    • muffintopmummyblog
      April 21, 2017 / 8:19 am

      Thank you – I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it worked for me! 😊

  2. April 21, 2017 / 10:15 am

    Some great tips here! I’ve just started planning my wedding and I can’t believe the price of things. Sounds like you had a fabulous day. 🙂 #TheListLinky

    • muffintopmummyblog
      April 21, 2017 / 10:25 am

      It’s crazy isn’t it – the minute you mention ‘wedding’ a good few hundred pounds are added to things!

  3. April 21, 2017 / 12:52 pm

    Wow, that is really amazing! Weddings have become so hyped up that even as children we dream of the “perfect wedding” and when it comes to adulthood, unless you’re rich or have saved from the age of 3 you have a long way to go to get the ballgown, horse & carriage and scrumptious buffet. It’s really quite sad that you mention the word “wedding” and prices soar. I’m not sure how I’d like my wedding (when/if it ever happens) but I love this laid-back approach! My OH might actually propose if I show him this post haha! – Question, did you have bridesmaids/groomsmen?
    I’m 50/50 on the no photographer, I personally like the posed photos 😀 but I went to a friends wedding a few years back, and I managed to take over 1000 photos for her haha! (they got quite blurry to the end, free bar, very messy.) But my point remains, between all of the guests we were able to capture some lovely photos! 🙂 You looked beautiful by the way! Becky x

  4. April 21, 2017 / 4:42 pm

    We did our wedding on a budget. Not as impressive as yours, but we did everything the cheapest way we could – married out of season, mates rates on cake/invites/DJ, my dress was in the sale, hired all the kilts, kept the numbers down, made our own favours and decorations, and didn’t go OTT on extras like photo booths or a band. In my eyes, it was better than I could have imagined and I loved it. And we could still afford a honeymoon, which was probably more important than the wedding!

    • muffintopmummyblog
      April 21, 2017 / 5:26 pm

      Hahaha yes! Honeymoon was definitely the important bit for me. A week in Santorini – bliss!

  5. Mainy - myrealfairy
    April 22, 2017 / 9:30 am

    What a brilliant wedding. You look gorgeous in your wedding dress and it sounds like the most amazing day. Making the wedding favours sounds like a blast and I’m sure the sugar rush gave a drunk you a boost!:) 🙂

    • muffintopmummyblog
      April 22, 2017 / 10:19 am

      Thank you! Haha love a good sugar/alcohol combo!

  6. April 22, 2017 / 9:43 am

    Love this! I’m going to show it to my other half now in the hopes it will speed him up with the whole proposal side 😂 x

    • muffintopmummyblog
      April 22, 2017 / 10:20 am

      Haha my husband wouldn’t marry me until he realised I didn’t want a great big wedding – then he was all over it! Good luck!!

    • muffintopmummyblog
      April 22, 2017 / 10:21 am

      Awww thank you 😘

  7. April 23, 2017 / 2:15 pm

    Ah I love this! Our wedding was very similar and it was the best day, I’d love to do it all over again! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

    • muffintopmummyblog
      April 23, 2017 / 6:11 pm

      Thank you for having me 👍🏻

  8. April 27, 2017 / 12:47 pm

    Good for you! We did the total opposite and were paying off our wedding for six years!! We’d have a house by now if we hadn’t splashed out! It was worth it though! #thelistlinky

    • muffintopmummyblog
      April 27, 2017 / 3:51 pm

      Oh absolutely – if you want a big wedding you’ll only regret it if you don’t go for it! I’m just a cheapskate 😂

  9. August 13, 2017 / 1:46 pm

    This is such a sensible idea and looks perfect! We had our wedding booked for next year but had to push back due to our little one not being very well. We’re still not 100% sure on what we want but as time goes on we’re leaning towards a much more casual and laid back do. This reinforces that you don’t have to spend a lot to have a lovely day! You look beautiful! Xx

    • muffintopmummyblog
      August 14, 2017 / 11:17 am

      Awww thank you so much. I’m sorry to hear about your little one and the delayed wedding plans. Obviously I’m slightly bias, but I’d certainly recommend being as relaxed as you can be about it – I had very little stresses (besides some terrible attempts at my hair by my sister haha!) and so really enjoyed myself, which was v important to me. I hope you’re able to have the right wedding for you! X

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