There are tonnes of other things that aren't included so badging it as a £999 (or in some cases a Grand) wedding is pretty inaccurate. So obviously it got me thinking, is it possible to have a WHOLE wedding for £999 and if so what would it look like?
The Invitations £0
The cheapest way to do your invites is to go paperless and email them out. Using a site like Paperless Post you can create some simple custom designs to email out to your nearest & Dearest for absolutely free!
Hair & Make Up £50
When on a super tight budget this has to become a DIY job. But fear not there's an army of amazing beauty bloggers out there with some seriously simple and gorgeous tutorials to teach you to lay on the slap like a pro. Check out Zoella for some super pretty inspiration and easy tutorials and treat yourself to some lovely new make up for the occasion
The Dress £59
Go High Street for a real budget option, or vintage if that's your bag. Try charity shops and of course ebay. Or try a hire company like Girl Meets Dress, these gorgeous gown are currently available from just £59!
The Suits £150
If your fella doesn't already own a dapper suit that could be re worn I'd recommend hitting a designer outlet. It's worth spending a bit on a suit as you'll wear it again and again if it fits well and looks good. So if you get your timing right and head to the outlets in the January sales you can grab a real quality bargain. Don't shell out renting (or buying) suits for others, suggest a colour for your chaps if you like or just go for matching ties or bow ties if you want a matching look. They'll likely have a suit they can wear already, if not then it's a god excuse for them to buy one!
Bridesmaid Dresses £0
It's ok to ask your BM's to buy their own dresses BUT if they're shelling out they should get to choose, maybe pick a colour pallet and put together a Pinterest inspo board so they know the kind of look you're hoping for.
DIY your flowers (you can do it!) buy a couple of buckets of flowers from your local market and pad out with some hedgerow crops such as cow parsley or a little barley from your local farmers field edge! You don't need flowers but they are rather nice, have a go at hand tying your own bouquets and some for your maids with some pretty ribbon, it's easier than you think!
The Rings £20
Buy 2nd hand and buy silver it's way cheaper than gold, go to vintage markets and decent car boot sales or even hunt on ebay
The Ceremony £200
The cheapest place to get wed is at your local registry office, registrars charge a lot more for them to come out to your venue to conduct your ceremony. Maybe consider doing the legal bit earlier or on another day and then have a friend conduct a humanist ceremony at your chosen venue, that way you could even do it outside (glorious British weather permitting of course!)
The Photography £200
With most photographers charging around £1000, that's your budget gone in one fell swoop! There are ways to get photography cheaper, no.1 enter as many competitions as possible, no.2 if you want a top quality photographer you might be able to get just a few hours coverage, but generally not on a week day, no.3 take a risk on someone new; for a couple of hundred pounds you can hire someone that's just starting out but be sure to look through their portfolio and make sure you like their work and not just the price they are offering. I'd always advocate spending a bit more on photography and getting the best photographer you can find for the budget you have
The Transport £0
This is another luxury that may have to go out the door when you have a teeny weeny budget. Try to craft your wedding so that no transport is needed or else ask your guests to make their own way from the ceremony to the reception and track down your friend/ family member who has the coolest car and ask if you can borrow it (call it a wedding present)
The Reception Venue £0
There are some amazing venues out there that come with loads of accommodation space for all your guests; like youth hostels or big holiday cottage/apartment style places like Hargate Hall which will sleep upto 77 people through 12 apartments, hold your ceremony and reception and be yours for the whole weekend. The cost of somewhere like Hargate Hall at £5500 might seem out of your league but if you split that up between all your guests, who would be paying for somewhere to stay anyway, it works out at £71 per person and that's for 3 nights accommodation! Not bad eh?
The Food £235
The food is generally what you're paying for when you book one of these super low budget venues (that and the staff) and in fact the food at some such places can be hugely over priced. My first top tip would be to have your ceremony later on so that you only have to feed people once. Skip the starters and go straight in for the mains, make it a self service affair and save money on hiring waiters. Go for something super simple like chilli or curry and rice and if you have friends and family with culinary talents get them involved they may be up for the challenge!
Instead of desert, why not have a cake competition, mention it in your invites and get your guests to drop off the entries before the ceremony, you'll have more cake than you know what to do with and you could even award the best entry the accolade of being your official wedding cake buy cutting it after your first dance