So I've been working with Zopa, the FeelGood Money company, whose wedding loans have helped 1000s of couples finance their big day.
They have challenged me to show you how to create a day that makes you feel great on a budget that feels good too.
The challenge was set with showcasing a country style wedding with a budget of £15,000, which I know from some recent market research is a very common budget for my Bride Academy couples. So, what a perfect challenge to accept, to show you what is possible!
I have a created a pin board with images to showcase the style of wedding HERE.
There may be several question you ask yourself when you see Pinterest pins and boards like this and they probably revolve around 'how much would a wedding like this cost me?'.
So let's break it down shall we?
This Pinterest board is a 'country' wedding theme with a rough budget of £15k. But how does that actually breakdown?
So first things first, lets unpack a £15K budget. In order to put a wedding together for £15,000, this is how I would break it down and what I would allocate to each area. Now this is obviously dependant on location and how many guests you plan on inviting. But you can tweak each element dependant on your own circumstances.
Food and Drink £5,000.00
Wedding dress £500.00
Hair and Make-up £100.00
Bridesmaids dresses £120.00
Wedding Rings £800.00
Give notice of marriage £70.00
Reception decoration £300.00
Now this is obviously slightly over the suggested budget. This will be very much dependent on the amount of guests you have and what your priorities are. I have based this budget off of 50 guests. You may decide you already have shoes perfect for your wedding, perhaps you don't want to spend too much on your wedding dress, or you have friends that want to photograph your wedding day. It is all relative to what is important to you and what you are flexible with. Whenever I work with a couple, I always find out what is important to them right at the start, before I create them a budget breakdown.
Let's go over the different elements and what you can do to keep them within budget, whilst fitting your 'country wedding' theme.
When looking at venues, have your budget in mind. Remember the size of the space you are looking at and the style. A more traditional manor house building is more likely to cost you more. A full marquee will not fit this budget and a dry hire, (which is where you are solely hiring a venue and then you hire all suppliers separately) can end up costing you more as you will have to source all suppliers in yourself. A rustic barn, which includes furniture is a great option, or hotels tend to have a package that includes both food and drink in the price and can work out a lot cheaper overall.
Food and Drink
The price of your food and drink will be dependant on 2 factors. What food you choose and how many guests you decide to invite.
If you have a package with a hotel, then you will likely get a sit down meal or a buffet option. However if you have gone a little more country with a rustic vibe, you may like to go for grazing, sharing boards, wood fired pizzas, hog roasts or massive Paella stations. Look into the local caterers in your areas and also the mobile food companies, which can provide quirky sharing and relaxed options to add a fun element to your meal.
You may decide you want to have a designer wedding dress. But they obviously come with a designer price. however companies like ASOS now have amazing high street options for both brides and bridesmaids!
There is also the option of up-cycling or finding a pre-loved or ex sample dress, which has a history and a story. this option is also great if you are looking for a slightly eco-friendly wedding.
When considering your 'country themed' flowers, look for a florist who works with locally sourced flowers. Not only are the more eco-friendly because they haven't travelled so far, but it means you won't be paying for the transport. Local and seasonal flowers will really fit the bill. Some florists have their own cutting gardens on site and grow seasonal blooms. So by explaining your aesthetic and colours, they can create bouquets using in season blooms, which also saves money.
In terms of your floral table centres, bud vases are a great direction to go in. You can use a variety of vases or bottles and place a few stems per bottles, mixed in with candle votive's/tea light holders. This is a budget friendly way of creating a display and also looks really elegant and relaxed. Alternatively repurpose! Use your bridesmaid's bouquets as table centres and move any ceremony flowers to decorate your reception space. I advise all my couples to repurpose ceremoy flowers. It is such a waste to only have them in a space for such a small part of the day.
When thinking about your wedding stationery, have a look at places like Etsy. You can download and print gorgeous designs or order pre designed templates to suit your theme at amazing prices.
You can also get creative and make you own.
Using the likes of Vellum and printing on these can actually be quite a cheap printing option and the look is gorgeous and very on trend.
Perhaps you'll learn calligraphy and use this in your invites for a personal touch.
Consider how much information can fit on your invites, to save on paper and printing costs. You may decide to send save the dates and basic invites, with the rest of your information on a cost effective wedding website?
Cake / Dessert
This is one of the areas where you can really look to save on your budget. Do you have a friend or family member that would like to make this for you, perhaps as your wedding gift? For some people it is a real honour to be part of your day in this way.
Alternatively could some of your guests or bridal party all make a different dessert for a relaxed dessert table.
When looking for decor for your reception, consider hiring pieces instead of buying them? You'll be surprised by some of the gorgeous pieces you can find to say make a photo corner backdrop, or lanterns to hang from the ceiling.
Making decor is also an option, but depending on what you want, it can actually end up costing more than hiring and take a lot of time! At least with hiring there is no waste afterwards and you don't have to consider what to do with the items after the wedding either.
So there we have an unpacked £15k country theme wedding. Make your budget work for you and your day. Consider what is important to you and tweak your budget appropriately.
Disclaimer: This is a paid partnership piece with Zopa Money
Gorgeous photos courtesy of
Sophie Duckworth Photography