Louise and Chris's micro-wedding - 12.12.20

Louise and Chris

12th December 2020 | Wokingham Town Hall



I cannot tell you how pleased I am to bring you the very first Thrifty Bride wedding! This is something I've wanted to do for a while but lockdowns and tier restrictions seem to be spoiling all the fun. You brides are finding a way to have your special days though and I think it's absolutely amazing. So here we go, the very first budget friendly, micro wedding to appear on the blog. Louise tells us all about her special day from planning a COVID wedding, to setting a small budget and ultimately showing that love is not cancelled.



I’m one of “those brides”. One of the many hundreds and thousands who moved their big day plans from 2020 to 2021 and are now either sat with every body part crossed hoping it goes ahead or carrying on full steam ahead with the excitement building.


Yet, I’m also one of the few brides who can say “we did it”. We became Mr and Mrs in 2020 as planned. Except we all know as planned doesn’t mean as originally planned, so perhaps “married as intended” is more appropriate. 

We got engaged on our 8th anniversary in September 2018. Straight away we decided September 2020 would be our day, marking our 10th anniversary in style. And I will admit now, we were not a “thrifty” couple for wedding plan 1. We have the big venue booked, the overly expensive dress, the huge cake, 100 people and every other expense under the sun because that’s what we decided we wanted personally, and we are fortunate to be able to afford it. That wedding, however, got postponed and we have everything crossed that it goes ahead in June 2021.


So where does the thrifty bit come in? Enter wedding plan 2. Originally set for the 13th November (but thanks to lockdown that got moved!) we finally managed to have our wedding on 12th December 2020. And I don’t know why we didn’t plan a wedding like this to start. Whilst we can’t wait for the huge party, the intimate, small scale, low cost wedding was perfect. Stress-free, no financial strain and our most important family members with us. And ultimately, we ended up where we wanted to be – as Mr and Mrs in 2020 and just in time for Christmas.


So the budget. Obviously as this was our second wedding to pay for so it had to be low cost. No question about it. I’ve tried to break down everything we paid for below and where we got it. Some details are approximate as we had already bought some bits for our big wedding but I’m hoping this helps some of you planning a thrifty wedding.



Item

Cost

Supplier / Where we found it

Venue

£550

Wokingham Town Hall

Registrar

£520

Wokingham Council

Dress

£17

Ebay (Quiz originally- brand new with tags!)

Florist

£73

Jolies Fleurs, Thornbury, Bristol

Brides Shoes

Free

I already owned navy shoes which matched our colour theme and at the end of the day, my dress was long and no one saw them!

Jewelery

£73

Jules Bridal

Though this was an anniversary present from Chris to mark our September wedding date so could be classed as free!

Underwear

£2.50

Primark – it’s comfy so no point spending a lot!

Jacket x 2

£27 / Free

I wore a wrap before the ceremony which I already owned.

Denim Jacket - £17 on Boohoo

Decal £10 on Etsy

Suit

Free

Chris wore a 3 piece suit he’d been bought when he was best man for his brother – with a different tie colour you can’t tell it’s the same suit.

Ties / Pocket Squares x2

£26

TiesRus

Grooms Shoes

Free

Chris already owned his shoes but think they were £20 from Redfoot (originally £110 – I love a sale!)

Bridesmaid Dress

£43

TFNC at ASOS – I bought 3 at the time and found a discount code to get £20 off. My sister will be wearing it again in June!

Hair (Bride)

£10

Ebay

Hair (Bridesmaid)

£1.50

AliExpress

Transport

Free

Luckily my dad’s friend could drive us – but really no one saw the car much so you could skip this to save costs!

Photography

Free

Chris’ groomsman for our big wedding is a wedding photographer – check out TP Photography on Facebook or tpphotouk on Instagram

Hairdresser

Free

Whilst other girls can do this themselves, I can’t so I got my friend who’s an ex-hairdresser to help.

Decorations

Ladder (£10)

Eucalyptus (£20)

Garlands (£16)

Aisle décor vases (£1.67 each)

Aisle décor lights (£10 for 16)

Aisle décor flowers (£2.50 each)

Frames £3

 

All of our décor came from Facebook marketplace, AliExpress, The Range or Amazon. No need for OTT expense here! It will also all be recycled at the big wedding so for us, that’s a cost we’d initially planned for!

Reception*

£100 room hire

£30 per head for food

This is noted as a * because unfortunately due to tier 3 it couldn’t happen. But a local hotel knocked £195 off the room hire fee initially due to last minute booking and my need for a strict budget – use COVID to work in your favour!

Total

£1435 (excluding reception)

 



I was really proud of that, even if we’d had our reception, we would have managed our micro wedding for under £2000. It shows that it can be done. 15 people may seem small but it was intimate and we could speak to everyone easily. It wasn’t exhausting and due to a lack of reception we weren’t rushed which meant plenty of time for photos before we headed off for a night away.


So my tips for a budget wedding:


1)      Buy a second hand or “new with tags” dress from a second hand dress shop / Ebay and skip the bridal shop. I went to 7 and got overwhelmed for my big wedding dress and ended up spending way more than I planned. It’s a nice experience but find the style you like and shop elsewhere.


2)      Buy second hand décor- I’m not a DIY bride. I bought a load of bits second hand off Facebook and had to get a friend to arrange them as I couldn’t make it work….


3)      Which brings me to - use your friends and family skills to help! Homemade cake, homemade flowers, anyone good with a camera, hair, makeup etc. It was also very relaxing to have a friend do my hair on the morning and our photographer being our friend – less stressful than a stranger!



4)      Have a micro wedding! I think if the restrictions had permitted a 30-person wedding and reception, we would be cancelling our big wedding now! We’re just keeping it to be able to celebrate our marriage (and as we’ve already paid for it why not!)


5)      Speak to other brides for tips – I found mine through blogs, Instagram pages and chatting to other brides, and can now pass these on to friends and family who are recently engaged.


6)      And in times of COVID -19 – do what is right for you. If someone you’re following makes you doubt your decision to go ahead / postpone, I’d honestly unfollow them. You’ve got to prioritise your thoughts. I get why people are waiting for their big day, but for us, being married is most important and now we’re in lockdown 3.0 my anxiety of whether June will happen or not has disappeared. If it does then I’m happy and if we move it again, I’m still happy because we made it – we’re a 2020 Bride and Groom and no one can change that now!



I love Louise and Chris's wedding story. I think it's amazing that they just decided to go for it and get married in 2020 no matter what. Their wedding looks beautiful and they both look incredibly happy. 

Louise's wedding budget breakdown is fantastic too, it really shows what an amazing day you can have with a really small budget.


If you would like your small budget wedding featured on the blog then drop me an email at thriftybrideblog@gmail.com

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