How (and why) we got married for less than £1000

Today (September 30th 2016) is my 6th wedding anniversary! Woohoo!

Husband and I are still happy; I’m pleased to report. Phew!

us, beach, family selfie

In six years we have managed to buy a house (on mortgage) and have two children! While we love each other differently than we did six years ago, I can safely say we don’t love each other any less.

I think as you go through something as huge and life changing as having a baby, you can’t help but love each other in a different, no less significant way. You get to see sides of your partner you could never have seen otherwise. That nurturing, protective, loving nature that only truly blossoms when they are holding your child in their arms.

My husband has shown me nothing but support over the years, no matter what. He made me feel beautiful and sexy after having two babies, even though I hated myself for a little while

I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to tell him how much I appreciate him in words, but I hope one day I can find a way.

Thinking back to our wedding it’s a funny thing, considering how we are one of those couples who would, as soppy as it sounds, claim we are ‘soulmates’. You’d think we would have had a super romantic, ridiculously extravagant and flowery ordeal.

balloons
this was pretty much the extent of our decorations

But if you’ve been following my blog for a while, (frugal living is a reoccurring theme) you might have guessed that we are not the sort of people who go for all that.

In this post, I want to share our wedding day with you. More specifically:

wedding, title

Yup.

£1000.

Less than.

Considering these days, it is considered normal or even expected to spend upwards of £15,000 on a wedding, that’s a pretty sweet number, right?

I just want to preface this by saying, we didn’t have a ‘reception’ as such. We bypassed quite a few ‘traditional’ aspects because they simply weren’t what we wanted (or needed) at that time.

We had been friends for six years, dating for three years, living together for one year and engaged for roughly six months. We decided, on a whim, to just go ahead and get married already, rather than faff about planning some huge event neither of us was really fussed about anyway.

I called up my family and told them the date about a month away, I believe. After a few back and forth debates with the family about who should be invited, we settled on the bare minimum. (actually the maximum we were comfortable with.)

We had 16 people. That’s it. Our respective Parents, Grandparents, Siblings and their partners, where applicable.

Husband didn’t particularly care either way, it was the fact we were getting married and not how we did that, that mattered to him.

For me, I couldn’t bear the thought of people staring at me! I was so anxious about the thought of people staring at me all day, especially walking down the aisle. It was actually starting to make me really freak out until I pitched the idea of a tiny number of people.

We booked a room at a registry office, bought our rings and that was all we spent!

All together it came to roughly £800. (A year later, on our anniversary, we had a two-week delayed honeymoon in New Zealand! There will be a post on that one day, I promise.)

We bypassed the tradition of bridesmaids and groomsmen for several reasons, mostly because we wanted the small number. Also because we just didn’t have the money to be buying dresses and I felt it unfair to expect them to buy their own at such short notice. We knew our friends would understand our decision, they knew us well enough not to be surprised that a big day wasn’t our style!

We had the ceremony in the morning, a lunch buffet at my new In-laws house followed by a chilled afternoon, then a ‘reception’ dinner.

My Dad, being something of a traditionalist offered to at least pay for the dinner, it was at the Brands Hatch Place Hotel, where most of my side would be staying (they all had to come from Wales, after all). We booked out a beautiful private room and had an incredible many-course meal. 

The wait staff were exceptional, I thought it was incredibly sweet that they made sure that Husband and I were always served the next course first. The beautiful Oak Room was also decorated with our balloons and things prior to our arrival. 

He also kindly paid for us to have the honeymoon suite, which also allowed us access to the Spa the following day! (I loved the Spa! If we could afford it, I think Spa days would be a monthly treat for sure!) 

(These were lovely touches and we had a wonderful time, but had not expected such a treat, so I don’t factor it into our cost!)

You might have noticed up there that I haven’t included the all-important ‘white dress’ on the expense list. That’s because there was no white dress!

We dressed up, of course, but we decided to go a different route. Our one and only ‘formal’ date in University had been the ‘Presidents Ball’ held annually for students. It was a black tie formal affair with dinner and dancing. We just so happened to still own those formal outfits and would you believe, were still able to fit into them! (I may have had to rig the top of my zip ever so slightly…)

My dress was pale gold with a black lace pattern over top, it made me feel pretty, so that’s all that mattered to me.

us, wedding
Can you believe how long his hair was?!

We also abandoned the ‘walk down the aisle’ thing. Ugh. At the time the thought of being slowly paraded down the aisle while everyone stared just made me cringe.

I do not regret our decision for a moment.

We decided to have everyone seated, then walk in together arm in arm at a moderate pace. It was a small room, so this was ideal.

My brother in laws partner at the time was a budding photographer, so she happily offered to take pictures for us! Win! We were lucky enough to have a clean morning for picture taking out in the garden. A friend of hers also offered to do my make-up for free! Win-Win! (I did my own hair!)

My absolute favourite part of the day by far was that walk in that I had been dreading. (Although it still made my skin crawl being watched so intently all the way through the ceremony…)

I loved that moment because we had made a very specific music choice to enter too, which has become a very special song to me. We chose it partly because the lyrics are beautiful, also it really is very short, a perfect ‘walk to remember’ song.

The song is called ‘Sweet Dream’ by Greg Laswell.

Here is the Youtube video if you’d like to watch:

I adore this song. We actually stumbled over it while watching a Joss Whedon show called ‘Dollhouse’, which is truly excellent by the way.

The lyrics, if you can’t see the video, are as follows:

‘If I could write out my own dream
For the next time that I sleep
You’d be the first one that I see
And I, the last one that you keep
And the dream would go on and on, while we sway
Against all things thrown our way
And the morning would be so cruel, when it came
With warmth and sunshine to blame
For announcing the end of my sweet dream
For announcing the end of my sweet dream.’

(It really is that short!)

This song just struck a chord in us the first time we heard it. It still strikes that same chord, but now it seems to ring even deeper. That can only be a good thing.

I think sharing that song with our families as ‘our song’ made the day special for me in a way I’m not sure I even understand.

But that was our wedding day. Less than £1000 spent, less than 20 people invited, no huge ceremony and no fancy dress. Still the happiest day of our lives.

Still going strong.

What was your wedding like? Are you still planning your perfect day? Did you elope? Share your story in the comments! I’d love to hear it!

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9 thoughts on “How (and why) we got married for less than £1000”

  1. Happy anniversary! Sounds like your wedding day was lovely. It’s great that you and your husband did it exactly the way you wanted, because it was your day after all. We had a short engagement too – we got engaged in the April and were married in the November. Partly because we just wanted to get married and partly because I knew I’d get stressed planning a wedding, so the less time I had to worry about it, the better! #momsterslink

  2. We managed it for £1372.47.

    That’s literally everything. The ceremony cost, the name change deed polls, the rings, outfits (even the train tickets into London to buy my dress!), the buffet I did at our house afterwards, and a mini-moon where we took in a couple of theme parks, a London show, and went to see Husband’s grandmother.

    And as you know, we got married in the same room as you, only 36 days earlier (isn’t the world a small place?). We chose to walk into the room together too- we’d been living together for a year, it just didn’t seem appropriate to be ‘given’ away when I’d already left of my own accord!

    Our room hire, ceremony, booking fee, notice of intent to marry and 2 marriage certificates came to a grand total of £259.00. That’s it. The rest was optional.

    Thanks for highlighting how little you actually have to spend to get married. More people need to know it really doesn’t cost the earth.

    1. Thank you for letting people know i’m not crazy! It really can be done! haha. I hated the idea of being ‘given away’, this isn’t the hideous old days anymore where women are property! xxx

  3. Happy anniversary!
    I totally agree with you. I don’t understand the exaggerated expenses for weddings when people should use the money to start their lives.
    I’m glad it’s not only me.
    It’s a great idea sharing you guys put it together. I hope it can inspire other couples.

  4. Looks like a day that was perfect for you which is all that matters. I was uncomfortable with aspects of my wedding day and I’m now divorced and wish so much money hadn’t been spent on it. I would like to get married again one day but it would be on a beach in flip flops with only close friends and family. Thanks for linking to #PickNMix
    Eilidh x

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