Wedding Planning: Top Tips for a Budget Friendly Wedding from Sylvie & Joan

Here at Cwtch the Bride we are super busy preparing for CWTCHFEST – our massive wedding festival that’s being held on the 19th of April (you can buy tickets here!). On the day we will be holding DIY workshops managed by Sylvie & Joan which we’re sure will prove massively valuable to all you DIY brides to be, until then the lovely Emma from Sylvie & Joan will be sharing budget advice, styling inspiration and tips for planning a festival themed wedding on the blog. This week Emma is sharing her top tips for a budget friendly wedding – take note! Sylvie-and-Joan-logo

Top Tips for Budget-friendly Wedding Planning

Last time we looked at Wedding Planning – Where to Start? This week the lovely team at Cwtch has asked me for my top money-saving tips. When looking at the all-important question of budget, a key way to keep costs down is to prioritise, to chose your wedding team wisely and to modify (or do away with) some long standing wedding conventions.

The Venue

I’m sure you will have heard it many times but do look at the discounts offered by venues for mid-week or out of season weddings. You can save quite a bit! Or look for a non-traditional venue where you’ll be free from expensive packages and corkage fees.

The Dress

If budget is tight then consider shopping vintage. Take your bridesmaids for a day out and hit up your favourite vintage shops.Try on as many styles on as you can. Take photos and make notes  – what suits you and what doesn’t. If you don’t find the one, check out Oxfam Bridal and online vintage stores and sellers on Etsy and Ebay. 2

Don’t forget to take a good look at what the high street has to offer. There are some beautiful dresses out there to suit most wedding styles. With a few clever customising stitches, they could fit like couture!

ASOS £150

ASOS £150

ASOS £82

ASOS £82

You don’t even have to give up your dreams of wearing a sought after bridal designer on your big day! Check out designer collaborations for Debenhams and you could be a Jenny Packham bride for less than £200! And at sale times you can expect further discounts.

Or consider hiring your gown. The brilliant To Have and to Hire in Cardiff could have the dress of your dreams. They hire out gowns from Claire Pettibone, Suzanne Neville, Stephanie Allin, Jenny Packham, Ian Stuart and House of Mooshki. Kinder to your pocket and to the environment!

Jenny Packham Eden

Jenny Packham Eden


Great news for the wedding planning pocket – the days of copy and paste dress rules are over! Mix and match bridesmaid dresses look wonderful and embrace your bridesmaids’ individuality. Send them some pretty colour palette inspiration, invite them over for a styling party and create your look for the day together. We all have dresses we’ve bought and worn once (or not at all!) Ask your maids to bring along dresses they already own, crack open the bubbly, dress up, mix, match and swap!   

Image Source: Magnolia Rouge

Image Source: Magnolia Rouge

Image Source: Bridal Musings

Image Source: Bridal Musings

The Food

Think carefully about timings. A twilight ceremony followed by cocktails, dinner and dancing could drastically reduce your catering budget, doing away with the need for the traditional wedding breakfast followed by more food in the evening.


Image Source: Pinterest

If you do decide to feed your guests twice then make your wedding cake work for you. Go for a cheese tower that can be served as an evening ploughman’s supper combined with a sweet and simple dessert table.


Above two images from Style Me Pretty

Above two images from Style Me Pretty

Assemble a Wonderful Team

Decide which aspects of your day you want to DIY and which you want to source to trusted professionals. Having something created especially for you by someone who has perfected their craft is a great joy.

Take time to look through their portfolio of work and testimonials. Make sure you’re handing over your hard-saved wedding cash to someone who shares your vision and will work hard for you.

I know what you may be thinking but professional services can save you money. For example, a great stationery designer will ensure you get the best quality print for the most reasonable cost. Hiring a professional stylist can save you £££s compared with buying and handcrafting all your decor. Hiring a wedding planner can secure you big savings. They have a wealth of money saving advice, they can secure supplier discounts and a good planner will tell you what you need and what you don’t need!

An experience and talented photographer is invaluable. It may seem like a big expense but you are paying for a wealth of skill. If your budget won’t stretch to the photographer of your dreams talk to them about mid-week or off season discounts. Or set up a ‘photography fund’. Instead of wedding gifts, ask guests for a little something towards ensuring you have lasting memories of the day.

If you do decide that you’d rather have your wedding shot by a friend, don’t leave it to chance. Make a photo checklist and share it with them before the day. Photographers less experienced in weddings may not spot the details you have lovingly sourced and crafted – make sure they know!

The Honeymoon

Minimoon in Wales! Here are some of my favourite welsh getaways. Save a more lavish honeymoon trip for your anniversary – it will give you something to look forward to when the wedding planning withdrawal sets in! Plus you’ll have a whole year to save!

Happy Planning!

Emma x

For daily doses of planning inspiration ‘like’ Sylvie and Joan on Facebook or follow on Instagram and PinterestPoster-Web

Wow thank you Emma! What do you think cwtchers? There was some excellent advice there, have you any more tips that have helped you in planning a budget-friendly wedding?

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