A frugal bride has revealed how she managed to enjoy a lavish wedding for just £500, with the couple received more money in gifts than they spent on the big day.
Getting married can be expensive, with a recent report on the wedding industry by Bridebook revealing that the current average cost of a wedding in the UK is now a pretty toppy £16,005.
But one newlywed has revealed how she managed to save thousands on her dream day thanks to a string of DIY budgeting ideas.
Staci Gibson, 31 and her new husband, Grant, 37, from the West Midlands, were able to bring their nuptials in on a pretty affordable £500 complete with ceremony, white dress and impressive buffet reception.
The thrifty couple were amazed to discover that they actually ended up in profit after opening their cards to find that generous friends and family had given them £800 in wedding gifts.
The couple who met through online dating five years ago originally decided to slash the size and cost of their original wedding due to COVID, opting to tie the knot in a local registry office and having a simple reception at their new home.
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“It only cost £160 to get married at a local registry, it looks like a church and the building was perfect for photos," Gibson explains.
“We are glad it was a small wedding with 30 guests, it was perfect for us, not just for the money we saved, but for how we imagined our day would be.
“No part of me really wanted a big fancy wedding, it would have been money wasted so I have no regrets on how we did it, It was perfect for us."
After exchanging their vows, the couple invited guests back to their home, where they enjoyed a delicious buffet prepared by the mum-of-three that morning.
“I did all the food and drink with my daughters on the morning of the wedding, before we got ready," she explains.
“Our friend is a baker and she made our cake as a wedding gift to us, it was beautiful.”
The couple decided to save money on the things they thought were unnecessary such as wedding favours and gifts for the bridal party.
“I feel all the added extras are just added stress you don’t need," Ms Gibson explains. "Focus on why you’re getting married and who you want there not the bits no one remembers anyway.”
Gibson saved yet more money by making the bouquets herself, buying decorations second hand and finding her wedding heels from Primark for just £10.
The bride even bought her wedding dress from ASOS, and after using a promo code she managed to bring it in for just £56.
She also bought her wedding jewellery from Claire’s Accessories and a friend did her hair and make-up on the morning of the wedding.
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“My friend is a seamstress and she altered my dress for free and she made the girls their bridesmaid dresses," she adds.
“I paid just £30 for the material.
“Grant also managed to get a discount on his suit, which we bought from Next and used a family discount rather than hire from a wedding shop.”
The couple also saved money on their wedding rings too.
“Grant chose to use his dad’s wedding ring," she continues. "My engagement ring broke before the wedding and the store were so helpful, we decided to exchange it for a matching set which included a new engagement ring and a matching wedding band.”
While they managed to save money on many aspects of the wedding, the couple were keen not to scrimp on images of their special day, with family stepping in to hire a professional photographer.
“The photos are our memories of the day and that’s something you can’t put a price on, we wanted to make sure we had the photos to look back on our special day," Gibson explains.
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After the celebrations, the couple opened their cards and gifts and were shocked to realise they had received more money in gifts than they had spent on their day.
“I couldn’t believe it," Ms Gibson explains.
“So many people start married life in debt with a huge bill for the wedding day and we had actually made money from our wedding day.
“We have amazing family and friends who helped us do things cheaply and who were so generous with their gifts. We so are lucky.”
Gibson says she has always been financially savvy and credits her dad for her sensible attitude to cash.
"I am very money conscious," she explains. "My dad taught me well in life and said it’s not how much money you have but what you do with it.
“I hope we inspire other couples to look at the cost of their wedding. If you’ve got the cash and want to spend it then great, but if you haven’t, you can still have the big day on a small budget.
“A simple wedding isn’t a bad wedding.”
Budget wedding breakdown
Registry office £160
Wedding licence £70
Wedding dress £56
Bridesmaids dresses £30
Groom's suit £40
Rings - FREE
Bride's shoes £10
Bridesmaids shoes £10
Hair and make-up £20
Additional reporting Caters.
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