Brilliant Boho Wedding on a Budget? Yes!!!

Yep, you read that right. Of course, wedding budgets are an objective thing...some always want to save a penny, others their wedding budget is a no expenses spared affair and screw the consequences! But for those who have a feel, a look, and idea in their head, a lot of the time it's not always achievable with the wedding budget they have. Which can cause a lot of strife, stress and sadness for the couple who couldn't have the wedding they really wanted.

Well, I am saying that isn't necessarily the case...... What's the catch? Well, one or two very small ones, but I will get to that. But let's set out the premise.....

All suppliers price themselves to make a living, some cheaper, some much more expensive, including me as a photographer (i’m not that expensive. I mean I set my price!)

But, what if, when you're planning your wedding, you want your day to look like this, feel like that, have this, do that, but you have a particular wedding budget and the suppliers you think that can deliver what you have in mind for your day are all out of your price range? What if you can't afford the ones you have fallen in love with? 

I'll let you into a little secret.....shhhhhh..........but I LOVE the alternative wedding which has a little bit of the DIY about it. That style can be both beautiful for the bride(s), but also super cool for the groom(s). And like the wedding has just come out of Shoreditch, the ones you see in magazines and blogs and websites are uber expensive to do. about if I say to you that you can do things differently to give you that look, that feel, but you can drop the cost to free up money for all those things you deem super important on the day? AND it gives you a more authentic and personal feel and look to your day that is BANG on trend for that very reason? And well within your wedding budget? Yeah, ways and means....ways and means....

One caveat on all of this though.....I am VERY aware that the following suggestions are for the less traditional wedding. This is not a criticism, but if you are still looking for a more traditional wedding, then these suggestions may or may not help. But hopefully all will get something out of these tips and suggestions may help you on your way.....and use the ideas how you will to fit YOUR wedding


1) Reduce your guest numbers

Controversial, I know. But hear me out. Be ruthless. Does Aunt Flo you haven't seen in 30 years really need to be there? Does your cousin who has been in prison 5 times since the last time you saw them need to be there? Do you want kids there? Think seriously on the people you really want. And don't worry about hurting feelings. It's YOUR wedding. Be honest with people. Be honest with yourself! Be up front, own the situation and let them know. Say it will be a small and intimate wedding, say you're doing things your way. Who's going to argue? Not one person. They can't. It's your wedding. Do it for you. Not everyone else. Fewer guests, the cheaper it gets. Be kind but be ruthless.

2) Get married at a place you don't have to pay for.

I appreciate this might not be an option for everyone, but ask around. Do parents have a large garden? Is there a local park you could get married in? A village hall? Know someone who could pull in a favour on a venue or space? Think differently rather than going for the usual large venue etc. If this isn’t an option, there are many venues out there that offer just the grounds, so you have a blank canvas to work on. One of those places is something like The Orchard at Chesfield near Hitchin which is gorgeous, set in beautiful rolling hill surroundings and is owned by the family who live on premises within the grounds. It has a very, very old listed church ruins right in the gardens and has open space for a tipi, tent, marquee or anything else you wish there. The use of this land would be MUCH cheaper than offering an entire venue and all that comes with, so although its not free, you can certainly save money at a venue like this.

3) Wedding presents...who needs them?

Let's face it. Large numbers of couples are already living together nowadays before they get married, which will mean that a heck of a lot of them will have almost all they ever need to be able to live their lives together. Maybe put in invitations that it would be lovely if there would be volunteers for help on your big day, or beforehand, or is there anyone out there that could pull in favours, or know someone in the know etc? Imagine the amount of money you could save if a relative knows someone who owns a marquee. Job done right? Or, if people insist on wanting to give presents, maybe suggest that people put money into a pot where you can then spend money how you wish….honeymoon, things you both need for the new house, etc etc. Might not “save” you money, but will give you something to fall back on to and so you can spend money elsewhere on the wedding without having to worry!

4) Does everyone need a gift? 

Nobody goes into a wedding when they are part of the bridal party expecting a gift for their help. Nobody. I can promise you that. And lets face it, if its anything like the best men or groomsmen I have known, most of them don't do that much anyway ;-) So, do they need a gift? These things can get really expensive, especially if you're buying for everyone who has had the smallest of input. Save yourself some pennies and a heartfelt thank you and a thank you at a later date via a card or letter will be much, much more appreciated. You can always own the situation and explain why and people will appreciate that even more….

5) Flowers are only going to get thrown away anyway....

Flowers. Beautiful, and admittedly, an integral part of a lot of looks and themes that are all on trend nowadays. But think about their impact, their use and how you use them. And even consider going down the fake route....I have seen some absolutely extraordinary fake flowers recently that are almost indistinguishable from the real thing. An amazing company, like Ferris Heart Stone do some incredible stuff that look like this. What's more, it adds to that more "minimal" look that is very classic of the boho/rustic appeal at the moment. 


6) Got any gifted cooks in the family?

Rope them in! Maybe consider going down a fun, buffet theme, or something a bit different to a sit down meal. I have seen fish and chip vans, burger vans, a packed lunch wedding (that was a LOT of fun!), you name it. The sit down meal is nice, everyone talks about the food. But there is always someone who can't or won't eat what is on the menu. This way you can be a bit more bespoke and tailored potentially save a bucket full of cash AND add an element of fun and individuality to your wedding. What’s more, those people you have asked and can help will have a much greater sense of purposes and well being as they will feel they are making an integral contribution to your big day. Everyone wins! Just thank them in the speeches, that’s all…


7) Go DIY.....on everything! 

Invitations, forgo a DJ and make a playlist (people love a playlist. You can even ask for requests so everyone gets that one chance to swing their pants, shake their booty, whatever takes their fancy....), stock your own bar and get a volunteer in the family to serve (trust me, you will always find ONE extrovert in the family that will LOVE this!).....the list goes on. There is so much you pay for at a wedding that with a bit of effort and forethought, you can get around and save hundreds of pounds with. 

8) The clothes do not make the man (or woman)

Dresses.....those expensive garments you will wear just once in your life. I know I am treading on thin ground with this one as the dress is really a very integral part of the day for many brides and I get that. You want to look the best you have ever looked. As do the groom(s). So, how to get around this? Well, vintage, second hand, charity shops, sale garments, DIY (there it is again)....check out the guy in the photo above.....shirt, old suit waistcoat, jeans and brogues and he looked seriously cool.....her dress was bought second hand. And best part about this? You're wanting boho and rustic right? Then THIS is the true meaning of those words.....Bingo! On top of all this, it brings an element of personalisation, uniqueness, fun and “cool” to your wedding. Nice.

9) Plan! Oh the effort.....

Planning. You can stress less, but means you have control over what is happening, check the budget and keep tabs on what goes in and what goes out. If you can manage that, then there are heaps of cash to be potentially saved. Plan everything. It’s not as bad as you would imagine as most of this, if you go this route DOES put the onus on you, but think of this….you don’t have multiple suppliers to organise, communicate with, meet up with constantly etc. That’s a lot of work taken out of it. Swings and roundabouts again….


See, it all feeds itself. You get to save money, you get a look that is much more bespoke and what you wanted, you have more fun planning it as you're involved more in the details, you can get it to be how you want it to be, the very fact you have done it DIY or have saved money or done things your way makes it that very boho and alternative and rustic look and feel anyway....... AND you can then spend the money you have saved on the things that are more important to you in the long term.....the rainy day, the honeymoon and dare I say it.....that one photographer you adore who can capture the awesomeness that you have created and the joy you have revelling in it on your biggest day ever....

Speaking of which, I am still taking bookings for 2019! Wow, there’s the sell! Oh and 2020 too! So, if you like my ideas, or think I am on to something and fancy this route and want someone to show this off, give me a shout and let’s chat! I love listening to what you have in store!

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