Sex & Relationships

5 Top Tips for Creating A Low-Cost DIY Wedding

For well over a year (since the first national lockdown and the restrictions that came with it) it’s safe to say that hundreds of thousands of weddings have sadly had to be postponed. 

With a quarter of a million weddings held each year, that’s a lot of postponements to contend with. 

This means the demand for churches and wedding venues is guaranteed to remain at a huge level for the next few years, as the country’s engaged couples patiently wait for their happy day to arrive — whenever that might come. 

However, some loving couples are not quite so patient and are looking to tie the knot as soon as possible.

The result is that thousands of people are taking matters into their own hands by hosting their own wedding breakfast and night-do in their own gardens or local fields. 

With these DIY weddings comes the need for shelter. It’s been no surprise to the team at marquee and gazebo supplier Gala Tent that our products have been snapped up as quickly by couples on the hunt for a great alternative to a hotel or pub function room.

With a marquee wedding comes the huge potential for creating a unique dream event that is more personal to you than you could have ever imagined. 

In this article, we have put together some great ideas for adding the homemade personal touch to a DIY Wedding. Our ideas can save you thousands of pounds to put to better use, such as towards your honeymoon!

Get the shelter sorted

The Great British weather is known for being predictable in its unpredictability, so taking a gamble on sunshine in the middle of July is not something we’d suggest. 

A marquee is the perfect temporary structure for many terrains, whether your garden or a local farmer’s field that’s been kindly donated for the event. 

The size that you need will depend on how many guests you’d like to cover, but a 6m x 8m for example will provide cover for around 40 guests for the meal, and 80 people when the tables are removed and it’s time to party. 

Gala Tent has a great resource for the logistics of marquee weddings, which is worth checking out for further information and advice. 

  • Average venue hire cost: £2500
  • DIY cost: 6m x 8m pvc gala tent marquee – £1440 
  • Saving: £1060

Get crafty with the decorations

Whether the shelter is a marquee, a stretch tent or a giant teepee, it will need to be decorated and it’s a great opportunity to get involved with some arts and crafts. 

You can pick up offcuts and remnants of some wonderful vintage style textiles for just a few pounds online, so why not decorate the tent with some homemade bunting around the edges and across the ceiling space? It’s simple to do and adds a classic touch to any celebration. 

If you’re not really the crafty type then friends and family who are might be tempted to get involved in making your day as special as you deserve it to be after the past year and a half. 

Other aspects of your wedding that can be handmade by you or your crafty loved ones include the invitations, guest book, and table decorations.

  • Average event decorator cost: £500
  • DIY cost: £100
  • Saving: £400

Forget the photo booth & create a DIY photography space

Hiring a photo booth from a supplier for an evening can cost you anything between £500 and £1000, which is surely cash that can be put to good use elsewhere. 

Instead, consider decorating a well-lit corner of your party tent with elegant backdrops and leaving some shabby chic picture frames and vintage fancy dress accessories (which you can pick up for almost nothing in charity shops and flea markets) for your guests to capture their own images.

These guest captured images will undoubtedly find their way onto Instagram before the night is through, as evidence of what a great time people had on your special day. 

  • Average photo booth cost: £750
  • DIY cost: £250
  • Saving: £500

Don’t underestimate simple food to save space, time & money

It can be tempting to break out a series of large tables and go to town on a massive spread of sandwiches and other snacks for the buffet. However, you can save the space it would take to achieve a big feast by offering up simple trays of DIY recipes, bacon sandwiches and chip butties as a tasty evening snack, to soak up the drinks and let the party go on uninterrupted. 

The average cost of a wedding buffet is around £15 per person, whereas a bacon roll is more likely to be no more than £2 each. In this era of trying to keep surfaces and environments clean of viral bacteria, it can also keep the cross-contamination to a minimum, putting some worrying minds to rest.

  • Average buffet cost for 80 guests: £1200
  • DIY cost for 80 guests: £160
  • Saving: £1040

Create a playlist

According to DJ agents Warble Entertainment a wedding DJ will cost an average of £400 for your event. This will undoubtedly keep your guests on their feet and dancing the night away. However, building your own playlists on one of the many streaming sites available will allow you to get down with your friends and family at a fraction of the cost. 

You should be able to hire some good disco lights for less than £100 for the night too, so why not make a few different themed lists. These themed lists can include party anthems, personal favourites and slow dance classics that hold a special place in the hearts of you and your guests. By switching playlists when the timing is right, you can gently guide the mood of the night until it’s time for the lights to go up and your guests to head home having just experienced the best wedding ever! 

  • Average DJ cost: £400
  • DIY cost: £110
  • Saving: £290

Total saving by DIYing your wedding: £3290

There are, of course, some things that you won’t want to compromise on, such as the dress or the suit of your dreams, but a wedding doesn’t necessarily need to be something that costs you an entire year’s wage to organise, especially if you’re prepared to put the time and effort into making it something that is utterly unique and personal to you. Some of the best weddings we’ve attended absolutely had a touch of the handmade about them… After all, where do you think we got these ideas from? 

It’s your day, so make it your way. 

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