How to plan the wedding of your dreams on a shoestring budget

But money wasn’t the main reason why Emily and Steve, both from Bristol, chose to have a micro-wedding at the Brickhouse Vineyard. A small wedding puts the focus back on the couple, says Emily.

“We went to a few small weddings during the pandemic, and it made us think about the amount of people we wanted at our own event. It felt really special to be able to spend quality time with all of our guests, when conversations at big weddings can be so fleeting,” said Emily, 32, who had a budget in the region of £10,000.

“We felt like we were in our own little beautiful bubble. It was really intimate. The planning of the wedding also made us really reflect on who in our lives was special to us and who we wanted to be a part of our lives in the long term.

“There were a few awkward moments where some people assumed that they would be invited, and there wasn’t space for them, but everyone was understanding of the fact that we wanted to keep it small,” she added.

Elopements and smaller weddings have also been on the rise at The Venue at Sandy Cove in Ilfracombe, Devon – but if it’s a big event you’re after, the secret to cutting costs lies in choosing your date wisely, says director Dawn Tenbokkel.

Book a midweek winter date with 100 guests, and you can have a package including a three-course wedding breakfast, two glasses of prosecco and a glass of wine per head for £9,195.

“We’re quite a destination,” says Dawn of her family-run clifftop venue. “A midweek wedding is sometimes less convenient, but it can be a good choice, as often guests use weddings as a reason to have a weekend away.”

But for couples who want a big wedding spread over a weekend, there’s another option yet: just book a chateau in France, says Julie, of Your Wedding Planner France.

“The wedding market in France is very busy,” says Julie. Originally from Sheffield, Julie, 53, has been planning French weddings for British couples for 14 years.

“Chateaus in big towns and near cities can be expensive, but in the countryside prices are very reasonable, especially here in the south west,” she explained. A chateau to sleep 30 people for three nights costs around £10,000, she says.

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