I’m pretty sure I’ve shared my wedding on a budget story with you before but I’ve just been going through my boxes of family photos and it made me feel all warm and fluffy so I thought I’d share with you today how we planned our wedding on a super tight budget and hopefully you’ll agree that you don’t need to spend a fortune on a wedding to have a long lasting and happy marriage.
We didn’t really plan on getting married when we did to be honest although we were engaged and we did have plans for a slightly larger wedding somewhere down the line. At the time, we’d been together almost five years and we were trying to think of something nice to do to celebrate our fifth anniversary of being together. We were originally thinking of a night away or a nice meal out but somehow we went from that to deciding it would be good to get married on our fifth anniversary!
Once we’d made the decision we actually had less than three weeks to arrange a wedding with almost no money in the bank. We’d just moved into our first house together (which again was a last minute decision when we got a great deal on a house – thanks Dad!) and there was absolutely no money left over to pay for a big wedding with all the trimmings. Although to be fair, neither of us like a fuss so a larger wedding wouldn’t have been something we would have really enjoyed.
Because we wanted something cheap and low key we decided to look into the possibility of getting married at Gretna Green which is about two hours from where we live. By some stroke of luck, when I rang them they told me they’d actually had a cancellation for the Saturday we needed so we booked it there and then.
We didn’t even really know what to expect but looking online, it looked like just what we wanted so with about two and a half weeks to go we were sorted – we were getting married at Gretna Green in front of the anvil at Gretna Blacksmiths Shop in the original wedding room. The prices have gone up considerably since we got married but you can still book the wedding plus the photography package for around £500 with packages ranging upwards depending on how many guests you want and how many extras you need. We went basic as that’s all there was at the time if I remember rightly and it was perfect considering back then it was around £100!
We ended up inviting about 15 of our closest family and friends to come with us and booked a really small reception at the hotel over the road which, with a few bottles of cava and a small buffet was all we wanted. The package we booked there was something like £4.95 a head in a small function room which was lovely.
I did try on some lovely wedding dresses but they weren’t me at all and I really wasn’t feeling it so I ended up buying my dress from Principles for £50 and Mr Frugal bought a suit from Littlewoods for about £30.00 (he even got staff discount). My dress was burgundy velvet and chiffon so we went with a Winter colour theme and with my mum’s help, we organised cream and burgundy flowers for me and matching buttonholes for everyone else. My dad ended up giving us £250.00 and amazingly that covered almost everything!
The week before the wedding was a nightmare – it was the week when half of the UK was completely flooded and I worried about everyone managing to get there safe and sound but on the morning of the wedding we looked outside and the sun was shining which you can imagine was a HUGE relief as it had been the only thing I’d been worrying about.
I walked down the stone corridor (there was no aisle) to Westlife’s ‘ Flying Without Wings’ and took my place at the Anvil next to Mr Frugal. I can’t remember much else about the wedding other than when the minister said ‘Do you, Mrs Frugal…’, I said I do at that point rather than waiting for the rest of his speech which everyone thought was hilarious and Mr Frugal loves to remind me even now of how eager I was to marry him!
We had two wedding cakes, both made as a gift by one of our lovely guests – one chocolate and one fruit. We hate fruit cake but my Mam said you have to have a fruit cake at a wedding so we gave in to that one.
If you’re thinking of getting married at Gretna Green then I couldn’t recommend it highly enough based on my experience when I got married.
Last year, for our 15th wedding anniversary we went back with the kids and although the area surrounding the Famous Blacksmiths Shop has changed, the room where you get married is still the same and it brought back some lovely memories of getting married at Gretna Green that were lovely to share with the kids.
These days there’s a lovely museum, a lot more shops and a brilliant outlet centre at Gretna Green but it was taking the photo above that brought me the most happiness when we visited.
We haven’t had an easy ride but we’re happy and have two gorgeous children so the fact I only spend £250 on my wedding certainly doesn’t mean that it was any less special than any big fancy weddings. I’m pretty biased but I actually think that getting married at Gretna Green on a limited budget made the day more special if anything!
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