How to plan a wedding for £5,000

Zopa’s hassle-free loans have helped 1,000s of couples make it to the altar (Representative APR 17%). But while we can help with the finances, you don’t want us planning the wedding itself (teal anyone?). So for inspiration, we asked wedding planner Lauren Goodman of Bluebird Creative to show us how she’d plan a wedding for just £5,000.

£5,000 is a lot of money, until it comes to planning a wedding. However, by spending it carefully on the things that matter to you, you’ll still be able to have a wedding  that you love. 

So in this blog I’m explaining how you’d bring my £5,000 Wedding Pinterest board to life.

Let’s unpack the budget breakdown and how you can bring £5,000 to life in the form of a wedding day celebration!

So first of all we have the budget breakdown:

When breaking down your roughly £5,000 budget, you need to remember the most important parts of your day. They are obviously the ceremony itself and then likely to be the food and the dancing! So these are the areas that you will need to allocate the biggest part of your budget to.

Now I have based this budget around a roughly 50 person wedding. More guests will take away from any decor and start to make your budget creep up. You could however invite more guests in the evening and have a paid bar, where you are then not taking on any extra expenses!

So let’s go through the different elements of your day and how you can make them fit with your budget.

Venue – £400

When it comes to your venue, you will likely go to a registry office for your ceremony, before heading to your reception venue. I would say your best option is to look at village halls for your reception venue. These are really cost-effective and you then don’t have to worry about wet weather options! 

Some halls also provide their own tables and chairs as well, so definitely check this when viewing them. If they do, remember to check out the style of the tables and chairs to work out if you need tablecloths. 

Finding a hall with good tables and chairs and a very neutral decor is a big win as you have a good base and starting point to create your own design.

Food and Drink – £2,800

When it comes to the food and drink, this will be the most expensive part of your day..

I would scrap the drinks reception and, when your guests arrive at the reception venue, have them take their seats for the wedding breakfast straight away. That way you avoid paying for canapés and some drinks, make sure everyone’s stomachs are well-lined and ensure they are all well-fed! 

When it comes to the food and drink for the meal, look at all your options. It could be a buffet or a set two-course meal with cake to follow, or you could go for a fun option, like a hog roast or a pizza truck. Keep it fun and relaxed.

You will need to provide drinks for the wedding breakfast so allow half a bottle of wine and one glass of fizz per person. Then have a paid bar for the evening. Check the licence at the venue as you may need to provide a tens licence, which you can apply for from your local council.

Think creatively when it comes to dessert. If you have a wedding cake, then serve that to guests. Or have a dessert table, where guests bring something for the table.  It gets people involved in your day and makes it special! Perhaps you’re cheese people? You could have a cheese tower as your wedding cake and then have this as both dessert and evening snacks as well?

Decor – £400

When it comes to decorating your reception space, consider looking at balloons and hanging lanterns as well as flowers. Flowers are expensive, so you may wish to have a beautiful bouquet for you and your bridesmaids and then use these as centrepieces? Perhaps you can save all your jam jars up and use these as vases and put a few stems in each jar along the table? Why not go foraging (depending on the time of year you get married) and use a little bit of foliage for your table decor?

Hanging fairy lights across the ceiling with a few lanterns is cost-effective and can really transform a space. Get creative and get your DIY skills out for creating place names and table names. It doesn’t have to be complicated to look pretty.

Evening entertainment – £500

Once the meal is over, it’s time to party the night away. DJs are cheaper than bands and will sound better in a village hall. Have everyone help move the tables and clear the space, but keep a few out for people to rest their feet!

I hope this blog has been helpful and has shown you how you can use your budget to pull together your wedding and still make it personal to you!

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