Want to get married in style on a super tight budget? Our £6k wedding series is here to help. We’ve got six fully-costed wedding concepts for under £6000 for you to choose from complete with a super-star list of suppliers.
To plan an amazing micro-festival wedding for a carefully chosen number of your closest friends and family, read on…
Who is this wedding perfect for?
It’s ideal for hippies-at-heart who want to celebrate their union surrounded by nature.
This DIY festival wedding allows you to bring people together in a beautiful, secluded, family-friendly location. And celebrating over a weekend means you both get to spend quality time with your loved ones – setting up the site with friends, sitting down to a wedding feast with your family, dancing with mates into the night, then enjoying a lazy breakfast with everyone the morning after.
Festival wedding concept:
It’s totally possible to plan an amazing wedding for 30 people on a £6,000 budget. You just need some perspective, a plan and maybe some promises from friends help out. You’re going to escape to an intimate little hideaway for a couple of days so you’ll need to get organised, be comfortable delegating and be confident that your friends and family will contribute time and skills to help make it happen.
If you’re a super resourceful bunch, a field with running water might be enough. But if you don’t fancy building your own compost loos and don’t have access to a generator you’ll need to look for a site with electricity, toilets and a space for your ceremony. The Green Escape in Surrey has the perfect set up with a pine tree lined aisle, crackling wood fires and lots of space for dancing beneath the stars. It also has Shepherds Huts with room for 22 guests so you’ll all be well rested (ish!).
If you want friends to help you’ll need to get them involved as early as possible. Don’t just vaguely mention to people in passing that you might need a hand. Get them excited about the plan and inspired to help using Patchworkit.com – where you can set out all the things people can fund, make or do. Then let your wedding guests choose whether to buy some booze, make a cake, do the decorations or promise to DJ. If you don’t need new toasters and towels, it’s a fun and practical alternative to a traditional gift list and allows you to keep track of who’s doing what.
Festival wedding in detail:
The day before:
Arrive on site with your team of helpers and all the tools, paints, materials and props you need. Then after a big group hug send everyone off to complete the jobs they promised to do – from painting signs to decorating the venue and doing the food shop.
For a cheap, easy and sophisticated look keep styling simple using limited materials and a neutral colour palette. White paint on wood signs, tea lights in brown paper bags and glass jars filled with local green and white wild flowers look effortlessly cool and cost next to nothing.
Ditch tablecloths in favour of bare wooden trestles and if budgets are super tight forget hire costs for china and glassware, opting instead for deliberately utilitarian white paper plates, napkins and cups and disposable wooden cutlery – cheap, chic and no washing up required.
Preparing a cold vegetarian buffet plus a hog roast is probably the easiest and cheapest way to provide food for 30. Just decide on a limited menu of simple but delicious dishes, buy all ingredients and then assign dishes to be made by your team of foodie volunteers.
If you give yourselves enough time and keep your jobs to a minimum it can actually be really fun working together to prepare for the wedding. But remember to give yourselves a chance to mentally and physically prepare too. Once you’ve delegated jobs just let everyone get on with it. Remember your friends are happy to help and don’t want you getting stressed. So take time to relax and be pampered the evening before the wedding.
The morning of the wedding day:
Sleeping together in your hut on your wedding night will be romantic. You’ll have a good night’s sleep and have got a space to get ready in the morning. Even the most low-maintenance couple needs a shower, mirror and hairdryer on their wedding day.
This festival wedding has a naturally laid-back vibe so style-wise think Sienna Miller at Glastonbury. Save money and stay true to you by doing your own hair, nails and make-up or ask a talented friend to help. Then choose a (non-wedding) dress in natural cotton, cheese cloth or linen and a flower crown to complete the look. Sandals, boots or wellies – weather dependent.
While you’re getting ready your kitchen crew can be finishing up the wedding feast and filling metal tubs with ice for cold beer and wine. And a couple of creative friends can make you a wild flower bouquet, corsages for the men and crowns for the kids.
As it’s a family-oriented wedding, it makes sense to have kids involved in the ceremony. And as children’s clothes are cheaper than adult outfits, having flower-girls rather than grown-up bridesmaids is another way to keep costs down.
Capturing your day is so important, so make sure to budget for an easygoing, festival-loving photographer who can join you for at least a few hours during your love-fest. And give everyone a disposable camera for the times they’re not around.
The Green Escape isn’t licensed for weddings, so you’ll need to pop to the registry office before or after your wedding weekend. Then once it’s official you can celebrate together with Pimms and lemonade in the sunshine – cheaper than champagne and perfect for a summer festival vibe.
The Green Escape have both a BBQ and a pizza oven available for you to use – both are a good value way to feed a large crowd and also provides a bit of theatre and a talking point for people queuing up to be served. Combined with a self-service vegetarian buffet it offers a relaxed eating experience everyone can enjoy.
If you’re not fussed about where people sit forget about a table plan. Just organise your top table and let people decide who they want to talk to. Not only does this feel appropriate for a festival wedding but will save you time and money designing and printing name places and table plans.
Once speeches are over make sure you don’t forget to thank everyone who has helped to make your DIT (Do It Together) wedding happen. Ensure your ‘help-yourself-bar’ is stocked with plenty of cold booze and tie bottle openers on strings to stop them wandering off.
Asking everyone to list their three favourite songs will help you prepare an eclectic playlist for the evening. But if you have musician mates or friends happy to do a DJ set as their wedding gift then live music will massively add to your festival vibe.
The good thing about a countryside venue is you can often get a late night license, so you can party hard into the night before stumbling back to your hut at sunrise.
The day after:
More pizza the next day will help everyone emerge from their Shepherds Huts and cure their hangovers.
Wedding website and organising tool FREE:
Use the party organising tools at patchworkit.com to share your wedding info, show friends and family how they can help and keep track of the things people promise to make and do.
Venue and campsite £4,400:
Getting married on a weekday is always cheaper. The Green Escape charges £4,400 for two nights, midweek. You’ll be cosy and comfortable in one of their seven Shepherd Huts which sleep 22 guests.
There are plenty of talented photographers who can work to this budget – Sidey Clark is based in SE London (but will travel!) and takes gorgeous, unposed, fun photos and has a 6 hour package priced at £1450.
Wedding Dress £98:
Wear an effortless maxi slip dress from Free People. Perfect for your festival-style surroundings.
Wedding Outfit No. 2 £88:
If you really want to save money encourage your partner to wear favourite shorts/jeans and footwear and just budget for a new shirt. Everlane does a lovely linen shirt for £82.
If you’re a same sex couple £88 will cover the cost of another festival-inspired dress from Free People.
Opt for simple wooden rings to celebrate your love, the spirit of your festival wedding and to keep within your budget. You can always celebrate your first year anniversary with an upgrade once you’ve had time to save up for the rings you really want. Hartwood Co has an Etsy shop selling simple wooden rings from £25 each.
Budget £200 for a trip to the local supermarket to buy ingredients to feed 30.
Basic white paper plates, cups, napkins and wood forks will cost about £20 for 30 people. For biodegradable options check out eco-friendly party suppliers Little Cherry. Ask everyone to collect jam jars to use for tea lights and wild flowers.
A local supermarket should be able to supply sufficient booze for 30 people for under £200. But if your budget is tight it makes sense to include cash contributions towards beer and wine in your patchwork so you can buy it upfront. Then include a request for people to ‘bring a bottle’ of spirits in your patchwork as another gift option.
TOTAL COST: £6,306
COST TO YOUR GUESTS: £50-£100
Festival vibes, a relaxed dress code and a gift list that asks for help rather than physical presents means this wedding works out pretty cheap for your guests too. The only essential cost is travel.
See the rest of the wedding concepts in our £6k wedding series here.