£6k Wedding Series: A Secret Cinema Ceremony… And Late Night Drinks.

Illustration by Susie Stone

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 superstar list of suppliers.

To plan a glamorous cinema inspired wedding ceremony for a star-studded guest list, read on…

Who is this wedding perfect for?

This is for the film lovers. This concept provides a stunning cinematic backdrop to a wedding celebration that will make you feel like 1930s Hollywood stars. Guests recline on rows of red velvet seats to witness your epic ceremony, then you all celebrate your marriage with popcorn and gin cocktails before heading to a bar for dinner, drinks and dancing.

Celebrating your marriage in a cinema means you don’t have to worry about the weather. And a late afternoon ceremony means people can eat lunch before they arrive. So before you even start planning this wedding you’ve removed two of the biggest causes of stress right away. With £6,000 to spend on one day you can create a truly magical experience if you invite an intimate crowd and concentrate of the details that really matter.

Entrance: Ideal for a mid-winter wedding, aim to arrive at your chosen cinema for a 4pm ceremony. Then when you step out of your 1930s vintage Lincoln the cinema will be all lit up, adding to the glitz and glamour of the occasion.

Inside, your friends and family listen to your prepared playlist while watching a slideshow of black and white photos of you both on the big screen. If you’ve got imovie you can turn your images into a mini film with title and credits and finish with a slide that swaps ‘The End’ for ‘The Beginning’ as your audience await your arrival.

Whether you chose the traditional walk down the aisle on your father’s arm or with an entire entourage Dirty Dancing style, entering the screen room from behind the curtain will be a real wow moment. And the cinema setup means you can play your ‘special song’ in surround-sound as you step up to meet your partner on the stage.

Outfits: Take inspiration from Hollywood’s Golden era and choose a floor-length ivory silk dress and stunning gilded headpiece. Then save your budget by wearing a pair of your own shoes (that won’t be seen) and borrowing a vintage or fake fur from a friend to keep you warm and glamorous. This cinema wedding is the perfect opportunity for a groom to wear a classic dinner suit. And if you’re a same-sex couple go for double the glamour with another show stopping dress.

Ceremony: This concept is all about drama, glamour and ritual. So make sure you choose a celebrant who is happy not only conduct your marriage service but play the role as Master of Ceremonies. Free from the time constraints of a registry office you can truly indulge when it comes to your ceremony, taking the chance to show off your personalities, tell your unique love story and involve your audience in a cinematic way. Maybe your celebrant can interview certain friends and share their stories of you both, you could have important people up to do readings, play film clips of family unable to make the day and even have your speeches at this point too.

Reception: Once you’ve exchanged rings and kissed, you can enjoy a standing ovation full of whoops and cheers to celebrate your union. Then press play (and mute) on an old  black and white movie (preferably Some Like It Hot), put an appropriately jazzy playlist on and mooch about chatting to your guests whilst drinking gin cocktails and eating popcorn.

Independent cinemas often have small screening rooms for private hire that have a flexible space for events. Some even have a bar. But if not, hiring The Travelling Gin Company will ensure you have two suitably styled gentlemen serving you gin cocktails from the back of a vintage bicycle. If you’re lucky your local cinema building will be an art deco gem but even the most contemporary space can be given some 1930s glamour if you hire a couple of cigarette girls to hand out popcorn. Just contact your local drama college to see if you can find any students prepared to play the part.

Dinner and drinks: Once you’ve all had enough cinema snacks head out to the bar and restaurant to enjoy proper food and some fine wine. A few of the Picturehouse cinemas now have a restaurant or tapas bar attached which makes an ideal intimate wedding meal as people can mill around and chat while eating. Just put £1500 behind the bar for food and wine, then let your friends know there’s a cash bar for post dinner drinks.

For extra cinema inspired fun swap a photographer for a videographer who can make a movie of your marriage that you can watch over and over, forever and ever.  

Gifts vs. Honeymoon: If you want to continue your art deco inspired journey, ditch the traditional gift list and set up a honeymoon fund for a minimoon to Paris. Then instead of buying you department store wedding gifts, your friends and family can treat you to dinner in a beautiful brasserie, a night at the Moulin Rouge or a romantic ride on the Metro.

Source L+R: Kate Ruth Romey, Picturehouse

Invites £320: This sophisticated wedding requires proper printed invites. For art deco inspiration check out Kate Ruth Romey’s bespoke designs. Kate can create and print 50 postcards to your cinema brief for £320.

Classic car hire £400: The Classic Car Club can organise a chauffeur for you with packages starting at £400. Alternatively book a black taxis or find a friend with a nice looking car prepared to drive you.

Cinema hire £480: Compare local prices but as a guide the small screen at the Greenwich Picturehouse seats 50 people and costs £480 for two hours.

Sources L-R: Reformation, Nicola Ruby, Yardsmen

Celebrant £500: Getting the right person is crucial so take your time. Expect to pay £500+ for a celebrant.

Wedding dress £475: If you’re lucky you might find an original 1930s dress that fits and looks fabulous. But you’ll also find vintage inspired dresses at Reformation. This Eliana dress in ivory will look stunning on stage.

Head piece £495:  Feel like Liz Taylor as Cleopatra in the gorgeous Florentina Crown by Nichola Ruby. Handmade with brass cut flowers, Swarovski crystal, pearl centres and antique gold enamelling it’s an investment piece you’ll treasure forever.   

Suit hire £80: If you have a groom happy to play the part choose a tuxedo and black tie. If he’s not likely to wear it again save money by hiring one from Yardsmen.

Source M+R: Phoebe Coleman, Travelling Gin Company

Rings £280: For a theatrical take on the classic gold band check out Phoebe Coleman’s Ancient ring. Beautiful detailing and affordable at £140.

Videographer £700: Instead of a wedding photographer, find a local film maker or videographer to shoot your celebration. Super stylish Old Bear Films have packages starting at £700.

Gin cocktails £475: The Travelling Gin Company can serve you cocktails from a vintage bike for two hours and cater for up to 50 people for £475 + VAT.

Cigarette Girls £200: It’s an acting job with a specific outfit required. Enquire with your local drama school or university and expect to pay £200 for two local actors for two hours.

Popcorn £20: Order a bulk bag from one of the many wholesale suppliers on ebay and pack into paper bags yourselves.  

Popcorn trays £20: Ask a handy friend to knock you up a couple of plywood trays, paint them black and attach gold trimming and straps from a haberdashery. Cost of materials £30

Dinner and wine £1500: Ask the restaurant/bar you’ve chosen if they can reserve a section of the space in advance and budget £1500 to provide food and wine. For 50 people this works out at £30 per head.

Honeymoon fund: Check out the readymade honeymoon templates on Patchworkit.com, customise our Paris patchwork and invite guests to fund your trip – piece by piece.

TOTAL COST TO YOU: £5,945

COSTS TO YOUR GUESTS: £10 – £50

If guests want after dinner drinks then they’ll need to buy their own. They can then contribute as much or as little as they like to your honeymoon fund.

See the other wedding concepts in our £6k wedding series here.

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