Bride saves £21,000 on dream castle wedding by chopping guests and calling in favours

A budget-conscious bride has shared her tips and tricks that allowed her to save £21,000 on her dream Princess wedding.

Ashley Waugh, 25, married her new husband Luke this year – and they managed to slash the cost from the quoted £30,000 down to just £9,000.

But, not everyone was happy as guests weren’t allowed to bring their partners…

Ashley, a legal cashier, told budgeting pros ThinkMoney : “Originally, we wanted to get married on a Saturday in the height of summer with 140 guests, and that would’ve cost us around £10,000 just for the venue.

“The steepest quote we had was £30,000 all in.

“So we booked a midweek date, which instantly saved us a lot of money, and went for a February date which was off-season and cheaper.”



Ashley spent £700 on her dress

And, unlike some other brides, Ashley says she “struck gold” due to Covid as the venue changed her date to July, but honoured the original cheaper price.

In total the pair spent £9,000 on their big day – with her father shelling out for the venue and the duo spending £4,000.

Ashley told ThinkMoney about the smaller ways they saved money on their nuptials too.

She explained: “We were also really harsh with our guest list, which upset a lot of people but we were paying for it ourselves and we wanted our closest friends and families there, not someone who felt they had a right to come because they were dating someone who was invited.

“We cut A LOT of people’s partners purely to save money.

“Most people were really nice about it, some were not, but then you learn who your real friends are when you’re planning a wedding!”



They were married at a gorgeous castle
They were married at a gorgeous castle

As Luke had a larger family, the pair also chose not to invite all of his relations.

Ashley said: “He chose not to invite distant cousins and nieces so we could have an intimate day with our nearest and dearest.

“Our original guest list was 140 people and we changed that to 64 day guests and 15 evening, so cut 60 people.”

The bride and groom also did all of the decor themselves and were helped by family members to decorate ahead of the wedding.

She said: “We bought centrepieces from Home Bargains, chair sashes and covers from Wish or AliExpress for 40p a pop and favours from B&M, but it looked as if it had been professionally dressed.

“We also didn’t have a DJ just a playlist we made together and controlled from our phones.”



Luke's aunt made the cake
Luke’s aunt made the cake

Ashley recommended asking friends to see if they knew anyone they could hire on the cheap.

She noted: “No-one in my friendship group is a make-up artist, a photographer or a florist – but they knew people or had recommendations and I was lucky enough to get some friends’ discounts.

“I found a woman based in my hometown who I had never heard of but then it turned out she knew one of my bridesmaids – it’s all who you know, not what you know.”

The pair also got a free cake from Luke’s aunt and bought fake flowers to save money, plus they got Ashley’s wedding dress for £700 off the rack at Wed2Be and paid a seamstress to alter it.

How did you save money on your wedding? Tell us in the comments…

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