Thrifty bride saves £21K on her dream castle wedding but annoys guests by chopping out partners and plus one’s

A SAVVY bride has revealed how she saved £21,000 on her dream castle wedding – but annoyed guests by chopping out partners. 

Ashley Waugh, 25, and groom Luke revealed how they managed to get their wedding price down from the quoted £30,000 to £9,000 with some very thrifty tips.

Legal cashier Ashley told budgeting experts 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 said they “struck gold” with Covid when the venue had to reschedule to July, and honoured the original price. 

In total, the big day cost £9,000 – with Ashley's dad kindly paying for the venue and the happy couple footing £4,000.

The bride also opened up about ways they reduced costs with the smaller details 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!”

Ashley explained that Luke has a larger family and is originally from Peterborough.

She continued: “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.”

A breakdown of how Ashley and Luke spent their money on their wedding

Cake: FREE, gifted by Luke's aunt

DJ: FREE, as the couple did their own music

Chair sashes, table runners and flowers for centrepieces: 40p each from AliExpress

Flowers: £300 from Groovy Ruby (fake to save money)

Suits: £600, hired from Moss Bros

Wedding dress: £700 from Wed2Be, altered for £90 (off the rack to save money)

Bridal and bridesmaids' hair/make-up: £500 with friends' discount

Venue: £5k on a winter deal

The bride and groom also did all of the decor themselves, and enlisted the help of her brother, mum and friend Katie to decorate the room the day before.

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."

Tips from the bride

  • Ask around, ask friends to ask their friends.

“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."

  • Shop and search locally

“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.”

We shared how a mother-of-the-groom sparked outrage by wearing white gown and fascinator to the wedding… and now she’s trying to sell it.

Meanwhile, a mum-of-two said her friends ditched her when she hired a cleaner and said she was showing off, but claims she is too busy to clean.

And you should say ‘I do’ to these money saving tips and make getting married less expensive.

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