How to have a perfect wedding without blowing the budget
Knot & Pop and The Stitchery are just two organisations helping people have inexpensive weddings
Engaged? But also scunnered by frilly, over-styled and over-priced weddings? Read on for some low budget, outdoorsy and interactive wedding ideas
For the blissfully engaged but not blinded by love, avoiding the traditional frillfest wedding is, thankfully, getting easier. The internet contains endless blogs and image-sharing sites full of inspiration, so instead of throwing in your lot with an established venue and its caterers, you can choose a pick’n’mix of diverse and innovative suppliers to help you do the big day your way.
But one thing hasn’t changed: a worrying lack of actual numbers to be found on the websites of many wedding-related businesses points to an expectation that we’ll pay whatever it costs to make our big day special. Blogs gush about making your wedding ‘reflect who you are’ – but what if who you are is someone who balks at the thought of spending three-figure sums on flowers? (If you’re one of those people, perhaps consider using potted flowering plants instead – which can double as favours at the end of the night.)
Inventive and non-wasteful approaches are something that Susie Young, half of ‘unconventional’ wedding planners Knot & Pop, is a big fan of. She also reckons a lot of couples, caught up in planning that one big day, forget about giving themselves plenty of lasting mementos. ‘I love things that are interactive,’ she says, ‘or feel like a bit of an installation’ – things like the heart-shaped photo board that she designed for one couple’s guests to stick Polaroids to throughout the day – resulting in a wall-hanging that was a bit more lively than the average guestbook.
With a background in event planning for big fashion brands, London-based, Glasgow-born Susie and partner started Knot & Pop in 2012 with a view to ‘mixing the pretty and the practical’. The pair have an eye for niggly practicalities – so even if you don’t have the cash for ‘full wedding management’, you can buy anything from an hour of consultancy time upwards, and just run some contracts and timings by them. They’ve also got an ‘enormous black book’ of contacts, so can help find that last piece of the jigsaw, be it a suitably raucous ceilidh band or someone to record your big day in novella form (really – see their blog for proof.)
As a designer and owner of Glasgow’s Stitchery studio, it was a given that Cassandra Belanger would make her own wedding dress (a classy but relaxed number, in gorgeous Timorous Beasties moth-printed fabric), but it’s something she reckons many of us could do, with a bit of help: ‘if you’re new to sewing, give yourself six months to a year to get some skills under your belt, and if you don’t have the confidence on your own, find someone who can help or register on a course.’ But there’s plenty you can do with far less expertise: Cassandra made table runners, napkins and bunting for her own wedding, which pretty much just involve sewing rectangles and triangles, but make a venue look ‘styled’ at low cost. Similarly, you could laser-cut invites and place settings at open-access facilities, or replicate the trendy-but-expensive photobooth phenomenon with a camera, a frame and a prop box.
Above all, remember this sage advice from Knot & Pop’s blog: ‘the basic ingredients for an incredible wedding day are love, friendships, food, music and DANCING YOUR FACE OFF’. We’ll toast to that.
Some more wedding inspo...
● Ravensheugh Log Cabin is an excellent clifftop venue idea if you seek rough and ready beachside charm, just outside Edinburgh.
● ‘Eco-chic romantique’ luxurious wooden caravans for weddings and honeymoons, down in the Scottish borders.
● Fancy a piss-up in a brewery? West Brewery, in Glasgow Green’s Templeton Building, may be the perfect place for an ultra-classy one.
● Don't want any blood on your diamond ring? This husband and wife team, Gemporia, design jewellery using ethically-sourced diamonds and gemstones, which tend to come in around 50% cheaper than the High Street. Profits then go back into community projects in Zambia, Madagascar, Kenya and Tanzania.
● Tulliebole Castle, near Perth, is Susie from Knot & Pop’s favourite castle for weddings.
● Get married on the actual Local Hero beach, Camusdarach, just below Mallaig.
● Pyrus dislike perfect, cookie-cutter wedding posies and prefer wild, seasonal – and stunning – bouquets instead, foraged and styled in East Lothian.
● Glasgow’s budget-friendly Dragonfly Dress Design Vintage does both altered-vintage and bespoke designs.
● Naomi Kwant is Cassandra from the Stitchery’s pick of Glasgow-based dress designers.
● The Stitchery does Intro to Sewing and dressmaking courses, private tuition and monthly drop-ins for those considering DIY dress options.
● MAKlab offers low-cost laser cutting, sewing machines and advice on DIY textiles and stationery in the west …
● … while Hacklab in Edinburgh’s Summerhall provides shared facilities for laser cutting, printing and much more besides in the east.
● For pretty much everything else, Knot & Pop approves of the Glasgow Wedding Collective; a one-stop shop for indie suppliers in the Central Belt.