In recent years, spending thousands of pounds on tying the knot has become more and more commonplace. Brides and grooms splurge upwards of £20,000 on the day they say "I do", emulating the extravagance of celebrity weddings.
There's elegance at every turn, from a huge white dress to ceremonies at big country halls. But it's not for everyone and now, some brides-to-be are choosing to spend far less on their nuptials.
Jemma Pinches, 36, from Worcester, who runs TikTok account @ladyjemma, where she shares her money-saving hacks is one of those brides. She married husband Lewis earlier this month at a registry office- their wedding cost them a total of just £100.
The 36-year-old tells OK! that she was planning to wed Lewis, who she's been with for eight years, before 2020 and the coronavirus lockdown, having a larger ceremony.
But they never actually made any solid arrangements and things changed again during the pandemic as she and Lewis, who already had two children between them, welcomed two more and she then had maternity leave.
Priorities shifted and Jemma and Lewis decided they'd prefer a smaller and more low-key day. Jemma, who works in accounts for a health and safety company, says: "I always thought we'd have a massive wedding but as we've got older and have a house, mortgage and bills, things have changed.
"We weren't in a position to spend lots on our big day so I had a closer look at wedding registry offices and found us a ceremony which cost £45."
She'd looked into having a cheaper day to see if it was doable but admits that she thinks its sad that some people don't get married because they don't see an alternative option to an expensive day.
Jemma and Lewis tied the knot on Wednesday 13 September, with just a few of their family and friends as witnesses. They headed over to the ceremony after the school run, with Jemma and Lewis both in outfits they already owned.
The bride joked that she didn't wear the £20 full white wedding dress that she'd bought from Vinted for their party at the ceremony as she thought she might get funny looks on the school run afterwards.
Accessorising with a tiara she borrowed from her sister, she carried flowers lent to her by a friend and finished off her look with her comfy and trusty Converse. Jemma's brother, who loves photography, came along to the ceremony and took some pictures of them after for free.
"It was nice because my dad, his partner, and Lewis's mum and dad came along with our two little ones. The older two said they wanted to go to our party on the Friday of that week and not the ceremony so that's what they did.
"I preferred doing the day in the way we did because I wasn't nervous or stressed. I didn't have to perform in front of everyone and Lewis said the same. He told me he wouldn't have felt as comfortable or as relaxed if the ceremony had been larger.
"If we'd not done our wedding like this we would have still been unmarried because we couldn't afford to it any other way at the moment," Jemma says.
After they tied the knot, the bride and groom went home and then had the next day off together. On the Friday, they had a party with close family and friends at a local hotel, paid for by their parents as a wedding gift.
Jemma wore her Vinted dress and decorated the room herself, with items she'd got off Facebook marketplace for free.
Lewis and Jemma didn't follow any of the wedding traditions apart from having a first dance but chose to have the big party instead.
She says: "We said we're getting married on a Wednesday so come along on the Friday and celebrate with us. We didn't expect any presents, we just wanted everyone to come along and celebrate with us."
As for their honeymoon, Jemma and Lewis have booked a trip in their children's October half term to a lodge and will save up to go on holiday abroad together, perhaps next year.
She adds: "Our wedding was so stress-free. I've spoken to others and watched videos where people had their own nightmares with their weddings like with catering and things. But our celebrations were just perfect- there was nothing to stress about."
Jemma's top tips for a budget wedding
1. Don't be afraid to ask
Some of Jemma's best items at the wedding were the free decorations she got. She says it's best to ask around when it comes to getting things because people often want to get rid of unused items.
2. You don't need to make anyone else happy- do your wedding your way
Jemma and Lewis chose not to embrace wedding traditions but she says their day was perfect. They were able to celebrate their love without having to shell out thousands on it.
3. Don't be afraid to get second hand items
She was really happy with her dress for the party and the outfit she got her one-year-old daughter. Jemma says that many of the second hand items you can find online are great and will only have been worn once in some cases. She encourages others to dig around for second hand things online.
4. Scout out venues
Jemma also says that it's a great idea to ask around lots of venues and mention you're planning to have a wedding there after as it can be a good cost cutting measure.
Check out Jemma's TikTok here: https://www.tiktok.com/@ladyjemma?
Check out Jemma's Instagram here: https://instagram.com/ladyjemmaelizabeth?igshid=OGQ5ZDc2ODk2ZA==
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