50 wedding ideas that will help boost your budget as you plan your big day - how many will you use?
As we know all too well, weddings can be extremely expensive and it’s easy to forget your budget completely in the process of making your dream wedding a reality. This list of 50 free wedding ideas is designed to ease the stress of budgeting and includes fool proof tips for creating memorable centrepieces, favours and all the ‘little things’ that make your wedding so personal. What could be more special than telling your guests that you handmade their favours or that you picked your own wedding bouquet?
Be inspired by our top 50 free wedding ideas below:
- Collect dried leaves from your garden or the park during autumn and write the names of your guests on them with a silver or gold pen to match your autumnal wedding theme.
- Collect pebbles or shells from the beach and write the names of your guests on them yourself.
- Instead of buying table numbers, frame images of you as a couple during every year of your relationship and stand them on each table; borrow frames from your own house, friends and family.
- Collect pieces of flattened wood, nail together and paint to create rustic wedding signs such as ‘reception this way’ or ‘wedding party’.
- Carve your initials into a piece of wood for rustic top table décor.
- Create centrepieces with old wine bottles; melt tapered candles into the neck and let the wax drip down.
- Tear out pages from romantic books and stick them together to create a table runner...
- ...Or use photos of the couple and guests together.
- Paint wooden wash pegs, hang a string line across the reception area and pin up photographs of the couple as an alternative to bunting.
- Empty out wine bottles for flower centrepieces and tie with a string hessian bow.
- Place cute tea lights in jars, which you could also hang from trees for outdoor weddings.
- Sometimes members of the hitched.co.uk ‘for sale’ forum give products from their recent weddings away for free. Keep your eyes peeled!
- Use your favourite photo as a cake topper (maybe combine with a free printable frame to tie in with your theme).
- Initial cake topper; write your initials out in fancy calligraphy and cover in glitter.
- Create pom poms out of colourful tissue paper; they don’t just have to be hung from the ceiling, you could make mini ones and stack them in a clear vase as a centrepiece.
- Decorate your tables with rustic branches, which could be covered in fake snow for a wintry touch.
- Dip-dye and cut a bed sheet into ribbons, then hang these from a curtain rail for a bohemian wedding alter.
- Dip plain white candles into melted colourful crayons to match your colour scheme.
- Collect acorns and pine cones and hang on string for an autumnal take on bunting.
- Don’t spend extra on chair covers; instead just decorate them with off cuts of ribbon.
- Put cocktail sticks with names in pieces of fruit as place holders.
- Stack and glue your parents, or grandparents (if they have them) vintage tea cups and plates for an Alice in Wonderland inspired centrepiece.
- Fill a teapot with hand-picked flowers and place on a stack of books for a cool vintage look.
- Use vintage tea cups as tea light holders and place on tables for lovely soft lighting.
- Shape pipe cleaners into hearts or your initials to decorate wedding cupcakes.
- Even if you’re not super arty, why not trace around a picture of you kissing (side profile) and cut it out as an interesting cake topper
- Make an ice bucket, from ice! Fill a bucket with water, place a smaller bottle or bucket inside, and freeze! Remove the smaller section et voila! Add flowers or slices of fruit to add a touch of colour.
- Use corks from old wine bottles to fashion your initials...
- ...Or to make a pin board where your guests can put up their Polaroid photos from the night.
- Cut out or hole punch little hearts from books or magazines to throw as confetti or as table décor
- Glue crayons to a large canvas and use a hair dryer to melt them; this will result in a rainbow rain effect down the canvas and would be a cool backdrop for photographs.
- To decorate handwritten place cards, use some ink or poster paint and print a heart shape using both of your fingers.
- Fill empty jars or spirit bottles with LED fairy lights for illuminating table décor...
- Or with water coloured with food dye to match your colour scheme.
- Save up all the bunches of flowers your loved one gets you, dry out the petals and sew a string through them to make a flower garland ideal for a top table.
- Make a feature of parents, grand-parents and great-great-grandparent’s wedding photos by placing them on the head table.
- As an alternative to pom poms, make colourful yarn balloon decorations with the same paper maché technique you used as a kid! Then intertwine fairy lights into the twine for a lovely lighting effect.
- Search Pinterest for free downloadables like banners or cupcake toppers; there are hundreds so you’re sure to find something that fits your theme.
- Collect wild flowers for your bouquet and tie loosely with string.
- Use old buttons to make an alternative bouquet.
- Make your own garter with off cuts of lace or ribbon.
- Borrow a veil or wedding jewellery from a friend.
- Make your own floral crown with wild flowers; shape a crown out of green garden wire and then attach the flowers to it.
Guests and Favours
- Order a wedding cake of cupcakes, but have the cupcakes boxed and given to your guests as wedding favours as they leave your wedding.
- Use pages from books or magazines to make an origami rose or swan and use as favours.
Food and Entertainment
- Rather than spending lots hiring a photobooth for a few hours, set up your own using a kids play tent as a booth and your own iPad or digital camera.
- Borrow a cool car from a friend, use it for great photo opportunities — and getting to the church on time.
- Be brave and make your own wedding cake from scratch with ingredients from your cupboard; save money on butter cream and décor by making a ‘naked’ cake dusted with icing sugar and fresh fruit grown in your own garden.
- Be even braver and DON’T cater your wedding. Instead of presents, ask your family and friends to bring a picnic basket or platter of food for their table to share.
- Draw kids games like hop scotch in chalk on the patio as entertainment.