According to our latest 21st Century Bride Survey, the average UK wedding budget is now £27,0000. It’s easy to forget your budget constraints completely when you are in the process of making your dream wedding a reality so to help you make the most of your money we have come up with 50 entirely free wedding ideas.
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?
READ MORE: The 13 Step Guide to Wedding Planning
Be inspired by our top 50 free wedding ideas below:
Free Ideas for Your Reception Décor
1. 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.
2. Empty out wine bottles for floral centrepieces and tie with a string hessian bow.
3. 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.
4. Use stacks of your favourite books as stylish centrepieces.
5. Collect pieces of flattened wood, nail together and paint to create rustic wedding signs such as ‘reception this way’ or ‘wedding party’.
6. Carve your initials into a piece of wood for rustic top table décor.
7. Create centrepieces with old wine bottles; melt tapered candles into the neck and let the wax drip down.
8. Tear out pages from romantic books and stick them together to create a table runner…
9. ...Or use photos of the couple and guests together.
10. Paint wooden wash pegs, hang a string line across the reception area and pin up photographs of the couple as an alternative to bunting.
11. Find shells from the beach and write the names of your guests on them with a Sharpie or use them as placecard holders.
12. Place cute tea lights in jars, which you could also hang from trees for outdoor weddings.
13. Sometimes members of the hitched ‘for sale’ forum give products from their recent weddings away for free. Keep your eyes peeled!
14. Use your favourite photo as a cake topper (maybe combine with a free printable frame to tie in with your theme).
15. Cut your initials out on glitter card to create your own personalised cake topper.
16. Create pom poms out of colourful tissue paper to hang form te ceiling.
17. You could make mini pom poms and stack them in a clear vase as a centrepiece.
18. Decorate your tables with rustic branches, which could be covered in fake snow for a wintry touch.
19. Save your wine bottles and spray them gold to use as table decor.
20. Collect acorns and pine cones and hang on string for an autumnal take on bunting.
21. Don’t spend extra on chair covers; instead just decorate them with off cuts of ribbon.
22. Stack and glue vintage tea cups and plates for an Alice in Wonderland inspired centrepiece.
23. Fill a teapot with hand-picked flowers for a fun centrepiece.
24. Find flat pebbles from the beach and write your guests’ names on them as placecards.
25. Use vintage tea cups as tea light holders and place on tables for lovely soft lighting.
26. Shape pipe cleaners into hearts or your initials to decorate wedding cupcakes.
27. Use corks from old wine bottles to fashion your initials on a board.
28. Cut log slices to use as placecards or cake toppers.
29. Cutout or hole punch little hearts from books or magazines to throw as confetti or as table décor.
30. To decorate handwritten place cards, use some ink or poster paint and print a heart shape using both of your fingers.
31. Use saved wine bottle corks as placecard holders.
32. Download and print the FREE wedding table games featured on hitched.
33. Fill empty jars or spirit bottles with LED fairy lights for illuminating table décor.
34. Create your own homemade wedding favours - such as your very own jam.
35. 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.
36. Make a feature of parents, grand-parents and great-great-grandparent’s wedding photos by placing them on the head table or your guest book table.
37. As an alternative to pom poms, make colourful balloon decorations with the same paper maché technique you used as a child!
38. Search Pinterest for free downloadables like banners or cupcake toppers; there are hundreds so you’re sure to find something that fits your theme.
Free Ideas for Your Bridal Outfit
39. Collect wild flowers for your bouquet and tie loosely with string.
40. Use old buttons to make an alternative bouquet.
41. Make your own garter with off cuts of lace from your dress.
42. Borrow a veil or wedding jewellery from a friend and it can double up as your something borrowed.
43. Make your own floral crown with wild flowers; shape a crown out of green garden wire and then attach the flowers to it.
Free Ideas for Your Wedding Favours
44. Order a wedding cake of cupcakes, but have the cupcakes boxed and given to your guests as wedding favours as they leave your wedding.
45. Print out photos of you and each guest - they can be used as place cards and wedding favours.
Free Food and Entertainment Ideas
46. Set up your own photo booth using a child’s play tent as a booth and your own iPad or camera.
47. Borrow a stylish car from a friend - it will be great for photo opportunities.
48. Be brave and make your own wedding cake from scratch with ingredients from your cupboard. You can also save money on butter cream and décor by making a ‘naked’ cake dusted with icing sugar and fresh fruit grown in your own garden.
49. Be even braver and don't cater for your wedding, instead of gifts, ask your family and friends to bring a dish of food.
50. Draw kids games like hop scotch in chalk on the patio as entertainment.
If you're looking for other ways to boost your budget then take a look at some of our favourite wedding favours for £1 or less.