Getting hitched is an expensive affair – and the cost of a big day only seems to be going up. An estimated 350,000 weddings are taking place this year, and couples spend an average of £32,000 on tying the knot.
But one budget bride has told how she managed to spend less than £4,000 on her big day by shunning expensive wedding traditions. Instead Holly McClave, 32, and husband Steve, 30, opted for what makes them happy when getting married on July 30, 2022. The newlyweds ditched the ‘fancy cars and food’ in favour of a taxi to the registerer in Liverpool, Merseyside, before a double decker bus picked them up and stopped off at a few of the couple’s favourite haunts.
Then they headed to a food market for their laid-back reception with just 32 guests and a buffet with fish and chips, burritos and a cupcake stand rather than a tiered wedding cake.
The couple walked down the aisle seven months after civil servant Steven got down on one knee on 27 December 2021.
Mum-of-two Holly from Preston, Lancs said: “We didn’t want anything traditional; we just wanted a chilled wedding with all the people we love.
“We stayed in apartments, so we did a wedding dress reveal before hopping into an Uber to St. George’s hall together.
“Liverpool Pride was on so the taxi couldn’t drop us straight outside, so we had to walk up the road which was funny in my dress.
“I didn’t have any bridesmaids and Steven didn’t have any groomsmen; we only had 19 guests at the ceremony.
“Our son Frank walked me down the aisle and handed the rings over.
“As soon as it was over, I took my pink heels off and put my Nike trainers on!”
After saying ‘I do’ the couple and guests went on a double decker bus which costs £280 for the day.
They stopped off at a couple murals for photos before heading to their reception.
She adds: “The bus was a great way to escort everyone to the venue.
“We were drinking Prosecco along the way; it was the perfect way to get the party started.
“We spent £3000 on a room hire at a food and drink market in Liverpool city centre.
“The price included food and three cupcake stands.
“We didn’t want a sit down meal with speeches so we just had an array of food like burritos and pizza.
“We had the best day of our lives and there was no stress.
“We just went with the flow – we even joined Liverpool Pride for a moment.”
The newlyweds were joined by more guests on the evening making it a wedding of 32.
In total, they spent £3,925 on their big day.
She adds: “We didn’t have a DJ, we just plugged our phone in and listened to a Spotify playlist.
“We partied until midnight and most of our guests said they’d love to have a laid back approach to their wedding too.
“Prior to getting married, other brides had told me their day went super fast because they spent most of it speaking to people.
“I remember every minute of mine as we didn’t have to do that. A wedding is about you and your partner, it shouldn’t be about pleasing everyone else.
“We didn’t need to spend thousands to have a good time.
“We haven’t got any regrets as it was a wonderful day.”
Dress – £120
Shoes – £30
Suit – £170
Venue – £3000
Flowers – £210
Stationary printing £115
Bus – £280
Total = £3,925