Royal wedding: Your budget tips


Prince William and his long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton are planning their wedding which is due to be held in spring or summer 2011.

BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said Buckingham Palace would be "very sensitive" to the economic climate when making its plans.

BBC News website readers from across the UK have been sending us their views on how to plan a lavish wedding on a budget.

Georgia Simpson, Wiveliscombe, UK

Image caption,
Georgia Simpson opted for 'low key fun' on her wedding day

We had a wonderful easy to organise wedding. We weren't aiming for a budget wedding, but we like simple low-key fun.

My husband and I got married in July 2009. We married in a beautiful listed reception office at St. Georges House in Tiverton, Devon that had a secret garden for photos at the back, stone mullion windows, oak panelled walls and flag stone floors.

Our friend did the photos for free. We borrowed a friend's old open top land rover as the wedding car between Tiverton and Dulverton, and sat in the back the whole way with no roof on. The bridesmaids' clothes came from high street stores.

I got most things from Ebay. My 60's vintage wedding dress came from France and cost me £36. It was made by a friend and mum, and her friends supplied salads and puddings to go with the hog roast.

The suit for my husband was a super one from the high street that he still wears for business now.

It was the most wonderful and relaxed day and not a penny over £2,700. I think Kate and William's wedding will be a slightly more grand affair than our magical wedding though.

Rebecca Smith, Reading, Berkshire

Image caption,
Rebecca Smith began her 'year of the wedding' in Berlin

Like Kate and William, we are getting married next year. When we thought about what we wanted from our wedding, other than to be married by the end of it, we realised that spending time with our family and friends was the most valuable thing.

So, rather than spend our budget on just one big day we have embarked on a 'year of the wedding' where we visit the ones we love and spend time doing something important to them.

So far this year we have been up in a four-man plane, learnt to ring church bells, driven a tractor, learnt to flower arrange, and had a photo shoot in Berlin, and filmed a trailer for a Spanish film, with lots more to come.

We are turning all our events into three-minute films, to share on our website - especially good for family and friends who live overseas.

OK, it's not a 'free' way to marry, but the real cost is our time, which we have enjoyed giving. Also, it's a better way to spend a year rather than worrying about a seating plan.

Suzanne Baird, Dundee, Scotland

Image caption,
Suzanne Baird bought flowers on wholesale

We got married in April 2010 at a local village hall and did almost everything ourselves. We bought flowers from a wholesales website and did all the arrangements and bouquets.

It was great buying the flowers wholesale. We made an extra bunch for throwing to the single ladies later on. We also brought in a caterer who did a three course meal for £12 a head.

We did all our own decorations. We hired all the chairs and chair covers ourselves and arranged them all in a way that we liked the night before the wedding.

For the signing of the register we hired all the linen ourselves and the vase of flowers was arranged by our niece.

The beautiful Wellbank Village Hall was set up for the wedding breakfast. Getting our family and our friends involved in all the preparations was the best thing.

Your comments

My second wedding was in church, with a smaller party held in our local cricket club, and food from our local landlord which was excellent. The whole thing cost less than £2,500. It doesn't have to cost the earth - it's the people who count. Sue Samwell, Leeds

Everybody we know and love got involved and made it a wonderful day. We managed to get married with about 40 guests in a civil ceremony and then a reception at a pub function room for 160 guests for about £1,800. Louise Gossage, West Midlands

My fiancé and I are marrying on a budget this summer and are blessed with friends all chipping in with their time and skills. We're growing flowers in pots for table centres rather than using cut flowers and we've booked a fish and chip van for the evening. Kim, Basingstoke, Hampshire

My partner and I had a very casual civil-partnership affair, consisting of a few sandwiches and cocktail sausages. The perfect understated declaration of our love. However, it is a royal wedding after all: a bit of good pomp and ceremony will lift the spirits of the nation. Big dresses, lots of bridesmaids and a huge celebration. Lucy and Ella Gardiner, Godalming

I have just returned from a honeymoon in America, where my husband and I got married by Elvis in Las Vegas for $199. It was a hoot and I would recommend it to anyone, even the royal couple. Melanie Norwood, Romford, Essex

We had a budget wedding. The whole thing cost about £600. The wedding dress was less than £100. The rings were about £150, the ceremony was in a registry office, and the reception was about £300. The usual competition of unlikely dresses and outrageous hats, which seems to define most weddings, didn't take place. Phil Rogers, Bournemouth

My husband and I had a budget wedding in the summer, as neither of us felt that it was necessary to go into debt for our big day. In the end, the wedding cost us about £4,000 in total. I bought my entire outfit new in New Zealand because the exchange rate was very favourable to pound sterling at that time and saved hundreds. Lucy, London

We had budgeted to the letter and had amazingly managed to get the final cost of everything to less than £1,500. We had used family rings and looked at second-hand dresses and suits. Instead of a whole bouquet I thought of carrying a single rose. Chloe, South Wales

We got married last year, and although things were tight we didn't opt for a budget wedding. We called in a few favours from our friends to keep costs down. What really mattered the most to me on that day was having him waiting at the end of the aisle for me. Claire Mahon, Tindale, Cumbria

We had a very small reception - only immediate family and a couple of friends. Then invited everyone to visit us during an "at home" weekend. It cost us a lot less and the bonus was that we actually got to talk to people properly which you never do at a big reception. Jacqueline Spalding, Newport, Isle of Wight

I was a guest at a thrifty wedding a few years ago. The couple had both been married before. The wedding was at a registry office followed by a walk to the reception. On the way the couple paused for photos, first by a burned out car, then outside a closed cake shop with a wedding cake in the window, for a photo of pretend "cutting the cake". Then it was the wedding breakfast of bangers and mash in a privately hired bar. The married couple left the reception on a public double decker bus, much to the amusement of fellow passengers. Nathan, London