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  • Writer's pictureAJay

Badass Brides and Budget Secrets

Updated: Feb 22, 2021

As your friendly neighbourhood wedding photographer, I'm seeing allot of couples feeling deflated lately. Covid and government restrictions have imposed a dull cloud on what should be the happiest day of your life. So I decided to take to the beautiful streets of Lichfield to show you just how G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S an intimate covid secure wedding could be!

However... our styled shoot revealed an unexpected angle- we ended up discovering JUST how ambitious you could get when planning a wedding against the clock on a super strict budget. I am so confident in how well we pulled off this budget shoot, that I ran a competition for a FREE engagement shoot to the couple who guessed the closest total cost of: hair & make-up, flowers, rings, veils and dresses.

The competition brought a whopping 1678 entries! With guesses ranging from £0 to £4000! Before I reveal the answer and the winner, I want to share with you how we created this stunning 'elven princess marries biker bride' covid-distanced-budget-bridal shoot in just one day!

(Paige poses socially distant from her Nan - covid can't take away that beaming smile!)


First of all I would like to say that while this blog post is written with the hopes of helping couples who want to get married who simply may not have the funds to indulge in all the trimmings, that I by no means intend to devalue the hard work of wedding industry suppliers. Their expertise and passion to support your wedding journey is priceless! #supportlocalbusinesses

1. Getting ready

In short, why not do it yourself! Nobody knows your face and your look better than, well - you! You know how you feel comfortable so crack open the make-up box and paint your face gurrl!

An especially sweet moment here: my bride to be doing her bride's make-up for her. If you're not super confident with an eye brow palette why not ask a savvy friend to help out? Or try that youtube tutorial you've been wanting an excuse to watch! It's also a great way to bond and get some down time together before the main event.

Total cost: £0

2. Location

Can't afford a big fancy venue? No problem! chances are there is a VERY picturesque park, grounds or free entry heritage site nearby that will do just nicely thank you very much! Take Lichfield Cathedral for example, it's a popular local tourist attraction and the cathedral itself and the park nearby are free to visit and will make for stunning photos for your Mum's mantle.

Total cost: £0

3. Dresses

One word: Ebay! (And other preloved selling sites including but not limited to Schpock, facebook market place and gumtree) there's no shame in it!

Our elven princess found this elegant lace mermaid wedding dress on facebook marketplace for just £15! (Hint: try searching for 'white dress' as well as wedding dress! You'll be shocked at what comes up!)

The second is a lovely handmade t-length tulle skirt wedding dress discovered on Schpock! It was sold by a bride who had purchased no less than 30 dresses because she kept changing her mind about what she wanted and needed to sell them on. We got this gorgeous garment for just £40.

Total Cost: £55

4. Veils

Ebaaaaaay!!! Again. No seriously - these lovely veils were just the ticket for our sunny outdoor wedding shoot. Our elven princess is sporting a cathedral length veil in pure white organza. The trick with organza is to press it and let it hang the day before to get rid of any creases than can cheapen the look of your pictures. Hey presto - a £2.89 veil makes you look a million bucks!

Our biker bride is sporting a shorter veil embellished with matching applique to her dress! We found this veil on Ebay by chance for a minimal £2.49! (Tip: Ensure that when you are buying dresses and accessories from different places that you purchase the same colour! You'd be surprised at how many different shades of white there are...)

Total Cost: £5.38

5. Rings

People really come together at weddings. 2020 has really shown people what matters and how to come through for each other, and these rings are a perfect example of that kinship and camaraderie.

Our elven princess is a well known and well liked member of the Birmingham bartending scene. When her fellow bartenders found out about the wedding, we were enamoured by their enthusiasm to help. Donated by a friend, these bands were just the thing for a bartender and her biker bride.

What's especially cool about this wedding bands is that they are personal to the couple; you may recognise these bands as the ones that can be found crowning every bottle of monkey 47 gin!

Total Cost: £0

6. Flowers

Perhaps my favourite budget secret is our floral find! Would you believe these bouquets were put together the night before with some supermarket sprigs?! That's right! Morrison's to be exact. Our elven princess features the 'Diva' Bouquet priced at £8 pre-arranged, while our biker bride yields a mix of begonias, carnations and gypsophila totalling £7!

Now, one thing to be wary of is that these bouquets in no way compare to a professional wedding florists work. We lost a fair few flower heads by the end of the shoot and they definitely started to look a little worse for wear. However! This post is all about what you can do if you're on a strict DIY agenda - and i'm sure you'll agree they look just lovely! (Tip: handle with care!)

Total Cost: £15

7. Personal Touches

A fantastic way to embellish your day and make it truly YOURS is to add some 'personal touches' - i.e. invade your wardrobe and see what you already have. Our biker bride added her favourite leather studded biker jacket for a badass touch while our elven princess added some costume jewellery she had collected through years of cosplay and birthday presents! Conclusion? You don't need to buy all new stuff to make your wedding day look great and feel more 'you'.

Total Cost: £0

So first of all - thank you for reading.

Just in case you math wizards out there haven't already figured out our total yet...


Total Cost: £75.38

There is is in black and white (well... blue). Anybody can get married no matter how much you have to spend.

This means our winner is Margaret Heather with a guess of £90! Margaret congratulations, you have won a FREE engagement shoot! Please get in touch to arrange your session.

For the rest of you, I hope you've enjoyed these tips tricks and secrets - I'd love to hear your ideas too! Leave a comment if you'd like to share.

If you didn't win but are interested in an engagement shoot I'd love to hear from you! Engagement Shoots are one hour sessions priced at £50 including all photos, high resolution and professionally edited by yours truly and bookable here:

Toodles! xoxo


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