10 Cost-Free Wedding Ideas We Love

Make your wedding budget stretch that little bit further

Many couples have become more diligent about keeping their wedding budget down and we're only too happy to help you achieve an amazing day, that delivers bang for your buck! We've already shared some of our top tips to curb last minute wedding spending, as well as the wedding non-essentials that you can cut right now, so today we're sharing 10 cost-free wedding ideas we love, showing that not everything has to be new or bought for your big day. Many of these ideas are completely cost-free (or very low cost), so your bank balance will seriously thank you for including at least one or two of them in your day.

Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers | One Fab Day
Photo by Benjamin and Elise via One Fab Day

1. Grow Your Own

While we'll always be cautious about advising you to make your own bouquets, when it comes to smaller arrangements dotted around your wedding, GIY (that's grow it yourself!) is a great option. If you have plenty of time before your big day you could consider planting your own seeds and bulbs that will yield beautiful cut flowers come spring and summer. If you don't have much of a gift for gardening, consider asking a green-fingered family member or friend if they'll help. Gather jam jars and other recycled vessels to line your reception tables with, and your guests will be blown away with your homegrown beauties!

DIY Wedding Cake Topper | One Fab Day
DIY via One Fab Day

2. Printables

We're massive stationery addicts at One Fab Day but for super cheap and easy décor and stationery items look to printables. Our own free Fingerprint Tree is a great guest book alternative and our Best Day Ever cake topper printable is a fun DIY project. You can find a wealth of gorgeous Be My Bridesmaid cards, table plans, labels, signage, wedding bingo and table numbers all online.

DIY Dried Flowers Decor | One Fab Day
Photo by This Modern Love via One Fab Day

3. Dried Flowers

Dried flowers are ever popular, and for all the right reasons. Not only are they pretty but they're also a fantastic sustainable wedding flower option, which we love. Collect, harvest and dry bloomed flowers from your garden or someone else's for bouquets, decor items and even stationery. Dried flowers are also perfect for making dried flower confetti. This is another great idea if you’re hosting an eco-friendly wedding, since it’ll biodegrade in no time!

DIY Wedding Playlist | One Fab Day
Photo by Honey and the Moon Photography via One Fab Day

4. Playlists

While live wedding music or a professional DJ will always be the preferred option, we know some tighter budgets and smaller weddings simply don't allow for it. Create a Spotify playlist on a use a reliable laptop or phone that features a few hours’ worth of your favourite floor-fillers, and enlist a friend or family member to help set it up. Choosing your own songs is a great way to personalise your entire experience - we've got lots of playlist ideas to get you started.

Something Borrowed veil | One Fab Day
Photo by Mark Bothwell via One Fab Day

5. Something Borrowed (or Something Old!)

Don't be afraid to use the old Something Borrowed card! Tonnes of items can be borrowed rather than bought. For your wedding wardrobe, you can borrow items such as veils, jewellery, clutches, stoles, cover ups and even wedding dress underskirts. For the groom, cufflinks, pocket-watches, ties and braces are all items that can easily be borrowed from family or friends. It’ll add a lovely touch to your wedding day get-up, and will save you money! We've also seen sentimental items such as ring pillows, cake knives and cake stands, getting ready gowns and all being part of a couples 'something borrowed' or 'something old'. Cars are also a great option to borrow for the day!

DIY Wedding Decor | One Fab Day
Photo by Benjamin and Elise via One Fab Day

6. Donated & DIY Decor

Put a call out to married friends for any decor items you might need. They might be only too glad to get rid of 20 wooden table numbers, yards of bunting or 100 votives! You can also consider buying used centrepieces and decor. Recent brides often sell (or give away for free!) their wedding decor on sites that offer online classifieds or community-based marketplaces - and you can save a tonne of money going that route. And don't forget to recycle and reuse! We still love the humble jam-jar as a vessel for freshly picked blooms, wine bottles as candle holders and palettes as table plans.

Photo by Foto Memories Photography via One Fab Day

7. A Thoughtful Wedding Favour Alternative

Wedding favours are usually one of the first things to get cut from the wedding when working to a budget, but if you’ve still got your heart set on giving wedding favours to your guests why not leave handwritten thank you notes at your guests’ seats? A truly thoughtful gesture no-one will want to leave behind!

Free Be My Bridesmaid Card from One Fab Day
Free printable from One Fab Day

8. DIY Your Bridal Party Gifts

Instead of buying gifts they may not even want or enjoy, consider making them something special for little or nothing? Not the crafty type? Consider writing them an extra special heart-felt note to say thanks instead. If you still want something special to thank them for helping out on the big day you could always take them out for a bridal party reunion dinner after six months or a year. This is a great way to catch up and reminisce about the day, plus your bank balance will have had time to replenish by then!

Photo by HBA Photography via One Fab Day

9. Snap Happy!

Instead of a photo-booth, get guests to take fun photos of themselves, post them on Instagram and tag it with your very own wedding hashtag. Chances are, your guests are going to get some amazing snaps of your big day, too! You can also set up a private Facebook gallery or Dropbox folder to share with family and friends, they can then share any snaps you might otherwise miss on social. Why not stream the photos to a live feed on your venues screens? You'll need to rope in the venue and tech-y pal to do this but it's bound to get some giggles - get our tips for making a DIY photobooth.

DIY Dessert Table | One Fab Day
Photo by This Modern Love via One Fab Day

10. DIY Your Dessert Table (with a little help!)

We're big fans of a DIY dessert table! If your mother-in-law knows how to make an amazing Victoria Sponge or your bestie makes the best brownies in town, ask them to make them for your wedding. Asking a friend or relative with excellent baking skills to bake your wedding cake can help them feel as though they've participated in the big event, and also shows them that you trust and respect their culinary skills.

The easiest way to do this is to add a small paragraph on your wedding invitations or wedding website asking guests to bake something for your day. Let them know it's not expected, it's just if they'd like to bring something along. It's a good idea to have a few confirmed bakers though, so you're not left with an empty cake table on the day!

Tying the knot? Check out even more wedding planning tips here!

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