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Chilham Bridal Bride Amy’s Beautiful Budget Wedding Dress from Chilham Bridal

Chilham Bridal Bride Amy’s Beautiful Budget Wedding

Find out how this creative bride curated an irresistibly-Instagrammable wedding with a limited budget…

Shortly after meeting at university, Chilham Bridal bride Amy and her then-boyfriend Charlie knew it was only a matter of time before they’d tie the knot.

Bride and groom at their budget wedding ceremony

It’s no secret that weddings are an expensive event, and more and more brides are having budget weddings. Our lovely couple were working within a tight wedding budget and were on the lookout for the most economical options at every step of their wedding planning.

Utilising talented friends and family, and seeking affordable alternatives wherever possible, Amy found her dream dress from Chilham Bridal’s range of affordable wedding dresses.

Budget wedding photography for outdoor wedding in Kent

We caught up with Amy after her laidback outdoor wedding to find out how this bride managed to curate such a Pinterest-worthy day on a tight wedding budget.

How did you choose your wedding dress?

I knew what wedding dress style I wanted: something fairly simple, made out of floaty light fabric and have a bohemian feel, and I found the perfect one at Chilham Bridal. The wedding dress I chose was Essence of Australia, it had a gorgeous sheer and lace back and was from Carly’s pre-loved range. I tried it on, fell in love and decided to just go for it.

Budget wedding dress from Chilham Bridal in Kent

My wedding dress shopping experience was so stress-free because I went for that first one that I loved. I had it altered slightly as I wanted a shorter train, but otherwise, it was a really good fit.

I felt beautiful on the day. It was pretty and delicate but also had a split in the side, which made it feel elegant and sexy.

If you’re looking for a magical shopping experience and a designer gown for the price of a budget wedding dress, check out our favourite affordable designer wedding dresses.

What accessories did you choose?

I wore a flower crown by Artisan Dried Flowers on my wedding day. A friend found the website and I absolutely fell in love. I’ve always loved flowers and couldn’t think of a better accessory.

Bride wearing flower crown and walking down the aisle at her budget wedding in Kent

I also wore a set of sapphire centred, flower earrings that belonged to my Nan before she died. The earrings matched perfectly with my engagement ring, which has a central sapphire stone.

I decided I didn’t want the classic white shoe to match the dress, so I opted for a pair of brown leather wedges. So comfy and I love getting to still wear them! I also felt it really went with our laidback, outside vibe.

Check out our wedding dress accessory guide for the low-down on bridal accessory trends.

Tell us about your experience shopping at Chilham Bridal

I feel like wedding dress shopping has a lot of expectation attached to it, so I was pretty nervous, but boutique owner Carly really put me at ease.

I loved the intimate, cosy atmosphere of the boutique. Chilham Bridal was exactly what I needed as the appointments are private and I was able to go at my own pace. Carly has also created a beautiful aesthetic in the boutique which really added to the experience.

It turned out to be the only wedding dress appointment I needed! I had a clear idea of the dress I wanted going in and I found the perfect fit.

Bohemian wedding dress at Kent wedding in Chilham

Carly encouraged me to try on a few wedding dresses that were outside of my original vision which I really appreciated. The comparison helped me feel more secure in my final dress decision. Overall, I would recommend Chilham Bridal to anyone!

Bride wearing bohemian pre-loved wedding dress from Chilham Bridal in Kent

If you’re planning a budget wedding, you don’t want to miss out on our affordable ex-sample and pre-loved dresses. Book an appointment at Chilham Bridal – we’d love to be part of your wedding!

How did you go about choosing your venue?

I wanted a venue that would fit with our laidback, outdoorsy theme and Chilham Village Hall was perfect. It helped make our wedding affordable while still being so beautiful. The little decoration we used made the hall pop but didn’t take away from the rustic vibe.

Bride and groom kissing at the alter at outdoor wedding

As there was a field attached to the hall, we were able to have our ceremony outside under the trees, which was the dream! We had hay bales for guests to sit on, sunflowers lining the aisle and a couple of friends playing acoustic music for the songs in our ceremony. It couldn’t have felt more perfect.

Outdoor wedding ceremony at relaxed wedding in Kent

You’d never guess Chilham Village Hall was a budget wedding venue! Check out more wedding venues in Kent here.

Your wedding photography is stunning, who shot these?

That’s a funny story actually!

Our photographer, James Richard Photography, was a friend of a friend who was running a competition for a free engagement shoot. He was asking for fun, adventurous, newly engaged couples to try out some new spots.

Bride and groom getting married in their outdoor wedding ceremony in Kent

We felt we fit that description and clearly so did he! We loved our engagement shoot with him; he put both of our camera-shy selves at ease and encouraged spontaneous, candid photos.

Wedding photography by James Richard Photography

As we were planning a budget wedding, we didn’t think we’d be able to afford him for the wedding, but he offered us a great deal. James was professional, talented and blended seamlessly into our wedding day.

Looking for a photographer? We’ve rounded up the best wedding photographers in Kent.

Where did you get your hair and makeup done?

I have a lot of talented friends who I decided to make full use of. One of my bridesmaids did my hair and another friend did my makeup for me. I think I would have gone for this option even if we weren’t having a budget wedding. I loved how relaxed and intimate it made the wedding morning feel.

Bridesmaids wearing blush wedding dresses at outdoor wedding in Kent

How did you choose your flowers?

While planning, we made a list of our top three priorities for the wedding and flowers made the cut. I love flowers! My favourite vibe is unpolished, wild flowers. So, when my friend found Blooming Green Flowers, who let you ‘pick your own’, I was sold.

Myself, two of my bridesmaids and my Mum got to wander a field of flowers, picking the colours and types we like the best. It was much-needed rest in the midst of last-minute wedding stress. We then arranged our picks in mason jars, which we’d decorated earlier that week.

Sunflowers say on hay bails that lined the aisle at this budget outdoor wedding in Kent

What food did you provide for your guests?

Charlie’s priority on our list was food; he wanted good food, so he was in charge of finding it. Charlie opted for a hog roast with a few different salad options – all of which were incredible!  

We worked with Kitchen of Kent, who were great. The tasting they hosted for us was amazing and we got to chat through our day with the caterer which really helped us better structure it.

Our caters also provided us with staff for our bar and bamboo plates and cutlery that fitted our vibe (and were more environmentally friendly and prettier than paper plates!).

Tell us about your cake

Along with talented friends, I also have a talented family! My brother is an excellent baker and I knew he’d understand my vision for the cake, so I asked him if he’d make it.

I love the naked cake trend, I felt it went really well with the rustic vibe we wanted to achieve. Charlie’s favourite flavour is Victoria sponge, so that’s what James made. He covered it in flowers and fruit and surrounded it with cupcakes – it was beautiful and tasted amazing!

Homemade naked wedding cake surrounded by cupcakes

Where did your partner get their outfit? 

I asked Charlie this question, knowing there was only a slim chance he’d remember – he didn’t.

Groom waiting for bride at the alter

After further research, we remembered his suit was from Red Herring at Debenhams. We bought a fairly inexpensive suit and then had it tailored so it fit him really well. A good tip if you’re having a budget wedding and want a well-fitted suit!

Groomsmen picking up the groom, who's wearing a fitted suit from Debenhams

Tell us about your bridesmaids

I had five bridesmaids: my sister and four friends. I really loved other wedding pictures I’d seen with bridesmaids in different dresses of the same colour palette. So that’s what we went for. It was also really important to me that each of my beautifully unique bridesmaids felt comfortable and beautiful for the day!

Groom and his new bride surrounded by bridesmaids wearing blush pink bridesmaid dresses

So, we decided that they would each pick whatever style dress they felt best in. Each style of dress was a peachy, pink colour and that was enough unity for me! They all looked gorgeous.

What transport did you have and why?

Fancy transport wasn’t a massive priority for Charlie and I just used family and friend’s cars to get to and from the ceremony. I loved getting to be in the car with just my parents on the way to the wedding and being driven to our home by my husband for the first time at the end of the night was a lovely added bonus.

Where did you get your budget wedding stationery?

I love DIY, so we made our stationery. I’d seen this wedding invite tutorial on YouTube that I fell in love with it. They were also super simple; just watercolour paint, paper and a printer! Then we finished them off with twine and a sprig of lavender. Painting all of the invites made for a fun date for Charlie and me too. (Though we did have some helpers too).

What entertainment did you have for your guests?

Following our outside ceremony, we had a table of Pimms, a game that Charlie had borrowed from work and plenty of hay bales for people to sit on and chat.

After food, we had a Spotify playlist set up so we could dance the night away. We asked people to RSVP to our invites with one song guaranteed to get them on the dance floor, so our playlist was made up of that. This worked great for our budget wedding and our guests were able to queue songs that they wanted! Win, win.

Wedding guests gathered for a photo at outdoor wedding ceremony

Thanks to my dad, we also had a very plentiful open bar – which I think a lot of our guests really appreciated. Oh, and we had a dessert station, which to me definitely counts as entertainment. We were lucky with the weather, so guests were able to chat and mingle outside throughout the evening.

What was the most memorable moment of your big day? 

One of my bridesmaids is an excellent public speaker so I’d asked if she wanted to do a speech at the wedding. Without me knowing she’d asked my other four bridesmaids if they wanted to join her!

On the day, my bridesmaids all stood alongside her and gave Charlie some tips when we live together. It made me laugh, tear up and feel so loved. 

Finally, what advice do you have for brides who are planning their weddings now? 

Remember this is a day that belongs to you and your partner and that it’s a celebration of you two uniting. Let it reflect your beautiful partnership, no matter how unique or non-conforming it might look.

Bride and groom kiss at their wedding day in Kent

Want to have the ceremony outside? Want to carry a puppy down the aisle instead of a bouquet? (I really wanted to do this). Want to have a small intimate celebration, or invite 500 guests? Do it! This is your day, and it will be beautiful no matter what… especially beautiful if there are puppies involved.

Bridal party posing for a photo

Get more wedding inspiration from Chilham Bridal bride Justina, who looked equally stunning in her designer budget wedding dress.

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