A cash savvy couple have revealed how they organised their glamorous wedding with 70 guests for just under £5,000 – paying £27,000 less than the average cost of a big day.

Jasmin, a 27 year-old primary school teacher, and Sam Kingdon, a 30 year-old firefighter husband from Whimple in Devon couldn’t spend much on their nuptials as they were also busy building their home.

Jasmin and Jasmin held their wedding reception in Jasmin’s parents’ garden. They also borrowed tables and chairs from a village hall and used mismatched crockery. Family members were also invited to help with the cake and invitations.

By ordering alcohol in bulk and asking guests to only pay cost price, the bar tab for the evening came to just £5, and the total spend for the dream party racking up to £4,888.  

And with the average wedding costing £31,974 in 2019, according to wedding website Hitched, their DIY efforts ahead of their wedding on 17 July 2021 saved them a small fortune.

Jasmin, 27, and her firefighter husband, Sam Kingdon, 30, of Whimple in Devon, spent only £5,000 on their dream wedding when they tied the knot in July, pictured

Jasmin, 27, and her firefighter husband, Sam Kingdon, 30, of Whimple in Devon, spent only £5,000 on their dream wedding when they tied the knot in July, pictured

The couple relied on DIY tricks to decorate. They grew their own flowers, pictured, in their garden

They used DIY techniques to decorate their home. The couple grew their flowers from their garden. 

Jasmin said: ‘We spent around £5,000 on our wedding overall.

Total wedding costs for Sam and Jasmin 

Wedding dress – £1,000

Church: Free 

Sam’s suit – £400

Bridesmaid dresses – £120

Food – £1,400

Band, speaker system and photographer – £1220

Jasmin’s bouquet and Sam’s buttonhole flowers – £50

Bar – £5

Invitations – £50

Outdoor games – £30

Save the dates – £30

Decorations – £30

Favours £12

Total: £4,888 


“We were building a house simultaneously, so we knew we wanted to do a DIY wedding. But, we also had to focus on getting the house built.

“It worked out brilliantly. It worked out great, even though we had to move our August 2020 date to July 2020 because of Covid. This allowed us to finish the house just before we tied to the knot.

Meeting through a mutual friend in January 2016, when they lived in Exeter, Sam popped the question to Jasmin in July 4 2019 – though he accidentally revealed his  surprise before it had even begun.

Jasmin laughed, “We were at a campground on a breakaway.”

‘He’d seen an old friend at the shop and was telling me about it, and then he let slip that he had told the friend he was planning to propose.’

Despite Sam’s misstep, Jasmin agreed and they moved to Devon to build their dream home. They also planned their big day with close friends in Buttlerleigh.

Jasmin explained that they were building their own home, so they had a limited wedding budget. However, they wanted to do a DIY vintage-style wedding.

‘My parents used to live in this small village, Templeton, that is nine miles from Buttlerleigh, and there’s this beautiful church there we really wanted to get married in.’

The couple chose the church and thought that the perfect venue for their wedding reception would be a barn in Jasmin’s parents’ garden. Luckily, Jane Watson, 55, and Richard Watson, 56, agreed.

Laura said, “It was a given that we couldn’t afford to have a venue.”

“So Mum and Dad said that we should have it at our house and it just continued from there.”

Soon, the couple was planning their cut price celebration.

The reception took place at Jasmin's parents, and the chairs and tables were borrowed from the local town hall

Jasmin’s parents hosted the reception. The tables and chairs were borrowed from the local townhall. 

Sam made all the lawn games for the wedding himself to entertain him and Jasmin's guests, pictured

Sam made all the lawn games at the wedding for Jasmin and himself.

The couple's confetti, pictured, was made of dried flowers that took two months to create ahead of the festivities

The couple’s confetti, shown in the photo, was made from dried flowers that took two weeks to create before the festivities. 

Jasmin said, “We grew wildflowers in the bottom of our garden.”

“We planted seeds in February at our new house’s bottom garden and they just blossomed.

“We wanted a vintage theme like party games or a coconut shy, so Sam made all the decorations out of leftover wood from building our house.

The decorations were made by the couple and their families.

Jasmin shared that they had collected a lot jam jars and borrowed all the tables, chairs and tables from the village hall.

Sam and Jasmin paid £1,220 for a speaker system for their party and a photographer to immortlise their big day, pictured

Sam and Jasmin paid £1,220 for a speaker system for their party and a photographer to immortlise their big day, pictured 

The couple were helped by their loved ones in decorating the barn where the dinner and reception took place, pictured

The couple was assisted by their loved ones to decorate the barn where the dinner and the reception took place.

“Sam’s mum bought lots of mismatched vintage china from auctions. She also made the cake with me, since we had cupcakes.

Sam made the confetti over two months, picking the petals from the pink, red, and yellow roses patiently and drying them in their kitchen.

They also discovered many other ways to save.

Jasmin stated that they saved money by hiring a wedding photographer for half the day. She returned home after we had finished eating and was able to save some money.

Jasmin explained her mother paid for the mismatched sets of crockery needed to sit all the guests

Jasmin explained to Jasmin that her mother paid for the mismatched crockery required to seat all the guests 

The food for the wedding cost £1,400, and Sam and Jasmin borrowed the glasses, but broke some, and had to pay £50

The food for the wedding cost £1,400, and Sam and Jasmin borrowed the glasses, but broke some, and had to pay £50

Sam used left over wood from the house building project the couple did in parallel to planning the wedding to make lawn games

Sam used the left-over wood from the couple’s house building project to make lawn games.

“We used a yellow 1972 Volkswagen camper van from Jill and David Kingdon for the wedding transport.

“We were extremely fortunate because our friends and families were so helpful. A friend even lent us an Ice Cream Freezer at a school so we could have icecreams in the evening.

‘My sister did all the invitations and save the dates for us as she’s really artistic. So we only had to spend money on the printing which cost about £50.

“She also made all the signs for weddings, telling people where they should go, what order to follow, and how to get to the bar.

There were however some costs that couldn’t be avoided.

The happy couple, pictured, wanted to save as much money as possible so they'd have enough money left over for their house work

The happy couple (pictured) wanted to save as much as possible so that they could afford their house renovations.

Jasmin and Sam, pictured, only hired the wedding photographer for half a day in order to pay a lesser fee

Jasmin & Sam, pictured, hired the wedding photographer only for half a working day in order to pay less.

Jasmin stated that there were still large-ticket items that had to be paid for, such as the band, wedding dress and suits, and caterer, and church hire.

Her dress, she said, cost £1,000, Sam’s suit was £400, food for all the guests came in at £1,400, while the band, speaker system and photographer accounted for another £1,220.

Other small amounts, including £50 for buttonhole flowers and £120 for bridesmaid dresses, made up the rest of the spend.

But she said, “We saved a lot by doing a lot ourselves.”

The groom-to-be and the bride enjoyed having something to distract from the three-year-old construction of their semi-detached three-bedroom house.

Jasmin said, “It was nice having something else to concentrate on.”

Sam's parents, Jill and David Kingdon, have a yellow 1972 Volkswagen camper van, pictured, that the couple used as their wedding transport

Sam’s parents Jill Kingdon and David Kingdon own a yellow 1972 Volkswagen campervan, which the couple used for their wedding transport. 

The couple started building their home from scratch three years ago, pictured, and wanted to sqave money in order to finish it

The couple built their home from scratch three year ago. They wanted to save money to finish it. 

Jasmin's sister made all the wedding signs, pictured, as well as the invitations for the big day, which cost only £50 to print

Jasmin’s sister made all the wedding signs, pictured, as well as the invitations for the big day, which cost only £50 to print

In April 2021, the couple moved into their new house and three months later they tied the knot in a private ceremony in church in front of 70 family and friends at St Margaret’s Church in Templeton.

Jasmin said, “It was the perfect day.”

“There were still lockdown restrictions in place in July, so we could only have 30 family members and friends in the church.

“So our friends sat on the grass outside the church with picnic blankets and wine. We hired a sound system to ensure they could hear everything.

“I think they had more fun than us because they could laugh, chat and have fun.

“The reception at the family home was fantastic. We had a great day and everything came together.

Jasmin is even happy that her wedding was delayed due to the pandemic.

She stated, “It was all for the best that we didn’t get married in 2020, because we wouldn’t have been moved into our house.”

“We moved in around Easter this year. It meant that we could focus for three months on the wedding.

“It was a lot more work than I expected, but it was totally worth it.

But the biggest money-saving achievement for Jasmin and Sam was their wedding reception bar, that – including alcohol – only cost them £5.

‘I’m so proud of the bar,’ said Sam.

The couple moved into their new home once it was finished in April 2021

Pictured: Jasmin working on the house. The construction started three years ago

Sam and Jasmin have been busy building their house from scratch, while they plan the wedding.

The couple bought the drinks, but then asked their guests for donations in order to pay back the costs

The couple purchased the drinks but asked their guests to donate to help pay the cost. 

Pictured: Jasmin and Sam's house while it was still being built. The couple met in 2016 and got engaged in 2019

Pictured: Sam & Jasmin’s house, as it was still being constructed. The couple met in 2016, and they got engaged in 2019.

Pictured: Sam working on the house. Jasmin it was for the best that the couple didn't get married in 2020 because they wouldn't have been able to move into their home by then

Pictured: Sam working at the house. Jasmin, it was for the best that they didn’t get married in 2020. They wouldn’t be able to move into their home then.

“I went to Majestic Wine Store and explained that I was stocking a Bar for my Wedding.

‘They told me that I could return any bottles that were unopened, so I could over-order and then return what wasn’t used with a full refund and they lend you the glasses for free – I just had to cover any breakages.

“So I bought a lot more alcohol and we hired some family friends to serve as bar staff. We put a donation pot on the bar, so our guests just paid for the alcohol cost, like £1.60 for a beer – obviously we didn’t want to make a profit we just wanted to break even.

“I think that after taking the open alcohol back, we were under by a fiver.

Sam and Jasmin together in the foundation of their home three years ago. Construction ended in April and the couple got three months to focus on the wedding only

Three years ago, Sam and Jasmin were together at the foundation of their home. The construction ended in April, and the couple had three months to plan for the wedding. 

The happy couple while working on their house. They got their wedding glassware for free, but had to cover any breakage

While working on their house, the happy couple. The couple received their wedding glassware free of charge, but they had to pay for any damage. 

Sam said: 'We were really lucky that we were able to save on some big costs like the venue and bar. I know other people getting married who haven’t had the same options and it's been so expensive

Sam said, “We were really blessed that we were in a position to save on large costs such as the venue and the bar. I know other people getting married who haven’t had the same options and it’s been so expensive 

But, there was a last-minute problem.

Sam explained: ‘The only issue is, when I was returning the glasses to the store, a whole box fell out the boot of the car so I had to pay £15 to cover that.

“I was so careful all the way, but then right at the last they just smashed on to the floor!”

After enjoying a five-day minimoon in Cornwall, the couple are now looking for their next big venture.

Sam stated, “We were really fortunate that we were able save on some large costs like the venue or bar. I know other people getting married who haven’t had the same options and it’s been so expensive.

“It was a perfect day and we were so fortunate with the weather.