Calling in the Favours: Handmade and Second Hand Wedding Escapades

Today our lovely Blogging Bride, Sophie is back with tales of calling in favours and how handmade and second hand is helping to create a cost effective yet fabulous Wedding look.

Sophie has previously shared with us an introduction to her and fiance Jon and also her search for the Wedding Venue, the Wedding Band and the Wedding Car.


bride journal



Sophie says of the latest step on the journey to being wed…


“From the moment we got engaged, we made a pact that our wedding would be a budget conscious one.”

“We sat down and went through the rough cost needed for every element of the day, from the dress to the décor and then worked backwards to gauge how much we would need to be saving each month to achieve our budget goal.”

“So far, we’ve managed to beat the estimated cost of everything we’ve booked – the venue hire came in lower than expected, we shaved off 60% off the budget we’d allocated for the band and the car hire budget became obsolete by securing the lend of an old Triumph owned by a friend who asked for his payment in the form of a beer!”

“Of course, I know it’s not always going to be like this and the hidden costs will soon start to emerge.”

“For that reason we’re opting for handmade and second hand alternatives with the help of our crafty friends and family.”


Here’s a rundown of what’s been happening at wedding HQ (AKA my mum’s house) over the past month.


Collecting Clocks for Centrepieces 

“We decided that we would try and minimise the budget for flowers as much as possible by doing away with big flower arrangements as centrepieces.”

“Instead, we’re using old clocks and drafted in everyone we know to get on the hunt for bargain clocks.”

“I’ve had bridesmaids picking them up in second hand shops and a friend of the family who volunteers at a charity shop has been putting them aside as they’re donated.”

“We’ve paid no more than £6 for each clock and every design is unique.”


king_mantel, brit clocks, antique clock


Keys as Place Settings

“My gorgeous and creative friend had the genius idea of using old brass keys with luggage tags tied to them as place settings.”

“She managed to order 100 keys for under 30 quid and we’ll handwrite the person’s name on the luggage tags closer to the time.”


keys, place settings, etsy


Handmade Hessian Hearts

“We’re going for a natural, vintage theme and therefore felt that hessian would be a great material to incorporate.”

“My mum scored a job lot of old hessian potato sacks for £1 each and has used these (along with recycled cardboard from cereal packets) to create little hessian hearts tied with cream ribbon to hang from the backs of chairs.”

“She’s going to create a larger version to hang at the front of the top table.”


hessian heart


DIY Invitations

A friend of mine has long been making her own greetings cards and I floated the idea of her making our invitations.

She thankfully agreed and we’re going to create a crack team after Christmas for Operation Wedding Invitation. She’s compiled a few ideas and we’ll be sourcing the materials in the January sales to drive down the costs.

To further reduce costs, we’re doing away with save the dates and instead, I’ve emailed a few key people and we’ll be popping little notes in with Christmas cards this year with the date and location on them.


Rustic-Invitations, DIY


“It’s overwhelming to have the support and creativity from so many people around us, not only are they helping to keep our budget within reason.”

“They are also creating something that money just can’t buy, a totally one off day that reflects this collaboration of our loved ones!”


About our Blogging Bride: Sophie writes for UK wedding directory Ready or Knot and is currently in the process of planning her wedding to Jon.

When she’s not planning her wedding, you’ll find her out walking her dog Reuben with her fiancé and frequenting one of the many local country pubs around her, for a diet coke of course!


Image Credits:  Antique Clocks/Antique Key/Hessian Heart/DIY Invitations


UK Wedding Blogger with an eclectic style based in Glasgow


  1. Reply

    There are some great ideas in here that I may pinch for future Eco blogs I will be writing. I love the up-cycling and recycling ideas you are incorporating into your day. They are not only cost saving but eco friendly too!

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