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Bride has ‘dream wedding’ for just £491 after bagging bargains

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A bride has shared how she planned her “dream wedding” on a budget for just £491, buying accessories on eBay, an ASOS dress and a flower bouquet from Morrisons. Cloë Thornton, 29, and her partner, Josh, 32, a finance and commercial manager, got engaged when he popped the question while they were skiing in Morzine, the French Alps, in February 2020. The pair tied the knot in a legal ceremony with no guests in July 2022 – and later had a celebration with all their friends and families on July 23.

Cloë’s mantra was “our day, our way”. She wore a short, white feathered frock from ASOS costing £110 and paired it with Nike Airforce trainers she already owned and a pair of £3 heart sunglasses from eBay.

She made her own bouquet for £30 with three bunches of flowers – costing £10 each – from Morrisons.

The newlyweds then popped open a bottle of Costco champagne in the street to celebrate their union.

Josh’s parents were there to witness the marriage at Wakefield Registry Office, West Yorkshire, with the couple then enjoying a day out in Leeds as they played junkyard golf before returning home with a takeaway at 8pm.

The chilled-out bride later celebrated with her friends and family in a festival-themed reception – letting her six bridesmaids wear whatever they wanted.

Cloë, an operations and strategy analyst, from Leeds, West Yorkshire, said: “I didn’t want to do anything traditional, I wanted it to be us. I wanted a fun cool dress that represented my personality and I got one off ASOS for £110.

“My veil was off ASOS in the sale for £15 and I wore a pair of Nike Airforce ones I already had, paired with £3 eBay sunglasses. Josh wore a white shirt, a pair of jeans and some brown boots.

“We didn’t want to spend loads of money and wanted to have our day, our way. This wasn’t about just going to sign a piece of paper, we wanted to make it an adventure.”

The bride’s mother-in-law picked up three bouquets for £10 from Morrisons the morning of the big day.

They then upgraded their usual prosecco for a bottle of Costco champagne they popped open on the steps – while she sported a ‘Mrs Thornton’ denim jacket.

Cloë said: “After the ceremony, we caught the train to Leeds and went to Flight Club bar and onto Belgrave Music Hall to have burgers, pizza and dirty fries. Next we went onto play bowling at Roxy and then Junkyard Golf to play mini golf. The staff were so lovely they gave us a free game of some golf and some visors – we had our first dance to This Charming Man by the Smiths at Junkyard Golf, Leeds. We went home after that and were in bed for 8pm with a takeaway.”

All in all, the couple spent £73 marrying in the registry office, £110 on the wedding dress, £15 on the veil, £10 on flowers, £3 on sunglasses, £180 on wedding rings from H Samuels and £100 on their activities – totalling £491.

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They continued their unique celebrations by having a party with all their friends and family the following weekend at Ponden Mill Weddings, West Yorkshire.

Cloë said: “It was a festival-themed wedding and most of our guests camped. I got another dress off ASOS for £90. We had a s*** shirt party on the Friday night before the wedding, everyone wore Hawaiian shirts and one of Josh’s mates had a top with his face all over it.”

Cloë’s colour scheme was orange and pink and she let her six bridesmaids wear whatever they wanted – one even donned light up trainers. “I did a speech and said: ‘I wasn’t going to let four men stand here and talk at you,'” she said. “Both Josh and I ad-libbed our speeches, we didn’t write them.”

The couple decorated the venue with 100 craft beer cans they’d collected and each table was named after a band they love. For food, the guests enjoyed ‘build your own gyros’ with meat, couscous, pita breads and dips. “The ceremony was outdoors and we had space hoppers and beer pong,” she said. “There was lots of prosecco, baby Guinness and good beer on tap. Everything about the whole experience was just so us.”

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