Danish wedding custom on a budget

This morning we hear about Joy’s wedding – the bride’s family’s Danish wedding traditions added a lovely personal touch to this wedding and this post shows that you don’t have to have a mind-blowing budget to enjoy an amazing day. (And watch out for the fabulous cake toppers!)

We got married on Friday 5th of September 2008, when we had some of the worst rain recorded in a long time and around the same time most of the country flooded. But that didn’t dishearten us, we still had a wonderful day.

The venue for the ceremony and reception was the Mackworth Hotel, in Mackworth, Derby. That cost us about £850, included in that price were: venue flowers, table decor, bridal suite with champagne, the DJ, cake stand & knife, and the next morning breakfast.

We had two registrars who oversaw everything in the ceremony, they work for Amber valley, Derbyshire, and I think they cost us £150.

The limousine for me and my bridal party, which were two bridesmaids, a flower girl and two page boys (my dad drove himself) was from Derby area, but I can’t remember the company as my dad hired that one for us, but think it roughly cost about £125.



Flowers for the bride and bridal party, were done by ‘’Flowers by Joy’’ at the Derby market hall, in cream/ivory/white colours, with added black crystal stems, all of the flowers cost £170.

Balloons & accessories were mainly bought from Hallmark (which was one of the local card shops in Ashbourne, but closed down a while ago). Included in the accessories were two silver roses that would contain the wedding rings, one each for the page boys.

Page boys suits were bought at Derby market (can’t remember name of the stall), but it was amazing what they had for kids. Flower girl dress was bought at Asda in Spondon, Derby, it was reduced to £12. Her tiara, and bolero were both bought at Debenhams for a price of £15 for the two, and her shoes came from M&S.

All the men’s suits were bought at ‘Suits Plus’ in the Derby Westfield Centre. About 5 sets of suits with waist coats, ties and socks all for £300 in total, they had a big sale on, so we struck it lucky.

My two bridesmaids dresses were bought online through Next, think they were about £19 or £30 a piece, both black.

My dress was a ‘’Margaret Lee design’’ A-line, zip up bustier in lace, skirt that looked like satin, but was polyester, with a slight pleating detail to one side. Bolero lace jacket with bell sleeves. Was a discontinued dress, so got it for £299 from ‘Ailsa wedding shop’, Green Lane, Derby. My veil was on a comb ‘’Richard design’’ from same shop and cost me £110. My tiara was bought at Debenhams for £30, and my satin diamante shoes were bought at Next for £25.

Rings were bought at Ernest Jones in the Derby Westfield Centre, mine is white gold with diamonds inlaid curved to fit around my engagement ring, engagement ring cost £100 white gold, with inlaid diamonds on either side of the Aquamarine. (from same jewellers) Wedding ring cost about £380. My husband’s wedding band is also white gold and cost about £120.

Photographer was a local Ashbournian who worked freelance, cost us £550 and got all the negatives included, because our wedding was the last one he agreed to do ( he was focusing more on portrait and children photography), but as far as we know he gave up photography to become a self employed sales man!

The wedding cake was a three tiered square cake; bottom and top tier were both chocolate, and the middle tier was lemon drizzle. (I hate fruit cake, will make it for others though, just don’t like it myself). All three tiers were covered in white fondant, and trimmed with black trellis ribbon. Our cake toppers were based on Tim Burton’s ‘’Corpse Bride & Nightmare before Christmas’’, and were an absolute hit with everyone who knew the movies. It also had little black bats or butterflies scattered here and there, basically that was our colour scheme (black and white). The lady who made it is Di Sault, she’s an old friend of mine, we used to work together, she lives locally too, though her cake decorating is a hobby, not a job, so she made the cake for us as our present.


The song I walked up the isle to, was ‘Kissing You’ by Des’ree from the ‘Romeo & Juliette’ soundtrack – very slow but a beautiful song. And we walked back down the isle to ‘White wedding’ by Billy Idol.

We had a three course sit down meal for about 80 people, with house wine being served during the meal, and Frank Sinatra playing away on the stereo. We also paid for a buffet for far too many people, for the evening reception, which is a lesson to be learned, always buy a buffet for a lot less, you will have loads left over, and ours was hardly touched. In total for sit down meal, wine and buffet came to nearly £3000, and took the biggest part of our budget.

During the sit down meal, we had some lovely speeches by the usual people, and also one by one of my Danish aunts, and she off course had to do it all in English, hence was quite nervous, but she did so well, bless her.

What made the day so lovely, was the fact that my Danish family brought all the Danish wedding traditions with them, including:

When groom leaves the room, all the men will dash to the brides side and give her a kiss, and vice versa, when bride leaves the room, all the women will dash to the groom’s side and kiss him (on the cheek, it has to be said).

Another is when people tap their plates, it means that bride and groom have to get up on their chairs and kiss each other, on the other hand if they had stomped their feet, it means that bride and groom would have had to climb under the table to kiss (thank goodness no one did that, couldn’t have managed in that dress).

Our first dance was ‘Dig’ by Incubus – another tradition is that as the couple dance, the family gather around them and slowly start moving in on them. The men will then hoist the groom up in the air, hold him tight, and someone will be stood ready with a pair of scissors and cut the tips of his socks off!! It is said to symbolise ‘’Your stuck with her now, and you’ll stay true to her’’, a very old fashioned Danish custom, but very funny all the same.

Definitely best day of our lives, and total spend for the whole wedding came to £6500.


Thanks so much for sharing this with us Joy -I love this wedding. So full of personal details and a lot of fun.

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