PHOTOS | An Uber, a double-decker bus, and a cupcake stand - budget bride ditches tradition

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Holly McClave, 32, and husband Steve, 30, on a double-decker bus.
Holly McClave, 32, and husband Steve, 30, on a double-decker bus.
  • Looking for ways to save money on her big day, Holly McClave turned to things like Uber, a double-decker bus, and a reception at a food market.
  • Holly and her husband Steve decided against wedding traditions and opted to do what made them happy.
  • The newlyweds ditched the "fancy cars and food", going for a laid-back dinner which included fish and chips, burritos, and a cupcake stand.

A budget bride has revealed how she spent less than £4 000 (R80 000) on her big day, which involved an Uber and a bus.

Holly McClave, 32, and husband Steven, 30, decided against typical traditions and opted to do what made them happy for their July 2022 wedding. 

The couple walked down the aisle seven months after civil servant Steven got down on one knee on 27 December 2021.

The newlyweds ditched the "fancy cars and food" and opted for an Uber to the registrar in Liverpool, Merseyside, where a double-decker bus picked them up and stopped off at a few of the couple's favourite spots. 

Then they headed to a food market for their laid-back reception, where 32 guests helped themselves to a buffet of fish and chips and burritos. The couple chose a cupcake stand rather than a tiered wedding cake.

READ MORE | Nostalgia and romance as couples take wedding photos where they first met

"We didn't want anything traditional; we just wanted a chilled wedding with all the people we love," says mom-of-two Holly.

"We stayed in apartments, so we did a wedding dress reveal before hopping into an Uber to St George's Hall together."

The Liverpool Pride parade was on the day of their wedding, meaning their Uber driver could not stop outside the registrar. The couple had to walk up the road to get there, which Holly says was a fun moment in her dress.  

"I didn't have any bridesmaids, and Steven didn't have any groomsmen; we only had 19 guests at the ceremony. Our son Frank walked me down the aisle and handed the rings over."

Budget weddings
Holly McClave, 32, was walked down the aisle by son Frank, five.
Budget weddings
Holly McClave, 32, and husband Steve, 30, leaving the registerer whilst gay pride was taking place.

As soon as the ceremony was over, Holly slipped off her pink heels and put on a pair of sneakers.  

The couple and their guests then boarded a double-decker bus which cost them £280 (R5 600) for the day.

They stopped at a few murals for photos before heading to their reception. 

"The bus was a great way to escort everyone to the venue," says Holly.  

"We were drinking Prosecco along the way; it was the perfect way to get the party started."

READ MORE | Proposing with a fake, plastic or cardboard ring is the newest trend: Here's what women think

Budget weddings
Holly McClave, 32, and husband Steve, 30, on a double decker bus.

Straying from a conventional sit-down meal, the pair held their reception at a food and drink market in Liverpool City Centre, where they spent £3000 (R60 000) to rent a room. 

"The price included food and three cupcake stands," Holly explains. 

"We didn't want a sit-down meal with speeches, so we just had an array of food like burritos and pizza."

Budget weddings
The unconventional spread at their reception.
Budget weddings
The couple opted for a cupcake stand rather than traditional wedding cake.

Holly counts the stress-free day as one of the best of her life. 

"We just went with the flow - we even joined Liverpool Pride for a moment." 

The newlyweds were joined by more guests in the evening, making it a wedding of 32.

In total, they spent £3,925  (R79 000) on their big day. 

She adds: "We didn't have a DJ. We just plugged our phone in and listened to a Spotify playlist.

"We partied until midnight, and most of our guests said they'd love to have a laid-back approach to their wedding too."

READ MORE | How to make your second wedding more epic than the first

"A wedding is about you and your partner; it shouldn't be about pleasing everyone else," Holly says.

"We didn't need to spend thousands to have a good time. We haven't got any regrets as it was a wonderful day."


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Do you think it's important to get married in this day and age?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, it's important in order to create a family unit and for companionship
23% - 1195 votes
Not at all. Being single is far more liberating
9% - 461 votes
There is no general answer to this, it's each to their own
49% - 2558 votes
Yes, society still frowns on unmarried people, especially women
1% - 68 votes
It depends on whether you are able to find a compatible partner
18% - 922 votes