How I Saved Thousands on My Wedding

Wedding money saving tips

Right from the beginning of my wedding planning eighteen months ago, I was determined that I would do my absolute best to keep the costs as low as possible. Of course, I wanted the day to be beautiful, but our budget was small and I didn’t want us to still be paying it off for years after it was over.

Essentially, I wanted it to be as cheap as possible, but I didn’t want it to LOOK cheap.

The problem is, the minute the word ‘wedding’ is mentioned, the prices of everything are automatically increased and there are numerous places that aren’t always upfront about their total prices – we discovered that there were lots of hidden costs in all sorts of different areas.

The key to saving money lies in forward planning, lots of research, asking for help, being patient and shopping around. It also helped that we had a long engagement, giving us sufficient time to work out what we wanted and how much we were prepared to budget for it. Continue reading

The Wrong Dress

In the early hours of Friday morning, I was in a hotel room getting ready for my wedding. My family were there, the guests had started arriving, the registrar was waiting and I was putting on my wedding dress. Suddenly, my dress had changed to a pink and red flower summery monstrosity and I was frantic – where had my dress gone? I looked in the same cupboards over and over, then went downstairs to ask for help, only to discover that the guests had started to eat their wedding buffet, and were complaining that there wasn’t enough food. My dress was nowhere to be found so I ran back upstairs to look in the same cupboards again, with no luck. I realised I still hadn’t put my make-up on so I decided to wear the wrong dress and started scrabbling around in an effort to find my eyeliner, only for The Bloke to walk into the room looking upset. Except, it wasn’t The Bloke – it was actor Kevin McKidd, who I thought was The Bloke. He informed me that the registrar had grown tired of waiting and had cancelled the wedding and also cancelled our passports, which meant that we couldn’t go on our honeymoon. He handed me a sticker that I had to put on my passport to make it invalid. I was so disappointed… Continue reading

A Wedding at Sherborne Abbey

 

I always love a good wedding, but when the bride is an old friend it makes it particularly special. For the last year our conversation and activities have been wedding oriented. We’ve looked through Pinterest and magazines, discussed endless ideas over cocktails and I went on her hen do last month.

She got engaged a few months before I did last year and at the time it felt like an age before the Big Day would arrive. However, after what seemed like five minutes since she first showed me her engagement ring, The Bloke and I found ourselves stood in our wedding finery in Sherborne Abbey (a 1300 year-old church which was built in 705AD). It was a blisteringly hot day and and we had navigated our way through the tiny streets of the town, arrived at the Abbey early and took the opportunity to take lots of photographs before everyone else got there. The groom and the groomsmen arrived shortly after us, all looking handsome in their blue suits. The groom took it all in his stride – he’s naturally quite a calm and collected person – it was only a few minutes before the bride arrived that he showed flashes of nerves.¬† Continue reading

Notice of Marriage Shenanigans

So, can you tell me if you are related to your fianc√©?”

Yesterday The Bloke and I went to the neighbouring town to declare our Notice of Marriage.

The process is essentially there to legally declare our intention to marry within the next twelve months. However, as simple as this initially sounded, I soon discovered that it would be a little more complicated than telling someone and getting a certificate.

We live in a small town on the outskirts of Birmingham. We’re getting married at a venue in Birmingham and because neither of us have a religious faith we have opted for a registrar from Birmingham Register Office to officiate the ceremony instead of a vicar. Continue reading

Why Children are Not Invited to Our Wedding

 

Why children aren't allowed at our wedding

It’s six months until my wedding day and while I have a few things still on my list to tackle, the large things are now booked and organised. Most of it (despite some of the horror stories I have heard over the years from friends and articles I have read online) has been an exciting experience. However, one thing that I found difficult was the guest list.

Why?

Because children are not invited to our wedding, including my own niece.

The Bloke and I don’t have children of our own. I have a very small family – mum, two sisters, one sister’s long-term boyfriend, a brother-in-law and a niece, who will be 10 months old on the day of the wedding. The Bloke’s family is considerably larger, but don’t have young children – the youngest are older teenagers, so it wasn’t a family issue to consider. However, my friends have lots of them. Continue reading

Crepes, Apple and a Fayre or Two

I’ve had a really nice few days.

I love this time of year – this is when I start secretly looking forward to the coming events of the next few months: The Bloke, my mum, The Bloke’s sister and I all have birthdays, the Frankfurt Market comes back to the city and I start getting my Christmas presents together. Normally I’m a lot more organised than I have been this year, but the numerous blog activities and various employment opportunities that have appeared since January have meant that my time is less than it was before, albeit much more fun! And (although I’m not going to discuss most of it yet on here), the next twelve months will mean huge changes (all for the better) for me and my family (no, I’m not pregnant, nor am I planning to be, before any of you get excited!).

Continue reading

Bridezilla

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I’m not going to even start looking at anything until the summer holidays.’

This was what I said about a week ago when one of my friends asked me whether The Bloke and I had set a date.

What a load of nonsense – if I could go back and slap myself, I would. I blame Pinterest – I created a secret board five days ago when I had a sleepless night and I’ve already got about 150 pins of ideas that I like.

It’s only been eight days since The Bloke popped the question, and I’ve got the whole thing planned. For me, I’ve always wanted a small, inexpensive wedding day, with the important part being the ceremony itself, followed by an amazing honeymoon to remember, which we know we can ask for help with from our guests instead of setting up a registry. I’m not one of those brides who has dreamed of walking down the aisle in a designer gown, particularly when it’s only going to be worn once and then shoved in a box in the wardrobe. I’m not bothered about tradition or pomp and circumstance. It’s about us.

Despite this, I know where and when it will happen (I’ve already spoken to the venue to check that they are available and will cater for what we want) the dress I’ll be wearing, invitations, colour scheme, flowers, bridesmaids dresses (I’ve asked my sisters – which is amazing because this is not something I would have done two years ago), favors, cake… Money is going to be tight, and we’re paying for it ourselves, so I’ve already found ways to save on the cost by mentally calling in some favours with some creative and crafty friends. Continue reading