…with wedding rings

When I went around wedding fayres I couldn’t believe the prices jewellers were quoting for a plain wedding band! So after lots of research we have both ended up with exactly what we wanted for under £100 each.

First decide a metal colour (yellow, white or rose gold, platinum, titanium, tungsten, palladium, silver, cobalt) then width of band in mm,  then the shape (court, D shape or flat), then the finish.

Next shop around. My first searches were at Argos, H Samuels, Ernest Jones, Goldsmiths, Warren James, F Hinds, Star Wedding Rings, John Greed and Etsy.

I ended up with a custom order from Diorrah Jewellery (Nish is amazing!) and my fiance ordered from Star Wedding Rings.

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As for the finish you can choose all sorts of embellishments. My fiance didn’t want the classic polish as he’s not used to wearing jewellery so he wanted a brushed matte metal effect. Some websites (and our local jeweller) were charging £50+ to add this effect to a ring so instead we bought some steel brushes from the DIY section of Poundland and scratched his ring in a circular motion and ended up with a beautiful brushed matte finish! This can also be topped up in future in case it starts to polish again.

We can’t wait to wear them for the rest of our lives!

 

…with wedding dresses

wedding-dresses-1813568_1920.jpgWould you believe it if I said my wedding dress was the first one I tried on? Well after working for a year in a local wedding dress shop I knew exactly how to get the perfect dress for me. It is completely true that there is ‘the one’ for each bride. I have probably sold over one hundred wedding dresses and every single time the bride had a ‘moment’ when she first tried it and their family and myself knew it too. It is so special. Of course you can get a preloved second hand dress, get one designed for you or buy off the high street but this post is about the typical designer dress.

First I recommend research for shape ballgown, mermaid, a-line or empire. Visit all the top designers websites. Visit Pinterest. The top designers you will find in the UK that you should visit are: Caroline Castigliano, Charlotte Balbier, Jenny Packham, Benjamin Roberts, Maggie Sottero, Justin Alexander, Suzanne Neville, Ian Stuart, Essence Designs, Pronovias, Enzoani, Alfred Angelo.

Once you’ve found a few designs you like, phone or email local wedding dress shops to see if they are stocked. Try them all and if you have no luck they may still be a stockist of the designer and they can order a sample of your dress for you.

On the day take as few people as possible, wear nude underwear, high heels and make hair and makeup as bridal as possible and go for it! Try the one you like, any in the shop that take your fancy and any the shop assistant suggests. Take photos, try a bouquet, try a veil and have fun. There’s nothing I hate more than wedding dress shops that say no photos, no touching and you have to wear gloves – how ridiculous!

Remember you are trying samples so they won’t fit, the assistant will clip to try and show you a better fit. If you don’t feel like you’ve found ‘the one’ keep trying at another shop! Once you’ve found it remember to haggle or come back on a day where that designer is on special offer (see the wedding dress shops facebook for special events) and try to knock some money off. They usually take several months to be made but it is worth the wait.

P.S. To save money on the groom’s outfit considering hiring from Moss Bros or a local hire shop! Then there’s more in the budget for the dress 😉

…with wedding music

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Wedding music is so important. It sets the tone and creates the atmosphere. I wanted relatively recent songs to associate 2017 with my wedding. My top ten:

PROCESSIONAL/SIGNING THE REGISTER/RECESSIONAL/FIRST DANCE

  • Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  • All of Me – John Legend
  • Everything – Michael Buble
  • How Long Will I love You? – Ellie Goulding
  • Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
  • Make You Feel My Love – Adele
  • Happy – Pharell
  • Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon
  • Say You Won’t Let Go – James Arthur
  • Perfect – Ed Sheeran

DJ REQUESTS

  • Let’s Get It Started – Black Eyed Peas
  • Rather Be – Clean Bandit
  • Get Lucky – Daft Punk
  • Thrift Shop – Macklemore
  • Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5
  • 24K Magic – Bruno Mars
  • Mama Do The Hump – Rizzle Kicks
  • Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson
  • Sweet Lovin – Sigala
  • Suit & Tie – Justin Timberlake

LAST DANCE

  • Dancing in the Moonlight – Toploader
  • I’ve Had the Time of My Life – Jennifer Garner
  • We Are Young – FUN
  • Ho Hey – Lumineers
  • One More Time – Daft Punk
  • Home – Edward Sharpe
  • Anything Could Happen – Ellie Goulding
  • Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars
  • Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough – Michael Jackson
  • You & Me – Dave Matthews

Optional: songs for reception entrance song, cake cutting

…with wedding budgets

office-620822_1920.jpgWhen I first got engaged I searched everywhere for a realistic and current UK wedding budget. Figures everywhere declared £26,000 as the average wedding cost but when further investigated lots of items were missing from the breakdown! How unhelpful! As a money-saving bride here is the actual cost of a south of England wedding with every item haggled and price-compared to the extreme but with a few little luxuries (e.g. all inclusive honeymoon, a light up dance floor, gold cutlery and gold chair hire)!

Item  Online Average   Actual Cost in 2017
Venue/Drinks  £                    6,709  £         5,500
Food  £                    3,959  £        3,300
Photographer/Videographer  £                    2,046  £         1,300
Flowers  £                       638  £              80 (DIY)
Cake  £                      300  £               50 (DIY)
Entertainment  £                       773  £         1,325
Dress  £                    1,378  £         1,120
Shoes  £                       161  £              42
Veil  £                       138  £                –
Bridesmaids  £                       436  £            175 (Hire)
Groom  £                       439  £              50 (Hire)
Hair/Make Up  £                       301  £            260
Wedding Ring  £                       809  £            151
Honeymoon  £                    4,413  £        4,000
Gifts  £                      300  £            255
Hen Party  £                       157  £            110
Stag Night  £                       100  £              45
Invitations/printing  £                       271  £           200 (DIY)
Decorations  £                   1,000  £            577 (DIY)
Transport  £                       250  £                5 (Taxi)
Manicure  £                         35  £              25
Wedding Favours  £                       211  £            100 (DIY)
Registra  £                      500  £           500
Hotel  £                       350  £            290
Insurance  £                       100  £              56
 £                 25,774  £       19,604

Of course prices vary at every venue and with every supplier but I want to encourage you that with a lot of work you can beat those averages!

…with island honeymoons

Ahhh honeymoons. It makes my heart flutter just thinking about them. Here are my top five romantic island destinations.

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  1. Maldives (flight time from UK: 12.5 hours)
  2. Seychelles  (flight time from UK: 13 hours)
  3. Mauritius  (flight time from UK: 12 hours)
  4. Fiji  (flight time from UK: 24 hours)
  5. Bora Bora  (flight time from UK: 27 hours)

We actually asked for honeymoon gifts for our Prezola wedding list after contacting our hotel for the excursions they offer. Here are some ideas for things to ask for:

  • Airport lounge upgrade
  • Meals
  • Massages
  • Boat Trips
  • Room Service Breakfast
  • Cocktails
  • Contribution to flights or accommodation
  • Bicycle Hire
  • Spending money

…with white occasion dresses

My most recent hunt has been for a fancy white dress or playsuit to wear to our rehearsal dinner in August. I was looking for lace or bardot shoulders for a bridal theme. Asos is my first port of call (as always for something so specific) but after FOUR (!) returns and rebuys I have tried several of their white dresses – so here’s the lowdown to save you the effort.

Boohoo One Shoulder Dobby Playsuit – £25

Very tight fitting and cutesy – made me look so young!

AX Paris Playsuit – £25

Great quality, nice fit – kept for hen night!

AX Paris Crochet Skater Dress – £35

Very thick, too bulky for my small frame.

Elise Ryan A-Line Dress With Spot Mesh And Lace Bodice – £60

So unusual and trendy. Funny around the bust area though – needs to be filled out. 

Miss Selfridge Lace Cold Shoulder Playsuit – £59

Really nice but slightly restrictive and blocky?

Elise Ryan Bardot Midi Dress With Check Mesh Skirt – £45

Beautiful top half, bottom half too puffy.

QED London Crochet Skater Dress – £38

THE WINNER! Stunning fit, great quality, very flattering shape.

 

…with DIY invitations

Once you have the ring, the venue, the dress and everything in between you must remember the most important thing – inviting the guests! How you invite your guests is significant because it sets the tone for the whole wedding – it’s the first impression.

Save the Dates

These can be sent whenever you feel like! Many send as soon as they’ve booked the venue and registrar but some wait until a year or less before the big day. There are so many different ways to send your special date: fridge magnets, tea towels, post cards, stickers, comic books, tickets, wristbands, scratchcards, balloons, key rings etc. The list goes on! But so long as you include: their names, your names, the date, the general location, if they need to RSVP and that a formal invitation is to follow then it is completely up to you! Remember: they only get sent to whole day (NOT the evening) guests and make clear at this stage if there is a plus one included.

I saved the date electronically with greenvelope.com. It saved A LOT of money and postage, everyone I knew used email anyway and they look so classy! People were also able to receive and reply with their availability and postal address immediately – you can even see what time they opened it. There are thousands of gorgeous designs you can customise.

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Formal Invites

These are usually sent from six months before onwards. Designing and printing can be an expensive business so we saved money by designing our own! First we researched colours, designs and fonts on Pinterest. We knew we wanted a5/c5 size so we created these dimensons on Microsoft Publisher. Find your background on Google (the bigger the size the clearer it will print) and download free fonts from dafont.com. Then start writing your invitation! Remember:

The Host Line (Together with their families)

The Request Line (We invite you to the wedding of)

The Name Line (Brides Name & Grooms Name)

Date, Time & Location

Reception follows

RSVP or wedding website

We printed our 100 invites for under a tenner on Vistaprint (look for voucher codes for even more money off) and they look brilliant! We also put our cheap white envelopes through our home printer (use the envelope setting on Microsoft Publisher for dimensions) which looked very professional for addresses. You can also embellish your budget invites with ribbons, doilies or paper wraps.

Wedding Website

For travel details and accommodation either include an information card or as we did – a link to our free wedding website. We hosted ours at gettingmarried.co.uk. It is incredibly simple and easy to use and you can include: a countdown, facts about the couple and bridal party, ceremony and reception details with maps and parking, a day timetable, RSVP form, gift list, hotel map, local transport and a photo gallery. What is amazing about gettingmarried.co.uk is that you have to input very little information and it does all the hard work linking hotel sites and designing maps for you! You can also buy a cute domain name (from a site like https://uk.godaddy.com/) so it can be short and snappy for putting on your invites!

Happy posting!