Tim and I are really on a countdown now – just over 5 months until Friday 15th October when we will be getting married. When Tim proposed to me last August I thought that we wouldn’t be able to afford a wedding for at least a couple of years. I was all set for a “longer-term engagement” and then, just before Christmas, I realised that maybe, just maybe, we could pull it off for this year instead. But the only way we could do it would be to budget, budget, budget!
You see, my “two-year plan” was to save up enough for a £3,000 wedding and the only way we could afford to do it this year was to bring this down to £1,500. This is a long way short of the average budget for a wedding these days and I knew that we would have to say no to some of the things we would have liked – a professional photographer, for instance. But, knowing that most people have a digital camera these days and it would be so easy for us to get pretty good snaps sent directly to us from family and friends, the so-called “sacrifice” wasn’t too bad in the end. But a photographer is only a small part of the budget – how else would we manage to get all our costs down?
Well, let me give you an idea:
- my wedding dress cost £60 in the Monsoon sale – I adore Monsoon clothing and when I saw the sale included wedding dresses whilst browsing on a lunch break I ran back to work and got a colleague to come and give her opinion. I um-ed and ah-ed and wondered if maybe, just maybe, it was a little rash to buy the first dress I had tried on, but it was stunning and it only cost £60. I got them to agree to hold on to it for a couple of days whilst I thought about it, but in the end I went back later that day and bought it there and then and have not regretted it since.
- we are marrying in the register office, meaning the wedding is as cheap as can be, and holding our own little ceremony at the reception venue. This means that we can have whatever readings and vows we like, rather than having to fit in with the legalities or religious rules around these kinds of things.
- our reception venue is a village hall, with a paid bar as standard, plenty of room, a kitchen, playground and parking spaces. It is costing us less than £200 for access Thursday night to decorate, Friday between 11.30am and 12 midnight, and Saturday morning to clear up (including the cost of bar staff!)
- the bridesmaids’ dresses cost less than £50 each from Debenhams and so did my shoes (white satin, no less!) We shall be buying the little flowergirl dresses for just as cheap nearer the time.
- Tim’s suit is coming from the Collezione range at Marks and Spencers, and will be one he can wear again, rather than hiring one we’ll never see after the day.
- I managed to buy silk flower bouquets for the bridesmaids and flowergirls plus silk flowers for my own bouquet for around £50.
- we’re having jacket potatoes, with a variety of 8 different fillings, side salad, apple pie and bread and butter pudding and a cheese and grape selection provided by a lovely couple who own a jacket potato shop and have a mobile oven (check out their website here). Even though this is our largest cost, as we are planning on a guest list of approximately 80, it was still only around £650, leaving us money in our budget to buy some extra nibbles to place around the venue in the evening.
- my cousin is going to do the disco for us as a wedding present.
- my grandma wants to pay for a musician from her church to do some “after-dinner entertainment” before the disco gets fully under way.
- my uncle has a Bentley and is getting a family friend to drive it for us.
- my mum is making my invites for me and has also decorated some umbrellas with autumn leaves, to ensure we are kept dry if it rains (it will be October, after all).
So, you see, we’ve actually done pretty well in the whole budget department. It does mean, however, that the following 5 months will be rather full with planning, crafting and decorating bits and pieces ready for the big day, and I shall try and keep you all updated on how that is going. I would love to be able to post you some more photos here, but as Tim is likely to read this and he has not yet seen certain things (like my dress), I don’t think it wise!
However, as this is “flower week” here at Amanda’s Patch, I feel it only fair to offer you some insight into the floral decorations we are going for, so how about this:
This is something my mum knocked together last autumn, seeing what she could come up with for centrepieces for the tables. My dad was going to have a go at growing pumpkins himself, but we’ve now bought some lovely little ramekins to use on the tables themselves and these pumpkins will adorn the rest of the spaces in the reception. Aren’t they just the sweetest, and so perfect for an autumn wedding.
Well, work calls, I have lots to plan, make, update and upload, so I’ll see you all back here tomorrow for my floral project.