Home » Wedding Update – the story so far…

Wedding Update – the story so far…

Photo credit: well, I forget who took it, but it wasn’t me!! I had to include it though, as it was taken at my friend’s wedding, in Rome, the day after Tim proposed – a holiday never forgotten!

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.

Amanda x


  1. Steph says:

    What a wonderful day you’re planning Amanda. It sounds fantastic and it’s the memories not the money that counts isn’t it. How lovely of everyone to help out, just how it should be,
    We were lucky to have a bit of money from my parents but did many things as cheaply/for free where possible, our friend did the disco (and put all the records on cds for us to keep), my mum’s artist friend drew a picture of the wedding venue for the invitations which we printed ourselves, my parents friend drove us in his dad’s vintage jag and another friend who is a newspaper photographer took the pictures for us.
    I had my dress and bridesmaid dresses made by a local dresssmaker for a fraction of the price of those from bridal shops and we used a village florist too who was very reasonable. I spent many evenings making all the decorations too, (including tissue paper confetti) and for ladies favours I bought honey soaps from a local beekeeper which went down a treat.
    It made for a wonderful day becasue lots of people very special to us were involved in our day and we weren’t paying companies to pretend to be happy for us if you know what I mean.
    Enjoy all your preparations, the flowers look beautifully vibrant. Perfect for the time of year you’re getting married. You’ll have a wonderfull day.
    Have a lovely weekend.

  2. asti says:

    Oh, it sounds like it’s going to be a wonderful day, congratulations !
    My wedding dress came from Monsoon too and our wedding was very inexpensive – if I could turn the clock back I wouldn’t do it any differently.
    Asti x

  3. Bithya says:

    I sooo love reading about your wedding! Tough have to admit also makes me a bit sad as we will be so far away by then and cant be there.. your wedding sounds amazing and I would have loved to be there on your special day! I expect to see loads of pics (maybe even videos made by digital cameras?).
    Big Hugs

  4. Louise says:

    Have you thought about the cake? I always said if I ever married, which I haven’t yet! that I would like individual fairycakes for each guest to take one home. This was some years ago, and maybe a more modern approach would be to use cupcakes! x

  5. Amanda says:

    My sister’s friend’s mum is making our cake for us… it’s going to be a small tiered cake in the shape of a heart. We’re having one layer fruit cake, one layer sponge and the smallest layer gluten-free for me!! We’ve yet to decide on the decoration but are going to keep it simple and seasonal… I can’t wait!

  6. Amanda says:

    Nicole *hugs*… I am gutted you can’t make the wedding too, but we shall definitely take plenty of photos to share with you xx and we know you’ll be having a wonderful time travelling!

  7. Amanda says:

    Hi Asti,
    thanks for popping over and leaving a comment! Monsoon do have the most beautiful dresses, don’t they? I’m glad you look back on your wedding day and know it was perfect for you xx

  8. Amanda says:

    Hi Steph,
    thank you also for popping over and leaving a comment – wow, it seems my wedding post is the most popular post so far! Your wedding day sounds perfect and so memorable, just what a wedding should be – memorable! xx

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