Tag Archives: budget wedding

Urban Garden Party Wedding in Isreal

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Noa and Revi really just wanted to feel at home for their wedding. Although their marriage isn’t legal in Israel, that didn’t stop them wanting to commit their lives to each other.

“We wanted out wedding to represent us”, they said. “The wedding was on a Friday afternoon/ night so people could come after work. We wanted to find a venue that would be special, beautiful and not pretentious. We also wanted somewhere with some outdoor space and an indoor place where we could dance all night! We chose Taylor Made, a restaurant that we both love.”

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“The music was very important to us”, they continued. “Noa is a wedding DJ and has an alternative music radio show so we knew exactly what we wanted (funk, soul, world music/oriental and upper electronic beats).”

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Turquoise Wedding at the Seaside with 31 Guests

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Claire and Chris were married in June at The Dome in Worthing. The inspiration for the wedding was to have a small, intimate day with their closest friends and family. “We wanted to feel surrounded by love from those dearest to us”, said the bride. “We had 31 guests and found this to be the perfect number. We had plenty of time to speak, hug, laugh, cry and dance with all of them.”

“We are both passionate vegans and wanted to share this very important part of ourselves with our guests on our special day too. The Dome’s catering team had never done a vegan wedding before, but they were so accommodating and created a wonderful three course meal for us that all of our guests enjoyed.”

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The couple’s wedding budget was £8000. They managed to save money by doing their own décor. “We sourced various turquoise patterned materials from local fabric shops for bunting”, Claire explained. “A friend of ours made them for us. Almost everything else was from eBay. It was really fun sourcing vintage turquoise items online and was my hobby for the majority of a year!”

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Handmade, Thrifty and Locally-Sourced Wedding

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Alex and Steve’s wedding was all about being thrifty but also not being wasteful. They had a £3000 budget, had their reception at a community hall and the bride wore a dress made by her mum from organic cotton an bamboo. The flowers were all picked on the day and the cake was made by the mother of the groom.

“Our inspiration was our friends, their creativity, and nature”, began the bride. “Most of the decoration was made by friends and family. Our ‘theme’ was handmade, simplicity and local. Steve’s mum crocheted over 100 flowers that were on guests’ plates to wear as corsages. We organised a day of willow weaving (run by a friend) in the run up to the wedding to make the willow hearts and flowers. Alex’s niece and nephew collected and painted stones from the beach for the place names.”

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“All the food was local: we got the meat from a local organic small holding, the veg was grown by friends who run an organic veg box scheme, the rest was bought at our local independent health food shop. Alex’s Dad made a barrel of homemade cider, and a friend brewed two barrels of ale for us. We made a big batch of elderflower champagne for guests as they arrived at the hall. Alex’s school friends brought a dessert each to share with everyone. The night before about 20 friends and family helped us set up the hall, and more came in the morning helping us do the final touches. It was a lovely way for people to meet each other and we couldn’t have done it without them.”

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Alice in Wonderland Themed Wedding

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Alice in Wonderland has always been an obsession for Vicky, so when she married Mark in September there was only one theme she wanted for their wedding!

“Alice in Wonderland was my favourite childhood book and I have always loved and been fascinated by it”, said the bride. “I love all its quirkiness so I wanted to use it as the theme for the wedding because it would make the day not only special but also unique. We also had touches of Scotland.”

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The day was held at Brockholes Nature Reserve in Preston. “The venue added to our wedding being different because it was held in a nature reserve”, she continued. “A particularly special element of our wedding was that our son Jacob carried our wedding bands on the Alice in Wonderland book that my dad used to read to me when I was a little girl.”

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Burning Man Wedding

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Burning Man is a place where anything goes, so it was the perfect place for Angela and Michael’s to have the wedding they’ve always dreamt of. “We were married at Burning Man so our theme was loosely a mixed interpretation of a royal wedding”, the bride said. “In truth, weddings are rarely just about the bride and groom and we wanted a wedding that was just about us. We already had tickets to Burning Man and had heard about people getting married there so once the idea was put forth it was an easy decision to make. When we told our families our plans they were completely unsurprised. Apparently running away to the desert is completely in-keeping with our personalities and reputation!”

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“Pretty much everything about our wedding was different!” she continued. “Our outfits, the setting, our vows which we wrote ourselves, the fact we incorporated a beer toast in the wedding. Michael also took my last name.”

“We were married in front of the Temple in Black Rock City. We read our own vows in a ceremony we’d put together with our officiant and capped it off with a beer toast. After the ceremony, the designer of the temple approached us. It turns out he had walked by and stopped to watch the ceremony and was overwhelmed that we had decided to get married in front of his creation. Many hugs and tears ensued.”

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How to Save Money on Your Bridesmaid Dresses

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I was a bridesmaid for the first time in November. I was actually the only one at the wedding and that, coupled with probably the most laid-back bride in existence, meant the whole experience was a breeze. Carly’s only stipulation was that I wore grey. Easy. We went to one place and ordered my dress then and there.

Now it’s my second time around, this time for my sister Rachel, who’s getting hitched in July. Now don’t get me wrong, Rachel is pretty laid-back too, but there are FIVE bridesmaids which, despite everyone’s best intentions, automatically ups the ante and the stress!

Funnily enough, the hard part hasn’t been finding a dress to suit all our different body shapes (Rachel was happy for us all to be in a different style if we wanted, ironically though, we’ve all picked the same one!) or picking a colour that we all agree on (she wanted us all in different shades of blue and green). No, the really tricky part has been getting five dresses without spending a complete fortune. My £200 bridesmaid dress felt like a bit of a splurge for Carly’s wedding, but it was manageable within their budget. However when you have five bridesmaids that £200 indulgence automatically becomes a £1000 impossibility!

If you too have a large bridal party, or you just want to save as much money as you can on your bridesmaid dresses, here’s my advice:

Do your homework first

In the flushes of newly engaged excitement, I think a lot of brides make the mistake of asking lots of their friends and relatives to be bridesmaids, without first factoring in the costs. Sure, it might be lovely to have your ten oldest friends up there with you, but ten bridesmaids means ten dresses… ten pairs of shoes… ten bouquets… It can all add up very quickly. Ideally you should do your research on how much things actually cost, before you decide who to ask to be in your wedding party.

“Setting a budget and doing your homework are the first steps when shopping for your bridesmaid dresses,” Karen of Bridal Wardrobe writes in this handy saving for your wedding guide. “Knowing the base prices of the range you like can help you stick to your budget and avoid overspending.”

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Visit the high street

There’s no doubt in my mind that the British high street is the best in the world. Especially as we get into Spring, all the shops will start to fill up with bridesmaid appropriate options at very reasonable prices. The only reason we didn’t get ours from a high street store was that Rachel wanted us all in maxi dresses that were in different, but complimenting colours. This is basically impossible to find unless you go to someone who makes dresses specifically for bridesmaids. Most fashion stores will only offer a dress in one, or maybe two, different colours.

Look online

If you venture online, that opens up your options even further. ASOS, ChiChi London, Monsoon, BHLDN, Vivien of Holloway and Lindybop all do bridesmaid appropriate ranges, although you might not get the colour variety that you would with a bridesmaid-specific retailer. However if you’re more flexible on your colour palette, they are all fantastic places to look.

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Bulk buy discounts

In the end, we bought our dresses from a website that specialises in bridesmaid dresses which meant we could all get the same dress in our individual choice of colour. However the real clincher was that they offered larger discounts the more dresses you bought. So the dresses were one price on their own, but if you bought 2-3 of them you got some money off, 4-5 you got even more off and so on and so forth. This meant that having a large bridal party actually worked in our favour because the more we bought, the more we saved!

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