Tag Archives: budget wedding

Post It Notes – 2nd December 2011: How to Save Money on Your Wedding Dress

For this week’s wedding note I thought I’d blog some money saving ideas relating to the wedding dress. Although, yes, your wedding dress may well be the most expensive dress you’ll ever own, I’m well aware that the average price of somewhere between £1000 – £2000, is going to be out of a lot of bride’s budgets.

Vintage

Photography Credit: Annamarie Stepney Photography (full wedding here)

Vintage wedding dresses are hugely popular right now but this does mean that a lot of vintage shops have hiked up their prices. But if you do your research, you can still get vintage gowns for a song. Try non-wedding specific shops like Beyond Retro where prices are likely to be lower. Vintage wedding-specific dress shops like For Coat No Knickers in London will even alter your own dress if you find a bargain elsewhere.

Vintage Reproduction

Photography Credit: Martyn & Clare Wheatley (Sinister Pictures) (full wedding here)

Vintage reproduction dresses are also a great way to get the vintage ‘look’ without the price tag. A frustrating thing about searching for genuine vintage dresses is that often the sizes are very small. Places like Vivien of Holloway, Honeypie BoutiqueDolly Couture and Peppermint Pretty, make gorgeous vintage-inspired gowns that are both affordable and can be made in any size.

Charity Shops

Photography Credit: Emma Case Photography (full wedding here)

Why not check out your local charity shop? Barnardos and Oxfam even have specialty wedding dress branches where you may well pick up an utter bargain!

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A Simple DIY Wedding: Tara & Oleg

Tara & Oleg were married at Wentworth Falls School of Arts, NSW, Australia. The bride wore a beautiful 1950′s debutante gown made of white taffeta with black flocked trim which she found on eBay!

“They met at Acting College in Sydney and have been together for the last 6 years,” their wedding photographer Jemima Richards told me. “The easiest way to describe these two as madly in love. Their wedding was a really beautiful reflection of that. The entire wedding had a distinct DIY theme, but with all of their personality in every single element. Oleg is from Croatia, so his family members made the special journey over, with his two sisters travelling from opposite ends of the planet just to be there. As a wedding gift, Tara also flew in Oleg’s very best friend from London as a surprise!”

“The ceremony was simple and in the small and intimate events hall at the School of Arts,” she continued. “Tara had handmade 150 large paper pom-poms to decorate both the reception and ceremony with as opposed to flowers. She even disclosed that she spent a back breaking 5 hours the night before the wedding ‘poofing’ and hanging every single one.”

“Each guest was presented with a personalised program for the wedding which included a personal and individual message from the bride and groom in the back. The couple read their own vows (or in the case of Oleg, spoke straight from the heart) and their celebrant even recited the Dr Seuss poem ‘Oh! the places you’ll go’ (which was super relevant and very sweet). The ceremony was brief, but very sincere and heartfelt.”

“The couple opted not to have any formal portraits taken of themselves with their best man and maid of honour, and instead went straight into the reception which was held in the adjoining theatre of the School of Arts. The lack of formal photos was made up for by the addition of a photobooth, which the couple described as ‘a way to give a gift to each guest’.Tara and Oleg wanted their reception to be all about their guests, while still having the same amount of personality as the ceremony.”

“Guests were treated to a self serve lolly bar with suggestions written on playing cards by the wedding party, lots of dancing, and their gorgeous Cowboys and Indians themed wedding cupcakes. The entire night was a party to celebrate their getting hitched and there was not a single moment where there was a lack of love in the air or someone being bored.”

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A Homemade Back Garden Wedding: Philip & Katie-Jane

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Philip & Katie-Jane had a handmade wedding in the bride’s parent’s back garden. They hired a tipi and decorated the whole garden with the things they love – creating a really magical looking space. They even converted the shed into ‘The Poppy Red Shed’ (Poppy Red is a bar in Birmingham which the bride and groom first met) which they stocked with local ales, spirits and liquours.

“With the bride being in fashion (Senior footwear designer for KG for Kurt Geiger) it was always going to be different kind of wedding,” the couple told me. “We wanted to make sure there was less formality and more personality. Using personal inspiration and the bride’s vision we focused on what the guests would experience and how that would make us feel. The sun came out as soon as the wedding couple stepped into the garden and the day just got better and better.”

There were so many DIY elements of this wedding, as the couple continued to explain, “All the invites were handmade, handkerchiefs stamped with the details wrapped in a doilie posted with a portrait stamp of the bride and groom. We also made the teacup chandelier hovering over the top table. The cake table was brought together by several guests bringing their own cakes to share although the main wedding cake nearly got eaten before it had even been cut!”

“The bride made all the ‘winecup’ favours herself, a wineglass stem with a teacup on top. The women guests (and some men) were in awe and the race was on to ensure they all got to take one home. The pewter tankards were a massive success, again collected from car boots, family and friends. It took the men about 10 minutes to get them and that was it for the rest of the night. We had a flipcam passed round the tables and it was one of the happiest hours ever after the wedding watching all the guests enjoying the food, drink and each other.”

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Katie-Jane wore two dresses – the first by Vera Wang and the second, a vintage gown from Hope & Harlequin in Brighton. She also wore Miu Miu shoes and vintage jewellery.

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Post-It Notes – 18th November 2011: Just How Much is This Wedding Going to Cost Us?

Photography Credit: Andy Gaines Creative (full wedding on the blog soon)

I’ve been wanting to put this post together for some time to give you an idea of what you might expect to pay for certain areas of your wedding.

Now before I get you all hating on me, saying “But we can’t afford to spend XYZ on my dress/our photos/the food” I want to make it clear that I’m certainly not writing this to show you what you should be spending. No no no, I want this post to give you a basic idea of what you might get initially quoted to save you from the mini-heart attack I had when I first realised how much wedding dresses were.

You are then of course at full liberty to completely ignore these prices and spend as much or as little as you wish on your wedding. However knowledge is what you need when stepping into the somewhat daunting wedding world, and I’m here to give you just that.

Anyway, I hope this little list helps to give you an idea of how much things are. I’m not going to go into too much detail here or try and justify the suppliers corner as to why their prices are what they are or why some people charge more/less than others (if you’re concerned, then hell, just ask, I’m sure they’ll explain). I just want to save my lovely readers form having early embolisms when they’re faced with THE BILL.

My research showed that in the UK, the average cost of the main areas of wedding expense were as follows:

♥ Photography £1200 – £2000

♥ Videographer £1000 – £2000

♥ Flowers £1000

♥ Stationery £1000

♥ Wedding Dress £1000 – £2000

♥ Engagement Ring £2500 (woah lucky ladies!)

♥ Wedding Ring £400 – £1000

♥ Band/Entertainment £600-£1500 (depending of numbers of band members)

♥ Catering £25-£50 per person

♥ Make Up £200 (bride only + pre-wedding trial) +£50 extra per bridesmaid/Mother of the bride

♥ Hair £150 (bride only + pre-wedding trial) +£50 extra per bridesmaid/Mother of the bride

♥ Cake £350

♥ Wedding Planner – Approx 10% of your budget (full coordination) £650 – £1000 (on the day styling/coordination)

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A Budget-Friendly Autumnal Themed Couple Shoot: Rob & Jayne

Rob & Jayne used a mix of high street and vintage items for their shoot with Don from The Mottleys. I love how these images show that you really don’t need to spend a fortune on props and designer outfits to look beautiful in your wedding portraits.

“We were inspired by autumn and tried to incorporate this through the colours and textures: the mustard knitted tie, the soft peach, lace wedding dress, the wheat in the bouquet, the pinks and brass in the table setting. We set up our shoot in the garden. To keep off the autumn chill we had a hot chocolate bar with a variety of treats.”

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A Halloween, Day of the Dead & Bonfire Night Themed Wedding: Jennifer & Ian

Jennifer & Ian were married on Halloween so their day had a distinct theme to fit the time of year. “We wanted the wedding to have all the components of a ‘normal’ wedding but be personal to us,” the bride told me. “We both love Halloween, Day of the Dead and bonfire night and so decided to incorporate all three into a super-theme!”

“We wanted to make as much as we could ourselves, and to make the day as relaxed and enjoyable for everyone else.,” she continued. “We wanted a bonfire with jacket potatoes and toffee apples. The rest of the wedding was built up around that.”

“I made most of the decorations myself, but had some help from my friend Sharon and my Mum on the tissue paper Mexican picado’s. They were very time consuming to cut as the designs I chose were very intricate! But they were well worth the effort as they transformed a traditional bland-ish room into a Mexican festival!”

The couple booked Hannah Millard to photograph their wedding after seeing her featured on Rock n Roll Bride. “Hannah was absolutely amazing, she breezed in at the crack of Dawn and it was like I had known her for years,” Jennifer said. “After talking to her over emails I knew we would get on as we share the same ideas and principles on photography and weddings! What I didn’t expect was for Hannah to integrate with everyone else so easily, and to be a constant reassuring comfort to me throughout the day. She was so unobtrusive and took spectacular shots of our day.”

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