Tag Archives: wedding planning advice

12 Surprising Ways to Make Your Wedding Budget Stretch Further

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With the average cost of a wedding in the UK allegedly being upwards of £18,000, it’s no surprise that more and more alternative brides and grooms are looking for ways to cut costs.

But how can you create a stunning wedding, on a budget, whilst still having the best day possible? Here are my best wedding budgeting tips!

1. Look beyond the traditional

You need a wedding dress, so you go to a bridal boutique… you need a wedding cake so you go to a bakery… you need flowers… well, you get the idea.

This doesn’t have to be the case though. The British high street has so much to offer! From clothing stores like Coast and Monsoon offering wedding dress lines, Marks and Spencer and Asda doing wedding cakes and cut flowers being available in nearly every supermarket, looking outside the wedding industry bubble for these things can really save you thousands!

2. Buy secondhand

There are lots of websites that are great resources for secondhand wedding bargains. Look on for-sale.co.uk, eBay and preownedweddingdresses.com for pre-used items, many of which are complete steals!

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3. Enter competitions

You’ll be amazed what you could end up with. Wedding photography, wedding planning, cakes, dresses, décor, the works! Wedding blogs and magazines often host contests so make sure you enter as many as you can. Remember someone always has to win!

4. Shop out of season

When looking décor particularly, shop in the sales. After Christmas is a great time to get sparkly, kitschy items and post Halloween is the perfect opportunity to really score black vases and table wear, skull candles and themed candy! Don’t forget about Valentines Day sales too, especially if you want things pink, red or love themed!

5. Buy in bulk

Especially when it comes to the booze! Instead of using a normal bar service where you have to pay per drink, why not stock up at somewhere like Majestic or Costco? Some of these places will also buy back any alcohol that’s not used, and will throw in free glasswear hire for big orders. They always have massive sales after major holidays too.

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How to Remember Deceased Loved Ones At Your Wedding

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Intimate Halloween wedding by candlelight

By the time a lot of people get married, it is quite likely that they will have lost someone near and dear to them. I’ve had quite a few people email me about this over the past few weeks, so today I wanted to share some simple ways you can include a loved one who has passed away in your wedding day.

While many people might wince at the idea of including a memorial as part of a wedding day (for fear of it being too depressing or overshadowing the celebration), there are many ways that you can honour and include them in a subtle yet special way.

Have a photo of them in a locket, tied on your bouquet

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Halloween and horror wedding

Set up a memory table with photographs of them

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Doctor Who wedding

Wear something that they wore on their wedding day, or something they gave you

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Sunflower and flamingo wedding

Take some fabric from something they owned and sew it into the inside of your dress or one of your accessories (maybe in the shape of a heart)

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Colourful Mexican wedding

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Do I Need Bridesmaids?

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Hey Kat! I’m getting married in September and have been stressing over The Bridesmaid Situation for a while now. So my question is, what’s the Rock n Roll version of a bridesmaid and what does she do?

As much as I love channelling Blair Waldorf it just seems a bit minion-y, like an on-display clique, since I don’t have an obvious set of BFFs and hate to “draw the line”. Help!

I’m going to let you in on a secret: There isn’t really any reason, other than tradition, for bridesmaids (or groomsmen for that matter). Allegedly, bridesmaids came about because in Roman times the law required female witnesses at the wedding, dressed similarly to the bride, in order to confuse the evil spirits who wanted to cast bad luck over the marriage. So there you go. Evil spirits and tradition maketh the maid.

Although lots of people make a very big deal out of choosing their wedding party, for the modern, non evil spirit fearing bride, the actual duties of a bridesmaid are pretty limited. They can still be a very useful commodity though as their main function is to assist you with the wedding planning.

They have a few main tasks, and depending on what kind of alternative wedding you’re having these things may or may not even be relevant to you.

1. To be there for the big events like dress shopping, centrepiece choosing and DIY crafternoons.

2. To be emotional supportive in times of pre-wedding crisis because let’s face it, this shit can be stressful.

3. To plan you a kick ass hen do/ bridal shower/ bachelorette party.

4. To wear something pretty, walk down the aisle with you, carry a bouquet and be in the pictures.

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Eight Ways To Take The Stress Out of Wedding Planning

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More from this shoot

One of life’s undeniable truths that planning a wedding is stressful. Even the most chilled out person having the most laid back wedding will probably experience a mini wobble at one point during the process. Here are eight things you can do to ensure that the manic moments are as few and far between as possible.

1. Don’t spend more than you can afford

It should go without saying really, but in this “buy now pay later” world it can be all too easy to splash just a little bit too much borrowed cash on your wedding. Money being tight doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful and amazing wedding, and in some ways having to cut corners and do things yourself can actually make the day just that bit more personal and special.

Worrying or arguing about money is one of the biggest reasons cited for relationship breakdowns, so please don’t start out married life with a mountain of debt and all that extra horrible stress! Having a fabulous and extravagant day is nice, but having a happy marriage is way more important!

2. Book professionals you trust

A good wedding supplier will not only help you create the most wonderful day, but they’ll also take a lot of stress out of the process. If you’re working with people who you trust implicitly, you won’t need to worry one little bit!

If you have a meeting with a supplier and get a bad vibe, feel like they might be a bit disorganised or you’re worried that you don’t really ‘get’ you and your ideas, listen to your gut and don’t work with them! Don’t worry about offending a supplier by not booking them. If they’re not the right fit you’ll only regret and stress about it later.

3. Accept help

You know all those friends and family members who offer to help? Take them up on their offers!

Sure, making a few DIY things here and there doesn’t sound that stressful but when you still have 120 individually personalised wedding favours, your custom bridesmaid bouquets and your expertly hand-crafted headpiece to finish the night before the wedding, you’ll be thinking very differently!

You are not Wonder Woman and so getting help from the people that offer it is a MUST! Just make sure you give your helpers clear instructions (they aren’t mind-readers) and do something really nice as a thank you for them afterwards. And if moments of bridezilla control freak start to creep in, don’t take it out on the people that are helping you!

4. Stop trying to please everybody

Because it is literally impossible!

If you spend the whole time trying to second guess what this person would approve of, or if you choose things because it might please that family member, you will drive yourself nuts! The sad fact of the matter is that even if you had the most traditional, people-pleasing wedding, there would still be someone that didn’t like something. As Dita said “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”

So save yourself a whole heap of stress and plan a wedding that pleases the two of you. If everyone else likes your choices too then that’s just a lovely bonus!

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What Does Marriage Mean To You?

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Working in the wedding industry means than when I meet new people, after the usual queries about “what makes a wedding alternative?” and “what’s the weirdest wedding you’ve seen?” are answered, our conversations often turn into a discussion about marriage.

I feel like I’ve had these conversations with a very broad spectrum of people, all with very differing thoughts on what makes a healthy marriage. I’ve met people who have sexually open relationships and others that didn’t go to bed together before they said I do. I’ve chatted with those who cohabited within days of meeting and others that are married but still chose to live separately.

Over the years, these conversations have quickly made me realise that while I might be all for the most unconventional of weddings, I really do have quite a traditional view of marriage. Sure, our roles might be slightly unusual as I’m the main breadwinner whereas Gareth takes on more of the household chores, but in terms of what it actually means to us to be husband and wife, we’re pretty damn vanilla.

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With This Tattoo, I Thee Wed

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When we were 17, a friend of mine and her boyfriend got each other’s names tattooed on their hips. Unfortunately, but probably rather unsurprisingly, the relationship didn’t last and they both ended up getting their once oh-so-permanent reminders of first love covered up with something else.

Inadvisable teenage tattoos aside, I am still a big fan of matching ink and more than ever I’m seeing couples opting for tattooed wedding bands, or a small symbol on their ring ringer, in place of physical wedding band.

While researching for this article I was massively disappointed to find that near enough every single piece I read on this so called ‘trend’ (if tattoos are a passing fad then it’s the longest running one I’ve ever heard of!) we’re wholeheartedly negative. “Oh if the marriage ends they’ll be stuck with a tattoo they hate”, “Laser removal is expensive and painful”, “It will be a permanent reminder of a relationship gone bad” they warned.

I felt completely depressed. Yes, we should be cautious and unimpulsive with big decisions like getting a tattoo… but surely even more so with a big commitment like, oh I don’t know, choosing to get married! It is a sad fact of life that some marriages end in divorce, but – shock horror – many of them do not.

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