Supplier Spotlight – Meet Jo Richards Photography

Here at The Budget Bride Company, we know exactly how important it is to choose the right photographer for your wedding day. This is the wedding supplier who you will really want to connect with; if they ‘get’ you – your humour, your vision for the day, your style - then you will be en route to getting fantastic wedding photos that truly capture the mood of the day…

I’m so pleased to be featuring a Supplier Spotlight on Jo Richards Photography today. Based in the South East, Jo is a passionate and dedicated wedding photographer whose sense of fun and attention to detail make her a big hit with couples planning their wedding days. We had ten minutes with Jo to find out a bit more about what inspires her, both in front of and behind the camera…




Can you tell us a little bit about you?

I have been photographing weddings for approximately 15 years now. I love photography, art, music and all things creative. I live in Berkshire with my husband and 2 ½ year old daughter. I recently returned from Australia, where we lived for 3 ½ years and have thoroughly enjoyed shooting English weddings again.

I also run a handmade gift company where I put my sewing skills to good use!




How did you get into wedding photography?

I graduated from art college in 1999 and trained for a year assisting on weddings with a very good friend of mine who had been in the wedding industry for a number of years. She helped me gain the confidence to go it alone and find my own style and I haven’t looked back since. I went back to do my photography degree in 2003 and it gave a whole new dimension to my wedding photography and I have learned a lot within the industry since then.


What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?

Being part of someone’s special day is an amazing honour. Being taken into the inner circle of their family is wonderful and you really get to build some great relationships with your clients. They trust you implicitly and it’s a big responsibility. You must be passionate about shooting weddings to capture what it really means. The people make it all worth it!





What inspires you - both behind the lens and when you're not at work?

Nature inspires a lot of what I do creatively. Colours and textures, light and dark. Other people’s work also. I think any talent should be praised, and am always looking to others creativity to boost my enthusiasm. I do, however, think that people are the greatest inspiration for any photographic work, particularly wedding and portrait work. To be faced with a real character when shooting people is a treat. Capturing that personality on film is a huge achievement.


Have you got any predictions or tips for weddings in 2013?

The vintage vibe is still going strong and with the media encouraging us to upcycle and recycle I think that there will be more and more ‘home-made’ weddings next season with a lot of really personalized elements. I think it makes for a much more interesting and meaningful day when you have put so much heart and soul into it all.



Where is the most interesting place that you have covered a wedding?

I recently shot a wedding on a beautiful deserted beach in Noosa in Queensland, Australia. I spent 3 ½ years in Australia shooting weddings and this was absolutely magical. Not only because of the amazing setting, but because it was a friend from school who I hadn’t seen for around 18 years and the atmosphere was something really special. They had created their very own aisle on the beach and the sun shone for the service right on cue, with a downpour to follow once we were finished! Having said that, for me, you just can’t beat a truly traditional English Country Manor House or hotel.  There’s something stunning about such an imposing venue.



Jo offers a fantastic wedding photography package covering the Bride’s preparations all the way through to the wedding breakfast from £845 with a 10% discount for Budget Bride Company readers.



To find out more about Jo Richards and to have a look through her wedding photography gallery,  have a look at or call for a chat about your plans on 07710 512935.


Laura xx

Boutique and Breakfast – the new route to mini moon success!

I remember a time, not so long ago, when it was absolutely the done thing to wing your way off to extremely tropical destinations for your honeymoon. The most common response when asking where a honeymoon was going to be spent, seemed to be ‘Mauritius for a couple of weeks’ or ‘Sri Lanka followed by a week in a beach bungalow in the Maldives’. And while this lust for a paradise location for your honeymoon can be overwhelming, the thought of a gorgeous mini moon bolt hole to run away to with your newly betrothed certainly appeals to us here at The Budget Bride Company! The romance lies with getting away with your new husband and not necessarily having to take out a £10k loan to do it. The mini moon boom is on and with beautiful locations to get away to in the UK for a snip of the price of an overseas trip; it’s a great time to look into the options available to you.

We caught up with Lucy of Boutique and Breakfast - - an online guide to the finest, boutique-style bed and breakfast accommodation in the UK and she explains why B&Bs can make great honeymoon destinations and even wedding venues...


“The good old-fashioned British B&B is something of an institution, but they’ve come a long way since the days of dodgy decor, badly-cooked breakfasts and shared bathrooms. The best 21st century B&Bs have stylish decor, sumptuous fittings and fixtures, luxurious finishing touches and fabulous food rivalling anything that a boutique hotel could offer. They tend to have an air of exclusivity and a more personalised level of customer service than larger hotels. That’s why a stay at a boutique bed and breakfast makes a great option for newly-weds looking for peace, quiet and privacy, not to mention a little pampering and luxury. Boutique B&Bs are also a much more affordable honeymoon option, which is a major consideration in these credit crunchy times, when more and more couples are opting to spend their honeymoons in the UK”.

“At Boutique and Breakfast, you’ll find a carefully hand-picked selection of bed and breakfasts, guest houses and restaurants with rooms. Scattered the length and breadth of the UK, they offer such a high standard of accommodation that you may find that you struggle to leave the comfort of your room. Four poster beds; huge, free-standing baths; swimming pools; saunas; Jacuzzis; spa and beauty treatments; and evening meals made with the finest, locally-sourced ingredients are just some of the extras provided by properties featured on the Boutique and Breakfast website”.

“As well as being able to search by geographical location, we’ve also categorised our B&BS according to the style of the property and their decor. This means that, if you want to make like a heroine in a Bronte novel and tuck yourself away in a romantic Georgian house surrounded by rugged Yorkshire moorland just a stone’s throw from where the famous literary sisters were brought up, you can!”

“If you’d prefer to lounge by the pool at a super-glamorous, coastal retreat that wouldn’t look out of place in a Bond film, we can fix that for you too!”


“The options are endless and the very best British B&Bs offer a truly unique and memorable honeymoon experience. Whether you’d prefer a sleek, modern city pad full of whizzy gadgets and with plenty of bars, restaurants and attractions on your doorstep; a rustic, rural retreat where you can snuggle up by an open fire and won’t bump into another soul; or a stylish, contemporary take on the traditional seaside guesthouse, there’s a boutique-style B&B out there that’s just perfect for you and your new spouse.”

“Some of our featured properties are even licensed to hold wedding ceremonies and can host your reception too. They make a great option for those planning an intimate and relaxed wedding with a handful of close family and friends. We have a range of stunning wedding venues for you to choose from, including a windmill by the sea and award-winning restaurants with rooms. Simply select the ‘Wedding venue’ and ‘Licensed to hold civil weddings’ options on the advanced search box to find inspiration for your special day.”

Thanks so much Lucy and good luck to all you brides to be with finding your ideal mini moon! Let us know where you choose to go…

Laura x


Top Ten Budget Busting Wedding Tips

Top ten budget busting wedding tips

I first met the talented Rebecca Aspin, owner of the Sell My Wedding website, earlier this year at an event run by the RocknRoll Bride in Sheffield. I was inspired to hear Rebecca’s story of how she came to set up the website and the idea behind it. I am now really happy to share a guest post with you from Rebecca – her top ten tips for a Budget Busting Wedding.


Four years on from my own wedding, I founded Sell My Wedding – a UK-based online wedding marketplace – as a way to recycle all of my preloved wedding treasures. The website has been live since last July with brides-to-be quick to snap up a bargain, in fact eager buyers currently outnumber sellers, showing that in the current climate brides-to-be are keen to cut down on the cost of their wedding.

Sell My Wedding is ultimately about recycling, reusing and of course saving those pennies {which we all know is so difficult to do when planning a wedding} Here I give you my top ten tips for planning an eco-budget busting wedding… 

#1 Do it yourself  

In an era of recession, which has taken its inspiration from the wartime make do and mend ethos, the trend to ‘Do It Yourself’ does not seem to be losing its popularity. From the invitations to the centrepieces to the food, an element of DIY pops up at most weddings, with some couples opting all out to do it themselves.

Wedding blogs are a constant source of inspiration featuring ‘DIY’ weddings and tutorials helping even the most novice crafter add a hint of DIY to her wedding day.  

#2 Family heirlooms

Since William gave Kate his mother’s engagement ring it has once again become acceptable rather than frugal, to pass on the family heirloom rather than buying brand new. Kate also followed the old fashioned mantra, ‘old new borrowed blue’ when she borrowed the Queen’s tiara to wear at her wedding. 

In this era of nostalgia, make do and mend ethos, and love of all things vintage, when it comes to the most important wedding purchase of them all, many brides are opting to have a dress made using vintage lace or fabric from their mother or Grandmother’s wedding dress.  I think that this is such a lovely thing to do…   


#3 Favour friends

By calling upon the talents and creativity of your family and friends you can not only reduce costs, but add that element of DIY to your wedding day. My friend Lucy who had done a course in floristry made my bouquet and my bridesmaids’ as my wedding gift, my Grandma baked a fruit cake which was served with the cheese whilst my friends made up the favours – old fashioned bags of Yorkshire mixture.     



#4 Crafty Hens

Many hens have turned their backs on extravagant breaks abroad instead opting for a more low key, but equally fabulous, crafty affair in this country. Combine with (#1 DIY) to hold a craft party where you can make your veil or décor for your wedding.   Try crafty wedding blog www.adoreweddingblog. com for more inspiration and details of crafty hen parties.


#5 Mismatched bridesmaid dresses 

I must admit I love the look of mismatched bridesmaids dresses particularly in cute floral prints – it is not only a great way to ensure that each bridesmaid is happy with how they look in a style that flatters but most will be happy to buy their own dress if it is something that they ‘love’ and will most likely wear again.  You never know, they may already have something in their wardrobe which is just perfect. 


#6 Chalkboards

Chalkboards are cheap to buy in all shapes or sizes; alternatively you can make your own using old frames sourced from car boots sales or charity shops and some chalk board paint or foil. You could then use the chalkboards as table numbers, menus or table plans – the beauty being that you can then reuse them after your wedding, by putting them up at home and using them as a memo board {or of course sell onto another bride via Sell My Wedding.}


#7 Jam jars & bottles

The best thing about jam jars and bottles is that they are free! I am a particular fan of the strawberry bonne mammon jam jars as they have a red and white gingham lid. Jam jars can be used on their own or as part of a cluster to display candles or cut flowers. Or how about cutting old champagne or wine bottles in half to display flowers, they perfectly suit a vintage themed wedding with a mix of old labels on show. Or simply use old bottles to display single stems all the way down a trestle table.

The best thing is that when you have finished with them you can recycle at the bottle bank or pass onto another bride.


#8 Village Hall

If you are looking for a venue to add your own stamp to, why not check out the village halls in your area, many have undergone a refurbishment and are equipped to host a large wedding party. As well as being a blank canvas, you can then bring in local suppliers to serve up your favourite food and drink.


If you have the option to self cater why not source the food from your local butcher or greengrocer or encourage your venue to use one of your favourite local suppliers – not only will it taste fresher but it will reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding.



#9 Something old something new

Gone is the stigma surrounding secondhand and preloved, brides are happy to source wedding items in charity shops, car boot sales, ebay and preloved wedding sites like By using sites like Sell My Wedding you may be able to afford the wedding dress you fell in love with but couldn’t stretch to full price, or afford those centrepieces if you know you can make some money back by selling them afterwards.


Items that are being snapped up quickly on Sell My Wedding include bunting, lanterns and decorations, veils and hair accessories and 1950’s style prom wedding dresses – because unlike floor length wedding gowns, these shorter gowns don’t have any marks on the bottom.

I have also noticed that brides-to-be who buy from the site are also coming back to sell their wedding onto another bride.


Those sellers who do really well on the site are often those who are selling a large number of items from their wedding, the website also give sellers the opportunity to include the story of their wedding so buyers can not only be inspired by their wedding but also buy the items (at a fraction of the full price).


#10 Staycation    

With so many luxury bed and breakfasts and fabulous foodie pubs with rooms in this country, there is no need for an expensive long haul flight to foreign climes when you can cosy away with your new husband in a British bolthole. Many newly-weds are indeed opting to stay local choosing to take a mini moon in this country.  One of my favourite websites is 


Thanks so much Rebecca. Don’t forget to log on to to find fantastic pre-loved wedding items and inspiration for your wedding.

How to style your shape – by a lady that knows…

I have always been in awe of those girls (and boys) that are able to magically tell if an outfit or item of clothing will suit them, merely by glancing at it for a couple of moments. These lucky people have been born with a sixth sense in the style stakes and are the ones who always seem to look good – even if only popping out to the shops for a pint of milk.

Whether you are a bride preparing for your big day, or you are going to be a guest at an upcoming wedding and are currently searching for a great outfit, knowing what really suits your shape the best can be invaluable in helping  you make the right choices. I recently attended a ‘Style your Shape’ evening, hosted by the ever polished Carolyn Palot-Watts at her dress agency – Carolyn’s Collection, based in Earls Barton near Northampton. The aim of the evening was to share some top tips on how to dress to max your best bits, without having to spend the earth to do so.



Carolyn was assisted by personal style advisor, Lesley Clarke (www.lesley-clarke) who gave some brilliant pointers on how to use colour and pattern to make the most of your assets. I’m pleased to be able to share some of the tips from the evening with you here. The recommendations below are based on the type of body shape you believe you have – the tips should help you when narrowing down your options for choosing a great wedding outfit!



You have an ‘Apple’ shaped body type if you are fuller in the bust and tummy area, and have slimmer hips and legs. You should be showing off your lovely shapely legs and ankles and drawing attention to your slim wrists. By wearing well-tailored jackets, you will bring a look of definition to your body. Your best friends will be wrap dresses and tie over cardigans – these will accentuate your bust line and give added definition to your middle – the side bow will also draw attention away from your tummy – perfect!

Top Apple Do: Draw attention to your best bits –legs, ankles and bust line

Top Apple Don’t: Bulk up your top half by sporting shoulder pads or tapered trousers, either of these will simply make you look bigger where you want to look smaller.



You have a ‘Pear’ shaped body type if you carry your weight more on your hips, bottom and thighs. Your best bits will probably include a nice narrow waist, slim arms and a great bust line – all of which you should show off! Highlight your top half with pretty, patterned or colourful strapless tops or dresses with spaghetti straps. Keep colours on your lower half darker and more muted – this will pull the eye upwards to your top half. If you are wearing a dress, A-lines are a great bet for this body shape. If you are wearing a belt, put it around the slimmest point of your waist to show it off. If you are wearing trousers, go for boot cut - to even out your silhouette.

Top Pear Do: Wear heels to lengthen your legs

Top Pear Don’t: Wear skinny jeans and flats, this will only maximise your rear and make you look shorter.



You have a ‘Rhubarb’ shaped body type if your hips and bust line are slim – you will probably have long legs and torso and you don’t put on weight easily. Go for shorter skirts and dresses that show off your long legs. Halter necks can help create curves on your top half. You’re lucky as you can also go crazy for colour and patterns – whether you wear stripes or bold colour on any part of your outfit, you will be able to pull it off.

Top Rhubarb Do: Ruched dresses and those nipped in at the waist will give the illusion of curves where you do not have them.

Top Rhubarb Don’t: Avoid baggy clothes – they will swamp you.



You have an hourglass figure if you have full hips and bust with a small waist. You have a classic feminine shape so show it off! Ensure you invest in good underwear for maximum support – a good quality uplift bra will ensure you look your best in tops and dresses. V necks are an excellent choice for hour glass shapes, but always make sure that you leave your tops untucked in to your trousers or skirt – you need to elongate your waist as much as possible, so leaving tops untucked helps with this illusion.

Top Hourglass Do: Pencil skirts with puff sleeved blouses and fitted jackets were made for you! This is a classic way to accentuate your hourglass silhouette.

Top Hourglass Don’t: Don’t go too baggy or too clingy: too baggy and you will waste your curves, too clingy is not as flattering as gently draping your figure.


These pointers were all illustrated brilliantly by Carolyn and her team who were on hand to show us some before and after outfits, showcasing how dressing for your shape really is key.

A different way to shop…

The thought of walking into a clothing shop or boutique and being able to put your complete confidence into a professional who knows what will look good on you is a really great feeling. Carolyn has a sparkly and vivacious character, and you can’t help but feel at ease as soon as you enter the store. Walking through the maze of interlinking rooms bursting with colourful dresses, scarves, shoes and jewellery – you could be forgiven for losing several hours of your day exploring what’s on offer. And my favourite thing about the store? Everything you see has been pre-owned. This means that the prices are fantastically reasonable and as a mother of the bride, you could find yourself in a beautiful Jacques Vert outfit for £30. The range of accessories includes shoes from Dune through to handbags from Radley – all at around a third of what you would usually find them for on the high street.

I sat down with Carolyn to find out a bit more about the lady behind the dress agency:

What is your favourite thing about running a Dress Agency?

My customers – I love meeting different people each day and knowing that they will leave the store with an outfit or accessories that truly accentuate their best features.


What gave you the idea for opening this type of boutique?

I have always used dress agencies in the past and I love the way that you can get great quality clothes without having to spend a fortune. Being the kind of person that loves clothes and loves people, it seemed like a natural thing for me to do.


What inspires you in your work?

Seeing someone walking out of the shop absolutely thrilled with their purchase. And then bringing their friends back with them the next time they visit!



What would be your top tip for wedding guests on a budget?

Go to a dress agency before looking elsewhere. There’s no need to trawl all of the high street shops looking for a special outfit, when you can walk into a dress agency and receive personalised advice and assistance in finding something to suit you perfectly and at about a third of the price of high street shops.


What are your favourite items that you like to sell?

I love the accessories that we stock – pashmina’s, earrings and shoes can really make the outfit. As our typical customers can be anyone from young girls in their late teens through to glamorous ladies in their 80’s, our accessories can help reflect your personal style and tastes perfectly.



Any style advice you would like to give to Budget Bride Company readers?

Invest in good quality underwear that is flattering to your shape. Excellent underwear can really make all the difference as to how you look and feel in your dress, whether you are the bride or one of the wedding guests.


You can find Carolyn at her boutique, Carolyn’s Collection:

4B The Square, Earls Barton, Northampton, NN6 0NA. Tel: 01604 810652 or 07584 093039. Or visit the website for more information:

A Budget Kent Wedding

At the Budget Bride Company, we are always on the lookout for gorgeous weddings where a lot has been achieved on a smaller wedding budget. We love showcasing budget weddings with style and I was delighted when this one came up!


Chris and Sarah were married at St Mary the Virgin Church in Stone, Kent in June. It was important to the couple that they had an old fashioned themed wedding. “We wanted our wedding to be relaxed with lots of beautiful wild flowers and romantic candles” explained Sarah.


Featuring a sky blue and dusky pink theme throughout, there was a wonderful English country garden feel to the day. “The wedding bouquets were home grown in our own garden and the reception flowers were from a company specialising in meadow and garden flowers” said Sarah.



The couple were able to make great budget savings on their wedding, by making small decisions that made all the difference. “We made savings by only having one bridesmaid and two flower girls. We also bought our dresses in the sales at Monsoon” explained Sarah. “The wedding cars were a favour from one of our friends who have a vintage Jaguar and a Crysler”, she continued. “We managed to keep to a budget of around £6k and touches like having a family friend making the wedding cake all really helped”.



The reception was held at the Bexley Park Social Club where Chris and his band, The Tumbling Dice, provided the entertainment.


What a lovely couple - thank you Chris and Sarah for sharing your day with us and thanks to James Grist for the lovely photos!








Ceremony ~ St Mary the Virgin Church:

Evening Reception ~ Bexley Park Social Club:

Photography ~ James Grist Photography:

Dresses ~ Monsoon:

Supplier Spotlight – Meet James Grist


The Budget Bride Company is very pleased to introduce one of our new Photographers – James Off! Grist. I first found out about James’ work on a blog where he was showcasing a budget wedding that he had covered. I was impressed by the dedication that he showed to achieving the couple’s ideals for the day, despite gulv! their lower end budget. We got together with James to find out a little bit more about the man behind the lens…

So James, tell us a little bit more about you?

Well, I'm a 25 year old Father of a beautiful Daughter who is my best subject to wholesale mlb jerseys photograph! I also have a beautiful Wife who puts up with my constant talking about photography.


What’s your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?

One of the best things has to be meeting all the new people with each wedding that I cover. I enjoy being around so much love wholesale nba jerseys at weddings and I gain so much out делать, of creating special moments that people will cherish over the years to come.


What inspires you - both behind the lens and when you're not at work?

I'm very laid back when I'm shooting a wedding. I like to crack jokes and have a laugh - that's when I get the most out of my clients.  My style is very much documentary, I love recording the day as it unfolds. I'm not into the whole posing shots thing!


What are your predictions for wedding trends for the rest of the year and going into 2013?

 I think it’s important June to keep my ear to the ground and adjust my style according to each of my client’s needs. It is the client’s dreams and ideas that inspire me to create the best shots.


James Grist can cover your wedding from your Champagne Bridal make-up and hair through to your first dance for £800 with all images edited and supplied on a disc ready for print. This includes a free pre-wedding shoot for you and your partner.


To see more of James’ work and to have a look at his cheap mlb jerseys blog, head to or call him direct on 07989 772346


Laura x