Changing your name after marriage – Introducing My Married Name Change

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Changing your name after marriage is an exciting step in your journey as a newlywed. It makes everything seem official and you can finally start using your new married signature! But changing your name after marriage can also be a massive time drain and you can even wonder where on earth you should start with this daunting task.

It was with this in mind that we created My Married Name Change. It’s the service specifically created for UK newlyweds who are going to be changing your name after marriage and are looking for this to be a quick and easy process. My Married Name Change makes changing your name after marriage a breeze. By filling out our straight forward, no jargon Quick Form which only takes around five minutes to fill in, you can select every Company and Organisation that you are associated with. We then email you your Personalised Name Change Pack, which contains specific and easy to follow instructions for how to let each Company and Organisation know that you are changing your name after marriage.

What your Personalised Name Change Pack includes:

Contact details for each Company and Organisation that you need to advise that you are changing your name after marriage.

Specific advice on which method of contact each Company and Organisation prefers.

Advice on whether each Company and Organisation requires you to send a copy, or an original of your wedding certificate (or none at all).

Where the preferred method of contact is fax or letter, we will include a copy populated with all of your details ready for you to print out, sign and send.

Where the preferred method of contact is email, we will include a ready to copy and paste email, ready populated with all of your details and confirmation that you are changing your name after marriage.

Your Personalised Name Change Pack has a clear checkbox layout, so that you can tick off each Company and Organisation as you go through and complete the process of changing your name after marriage.

We will even include blank templates for you to use for smaller Companies and Organisations such as Universities, Doctors and Vets so can advise them easily that you are changing your name after marriage.

We have researched hundreds of UK companies, so that you don’t have to! Our service makes changing your name after marriage a simple and straightforward process. Spending five minutes on our Quick Form can save you hours of post wedding admin and sitting on the phone trying to find out who and where you should be sending details to about changing your name after marriage.

We can’t wait to help you with changing your name after marriage! You can read more here: 

Laura xx

PS: If you’re looking for an original and helpful wedding gift idea, we also provide eGift cards that make an ideal wedding present!

Real life Budget Wedding – Stephanie and David

I’m so pleased to share Stephanie and David’s beautiful wedding with you. Stephanie planned the whole wedding on a budget and shares some of her tips with us today!

Real life budget wedding

Tell us a little bit about how you met your fiancé and how you got engaged?

We met on Twitter! David was the colleague of one of my followers, and I instantly liked his profile picture. He was really sweet and quirky.  Within 48 hours we had joined each other’s Facebooks and exchanged numbers.  He lived 300 miles away so this has been a long distance relationship until three months ago.  I was visiting him over summer when he proposed over a home cooked lunch in a sunny back garden.

What was your favourite part of planning your wedding?

A bit shallow, but choosing a ring and a dress! Every girl’s going to say that, surely?

What was your wedding Budget and how did you make the most of it?

We didn’t have a set budget, we just wanted to keep things reasonable all the way. We made big savings on the flowers - David is Welsh so we had daffodils from the village where we married, as table decorations in the church.  They were just picked by the lady who arranges the church flowers and so were very inexpensive, along with some other small blue flowers as a contrast.

I also had a knitted bouquet made by my mother who is a keen knitter.  It is a total one off and will last forever!

For the catering, we had a buffet, lemon tarts and chocolate brownies and 'mocktails', all handmade by an organic community cafe which is in the chapel, so everything was made from scratch.  They asked for a fee per head, and in total came to under £100.

I used an online boutique for my dress, simply send your measurements away and they make and send your dress.  I ordered it Xmas day and had it arrive from overseas on the 6th Jan.  Groom used Primark and looked handsome as anything, plus an online boutique for his tie and cufflinks.


What is your best money saving tip for other brides on a budget?

Do NOT be duped into parting with money because ‘your wedding HAS to have X, Y and Z.’ Says who? Have your essentials and don’t be swayed into getting ‘extras.’ We were quoted £400 for a vintage car to and from the church and we laughed at them.  Companies see you coming, and they get pound signs in their eyes.  Your wedding can be beautiful, unique and personal without it costing the earth.  You are just as married in a small registry office as in a large country house hotel.  I don’t know how those places sleep at night!  Also, don’t invite anyone you don’t genuinely want there.

Who were your favourite budget wedding suppliers?

That would have to be Clervaux Café in Darlington, and for the dress.

Did you do much DIY?

My mother knitted my bouquet so there’s not another one like it in the world.  Also my witness’s sister made some cake toppers - ‘Amazing Cakes by Amanda’, which you can find on Facebook.

What did you enjoy most on your wedding day?

Spending time with our two witnesses, the organic home cooked food, and of course being husband and wife!

Did you have a theme for your wedding day and if so, how did you decide on it?

David’s Welsh, so we had a daffodil theme.  The men wore yellow- gold ties, I had knitted daffodils in the bouquet and the church had fresh daffodils on all the tables.  Perfect for Easter.

What would be your best piece of advice for all of our other Budget Bride Company readers?

Stick to what you want, not what society tells you you ought to have.  Don’t compare yourselves to others.


Thank you so much for sharing your wedding with us Stephanie! And big congratulations to you and David 🙂


Laura xx

Fun Budget Hen Do Ideas

Fun Budget Hen Do Ideas

I thought it would be a great time to re-visit this ever popular topic! If you have decided to hand over the planning reigns to your Bridesmaids, send them a link of this page for some handy and fun budget hen do ideas!

You can have a look at some other fun Budget Hen Do Ideas on a previous post that I wrote here. And I have dedicated a whole session to this topic in our 30 Day Wedding Planning E-Course - if you haven't got your course yet, you can enrol here!

Go cheesy and fun: I have put this at the top of my list for a good reason! Cheesy and fun hen dos and very accessible, fun for pretty much anybody that you invite and almost always one of the cheapest hen do ideas around. I went to the hen do of one of my good friends in London last year and I was very happily surprised to learn about the very reasonable dress up theme (her husband is French, so we dressed up in stripy tops and wore strings of garlic around our necks!) and we went to see The Dream Boys in London on a very accessible price per head which included a buffet dinner and cocktail, entrance to the show, and entry to a nightclub for dancing afterwards. It was a great fun night for all involved and there were no budget worries as the price was so reasonable.

Have a look at Hen Heaven for fun ideas in a city near you!

Calm and sophisticated: If a calm, relaxed weekend with your girlies is more your cup of tea, have a look into reasonably priced spa options that will be suitable for everyone from your Mum to your best mates. Lots of spas and hotels now offer great value mini spa breaks, where you can utilise their pool and facilities along with one or two treatments. If based at a hotel, you can often get residential options at great rates which can include your overnight stay and different levels of catering. I recently visited Whittlebury Hall with my sister for a twilight spa which was amazing value at £35 each and included a healthy dinner and drink, and full use of the spa and leisure facilities for the evening. There is also a great package where you can stay overnight with a three course dinner, breakfast and lunch, as well as a 25 minute treatment and full use of the spa and hotel facilities from £99 per person.

Outdoorsy: If you and your friends are more outdoorsy people, it can be a great idea to find a cheap way of having some fun outside that isn’t going to break the bank. Organise a group bike ride with a good pub stop en route or organise a rambling day in the country with a brilliant destination restaurant or pub in mind where you can relax at the end of the day.

Energetic: If you want to keep you and your hens super busy with an action packed hen do on the cheap, look for activity days or weekends where you can really put each other through your paces! Sign up for a challenge day such as Wolf Run which you can enter from around £40 per person or look into organised activity days including options like white water rafting or archery – there are loads of great options here.

Girly, with plenty of time for bonding: Do you love taking it easy with your besties, with lots of time for chatting and relaxing? Consider booking some activities which are reasonably priced and won’t make you feel rushed. I absolutely loved my hen do trip to Home Made in London for a perfume making course which lasted a leisurely few hours and included a lovely afternoon tea and my own bottle of perfume to take home with me for £39 per person.

There are loads of other options for girly hen dos such as wine tasting, punting and cupcake making classes. And there is always the option of running your own craft class at one of your hens houses to really keep the costs down!

What’s on your hen do wish list? Join the conversation over on our Facebook page!

Happy hen do planning!

Laura xx

Real Life Budget Wedding for £2,500: Lucie and Carl

Real Life Budget Wedding on a £2,500 budget - Lucie and Carl


Lucie and Carl had a real life budget wedding, with a strict limit of £2,500 for their celebrations. And they certainly carried it out in style! Lucie tells us a bit more about how she managed to have the day (and diamonds!) she wanted, on the wedding budget she had available…


It began with the ring.  I simply adore diamonds and I wanted a nice ring, but knew we couldn't afford what I wanted. I discovered enhanced diamonds on eBay, and mentioned them to Carl.  He researched them too (unbeknown to me!), and when he proposed I got a ring slightly larger than 1 carat, which is stunning, and in the classic knife edge Tiffany style. Carl had bought the ring at Christmas; that's another tip about eBay, if you buy during the holidays you can usually snap up a bargain! I used this ethos for the rest of the wedding budgeting.   My ring cost £840, but even though it's been enhanced, it's still a diamond and it's valued at £5,500.  I love it because it was such a budget find but looks so lovely!


As my engagement ring was a classic Tiffany design, I wanted a classic Tiffany wedding band, and so we went to London to buy a very simple ring that would make the engagement ring "pop".  I did love the band in Tiffany's, but it was around £800 which was way over my wedding budget, so having looked at all the jewellery shops for months to try and find a simple slender wedding band, I finally found one in Argos for £24.99.  It looks as pretty as the Tiffany one, but an absolute bargain.  I constantly get women complementing my rings and I always smile to myself - if only they knew!

Real Life Budget Wedding on a £2,500 budget - Lucie and Carl

I'm very artistic, so I decided that I would do everything I could for the day myself.  I designed the wedding invitations with an Alice in Wonderland theme and jazzed up the envelopes with glitter to make each one individual.


I decided to create my own flowers for the wedding day and worked with faux flowers so I could work on them a little at a time, saving money and time.  I bought fake flowers from eBay and I went on YouTube to find out how to make a bouquet, and similar flowers for the Flower Girls, the centre pieces, and all the button holes.  My Mum had passed away the year before our wedding, and I wanted something of her on the day so within my bouquet I added some faux diamonds to bling it up, and some pearls my Mum had given me as a Christmas decoration. I looked on Pinterest for examples of modern bling bouquets and used them as an example of what I wanted.  All in all I spent around £80 on the flowers.


Real Life Budget Wedding on a £2,500 budget - Lucie and Carl


Real Life Budget Wedding on a £2,500 budget - Lucie and Carl


I made the cake myself, and as some of my guests didn't like wedding cake, I also made some cupcakes.  I don't have a lot of experience baking cakes, but again I relied on Pinterest for what I wanted, and I borrowed a cake decorating magazine from a friend that had a step-by-step guide of how to make flowers out of icing.  I had so many compliments for my shabby chic cake, and it really cost a fraction of the cost of a usual cake. I spent around £60 on the cake and cupcakes in total.

Real Life Budget Wedding on a £2,500 budget - Lucie and Carl


Real Life Budget Wedding on a £2,500 budget - Lucie and Carl


Real Life Budget Wedding on a £2,500 budget - Lucie and Carl

I bought my dress from TKMaxx for £59.99.  I wanted a glamorous dress, and it was a replica of Pippa Middleton's Bridesmaid dress, only it was in satin.  I have spent more on a dress for work, but my reasoning is I'd wear a dress for work again and again but I'd wear my wedding dress for a few hours so I couldn't bring myself to spend a lot on that.  I bought brand new shoes that cost me £3.50 – another great eBay find!


I wanted a very glamorous feather shawl and I spent a lot of time bidding on some on eBay that were around £85 but at the back of my mind I wasn't happy at spending that much, so I kept my eye out, and low and behold I managed to get one for £13.50.  Again it was like new, so I was delighted.

Real Life Budget Wedding on a £2,500 budget - Lucie and Carl

I did all my make-up myself, so that didn't cost a thing, but I did have an up-do done at Toni and Guy and that was around £35. Everyone that came to the wedding thought I looked very glamorous and to think that my entire Bridal look cost around £87, I was very happy at all the compliments!

Real Life Budget Wedding on a £2,500 budget - Lucie and Carl

We only had 30 guests at our wedding, which I know is much smaller than most people, but I only wanted people that really mattered and I wanted it to be very intimate.  We really couldn't decide at all where to have the Reception, so last Valentine's Night we went out to our local restaurant and I realised that I loved it there, so we asked the Manager if he would open it especially for us.  They actually do wedding receptions in the larger part of the restaurant, but it would have been a standard few grand.  I was adamant that I wanted a very intimate atmosphere so he agreed to open up his restaurant just for us.  We had a free bar, and the entire day cost around £850.  

At the Reception I also got a Wishing Tree.  Again I bought this on eBay, but it was a reject, so I had to paint it.  It cost around £14.  I then bought some luggage labels, and I aged them, and added glitter, and left out a pen so the guests could write down their wishes for us. These cost around £1.75.

Real Life Budget Wedding on a £2,500 budget - Lucie and Carl

We did have a professional photographer, but we saved on his price by having photos only at the venue, so we got a real life budget wedding package of video and 400 photos for £500.  

My husband bought a lovely suit, but he was going to anyway, so I wouldn't count that in the price of the wedding because he continues to wear it today. So, all in all, including the rings, the wedding, the Reception all came in at £2,500 which I am so proud of as we had such a wonderful day.  

It sounds like a cliche but it really was one of the happiest day of my life.  I guess I waited a lot longer than most brides as I'll be 50 in a four years. It was truly worth the wait!


Thanks so much for sharing your real life budget wedding day with us Lucie! Congratulations to both of you and well done on achieving such a lovely day on a £2,500 budget 😀

You can catch up with all of our other gorgeous real life budget weddings here and if you would like to have your own wedding featured on, just drop us a line - we would love to hear from you!

Laura xo


Photographs by Martin Banks

Wedding Wish List Wednesday

It’s the middle of the week already, is your January flying past as quickly as mine seems to be?! As it’s Wednesday, it’s time for a wedding wish list 🙂 What are you wishing for this week?

♥ Monsoon have a really lovely selection of Vintage inspired wedding Dresses for this season, all designed in London. My current favourite is this Carlotta wedding dress for £299.

♥ I am absolutely in love with the new range of wedding guest outfits from Coast. I will be running a special Coast Wedding Guest Outfit feature on next week’s wish list to showcase their amazing new SS14 range – it’s stunning! But for now, how about this little beauty?! It’s a splash at £160 but if you wear it to two weddings this year and two other special occasions, that will work out at £40 per wear – bargain!

Coast Red Guest dress


♥ Coast also have a great sale on at the moment. I spyed this gorgeous little gold clutch bag (white, pink and gold theme anyone?) which is now £22 reduced from £45!

Coast Gold Clutch Bag

♥ I saw this advert in the current issue of Perfect Wedding Magazine - the detail on the back of this dress has me a little bit obsessed! The 2014 collection from Pure Bridal has wedding dresses ranging from £399 to £749 – well worth a look 🙂

Pure Bridal Wedding Dress

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Laura xo

Your personal invitation to our last Budget Bride Live Wedding Fair of 2013!


Photo Credit: Danielle Mobbs


In less than two weeks, we will  be running our last Budget Bride Live Wedding Fair of 2013! I am pretty much bursting with excitement due to the amount that we have crammed into this event for you… We will be at The Eden Centre in Kettering on Sunday 3rd November between 3pm and 7pm and if you are a bride to be in the Northamptonshire and Leicestershire areas, this is one wedding event you cannot afford to miss.

Photo Credit: Danielle Mobbs


Specially created for discerning brides on a budget who demand style and quality for their money, our Wedding Fairs showcase the most gorgeous suppliers who are all able to bring magic to your wedding day, and to help you achieve your dreams on the budget you have available.

So, take this as your personal invitation – we have the following all lined up for you on this fun filled afternoon…

-          A gorgeous goody bag filled with treats, money off vouchers and deals especially for you as a budget conscious bride in Northamptonshire

-          A delicious glass of Bucks Fizz on your arrival to get you in the mood…

-          Over 40 amazing exhibitors showcasing the very best in beauty, catering, stationery and entertainment (and many other categories) to make your day magical on the budget you have available

-          Pop up Wedding Dress Shops with exquisite dresses between £150 and £1000 to try on and buy on the day!

-          Fashion shows throughout the afternoon

-          Demonstrations from our amazing entertainment suppliers – including magician, DJ, hog roast and cake companies

-          Giveaways, samples and competitions on the day

-          Chance to enter a prize draw to win a gorgeous Bridal Pamper Hamper to spoil yourself silly with before your wedding day!

-          Free Entry and Free Parking


Photo Credit: Danielle Mobbs


What's more, the team who put together the amazing photos featured in this post will be at The Eden Centre to have a chat with you! Photography by Danielle Mobbs, Dresses from Elegantly Hitched, Flowers from Bloom In Scents, Styling from Through The Looking Glass Events… Just simply too good an opportunity to miss!

Photo Credit: Danielle Mobbs


So, pre-register your free place here and we will be all ready to welcome you at the venue!

Photo Credit: Danielle Mobbs


Can’t WAIT to see you there!

Laura xx


PS: We have plenty more exciting wedding events to come in 2014 – just keep an eye on the wedding fair page for updates on locations and dates 🙂

Stella and Dot Wedding Jewellery review

I recently attended a fund raising event run by my good friend Amy at her house in Nottingham. Amy had invited some local business owners along to sell their wares whilst also raising money for a good cause.


One of the business owners was a lady called Lucy, who runs parties for Stella & Dot (and very kindly donated some of her profits on the day). I was immediately drawn over to her stand, as the jewellery was beautiful – very feminine and delicate, just my type of thing!




I immediately homed in on a pretty crystal, chain and cord bracelet which was for sale for £15. Lucy told me that there was a matching necklace and that if I bought the two together, it would be £40 with free postage – I was sold! I placed the order there and then and Lucy confirmed that my jewellery would be sent out to my home address and should arrive during the week.

My package arrived from Stella and Dot within a couple of days and in totally gorgeous packaging!



I always love buying myself gifts (any excuse will do!) but think that these would make really special thank you gifts to your bridesmaids or perhaps for your Mum or new Mother in Law.




Stella and Dot sell online and via Hostess organised parties in your home. You can see more online here.


Laura xx

A Moroccan Mini Moon Adventure – Part 1

One of the most frequent questions that I am asked by brides to be, is about how to have an amazing honeymoon or mini-moon on a tight budget. As an absolute holiday addict, I have always been one for scouring for the best travel deals and love nothing more than finding a complete bargain and knowing that a dream holiday is just round the corner.


When you and your Beau start thinking about your honeymoon, it can be a bit daunting, knowing about all of the other things that you have to stretch your budget to accommodate.


The best thing to do first off is set your budget and try your absolute best to stick to it. For this Moroccan Mini Moon Adventure blog post feature, I took Mr John to Marrakech to see how much gorgeousness we could fit in on a tight budget. This was truly an incredible mini moon break away and one that I would recommend whole heartedly to any couple looking for a little bit of an adventure to start off their married life together.

Here’s how we got on!


Actual amounts spent

Flights: £119 each

Parking at the airport: £14 each

Riad: £165 each

Total Spent: £298 per person (plus spending money for food and fun!)


After landing into Marrakech on our Ryanair flights from Stansted, we jumped into a taxi and made the twenty minute journey across to the Medina where our Riad was situated. Less than four hours flight from the UK and we were completely blown away by how utterly different everything was. We may as well have been on the other side of the world. Looking to our left we could see the rubbly desert stretching off into the distance and to our right, the sandy coloured old walls of the Medina.

Our taxi dropped us off as close as it could get us to Riad Camilia where our host, Nicolas, came to meet us and show us the way through the labyrinth of streets to where we would be calling home for the next few days.

Nicolas was such a pleasure to meet – the perfect host, asking us questions about our journey and showing us sights as we made our way to the Riad. The streets were dusty and zigzagging as well as being so narrow that you could barely fit three people across widthways. We shared our short walk with stray cats, moped riders peeping their horns and all manner of vendors trying to sell us treats from carpets and lanterns through to fruit and meat.

Arriving in front of a small alleyway, Nicolas asked us to mind our heads on the low overhanging ceiling and to follow him. At the end of the dark alleyway, Nicolas clunked a couple of locks and then opened his doors onto what I can only describe as an oasis of calm and beauty. A marble floor lined with carpets led to an open courtyard atrium, where all of the bedrooms could be accessed.






We were incredibly lucky as, due to a couple cancelling late notice, Nicolas was sweet enough to give us a free upgrade to our bedroom. Huge wooden doors opened into a high ceilinged room with our own private courtyard (complete with huge banana palm) and bathroom with steps down into a huge open his and hers shower. This was truly luxury and after our short haul flight and small walk through the medina, the tranquillity that settled over us as we settled in at the Riad was quite amazing.




But as well as feeling calm, we wanted to explore! Riads in Marrakech are often set out around a central courtyard area, with the opportunity to relax in the centre of the building whilst looking up the sky. Riad Camilia had a gorgeous dip pool on the ground floor and after exploring a little more and making our way up a winding stone staircase, we found ourselves up on the roof terrace. A haven of palms, herbs and flowers, the terrace has been carefully designed to make you feel as comfortable as possible with cushioned seating areas, little dipping pools to jump in when the sun gets too hot and huge parasols to relax beneath.





Looking out across the city, you can see the Atlas Mountains stretching off into the distance and then a panoramic view 360 degrees around you, so that you can see all of the rooftops of the medina around you. Nicolas informed us that breakfast would be served up on the roof terrace each morning - breakfast up there sounded just fab to us!


As it was already late, we decided to take dinner at the Riad. Nicolas and his team had prepared us a beautiful dinner table down in the dining room beside a roaring open hearth fire. As soon as we walked into the room, we could smell the delicious spices from the cooking and knew that it was going to be a really yummy dinner!


Sitting on the low cushioned chairs, we were brought an array of dishes – from flatbreads with chutneys and dips through to a delicious chicken tagine. Moroccan cuisine was everything that we had hoped it would be; fresh, fragrant and super tasty! As we were inside a private dwelling in the Medina, we were able to drink wine with our dinner – it’s worth bearing in mind that a lot of restaurants and the shops within the medina will not serve alcohol as the Medina is the most religious part of the city.

Our desert was freshly sliced orange sprinkled with rosewater and cinnamon. The entire dinner was such a treat and we headed off to bed very sleepy and happily full.


The next morning, we awoke early, ready to head out and explore the Medina. It is important to respect the local customs and so I covered up my arms, legs and chest with a comfy pair of linen trousers, long sleeved t-shirt and a light cotton scarf.


We headed straight into the middle of action and made our way into the Souks. This was such a fantastic experience of finding your way down the tiny streets and seeing shops selling spices through to tiny little turtles and lizards.



The souks are an incredible experience and it is very worthwhile spending a good half a day wandering through the maze of shops to see what it is on offer.




Come the afternoon, after browsing the souks to our hearts content, we went for an invigorating couples Hammam massage at Le Bain Bleu (which had been recommended to us by Nicolas). Mr John was understandably wary (having never been for a massage before) but I convinced him that it would be a great experience and in we went.

After walking into a marble lined steam room, scattered with rose petals, we were scrubbed and massaged with salts and rinsed with cool water. We then relaxed in a giant bath (which seemed like more of a mini swimming pool to me) before being taken off into a candle lit room for a his and hers massage.



We emerged after the Hammam massage feeling like new people! Mr John’s skin looked bright and revitalised and I felt completely relaxed and pampered – as well as having the softest skin I have had in years!

That night, we had dinner on a roof terrace on the other side of town, swapping my usual large glass of red wine for a bottle of Orangina.



It had been a great first full day in Morocco. And despite the fact that we had walked a long way through the souks, the Hammam massage meant that we felt relaxed and ready to have a good sleep so that we were ready for the next day’s adventures…


Keep an eye on the Blog for Part Two of this Mini Moon feature coming up soon!


Have you booked your minimoon yet? Have a look at easyJet Holidays for some fantastic deals to Marrakech as well as tonnes of other minimoon and honeymoon detinations here.

Laura x

Real Life Budget Bride – Harry Potter Themed Wedding

Photo Credit:


Today, I’m very pleased to introduce you to the lovely Jasmine Potter – a real life bride to be on a budget who is going to share her story (and top tips!) with us! Jasmine is going to be marrying her Beau on the 16th August in a Harry Potter themed wedding.



Hi Jasmine! Tell us a little bit about how you met your fiancé and how you got engaged?

Well, we first met when we worked together in a record shop in Hampshire. We were really good friends for a few years and then we started dating. I knew we were getting engaged as we’d talked about it for almost a year before it happened and had chosen the ring in January of last year. He proposed at Legoland in the form of a story inside my birthday card and when I’d finished reading it he was down on one knee with a Lego ring box he had designed and put together himself with the ring inside!



What has been your favourite part of planning your wedding so far?

I think my favourite part has been delivering the invites. As we are going to be having a very small wedding and all the invites were wax sealed, we wanted to hand deliver them. Everyone loved the invites and the theme that we had decided on, so it was really special to see their reactions.


Did you have quite a tight budget to stick to and how did you make the most of it?

Our original budget was £1,000 but we had to stretch it to £2,000 as my dress was a lot more expensive than we had been planning! I just couldn’t put my faith and judgement into a mail order wedding dress knowing that I couldn’t try it on first and wouldn’t be able to easily send it back. Other wedding items also ended up costing a bit more than I had expected too. We haven’t spent the full £2,000 but it was nice to have a bit more to play with.


What is your best money saving tip for other brides on a budget?

I have so many! I would say to every bride, this is the most important day of your life but it doesn’t have to cost the earth like lots of weddings do these days. Spending a lot of money won’t necessarily give you the effect that you want, however putting lots of time and thought into planning can give you the wedding you’ve dreamed of. Be prepared to spend at least 6 months of hard research to find the cheapest deals! Don’t go for the first person you see and don’t be worried about asking for a discount - suppliers are always willing to give even a few pounds off because they want your business. Also ebay! Never be afraid of buying things off Ebay, I bought our ties off there for £1.99 there and they look just like the house ties from the Harry Potter films! And finally check out registry offices.  I know lots of people want a big hotel or gardens and shudder at the thought of a registry office, but there are so many beautiful places you can hold a personalised ceremony for around £200. Having a registry office ceremony does not have to mean compromising your vision.


Who have been your favourite budget wedding suppliers that you have used so far?

By far my favourite supplier so far is our wedding photographer! Carl and Dan of 1 Thousand Smiles photography are amazing and I managed to find them on gumtree with a fabulous offer of the entire days’ wedding photography for £280.   Whilst their normal package prices aren’t quite that cheap (Six hours for £595 with both photographers is their standard package) they are always running offers and discounts to take advantage of. Carl and Dan are really easy to chat to so it’s worth speaking to them whatever your budget might be. They always give you copyright on your photos too, so no need to buy any additional photographs if you don’t want to.


Have you done much DIY?

We have done some DIY. We are constructing all of my Harry Potter Lego sets as decorations, we’re making a fingerprint castle (instead of a fingerprint tree) and are making our own order of the day booklets. We’re also doing our own sweet table but that’s just a case of putting some sweets into some cauldrons really. Oh and I knitted our ring cushion as it’s the shape of a golden snitch! These are very expensive to buy as anything Harry Potter tends to come with a hefty price tag!


What are you looking forward to the most on your wedding day?

Firstly and foremost, it will be getting married to my fabulous fiancé! So that aside I am looking forward to all of the guests enjoying what we have created. We’re doing all of the decorating, having lots of Harry Potter themed decorations and even a wand toss in place of a flower one! I just can’t wait to see our guests enjoying our Harry Potter themed wedding day.



Tell us more about why you have chosen to have a themed wedding?

I know many people see themed weddings as cheesy or tacky but I have found having a theme has saved me a ton of money. Instead of having to buy all of the wedding stuff for decorations, I found that I could be more inventive and use plastic cauldrons for sweets, lego as decorations and even invites were cheaper because I could make them on vista print rather than a bespoke wedding invite company. I also found that entertaining guests is much easier because you can make the room an adventure… I won’t go into it too much in case the guests see this, but every person is involved in the adventure and it has cost me about £20 for decorations and interactional bits. I definitely think themed weddings are the way forward for budget brides, it means that you can have a theme personal to you and your other half and also makes the day even more memorable.


What advice would give to other brides to be regarding your wedding guest list?

As most brides know, no matter how you scrimp and save, the number of the guests eat up most of the budget ( literally!). I've found on so many help pages people worrying because of family opinions on who should and shouldn’t be invited. We are having an intimate gathering of just close friends and family and if you make that clear from the start, your family will understand. We can't all spend £10,000 on catering and a massive venue, so if you just want your nearest and dearest then just invite them. It also means that you can have a less formal meal, like a buffet or a hog roast which cuts the cost in half for serving staff and even the amount of tables, as you can have a few long tables rather than lots of little tables dotted around which will save on table linen and table plans! Remember it's your day, so have it how you want and with who you want.


What would be your best piece of advice for all of our other Budget Bride Company readers?

In times of austerity as we live in today, remember that whilst spending £20,000 on a wedding will buy you a lot, that £20,000 could have been the deposit on a house, spent on an unforgettable honeymoon or just to be put aside for the future. If you can have the wedding that I have planned on a £2,000 budget, spending a further £5,000 could make something even more spectacular. You just have to be prepared to do the leg work and to go for dresses in the sale or deal with sellers on eBay, And finally sign up to vista print! If you get their newsletter they are always doing discounts on invites, postcards and lawn signs etc. I have bought banners, posters and almost the entirety of our invites from them.


Thank you so much for sharing your budget wedding tips with us Jasmine – it sounds like you have achieved so much on your budget. We can’t wait to hear all about how the big day went! We hope you enjoy every minute of it 🙂


Laura xx

Home Made London – Hen Do Review

I was lucky enough to attend an incredible hen do on Saturday in London. With about 15 hens to entertain and a mixture of expectant and new Mum’s, friends and family, it was important to choose a venue and activity that would be suitable for everyone. We definitely hit the nail on the head with Homemade London. Nestled in a beautiful two floor shop in the little back streets behind Marble Arch, Homemade London offers an amazing array of activities to suit your hen do.



With options ranging from Lingerie workshops to learning how to make your own natural skincare parties, there seems to be an option suitable for all sorts of hen party.

We were able to bring along our own bottles of bubbly, which the Homemade London staff cheerfully poured into champagne flutes for us – they also kept us topped up the whole way through the afternoon without us having to ask – bonus! The cost of the workshop did include cakes and tea, which were served up in some fantastic crockery…




We decided to go on the Perfume Making Workshop, which worked out at £39 per person (based on 15 of us attending). This included a 2 ½ hour workshop where we learned all about natural perfumes and how to mix base, middle and top notes to create a unique signature scent just for you.




I discovered a love for Neroli, Jasmine and Vanilla (and a definite dislike of cardamom and frankincense!) After having a chat with the lovely Nicola (who runs Homemade London), I discovered how to blend my favourite fragrances and I ended up with a gorgeous concoction that was packaged up into a handy bottle for me to take home!



You can find out more about Homemade London on their website or you can give them an email on


Love from a sweet smelling Laura x