Rustic Farm Wedding Inspiration – Mood Board Monday

I have always loved the idea of a Rustic Farm Wedding – there is something about the relaxed atmosphere that just begs for you to kick off your heels, let your hair down and have a good time! And there’s also that oh so tempting opportunity for you to sneak off with your beau behind some of those hay bales… 😉
 
Rustic Farm Wedding Moodboard

Rustic Wedding Mood Board on Budget Bride Company Pinterest

 

Todays Wedding Mood Board Inspiration is all about Rustic Farm Weddings and we’ve pulled together some lovely images for you to have a look through. It’s all about the hessian, twinkling lights and cowboy boots this week 🙂

Have you started putting together a Wedding Mood Board yet? Let us know how you’re getting on in the Comments Box below!

Laura xo

 

Sumptuous on Saturday – Wedding Styling with Through The Looking Glass Events

Wedding Venue Styling with Through The Looking Glass Events

Today we’re having a chat with one of my favourite Wedding Styling Companies – Through The Looking Glass Events 🙂 This energetic and massively inspiring company offer Wedding Venue Styling amongst a myriad of other services including wedding cakes, photo booth styling and product hire. Kelly and Melody, who run the company, really do relish a challenge and will be over the moon to bring all of your ideas and dreams together, wherever your venue may be!

Wedding Teepee

Vintage Teacup Wedding Styling

Kelly tells us a bit more about the ladies behind Through The Looking Glass…

What is your favourite thing about working with brides to be?
Their ideas and excitement, it rubs off on you and inspires you in your work. Every bride has a different vision and this is what makes our job so brilliant - every day throws something new at us! This is the most important day of a couple’s life and for them to pick you to be a part of it is a complete honour. We are seeing a lot more grooms getting involved with the wedding styling as well which is lovely!

Kelly and Melody - Through The Looking Glass Events

Wedding Cake Rustic Hay Bale

What inspires you in your work?
Anything and everything! From the places that we visit to the couples themselves - they set the initial steps for us to draw on our creativity. We like to stay on top of current trends as well, so lots of market research across the globe helps us keep in check of what’s popular and also gives us ideas to build on our wedding styling.

Outdoors wedding Styling and Decorations

 

Outside wedding decorations

What has been your favourite wedding that you have worked on?
Can I say all of them?! All for different reasons, we have been so lucky to have worked with lots of different themes and wonderful couples.
One of the weddings we styled last year was split over two days; they had an intimate wedding reception at their home with just close family and friends, which was all vintage crockery, lace and romantic signs and then the next day they had a big reception at Corkers Champagne Bar in Northampton with 120 people, which had a navy and diamond theme. A chance for the bride to wear her dress twice and go for two different themes!
Another couple who got married last year at The Three Lakes restaurant in Ware, had clear ideas of the wedding theme they wanted to go for but allowed us to utilise all of the venues’ wonderful spaces to make lots of great photo opportunities! There were colourful lanterns, lots of bunting, vintage fabric, and one of our photo booth stylings which was a big hit.
We have also hosted a gangster themed wedding along with a very bold Alice in Wonderland theme tea party and even a surprise wedding! Anything and everything goes!
We spend a lot of time with our couples planning and creating their day for them, you need to build a relationship to understand their vision and we are lucky to have made many wonderful friends from that planning period.

 

Outdoors picnic style wedding

Wedding Bunting Decoration

 

Do you have any wedding styling trend predictions for 2014?
Vintage is still very big this year with lots of lace, soft pinks, neutrals, lace, birdcages and hay bales! For colours we will be seeing lots of navy, mint green, soft pinks, neutrals and royal blue. People are also incorporating a personal interest within their theme such as super heroes, comic books and animals amongst other things. We have some wonderful weddings to style this year!

Mad Hatter Alice in Wonderland Wedding Cake

What would be your top tip to share with any brides to be?
Treasure the build up to the big day; sometimes life can be so busy and stressful that we forget to enjoy the little things in life and the planning and build up to your special day should be treasured as it goes way too quickly!
Along with hiring our products we also offer a set-up service to take that pressure off the couple. This is something we would recommend to all couples. We offer a bridal consultation to discuss all your needs and then we are on hand to the build up to the big day to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Summer Wedding Cakewith Victoria Sponge

Wedding Favours Bath Bomb

When you're not busy working at Through the Looking Glass Events what is your favourite pass time?
Both melody and I have children, so time spent being mum is very important to both of us. Melody enjoys horse riding, baking and exercise, and when I get the chance I am a big fan of musical theatre and I enjoy gracing the stage for a song or two!

Wedding Chesse Board

Brilliant getting to know you better Kelly!

Through The Looking Glass Events are based in Northamptonshire but are happy to travel to take care of your wedding styling 🙂 

Laura xo

 

Photographers & suppliers featured in this post:
Daring to Dream Photography
Welcome photography
The Memory Box Photos
Flowers by Charlotte Davies
Fun Dubbin Occasions
Barton Hall
Love From Samyukta
Three Lakes Restaurant
GB Styling
Doll Face Beauty
Vickers Men's Wear
Grendon Lakes
Draycote Hotel

An amazing Harry Potter Themed Wedding on a £2k Budget – Jasmine and Derek

Jasmine and Derek Harry Potter Wedding Cake

 

We last spoke with Jasmine a few months ago when her surname was Potter and she was planning her wedding to Derek.  Now, we’re delighted to share her wedding day with you and how she rocked it on less than a £2k budget…

 

Jasmine and Derek - Real Life Budget Wedding

 

Tell us a little bit about how you met your fiancé and how you got engaged?
We worked at a record shop together for a few years and started dating and had been going out for a while when he asked me to marry him at Legoland on my 18th birthday. Derek proposed in a story in my birthday card and the ring was in a Lego ring box designed by him.

What was your favourite part of planning your wedding?
I really enjoyed creating and assembling the programmes. I wrote and designed them and my husband assembled them. They were part of our theme so it was fun working out the design!

 

Jasmine and Derek Real Life budget wedding

 

Did you have quite a tight budget to stick to and how did you make the most of it?
Our initial budget was around £1k which was later raised to £2k and we ended up spending about £1,750 in the end. We decided against expensive things that we felt we didn't need from the start - like wedding cars and makeup and hair stylists. I got a lot of things for free or cheaply from companies like Vistaprint and started looking for all of the elements almost as soon as we were engaged, so I had enough time to get competitive prices.

What is your best money saving tip for other brides on a budget?
Don't rush into booking things! Take time to look for better quotes and to ask suppliers for deals. If you rush into it, you end up paying a premium but taking say a year or two to plan means you can get far better deals and have more time to make things which will save you further money.

Jasmine and Derek Budget Wedding

 

Jasmine and Derek Real Life Budget Wedding

 

Who were your favourite budget wedding suppliers?

That has to be a tie between our Photographers (1 thousand smiles) and our Caterers (Manor Foods, Grimstone). The Photographers were very reasonably priced and were worth every penny. They even helped me put out the sweets for the sweet buffet! They were lovely guys and captured our day perfectly.
The caterers gave us a gorgeous buffet which was very good value for money. For £225 we got the equivalent of about 25 peoples worth of food ( we had asked for 15 peoples worth) and it wasn't cheap food it was really good quality. Better still it was entirely bespoke. We got exactly what I had asked for right down the mini burgers.

Did you do much DIY?
We made parts of our invites and did the calligraphy on them; we made the programmes, did all the decorating and made up the favour bags. I also wrote a poem for one of the readings and made a poem in a frame for my mother in law.

 

Jasmine and Derek real life budget wedding

 

Jasmine and Derek Real Life Budget Wedding

 

What did you enjoy most on your wedding day?
I'd have to say when it all came together! I'd spent months trying to work out how to make my ideas reality and on the day when it was all sorted and happening it was amazing. And of course marrying the love of my life! But that goes without saying!

How did you decide on your Harry Potter theme for the day?
I thought of it and my husband went along with it! It was a really fun theme and even though some of the guests hadn't seen the films they still enjoyed it. Also it made decorations far cheaper.

What would be your best piece of advice for all of our other Budget Bride Company readers?
Whether your wedding is big or small, with the right planning and enough time you can save a lot on your wedding. Don't always go for the simplest option if you could make real savings by putting in the effort, as the more you put into your wedding the greater the day will be because you helped create it.

Harry Potter themed wedding

Congratulations Jasmine and Derek! Your day looked like so much fun 🙂


Laura xo

Mood Board Monday – Florals and Vintage

OK, I have a confession to make – I could literally spend all day looking at Vintage and Floral themed weddings, so this mood board has been even more of a delight for me to put together than usual!
 
I just love the romance of Vintage Floral – and I especially adore how easy it can be to get hold of decorations when you’re on a tight budget. Mismatched is good, home made is fab, upcycled is the order of the day. And it can be so much fun searching for all of the little elements at car boot sales, charity shops and on ebay.

 

Vintage and Florals Moodboard

Budget Bride Company on Pinterest 
 
So this weeks Mood Board is all about Vintage Floral, head on over to our Pinterest page and have a look!
Are you going to be encompassing any Vintage Floral elements into your wedding day?
 
Laura xo

Vintage Styled Wedding on a Budget – Meghan and Benjamin

 

Vintage Style Budget Wedding

 Image Courtesy of Pacific Curd Photography

Meghan and Benjamin met in 2009 and have been madly in love from the word go! One beachside proposal, two beautiful babies and four years later, they had a gorgeous vintage themed wedding on a budget, full of handmade details. Over to you, Meghan!

 

Vintage Style Budget Wedding

 Image Courtesy of Pacific Curd Photography

Benjamin and I met back in 2009. Ben has always been so romantic and spoiled me rotten on birthdays and special occasions, trips to London and romantic walks and gestures! In 2010 I fell pregnant with our gorgeous yet cheeky little monkey Alfie who was born in March 2011. We had a whirlwind of moving house and settling down as a new family.

Ben then proposed on a weekend away in May 2012 with his family while the sun set at the beach & we lit a lantern and tried to let it float away but failed miserably When I turned around he was down on one knee and asked me to marry him! All of our family and friends were so excited for us and we booked the wedding for 1 year exactly on the meaningful date of 18th May 2013 which was Bens grandparents wedding anniversary. 

Six weeks later we had another little surprise, I was eight weeks pregnant and due on the 13th January 2013, little Mia decided to make an appearance eight days early on the 5th Jan. Despite the fact everyone thought we were absolutely mad planning a wedding and having another baby in less than a year, we still went ahead with the plans! We were crazy, yes but also crazily in love!

 

Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Vintage Style Budget Wedding

 Images Courtesy of Pacific Curd Photography

My favourite part of planning the wedding was searching for all of the ideas, creating the mood boards, thinking of unique ideas to make our day that bit more special. Creating the theme and turning it all into reality on the big day! I love being unique and making the little details stand out to people to make it unforgettable.

We had always had a tight budget but when little Mia made an appearance the budget had to get even smaller! I made the most of this by being as creative as possible and picking up bargains along the way.

 

Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Images Courtesy of Pacific Curd Photography

When planning your own wedding you need to stick to the original budget you've always had, and try to get bargains along the way. The more you do for your own wedding the more personal it becomes; try doing the invitations yourself and add personal touches linking to your big day. Find all of your family members and friends that can chip in and help, or if they have any hidden talents then get them involved!

One of my favourite budget wedding suppliers were SouthWest Marquees, they turned a small village hall into a modern looking marquee. It was beautiful and well worth the money although it was one of the biggest parts of our budget. Also, we had a friend who knew of a cake maker and she charged us a fraction of what we had been quoted and she couldn't have done a better job if she tried, it was fab!

Apart from the main items such as caterer, the inside of the marquee and the cars, we did everything else ourselves. From the setting, the centrepieces, the stationary, the favours and the decorations right down to the wishing tree and sweet buffet.

 

Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Images Courtesy of Pacific Curd Photography

My favourite part of the day (apart from becoming Mrs Keates of course!) was seeing everyone's faces at the venue and the lovely comments we got from all of the personalised items we had.

Our theme was Vintage for our wedding day, I decided on this as it was a very popular theme at the time, and I believe it still is! There are thousands of ideas for weddings with this theme and I loved picking and choosing my favourites and tweaking the ideas to make them even more personal.

My tips for the brides to be planning their own wedding, especially on a tight budget is don't stress! It's your big day; don't let panic over money ruin the whole planning process. Each item you choose should be magical and personal to you as a couple, that's what makes the day more unique and unforgettable.

 

Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Images Courtesy of Pacific Curd Photography

I enjoyed the experience of planning my own wedding and I went away wanting to do more! I put myself through an event and wedding planner course and with lots of hard work I qualified within just 3 months. I then started up my own business called Vintage Rose  and I've been going to wedding fairs, joining wedding guilds and meeting lots of lovely new people. I get such a buzz when I meet clients for the first time, finding out what they want, getting to know who they are and turning their big day into their dreams come true! I'm also organising my own wedding fair in Frome at a popular venue where I have lots of lovely local suppliers coming along for the day! I am loving my new job, but most of all I love helping all of the brides to enjoy their wedding days as much as I did mine!

 

Vintage Style Budget Wedding

Image Courtesy of Pacific Curd Photography

What a lovely wedding and romantic story 🙂  Congratulations Meghan and Benjamin!

Laura xx

Carnival Themed Wedding Photo Shoot

 

Morning peops! I’m celebrating my Birthday today and as a treat for you all, I’m thrilled to share this brilliant carnival themed photo shoot from Jo Richards Photography and The Berkshire Wedding Community with you!

Colour really does do it for me, and this shoot has colour inspiration by the bucket load. I am completely besotted with the blue netting on the wedding dress and the matching shoes are divine!

Let me know in the comments box if you are going to be choosing a colourful theme for your wedding!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carnival Shoot Details
Date : 13th August 2013
Venue : Ufton Court, Green Lane  Ufton Nervet, West Berkshire RG7 4HD
0118 983 2099
Contact : Julia Price

Berkshire Wedding Community Contributors :
Jo Richards Photography: www.jorichardsphotography.com
Andrea Fearon Floral Design: www.andreafearonfloraldesign.co.uk
Sarah Fuller Wedding Hair: www.sarahweddinghair.co.uk
Emma Rivers Bridal Make Up: www.emmariversbridal.co.uk
Digital Paper Studios: www.facebook.com/digitalpaperstudios
Sweetalicious: www.sweetalicious.co.uk
Iced Gems By Jane: www.icedgemsbyjane.co.uk
Indigo Sage: www.indigosage.co.uk
Confetti Bridal Centre: www.confettibridalcentre.co.uk

Other contributors :

Burtons Balloons Ltd: www.burtonsballoonsdecorandgifts.co.uk
Models : Laura Abraham and Warren Baxter

 

Have a great day!

Laura xxx

Beautiful Styled Wedding Photoshoot at Cogges Farm Wheat Barn

 

We do love a bit of Thursday morning wedding inspiration here at The Budget Bride Company! When the lovely Olivia, from Host Event Management who offer fantastic wedding planning services, let us know about a styled photo shoot that she had just worked on, we leaped at the chance to share it with all of you.

From the soft twinkling lights to the beautiful rustic touches throughout the shoot, we hope that you can lift some amazing ideas from this shoot for your own wedding day.

 

 

The shoot was held at the very idyllic setting of Cogges Manor Farm in the Oxfordshire Cotswold Town of Witney.  The Wheat Barn was used, which is now available to hold country style weddings and events and has a license to hold civil ceremonies.

 

 

Olivia says “I knew as soon as I saw the venue that I wanted to work with it in some capacity.  The Cotswold stone walls, the canopy of exposed beams coupled with a warm and inviting atmosphere got my creative head spinning! I contacted a team of wedding professionals who are based in the area and they gladly accepted to work on this project.”

 

We wanted to fit in with the style and natural ambience of the barn, so we decided on muted tones and rustic textures. We chose to use long tables as we wanted the room to have an informal feel.  Wooden fold up chairs with floral seat pads courtesy of local firm BHK Rentals set the look off, along with a very old farmyard cart which was sprinkled with fairy lights and really made the room come alive!

 

In terms of the styling we used white table linen and classic table ware, lace edged hessian table runners, pot plants, rustic and classic stationery and  pink and blue bunting to embellish the space.

 

The flowers were produced by Tracey from Distinctive Petals and really fit in well with the country style. The use of long tables naturally lead to using lots of small arrangements; jam jars were heavily incorporated, which are continuing to be a very popular trend for weddings. These were decorated with lace, twine and hessian to compliment the table runners.

 

 

Old fashioned milk bottles made an appearance, which really complimented the farm environment alongside some wrapped plants to complete the natural country garden theme.

Bundles of wheat were used with the table numbers – as we were working in The Wheat Barn, it seemed a natural choice to make! These were placed on rough wood off cuts with tea lights surrounding them giving a romantic look.

 

 

The real welcome addition to the barn itself was the courtyard area just outside. This was dressed as a relaxed lounge area with hay bale seating, floral fabrics, bay trees, flowers, the table plan and more bunting. You can imagine a hog roast or barbeque being served on a balmy Summers’ evening here.  We even had visits from the resident chickens and lambs!

 

 

 

 

As a focal point for the outside area, Tracey made a large jug of flowers with winding twigs and a selection of very seasonal flowers. Peonies, 'Boombastic' Spray Roses, Phlox, Cornflowers, Bluebells and again, lots of wheat. Attached to the twigs was the table plan, displayed on bundles of hay covered in a Cath Kidston style fabric which provided a lovely focal display at the guests would enter the reception barn.

 

 

 

 

As we were lucky enough to have the wonderful Katy- Lula to model, a bridal bouquet was created. The soft texture of Peonies against the harsher wheat, gave a great contrast. Colour was added by including some very delicate forget-me-nots and Lilac which was picked from Tracey’s garden! The hand tied posy was finished off with a hessian style ribbon and pearl pins to compliment the rest of the designs in the barn as well as the bride’s pearl jewellery.

 

 

Samantha from The Pretty Cake Company created a petite three tier ivory wedding cake trimmed with pale champagne satin ribbon and an ivory lace overlay. Sugar arrangements of ivory blush roses, white stocks and wheat were used to decorate. A small lace bow on the bottom tier finishes the look. The cake is displayed on a vintage glass pedestal cake stand and housed in an ornate cast iron display stand.

 

 

 

Jessica Mills our make-up and hair artist went for a boho inspired look with the hair and very natural makeup on Katy-Lula.  Pearl jewellery was added to give a classic wedding  look.

 

 

Neil Hanson photographed the details so well, and Justin and Alison from Vogue Wedding Films created a ‘behind the scenes’ view for us, which is so nice to look back on as we all had such fun working on this shoot!

You can check out the Behind the Scenes Video here!

 

Thank you so much for sharing your shoot with us Olivia! You can check out all of the gorgeous suppliers who made this styled shoot possible below.

Laura x

 

Featured Suppliers:

Venue – Cogges Manor Farm www.cogges.org.uk

Planner/Stylist – Host Event Management www.hosteventmanagement.co.uk

Florist – Distinctive Petals www.distinctivepetals.co.uk

Photographer – Neil Hanson www.nordicpics.co.uk

Make-up & Hair – Jessica Mills Make-up Artist www.jessicamillsmakeup.co.uk

Cake – The Pretty Cake Company www.theprettycakecompany.co.uk

Videography – Vogue Wedding Films www.vogueweddingfilms.co.uk

Tableware – Elegant Cuisine Catering www.elegantcuisine.com

Stationery – Littlebird Desgins www.littlebirdweddings.co.uk

Bunting – The Oxford Bunting Company www.oxfordbuntingco.blogspot.co.uk

Furniture Hire – BHK Rentals www.bhkrentals.co.uk

Jewellery – Forever Nina www.forevernina.co.uk

Model – Katy Lula

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

Real Life Budget Bride – Harry Potter Themed Wedding

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andycastro/6474894897/

 

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

A joy filled wedding with a vintage twist – Congratulations Tamara and Lawrence!

When  one of my BFF’s, Tamara, handed me a plump envelope with mine and John’s name on the front, my tummy did a little flip! Having first worked with Tamara (who is a talented Marketing Manager) and very quickly becoming firm friends, I was absolutely delighted to find out that John and I would be able to share hers and Lawrence’s special day.

Working in Marketing meant that Tamara had a very trained eye for what would look good and she pulled out all of the stops in making her wedding budget work as hard as it could for her.

 

 

 

So Tamara, you and Lawrence have been together for almost 9 years now - how did he pop the question?

After nine years, I had began to wonder if he would ever ask me to be his wife! We met in 2004 when I was a ‘penniless student’ and he had just graduated from Birmingham University. By the time September 2011 came around and Lawrence got down on one knee, it really did feel like the perfect time in our lives to be getting married.

He had apparently been planning for over a year, saving his pennies for an engagement ring and he took me to a beautiful spot in the Lake District looking over Lake Windermere. I wondered why he was so adamant to take this long walk in the pouring rain, but he still got down on one knee (in a big puddle)!

I was so stunned, I didn’t speak (and anyone who knows me knows that is highly unusual) and Lawrence eventually had to ask ‘is that a yes then?!’.

We celebrated with a bottle of a bottle of champagne, taking in the views and met a lovely couple who took our photo. He had even booked us into a gorgeous five star hotel to go back to once I had said ‘Yes’!

 

What was the main aim for the wedding day  (apart from saying ‘I Do’!)?

Obviously my main objective was to become Mrs Holland, Lawrence and I were always meant to be! But for the day itself, I really wanted to make sure our guests had the most epic time and would reflect on the day as not only being so wonderful for us, but that they had the best time ever.

 

 

 

Having been a guest at several weddings, I would always look back and pick out all the best bits that I loved and I wanted our whole day to feel like that for our guests too.

Weddings are rightly about the bride and groom, but if your guests aren’t happy, then  you don’t have a wedding. I am a massive believer that your guests can really make a wedding and our friends and family proved us right on the day.

Lawrence would say his original objective was to keep things on a shoe-string budget. Typical husband to be!

 

 

 

What did you enjoy most about planning your wedding?

My friends know I LOVE planning, organising and general list making, so a wedding was my dream to plan. Having organised a few events in my time working in Marketing, it was great to finally have something personal to us for me to plan.

If I had to pick one thing, I would honestly say that friends and family really made planning the wedding so much fun. I was lucky enough to have seven bridesmaids and a very organised mother! It really bought us closer together in such a positive way. They did so, so much for me and were always there when I needed them for random chats about the positives and negatives. I will always value those times.

 

 

 

One of my favourite times was sat with my family with random production lines of making save the date cards, my button bouquet and lots and lots of paper pinwheels . It was such a personal touch that I can keep forever and it was great to get everyone involved in the big day, even my one year old nephew got involved!

What was your best budget find?

Despite the fact that our venue and food costs were more expensive than we originally anticipated (but totally worth it!) we managed to reign in the budget with everything else for the big day.

 

I have so many examples of where we made our budget work for us, including our stationary designed by our wonderful friend Lucy, of Lucy Hills Design who is a super talented graphic designer, favours made by my parents who run a company that make chocolate lollipops called Oh Lolly Lollipop and a cake produced by our friend who runs Capells Cakes. I also found many bits and piece found in vintage shops, charity shops and good old Ebay!

But the best budget find came when I had a vision for vintage lemonade bottles with cute stripey staws. I knew the cost of purchasing bottles would be expensive and I happened to be at a local garden centre when I noticed they sold bottles of vintage lemonade and ginger beer in their café. I sent an email to the manager and asked whether I may be able to take away some of their bottles if they happened to throw them away (and would have happily given him some money) and he called me straight away to say I could have them for free! In the same store they were throwing away some vintage wooden crates which I pinched for display on the day and served cloudy lemonade from glass drinks dispensers which our guests could serve into their bottles. It looked brilliant!

 


 

How did you maximise your budget to make sure you had what you wanted?

I think my main tip would be to be realistic about what you can and cannot have on a budget.  I would argue that if you have something that is your dream then you should always try and have it. You may want a £1k wedding dress, but it just means you have to rein it in when it comes to the areas that aren’t as important to you. 

Luckily Lawrence loves a good spread sheet and happily got organised right from the very beginning by comparing venue costs and prices for other expensive parts of the day.

You generally know the things you have to have, so make sure they are planned out first.

And make sure you ask around - everyone seems to know someone who makes cakes, is a photographer or has other great skills that you can bring into your day and often on a budget.

 

What is your favourite moment of the day?

It is so difficult to pick my favourite part of the day. It was just brilliant from start to finish. Some highlights include a great moment my brilliant photographer – Sharon Cooper captured - she decided I should get into my dress but make my dad come into the room to put on my jewellery for me. She made him come into the room with his eyes shut and I was surrounded by my bridesmaids and mum, we all burst into tears as his first words were ‘wow’. She captured the moment beautifully in the photos and it will be a moment I will always treasure.

Another was the speeches. Not only was I treated to a brilliant speech from my husband, best man and dad but I also had a ‘best girl’. She treated us and our wedding party to the most amazing speech I have ever heard, with so much thought and love put into a hilarious and touching rhyme about our friendship.

Wow - you had seven bridesmaids. Was it difficult to find dresses within budget that suited them all and made them feel great?

Lots of people ask me about having such a big bridal party. I absolutely loved having some of my ‘best girls’ as such a big part of our day. It was an interesting shopping trip when we started looking on the high street to find dresses to fit all of the different shapes, sizes and ages.

It was also difficult as I didn’t really have a colour theme in my mind and had the age old problem of knowing in my head my ‘vision’ but not being able to locate it.

I then managed to find a local dress maker called Grace Face who makes beautiful handmade clothes, who managed to create my 1950s style dress vision from some fabric I found online and even created matching petticoats to go underneath. The girls looked INCREDIBLE and it was fabulous to have something unique and the girls felt like a million dollars.

It was also so much cheaper than anything we could have got from a bridal shop or the high street and Emma at GraceFace was brilliant, especially when we had to make a dress for my heavily pregnant sister.

 

What is your single biggest tip that you would pass onto other brides to be?

My biggest tip would be to take time to breathe, reflect and do what you and you partner really want to do. Everyone will have an opinion - it’s unavoidable. But you have to really do what your head, heart and budget tells you. 

There will be brilliant times, and times when you wonder why you bothered, but honestly it all pays off in the end!

I felt so relaxed and excited on our big day and I do think that was because I had been so organised. I knew I had every box ticked and had faith in the suppliers we used, so I really enjoyed the whole day from start to finish.

 

Any regrets?

I honestly have no regrets about our day - it was PERFECT to us and our guests had a great day too, which is all I could have hoped for.

Having said that, if the opportunity had arised for me to eat and drink more, I certainly would have! We had an amazing sweetie buffet which our guests adored, but I didn’t get a look in and nor did I get a piece of the wedding cake! So make sure one of your wedding party or the venue do that for you!

 

 

Wow Tamara, thank you SO much for sharing your day and all of your amazing tips with us! Every amazing sparkly wish from The Budget Bride Company for an incredible married life together 🙂

Laura xx

All Photography by Sharon Cooper