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 🙂