Tiny Weddings Fair – a wedding fair for small weddings and elopements


Tiny Weddings Wedding Fair

on the 30th September the first ever ‘Tiny Weddings Fair’ will be taking place at Wycombe Swan Theatre in High Wycombe. It’s getting close now, but it is still over two weeks away, meaning you’ve still got plenty of time to prepare for your visit to The Tiny Weddings Fair.

The fair will focus on the needs of couples who are planning a small wedding or elopement, either at home or abroad, and has been spear-headed by three women who are, in my opinion, true experts in the fields of tiny weddings, elopements and destination weddings. Carly of Epic Elopement, who has been featured on SayIDoOnABudget a number of times. In January 2017, I featured an interview with Carly, then in February 2017 I wrote a blog post for Carly’s blog around the subject on budgeting for your elopement. Claire of Wed in Central Park, featured on this blog in April 2017 in an interview where she gave you advice on how you can get married in New York on a small budget.

There will a great range of exhibitors that have been specially chosen because of their amazing credentials at working with couples who are eloping or planning a tiny or destination wedding. Some of these vendors who are exhibiting will also be giving talks full of really helpful advice to get you through the difficulties that come with planning a tiny wedding.

You can buy your ticket in advance for £4 (+ £0.78 of fees) through eventbrite, or you can purchase on the day for £8.

If the 50% discount off the on-the-day price doesn’t convince you to buy a ticket in advance then maybe the additional perks booking in advance will get you will;

Goody bag on arrival for the first 100 tickets purchased

Entry into the prize draw for pre-booked ticket holders. The prize draw will be drawn during the event with prizes including engagement photo-shoots, travel accessories, wines and much more

Priority entry into all talks and workshops for pre-booked ticket holders. With the workshop space holding around 50 people, we encourage early arrivals and pre-booking for those you’re really interested in!

Show you are attending the fair by clicking ‘going’ and check out the other dates and venues of upcoming Tiny Wedding Fairs on the Facebook event page.

perks-of-buying-tickets-in-advance-tiny-wedding-fair

To get all the latest information on the wedding fair, including full details about the exhibitors visit the Tiny Weddings blog

You can join in the chat with them on Twitter
Give them a like on Facebook
And follow them on Instagram 

Photo credits are:
https://www.rsbrownphotography.com/  (London)
www.missparisphoto.com (Paris)
www.kristinmaria.com (Iceland)
www.jakubredziniak.com/ (New York)

Tips on how to get the most out of selling on Etsy from Origami By Russell


Etsy Tips from Origami by Russell bought to you by SayIDoOnABudget.com

From the instant Russell agreed to do this post with me my creative juices were flowing and I couldn’t wait to get started. I’ve known Russell on Twitter for quite a while now, we met, as I do most of the suppliers featured, during a Twitter chat hour. Russell may, in true British fashion disagree, but I think of him as a King of the Twitter Chat Hour (especially #weddingdaychat)!

Not only are Russell’s products just the sweetest, but he is also a wonderful person and a real cheerleader for people who are trying to break into the wedding biz. And if there is anything that I’m totally on board with, it’s lifting people up. Russell truly supports everyone and is always more than happy to share advice with anyone who needs it.

So, how did Russell start ‘Origami by Russell’?

It all started with my daughters wedding.
About 3 months before my daughters wedding she read that in Japanese folklore, a origami crane represents long life and happiness. Because of this they are often given at weddings.
She really liked this idea, and I was tasked to dust off my origami skills and make 180 of them for her. I feel that I should add here, this was a skill I hadn’t used in almost 15 years!
After a few failed attempts I was soon back in full swing and had soon made the 180 she needed.
I had forgotten how much I enjoyed origami. So after the wedding and encouraged by the comments from the wedding guests, I decided to open my Etsy shop.
That was back at the end of 2016, and I’ve have steadily grown both my paper and design ranges ever since.

Russell

My two favourite products from Russell’s range are the fortune cookies and the origami Lily fairy lights. I can image the origami fairy lights laying across the top table, or used as part of the table centrepieces by putting a string inside glass fish bowels or curling a string around a mirror plate. And the great thing is, after your wedding day the origami lily fairy lights will look awesome adorning your shelves or hung over a mirror at home.
The fortune cookies are incredibly versatile; they would be fabulous used in so many different ways, such as:

 

  • A few scattered across each wedding breakfast table for the guests to open up and read funny messages inside
  • Given to each gift as their wedding favour or as part of their wedding favour with a lovely message inside each of them
  • If you were to write each guests name on one they could act as the place name too!
  • One presented to each guest on their saucer when teas and coffee are served
The flexibility of the fortune cookies and fairy lights are what really appeals to me, as lots of uses for one product increases the affordability, and as you all know, I am all about frugality and recycling/reusing.
Etsy Tips from Origami by Russell
After a good amount of experience of selling on Etsy, Russell has agreed to share some of his tips on how to get the most out of selling on Etsy.
  • Tip Number 1
    Etsy pays
    it’s shop owners every Monday.  So pay your Etsy bill on a Sunday from your shop account.  This saves you a foreign currency fee from your bank.
  • Tip Number 2
    Set up international postage, especially to the USA.  You will be surprised how many Americans will pay £10 postage for my £7 items. It costs you nothing to offer it so there’s no reason not to.
  • Tip Number 3
    Set up a personal account on Royal Mail’s Click and Drop website.  All orders you get on Etsy automatically add the customers name and address to the site.  You can then quickly buy (at a discount) postage and click and drop will mark your order as dispatched on Etsy. Automation makes the life of an Etsy seller easier!
  • Tip Number 4
    Use IFTTT.com to link your business Facebook page to Pinterest.  Each time you post a photo to Facebook, IFTTT can automatically add it to Pinterest for you. Saving you time, and it’s free!
  • Tip Number 5
    Keep your shop fresh.  Don’t set it up and leave it.  If you had a physical shop you wouldn’t do that.  Keep tweaking your listings.  Add new ones every few days if you can.  If not, deactivate one, then reactivate it a few days later.  Just do something to show Etsy you are still working on your shop.
  • Tip Number 6
    Keep an eye on your competition.  Are your prices okay?  Are you under charging?  Or are you pricing your products out of the market? 
  • Tip Number 7
    If you’re selling enough, look at signing up to QuickBooks.  It links in to your bank account and can link to your Etsy account too.  It speeds up your book keeping, and is well worth the cost if you are selling enough.
  • Tip Number 8
    Make sure you have the option to request a custom order option turned on in each of your listings.  You never know what someone might want and you could be missing out on a sale.
  • Tip Number 9
    Lots of blogs and forums say that 50 listings on Etsy is the magic number.  From my experience once I got over 50 listings my sales started going up.

TIPS ON HOW TO GET BEST OUT OF SELLING ON ETSY FROM RUSSELL OF 'ORIGAMI BY RUSSELL'

Go and stalk Russell on social media, he’ll love it and you will love it too!
Facebook

Twitter
Instagram 
Pinterest

And check out his Etsy shop


Etsy Shop

 

 

 

2nd Wedding Anniversary – Looking for opinion and ideas


What do you get your Husband for your 2nd anniversary_

Today is exactly 8 weeks until my 2nd wedding anniversary. You may remember when I posted last year about us choosing to try and follow the traditional wedding anniversary gifts. Last year was paper. That was quite easy… easier than this year anyway!

This year, the gift should be cotton.

So, what makes a good cotton anniversary gift? Some ideas I’ve considered are:

  • A quality cotton shirt from somewhere a cut above where we’d normally shop
  • Beautiful cotton bedding set
  • A cushion with some romantic wording on it
  • Some form of a cotton print. There seems to be quite a few types of prints on cotton out there.
  • Or I could cheat and get him a ‘cotton’ scented candle.

That’s as far as I’ve got. If you have a good suggestions please let me know as it is getting closer and I’m just not sure!

Our anniversary is on a Monday and I’ve booked the day off work thinking it would be 2nd wedding anniversary cotton giftnice to plan something special, or do something nice for my Husband. He doesn’t have the day off work. I know I could cook a nice dinner, decorate the house with some candles and the such. But we may still be living with my sister at the time, so some ideas I would normally do, such as putting candles round the house, cooking dinner, running and bath and then retiring to the bedroom is very unlikely to happen.

And that leaves me a total loss as to what I could do. I know I’ve already asked for ideas, but if you’ve got any ideas for what I can I could plan to make our anniversary evening nice I’d be really pleased to have them.

Doing this post about my 2nd anniversary coming up soon reminds me, that I didn’t ever share with you what the Husband and I got each other for our 1st anniversary. The last post I published about my first anniversary was two weeks beforehand, when I had bought his gift but didn’t want to share what it was on the blog in case he saw.

Last year our anniversary was on a Sunday, but we didn’t do all that much. We swapped gifts in the morning then popped into town to have a walk around with a posh ice-cream. I had decided to buy Steven a photo album of photos from our whole relationship together. In our relationship to date we only have TWO photo albums, our wedding album and the album I made for him last year. My gift from him was a framed print with some of the music lines and lyrics from our first dance song which you can see on the wall behind us.

Even if I do say so myself, I think we did quite well with the gifts we got each other last year, and I’m hoping to be able to get him something really good this year too. But WHHATTT? 

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Bunting by Jen: the bunting service you need to know about


Bunting Hire

Jen, who is based in Wiltshire, is a wedding supplier I connected with during a wedding Twitter chat hour a few weeks ago. I was very intrigued about Jen’s business and asked her about her story of how she came to create Bunting by Jen. After a bit of chat with Jen and then me scoping out her website, not to mention, a bit of stalking on Instagram, I decided I just had to share her with all of you. 

Decorations for your wedding can really stack up, which is why I often blog about creating DIY decorations and buying second hand items, plus I often post pictures of bargain items I find on the high-street to Twitter and Instagram. However, amongst all the posts on this blog featuring budget friendly suppliers, I’ve not featured many who create and supply decorations for the frugal conscious engaged.  So, what more perfect reason did I need for featuring the fabulous Jen and her bunting hire business. 

sayidoonabudget.com

Bunting by Jen

Jen was asked to make bunting for her sisters’ wedding back in 2014; she ended up making 150 meters of the stuff, and was then left wandering what to do with all of it when the festivities of the day were over.

Researching into bunting hire services in her area, Jen realised there was a gap in the market, and then after more research she discovered there was a demand for a bunting hire service. Et Voila – Bunting by Jen was born.

Jen is a lady after my own heart, in that she understands frugality.
“I have worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years and understand how expensive weddings can be. I wanted to make my products available to anyone no matter how big or small their budget. This is why I have chosen to keep my prices as low as possible to help you plan your perfect day.” – Jen

So now you know about Jen and how she started her business, how does the bunting hire work? 

If you opt for the ‘Bunting in a Box’ option, you choose which bunting from the ready made range you want and how much of it you want. Jen then boxes the bunting with everything you need to put it up at your venue and sends it to you. When you’re done, you take the bunting down and send everything back. New designs and colour combinations are being added all the time to the ready to go options available. 

Alternatively, you could commission Jen to create custom bunting for which Jen would quote you based on your specification. I love the idea of having the bunting from your wedding day decorate the baby nursery afterwards. It is also nice to get your wedding bunting back out when you have anniversary parties years later. Bunting isn’t hard to store and doesn’t take up much space, but if buying bunting for your wedding just isn’t for you then Jen’s hire service is absolutely perfect. 

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If you fancy having a crack at making your own bunting you can see one of my posts from the archive of when I created some. My sister and I created bunting using the colour scheme or green, bronze and cream. At the time, back in 2012 this was the budget option available to me. After buying everything I needed, all the fabric and supplies, not to mention the sewing machine! I would have been much better off had a hire service been available. 

To connect with Jen and do some stalking of your own…
Bunting by Jen
on Twitter 
on Facebook 
on Instagram 

Finding Suppliers


Header - bid services

The hunt for wedding suppliers can be a complex, confusing and overwhelming mine field. Yes, you could just book in with the first you meet at a wedding fair, or with the photographer that was used at the last wedding you attended as a guest. But what if that isn’t what you want to do, or what if those photographers just don’t fall within your budget/ aren’t available on your date / you just didn’t really like them?

Thankfully, there is a way to get the photographers to come to you. You will still need to research them to make sure they are right for you, but it can make your search easier and less stressful, as you will know quickly if they are available on your date, are happy to work at your venue and if they are within your budget. 

Find A Wedding Photographer .co.uk

Request quotes from photographers in your area by filling in the little quote application form on findaweddingphotographer.co.uk/ or you can browse the listings of photographers in your area. I didn’t submit a quote as I don’t currently have a genuine requirement for a photographer, but the quote request form is very quick and easy to fill in with just 7 fields. After submitting the quote request you will have photographers respond straight to your email inbox. Within 2 minutes of looking through the listings for photographers in my area I found a listing for a father and daughter photography team who advertise themselves as affordable with a price range of £500-£800.

Your Perfect Wedding Photographer .co.uk

is another site where you can search the directory of wedding photographers in your area and request a quote. This site is a bit more aesthetically pleasing than the previous Wedding Supplier Bid Servicesone and, I would say seems easier to navigate too. There is 8 fields to fill in when requesting a quote, one of which is for you to give a link to some Pinterest inspiration you have found for the style of photos you’d like to achieve. Your Perfect Wedding Photographer.co.uk will then request quotes from photographers they think would be ideal for you. You will then get the quotes emailed straight to you. When using the search function I managed to find Zak, based in Berkshire who offers 8 hours of coverage for less than £1000.

But what if you want a similar services for other wedding trades and suppliers too? 

Bidvine .com

Bidvine enables you to request bids from a rangeviting.  of people in your area for everything from plumbing to wedding floristry. You start by entering the ‘trade’ you’re looking for and your location. As soon as you’ve done this you’re asked to answer questions to enable them to bring you the right suppliers. It did feel like quite a few questions to be honest, some of which you may feel like you don’t know the answer for right now, but rest assured, it does let you select more than one option. When I had finished filling in the questions I was informed I should expect up to 7 bids within 4 days delivered straight to my inbox.

I used a site similar to these when searching for my wedding photographer. I ended up booking one of the people that emailed me with a quote based on my submitting a request. The website I registered on was… 

Trusted Local .com 

This website looks proper old and uninviting admittedly, but it helped me find my photographer Natalie so it can’t be too bad. Although, I did use this website in 2015, so there is a chance that this website might not be as good as it was. I’d still say it is worth submitting a request on though as it is another site where you can find and obtain quotes from a range of wedding professionals. Once you’re on Trusted Local, click on “Get Quotes: Find a Supplier” the use the search bar to find the category of supplier you need. Once it comes up click ‘Next’ and enter your postcode. you then get a message saying your job will be posted on their marketplace for suppliers in your area to find and reply to you. Once you’ve registered you complete your ‘job’ by advising for your wedding date, when you’d like replies by and you can give a good description of what you are looking for, think style wise etc, if you wish you can attached images of your inspiration, similar to yourperectweddingphotographer.co.uk. When a supplier responds to your bid request you get an email, then view the bid response on the website.

 

 

Career Highs & Motoring Lows


Making my way in my 20's

Career High

In April I started a new job doing what I have wanted to do for years!

In 2007 I went to Winchester University to study Primary Teaching, it was a 4 year course, and I would have come out with a BA Hons in Primary Education with QTS, however in the first semester of the third year I left. The reasons why could be a whole other post, so I won’t go into now, but if you are interested in why, let me know and I might do a post about it.

I love training, teaching and coaching people and it seems that any role I have taken on i have gravitated towards and somehow always been utilised for training and coaching colleagues. At my first office job, for a big mobile communications company, after just 6 months I became one of the people that would training new starters. Then when I worked in a sales office for a utility company I coached new starters and existing employees on their telephone manner and the sales cycle as well as coaching them on how to stay focused and motivated. My passion and abilities in training and leading people gave me a lot of opportunities at that company.

Then my role previous to now, was working as a Customer Account Manager for an LED lighting company. I was there 4.5 years, and from being there less than a year I was used to create training plans for all new starters into the Customer Service department and to deliver the four week training plan to each new starter. I also became the product trainer. It was during this time that I decided I no longer wanted training and teaching to be a PART of my job, but wanted to take the plunge into a full time training role.

So I took the plunge and I am incredibly glad I did. It feels utterly amazing to think I am now a ‘Training Consultant’! Especially when I consider how many training jobs I applied for without hearing back at all before I got my chance.

I work for a not for profit provider of apprenticeships delivering training and conducting progress reviews with the learners. Not only have this company taken me on as a trainer but they are putting me though some NVQs too so I have will appropriate qualifications for the job!

A GIF representing me after finding out I got the job

Motoring Low

However, this new new job means I have to drive a lot of miles in my own car. The company I now work for is a charitable organisation, so a company car was not included. I have to visit my learners in their workplaces to conduct progress reviews, and they can be as far away as a 2 hour drive. My 55 plate Civic was the first car I chose myself. I’ve had Rosie (my car) 5 1/2 years and Rosie has been a good car. Been being the operative word. She makes strange noises, seems to loose power, stalls regularly (irrelevant of who the driver is) and has broken down twice in the past 6 months.

But I can’t afford to get a new car 😦 because the Husband and I are saving for a deposit on a house. We can’t buy a car outright, and even getting a car on finance or lease is not an option because the monthly payout will reduce the amount we are able to save each month. Plus it would reduce the amount a mortgage provider would lend us as it would impact our “affordability”.

So little Rosie will just have to carrying on limping through for a while yet. It’s just one of the many sacrifices that are being made in our bid to try and get on the property ladder.

Please tell me I’m not alone? Do you have a car that is barely hanging on?
Have you recently made a career change, or, are you like I was a few months ago, plugging away trying to get into a role you really want?

Life might be quite hard in some ways at the moment, but I feel optimistic and continue to look on the bright side whenever I can.

highs and lows of trying to make it through my 20's

My Ex Old Man and my Ex Best Girlfriend


Ex old MAN

‘My Ex Old Man and my Ex Best Girl Friend’, may be the name of a song by country singer Kristen Kelly, but is also the title of this blog post, because yesterday my ex Fiance married an ex Best Friend of mine. 

Emma was my best friend all the way through secondary school and into A Levels, although at some point around GCSE years Emma left the school we went to together and went to a different school designed for those who had been failed by the education system. Emma and I spent a lot of time together, usually at her house, watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S, playing video games and eating Chinese takeaways. Often Emma’s parents would go on Holiday, leaving her at home alone (her grandparents would keep an eye on her), and during these weeks I would spend a lot of time at her house. We would buy cigarettes and smoke them in her garden, and drink vodka neat out the bottle and end laughing because I managed to fall over in her tiny, under stairs toilet. It was with Emma that I smoked Cannabis with for the first time. We even kept a scrap book of our exploits, printing out pictures to stick in the scrap books and sticking in emails or little hand written messages to each other. I wish I knew what happened to that scrap book! We would have little fall outs, like teenage girls do, but never for too long.

When I was 16 I started a relationship with Adrian. We got rather serious quite quickly considering our age. My parents weren’t sure about him at first because he seemed to come from no where to them and because he was 3 years older than me. But I managed to convince my parent round, and over the years they bonded with him. We would spend as many weekends as we could together, because he lived an hours drive away we didn’t see each other Monday-Friday.

There was quite a few occasions when Emma, Adrian and I would all hang out together. One weekend Adrian and I stayed over at Emma’s house. We all got on well.

Then when Emma and I went to university we started to drift apart, and this time our friendship stayed broken. I regret that I let our friendship fall apart, because we always had such fun together, we always had each others back, and never judged each other. We could tell each other anything and know the other would stay true.

Adrian I stayed together for 6.5 years. We stuck it out together, even throughout our university years, which is often when couples break up. Just before my 19th birthday he proposed, then in 2010, when we had both finished university, we moved into our first rented place together, a little run down flat. And we were planning our wedding for 2012. We were mostly happy, but once we moved in together the cracks started to show. We were two rather different people. The arguments became more frequent, and I started to fall out of love with him. So after 6.5 years together, and 5 months before our wedding day, we broke up. Our break up was amicable, and we asked our friends and family to keep any negativity to themselves. I still liked him, and he still liked me, we just realised we didn’t want to marry each other, and we had become more friends than lovers.

We were still good friends, that after breaking up, we carried on living together for 7 months until our tenancy contract ended. But soon after I moved out, we came to thexoldmane conclusion that for both our sakes it was best if we broke all contact so that we could both move on in a healthy way.

Fast forward a couple of years and I’m happily in a relationship with someone else and engaged to be married. That person is my husband. 

Adrian, much to my own discomfort and great upset, stayed friends with my Sister and Brother-In-Law and continued to see the two of them as friends. Over the years following Emma and I falling out of friendship, I’m not sure exactly how, Emma and my Sister became friends. often my Sister held gatherings for friends at her house and Adrian and Emma would both be invited. And when Adrian and Emma were both single they got together. At the time, although we had drifted apart in ‘the real world’ I was still friends on Facebook with Emma, but when I saw her relationship status update, to show she was in a relationship with Adrian, I deleted her as a friend. The idea of them being in a relationship was just too weird for me! And I didn’t want to watch their relationship play out online.

Fast forward another couple of years and my husband and I got married in the October of 2016 and the very next month Adrian proposed to Emma. How do I know this? Because a mutual friend of Emma and I, an old school friend, told me. The old school friend was shocked about their engagement, and understood why I felt it was weird.

Yesterday they got married. My Sister was a Bridesmaid, and my Brother-In-Law was an Usher.  I find this odd. To me, it seems that Adrian can’t/hasn’t moved on from when he was with me. Yes, my sister and bro-in-law are friends with them both, but if I was Emma, I would feel as though Adrian was using a friendship with them to cling onto me some how. Especially when you add in to this he still has my parents and other family members of mine as friends on Facebook. But it isn’t for me to pry into their relationship. If they are happy, then that is good. And we all look at things differently. But I wouldn’t want my husband to still have contact with his ex’s family, because it would make me feel like he can’t or hasn’t moved on.

I have no hard feelings over their relationship, and I think they probably do make a pretty good couple. Everyone deserves to be happy and I wish them all the luck for their future. If I see them, which is quite likely, seeing as they’ve stayed friends with family members of mine, and the four of us are all invited to my Brother-In-laws 30th Birthday bash later this year. If/When I see them I will smile and say hello. I won’t be rude, and I hope they give my Husband and I the same courtesy.

Thelongone