Groom Got Groovy Shoes


Even a couple planning on a budget of half the national average will have certain things they don’t want to scrimp on. The ‘will not scrimp on’ list doesn’t mean it is the ‘blow out’ list, it just means it’s where you don’t want to cut any corners. These are the areas you allocate your budget to first as they’re the areas most important to you (for how to create your overall budget and how to allocate it to different expenses check out this post from the archives). For many budget couples I’ve spoken to, their top priorities are; wedding dress, photographer, the number of guests or the food. These are areas they are keen to allocate large parts of their budget to, at the risk of having to scrimp on other areas such as the transport to get to and from the venue/s for example. The scrimp/splurge list is unique to every couple.

For most couples the wedding dress will be on the splurge list somewhere, with often the Grooms entire outfit sitting on the scrimp list.

In this post I want to put the focus back on to the Groom by bringing to you in this post a totally unique, quality, hand-made men’s shoe designer.

The Hand Dyed Shoe Co.

9 times out of 10 the Groom and the groomsman’s suits are hired, with one of the only elements of the outfit kept by the Groom after the wedding being his shoes (and possibly his accessories such as his watch, cufflinks etc).

My Husband spent a good amount of money on his wedding shoes and he still wears them on occasions when he has to be dressed smart. He told me when seeing me Customise your Hand Dyed Shoesplanning this post that every time he wears his wedding shoes he smiles as he remembers the fact they were what he wore when he became my husband.

Having a re-wearable memento of the day is just as important for the Groom as it is for the Bride. And what woman wouldn’t want her Husband reminded of the big day every time he puts on this ‘best shoes’?

Founded by Simon Bourne The Hand Dyed Shoe Co. offer you the chance of buying a pair of shoes you know have been made just for you, by giving you the chance to customise them with a monogram, or short inscription such as your wedding date or your initials.

Currently there are 8 styles to choose from and the shoes are made in a factory in Portugal using raw leather, before being sent to Simon to hand dye in your choice of colour. The options are pretty much limitless when it comes to the colour, if you contacted Simon asking him to create a pair in light green – he can mix that for you. Because of the handmade, made-to-measure service offered it will be roughly 12 weeks from ordering to the shoes being ready.

Below is a video of Simon set up for a days work in one of the many unconventional spots he decides to work in. On his website you can see images of him dying shoes whilst sat at his portable table in a river. I really love the idea that not only were the shoes hand dyed to your own request but they could have been crafted in a truly inspiring landscape.

Simon offers Skype/FaceTime consultations and can create almost anything through a structured and simple customisation offering. The shoes start at £235 which I think is an incredibly fair price, and one that many Grooms I’m sure will be more than happy to spend for such a quality, one of a kind statement to add to their big day outfit.

To steal a quote from Simon – “You are unique. Time to be it.” and show it by wearing something on your feet as unique and off the wall as you are.

All of you Say I Do On A Budget readers have been kindly given free delivery on your orders with The Hand Dyed Shoe Co. when using the code detailed in the below voucher when purchasing your shoes.

Free Delivery TheHandDyedShoeCo

You can find out more about The Hand Dyed Shoe Co. via…
Twitter@handdyedshoeco
Facebook@handdyedshoeco
Instagram: handdyedshoeco
Websitehanddyedshoeco.com

or you can email Simon on  info@handdyedshoeco.com

6 Highs & Lows of my Budget Hen Do


My Budget Hen

I realised a couple weeks ago that I’ve never done a blog post about my hen do!

Perhaps I didn’t rush to write a post about it because it actually wasn’t all that note worthy. But I think it’s still worth sharing with you so you can perhaps learn from the errors made in the planning of mine.

Date: Saturday 24th September 2016
Location: Brighton, UK
Accommodation: Brighton YHA

Main Activity: Proud Cabaret Brighton
Number of Hens: 6 plus me
Overall cost per Hen: £140 (included entrance into the Cabaret with 3 course meal, accommodation and travel & parking). Drinks and other food on top.

Here is a list of my 3 Hen Disappointments and 3 Hen Satisfactions…

Hen Do Disappointment Number 1:
Not a Big Guest List

Being a couple on a budget one of the things we did to reduce our wedding costs was make cuts to the guest list. We had most of our family there (we invited all family we were close to and only a couple RSVP’d saying they could make it for different reasons) But we really didn’t invite many non-family members to the wedding. Non-related friends invited to our wedding totalled 16, half of which were either male or children. We’d have loved to have invited more buy our budget just wouldn’t allow it.

I didn’t not feel comfortable with inviting people to my hen do that I hadn’t invited to the wedding. This meant the list of people I could invite to my Hen wasn’t that big to start with.

Add to this that some wedding guests weren’t able to come on the hen do due to being either heavily pregnant or having newborns.

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Brentwood Rings: Ammonite Studio


Brentwood Custom Rings Blog post

With the ever increasing price of gold, traditional wedding rings made out of precious metals are becoming harder to finance for most people. The cost of buying wedding rings is taking up more and more of the total wedding budget. Even none traditional metals such as Palladium are rather pricey.

My husband and I both chose plain (in design) 9ct yellow gold wedding bands to keep the cost down. For ages we looked at rings, and we both liked the idea of having rings with an inlay pattern. The husband was looking at a lot of rings where the ring was a mix of shiny and matt, or was yellow gold with a white gold middle section. However, these rings seemed to be coming in over the budget we had set.

Our Budget Wedding Rings blog postSo when we went ring shopping 4 months before the big day we both chose matching plain rings. Mine is 3mm in width and his is 5mm. I love my wedding band, and think it goes incredibly well with my engagement ring as they’re both ‘traditional’ and ‘timeless’ in design.

We had them engraved on the inside to create that uniqueness we wanted while sticking with something traditional and something in budget. Both of our rings, including the engraving came to less than £500, which is rather low cost for new gold rings.

In a previous post from the very early days of the blog I wrote about how you can get quality wedding rings for less with tips such as buying second hand, or exchanging your Tesco Clubcard points for GoldSmiths vouchers. In that post I wrote…

There are many areas of the wedding day that couples can and will cut costs on, but the wedding rings is either an area seen to be one that shouldn’t be scrimped or people feel they can’t scrimp on.

As one lady said on a wedding forum I frequent “I never wanted to spend a lot, but in fairness, it is one of the few physical things left after the wedding day”. This knowledge that our rings are the only part of our wedding that are always on show to everyone, and that (hopefully) we will be wearing them for the rest of our lives; it isn’t just a fleeting moment of a wedding that will be forgotten after a couple of weeks; the thought of trying to save money in this area is not always very appealing.

I, however, am on the campaign to say that you can save money on your rings without forgoing the quality.

Gold, Palladium, Platinum…Expense-dom [March 2012]

The tips given in that post from 2012 are great for those who want a more traditional style of wedding band.

But what if you don’t want a traditional look to your wedding rings? What if you want your rings to be as quirky and unconventional as you are?

Well, a recent discovery of mine may well meet your needs to uniqueness, modern styling and affordability.

In early 2016 Mark set up his business ‘Ammonite Studio‘ where he hand makes wood rings at his base in Cumbria. Bentwood rings are fashioned from long strips of wood veneer, boiled or steamed for pliability and wrapped over and again in several layers. Keeping the integrity of the wood grain and having overlapping layers makes bentwood rings much more durable while preserving the beauty of natural wood.
They are finished with many waterproof, durable coats of ca glue and finally polished to a glass like shine.

Ammonite Studio

Each ring that’s made by Mark will be a unique, custom made piece of jewellery like no other. Personally my favourite range of rings from Ammonite Studio is the ‘inlay rings‘ of which two of the image squares above show. When speaking to Mark he told me that since officially starting his business roughly 50% of orders are from people purchasing his rings to be their wedding or engagement rings; and that some of Marks customers request a wood or inlay that has a special meaning to them. For example, recently he sourced red cedar from the US for a couple.

What could be more unique and modern than a wedding ring made from wood? I can almost hear you saying to me, “yeah, this is great, but what about the cost?” Well for the answer to that you should pop onto the website; but trust me, you’ll be very pleasantly surprised as you browse through the range at how affordable these incredible custom rings can be considering even his basic designs can take 2 weeks to create.

I’ve noticed a surge in the number of brides-to-be sporting unconventional engagement bands; IE rings that have a precious stone other than diamond or pearl engagement rings.

If you’ve chosen a beautiful unconventional engagement ring why would you then team it with a traditional wedding band?

Perhaps your husband-to-be doesn’t wear any precious metal jewellery and is really put off by the idea of having a shiny wedding band?

If this sounds like you, then maybe Brentwood Rings is the answer you’ve been searching for.

Have you chosen your rings yet?
I’d really love to know if you bought new, bought second hand, ordered custom rings or went very modern and unique with something such as the rings available from Ammonite Studio. Click on ‘comment’ to let me know.

A Personalised Wedding Magazine


Wedition blog header

Wedition is a magazine that is completely unique, bespoke and personal, as you decide everything that goes in to it. 

When planning a destination wedding getting all of the information required about the wedding day to all guests can seem like a daunting task. To be fair if you have decided to get married anywhere a good distance away from where most of the guests live, you will probably find yourself having to provide as much information as those planning a destination wedding do. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if you could provide details of everything all in one handy place?

Wedding websites such as gettingmarried.co.uk are a great way to do this, but, you may have some guests who aren’t on the internet, and a website may not be easily accessible all the time for everyone.

Here is where Wedition can be the saving grace you need. Imagine having a magazine you can send to all your guests, that would work as the invitation and the ‘information pack’. Within your Wedition magazine you could include all of the following (and more):

  • Travel & Accommodation details
  • Local area information
  • Gift List
  • Expected weather conditions; including expected dress code
  • Order of service and of the whole wedding day

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Round-Up: Advice from the Professionals


Advice From the Professionals

I thought it was about time I did a round-up of some of the best Hints Tips and Advice from Professionals that have been featured on the blog. One of the aims of Say I Do On A Budget is to provide real advice that will actually help you plan your wedding with ease irrelevant of how big or small your budget might be.

Occasionally the help and advice that is presented with the blog posts isn’t simply from humble little me, but is actually from industry professionals who really know what they’re talking about. Some of the best advice that has been featured on the blog over the past couple years is highlighted below. If you like the sound of the snippets below then pop over to their sites or click the link to the full post to read more.

Wedding Stationary: Advice from the Professionals

Say I Do On A Budget has featured a lot of wedding stationary professionals who have kindly provided advice and tips to help you.

In September 2015 Suzanne from ‘Paper Tree Design‘ along with Rosie from ‘Little Vixen Designs‘ provided their pearls of wisdom on how to save money on your invitations in a post entitled Invites For Less.
Their professional industry experience meant they were able to provide advice such as:
“Using someone local can cave you money on postage if you decide to collect your order” – from Suzanne: Paper Tree Design
and
“Check the size, weight and thickness of your invitations if you’re posting them. Postage can shoot right up even if you’re slightly over the limit.”
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Photo Booth on a Budget


Photo Booth on a Budget from sayidoonabudget.com

For the couple planning their wedding on a smaller than average budget a professional photo booth may seem out of the equation.

Going DIY can be a fantastic way to have a photo booth at your wedding for less. One of the weddings I attended in 2014 had a budget photo booth which worked fantastically. It was an iPad set up on a stand where the guests pressed the capture button that was set on a 5 second timer so you could get in place before the picture was taken. Add in a little backdrop and some fun photo booth style props and you’ve got your own budget photo booth.

However, what if you do want something more professional?

Some photo booth hire companies do packages that could really suit your needs. You may decide you only need the photo booth for a couple of hours during the early stages of the reception. An example of a company that may be able to fit this need is ‘Giraffe Monkey‘ who are based in the north of England.

You can get 2 hours for just £200 but you can also get 4 hours for just £375 from Giraffe Monkey.

Only you will know if a photo booth is something you want to have at your wedding. If you do want a photo booth at your wedding, only you will know if your budget allows you to go professional, or if you’ll have to get creative and go DIY.

Within all of Giraffe Monkey’s packages you get all of the below:
GiraffemonkeyAI

When thinking about backdrops for a DIY photo booth you could create a board that stands in front of the ‘camera’ or you can simply set in up so a wall is the backdrop. Simply what you don’t want is the camera looking into a room as this distracts the focus away from the people who are “in the photo booth” at the time and takes away from the whole photo booth feel when you get the pictures.

Most people opting with a DIY photo booth won’t have a printer set up to print the pictures after they’re taken as if you don’t already have an instant photo printer this can add an unexpected high cost to the set up. If you’re using a smart device as the camera then you can download photo booth apps that allow your guests to upload the photos to a service such as Instagram with your own unique hashtag so you can find them all later.  A quick Google search brings up loads of ideas and ‘How To’s” for creating a DIY photo booth.

Whether you go for a professional photo booth or a DIY style one they are usually a big winner at any wedding; and a fantastic and affordable way to provide a form of entertainment for your wedding guests that everyone will benefit from.

Giraffe Monkey Discount for readers of sayidoonabudget.com

Post Wedding Change


Post Wedding Hair Change

Over the past 10 years I’ve had blonde highlights streaked through my hair, a thick slab of red, I’ve had some of my hair dyed blue. I’ve gone pretty close to black and had my hair dip dyed in 2012. Ignoring the colour though I’ve pretty much had the same hair style for over 10 years. Sometimes I had it all one length, and other times I’ve had layers cut in, but for the past 10 years my hair has been around a certain length – somewhere between middle of the shoulder blade and bra strap.


Up until recently if anyone asked I always said I was growing it. I wanted to see how long I could grow it. The truth is, I couldn’t grow it anywhere near as long as I’d like. I imagined my hair being like Taylor Swift’s hair in 2010; but the longer it got the more of an annoyance it became. Like many brides I wanted to keep it long for the wedding, so there was no way I was contemplating having the chop until after my wedding at least.

The longer my hair got the more I found myself just putting it up in a messy bun, rather than having it down because when it was down it had a tendency to fall in front of my face, in a cousin-it fashion any time I tilted my head even slightly downwards.

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