Not all Brides want a big, expensive long weekend party for their Hen Do. There are lots of different reasons why a Bride may opt for a 1 night celebration or a low cost weekend party with their favourite ladies. Some Brides may know that their friends aren’t able to splash out on a long weekend far away from home. Some Brides have young children or other responsibilities that mean they can’t be away from home for a long time which mean they want a at home hen or a low cost local hen celebration. I opted for a low cost Hen weekend myself when my hens and I went to Brighton for 1 night and stayed in a hostel! It is for this reason I thought the US based oracle for Bridesmaids and the expert of Hen parties, Theresa of Bridesmaids Confession would be the perfect person to share some tips on how to plan a wonderful, low cost celebration for the Bride in your life!
“It’s a day your best friend has been waiting for, the one where he pops the question. After the shock of the proposal fades, she’s asked you to stand by her side and you’ll gleefully say yes. Once you step into the role of Bridesmaid you’ll have a full checklist of responsibilities. The one you can have the most fun with is planning the hen party. These types of things can cost a fortune, but they don’t have to. Here are 3 easy ways to save when planning a hen party.
There is one big reason that I love January. The January sales!
If you work the sales right, you can pick up everything from a wedding dress to stationary pieces at very discounted prices. Plus, with the advent of the internet, sales shopping is so much easier than it used to be! You don’t even need to traipse around the shops to pick out some amazing bargains to help you come in under budget.
If you are able to pick up pieces for your wedding day under budget what would you do with the money saved?
Put the money towards another part of your wedding day so you can splash out a little more in that area? Or would you keep it in the bank to spend on something non-wedding related? Whatever you may choose to do with the money saved from sale shopping, we can all agree there isn’t much that will give you a better feeling than finding a beautiful gem at a cost lower than you’d budgeted.
I thought I would search the internet to find some of the best bargains on the web to share with you. *please bear in mind that my finds are right to the time of publishing this post
Images are not linked to websites as in my experiences those types of links change quickly and therefore aren’t reliable. Hopefully the information in the images below will enable you to find the items on the company’s website easily.
I love the cap sleeves, keyhole opening in the back and the beautifully placed sequins on this Phase Eight Bridal dress.
This vintage glamour bohemian style wedding dress really has the wow factor, and is one of my favourite bridal dresses I’ve ever seen sold by a non wedding dedicated high-street retailer. The stunning puddle train is something rarely found on a dress in this price range.
Who knew Dorothy Perkins did wedding dresses?? I know I had no clue until doing my research for this post. Their dresses are, as you would expect aimed at the low budget end of the budget pricing scale, however they seem like wonderful dresses for the price. This ‘Valentina’ dress has a real Meghan Markle feel in its simplicity and is at just £90.00 right now which makes it a real steal!
I thought I would throw a Bridesmaids dress into the mix too. I found loads of great bridesmaids dresses in the sales, but thought I would share this one. £70 is a good price for a bridesmaid already, but £35 in the sale is even better! This style of dress would suit so many different wedding styles and is available in four different colours.
There are so many amazing finds for your wedding that you can pick up from high street shops and from the websites of high street retailers. Don’t be afraid to look on the websites of your favourite clothes shops to see if they have the perfect bridesmaid dress, wedding dress or Groomsmen attire, as you may well be very pleasantly surprised.
However, if going high street isn’t for you, I am a big advocate for buying a pre-loved wedding dress or hitting the sample sale ranks in any Bridal shop. Also, don’t be afraid to book an appointment with a charity wedding dress shop as you can find wonderful donated wedding dresses, I donated my wedding dress to a charity shop after my wedding, which was something I wasn’t planning on doing prior to getting married but just felt the right thing to do afterwards.
I have made it through to the final round of the UK Blog Awards 2019!! and in TWO categories!
This means that I am one of the top 8 in both the wedding and the finance categories.
I will be going through to the final round of judging. For 2019 there are 27 categories. Each category has a blogger judge and an expert judge who will jointly decide using a scoring system on set criteria, who the winner and the highly commended will be for their category.
The blogger judge for the wedding category is Nicola of Hanami Dreams (the blogger judge and the person who came out as the winner for the wedding category at the #UKBA18 awards) and along with the expert judge will be reviewing all 8 finalist blogs in more depth across set criteria. Nicola and the expert judge will choose 1 blogger as the winner of the #UKBA19 in the wedding category and 1 blogger as highly commended.
I’m yet to find out who the blogger judge is for the finance category! The #UKBA19 organisers are keeping us in suspense. As soon as I find out I will update this post with the details of who the finance blogger judge is!
You can find the full list of all finalist for all 27 categories HERE.
Thank you so much to everyone who voted for my blog and to everyone who has supported me by following my blog and by engaging with my content. You all mean an awful lot to me and I am so happy that every single one of you exists. As a small, internet based way of thanking you I give you this GIF!
As 2018 draws to an end I thought it would be nice to look back over the posts I’ve published during 2018 and create a round-up of my 5 favourite posts from the past year. Tomorrow is New Years Eve when we will be ringing in the new year, a time when we all get a fresh start, a chance to make changes if we so wish.
I don’t talk about my personal life much on this blog, but if you follow me on Twitter, you will see me talk much more about my life, and if you do follow me on Twitter you will know 2018 has been a year of saving hard for my husband and I. We have been saving to buy our own home together. We have made a lot of sacrifices in a bid to build up a deposit, and the saving has been made even harder by the fact we both made big career changes in 2018 too!
I am incredibly happy to be able to report that in November we had an offer accepted on a house and are planning to complete and get the keys before the end of January! Meaning I already know 2019 will bring a big change for us, a very positive and exciting, if not slightly terrifying change. We’ll be #realadults then? I’d you’d like me to a blog post to document our moving in please let me know in the comments.
So, without much further ado, let’s move on to my 5 favourite Say “I Do” On A Budget posts from 2018. In no particular order…
This post was a collaboration between Russell and I. I had wanted to showcase some of the origami Russell creates for a little while such as his origami fortune cookies and his origami lily fairy lights, then when he said he would kindly share some tips on how to get the most out of selling on Etsy, I thought it would work really well to combine the showcase of my favourite creations of his with his tips. Check out this post to read his 9 fabulous tips on how to improve your selling success on Etsy such as how to avoid a foreign currency fee from your bank.
I was thrilled to be able to feature a dear friend of mine when she decided to set up a business designing and hard-crafting hair accessories with Brides, Bridesmaids and Flower Girls in mind. Kelly started Sparkle Vines after hand-making the hair accessories she and her Bridesmaids wore to her own wedding in June of this year. You can order from her Etsy shop or by DM’ing her through her Facebook page, and an choose from her pre-made range or can put in a special order for a custom piece.
A couple months ago I created a guest post for Rachel’s blog site, ‘Veiled Productions’ on the topic of wedding traditions and where they come from. After creating the post for her on the origins of wedding traditions and customs I was inspired to create a post on how to bring the custom of carrying herbs in wedding bouquets back. I did quite a bit of research on the topic in the hope of inspiring others to consider using herbs in their floral arrangements. Within this post you will find a piece from a lady called Sarah who used bee friendly herbs in her floral arrangements which gave a nod to the fact she grows herbs in her garden and loves using them in her cooking.
Polly May (of Polly May Blogs) and I decided to arrange a blog swap with each other and this is her post for Say “I Do” On A Budget. Using her experience as a weddings and events planner for a hotel Polly May talks you through how you can break down a £10,000 budget to allocate for each part of your wedding. Many couples find budgeting one of the hardest parts of the early stages of wedding planning, so this post from Polly may should hopefully be very helpful for many who are trying to work out how to get started. If you read this post and then read some of my real budget wedding features you will get a brilliant idea of how you can make your dream low cost wedding a reality.
I’ve mentioned a few times in various posts about how difficult the husband and I found hunting for suppliers. An engaged friend of mine who is currently planning her August 2019 wedding also confided in me that she was struggling to find wedding photographers let alone, find one she and her Fiance wanted to book. This gave me the inspiration for a post on the websites you can use to aid your search for wedding suppliers, from photographers to florists.
Wedding Date: 23rd August 2018 Number of Guests:100 Wedding Colour Scheme and Theme: We had a colourful Festival theme. Lots of the guests camped on the farm and we had a circus skills workshop and a fire show as well as lots of flags and a campfire area. We had afternoon tea with a vintage tea set (rather than a sit down meal) and then served a giant paella later in the evening.
Total Wedding Budget: £6,500
Tim and Kate’s fabulous wedding suppliers: Photographer: Tanya Hazell Photography MUA / Hairdresser: Jodie (a friend of a friend!) Cake: My sister runs a cake business (Lucy Loves Cakes in Bristol) and made our wedding cake as a present Flowers: My Mum did the flowers! Having family supply the cake and the flowers for us really helped us reduce costs, as flowers and cake were going to add up to quite a bit if they hadn’t done them as gifts to us. Fudge table: we had a fantastic fudge table from Talbot Handmade
How did you decide on your budget? Kate and I had been together for 17 years, engaged for 16 years and have four children. We felt like this was about celebrating our lives and futures, rather than starting a new life, so choose a budget which we felt was comfortable for our financial situation.
What elements of planning were the hardest with your £6,500 budget? Initially the venue costs were the reason we kept putting things off, but when we found Radford Mill Farm we knew it was a perfect fit, and fantastic value. We saw the farm in March and two days later we booked it for August! Everything else we just started from the budget and looked at our options.
In what ways were you really able to crunch the budget? I’m very good at planning, and finding good hacks (hence my blog!), I think we also choose our suppliers wisely. We found local people, none of whom had glossy websites or sales pitches, but all of whom were friendly, passionate and recommended by others. We got good value, and good service, from everyone and it all had a very local, sustainable and friendly feel – there was nothing commercial about it whatsoever.
Tell us about the Bridal outfit… The dress was from ‘Light in the Box’. Kate wore a veil and an earring and necklace set. She tried on something very similar in a wedding store, then bought online for much less. She was a bit worried about buying online, but was very pleased with it when it arrived.
What about the beautiful Bridesmaids? We had both our daughters as our Bridesmaids. They both wore dresses from Monsoon.
And What did the Groom and Groomsmen wear?
I bought a decent suit in the TM Lewin sale for about £200, which I really liked. I wasn’t comfortable with buying something I’d only use once, so I choose something I could wear as a 2 or 3 piece and that I knew I would use again.A
We all love a bit of bling, what’s the story behind yours? My wedding ring is a gold band which belonged to my Grandfather who passed away a few months before the wedding. Kate chose hers after lots of research!
How did you get your DIY on? We decorated the marquee ourselves with bunting and festoon lights we bought. We made the invitations (which were like festival tickets) and we hand painted wooden signs for the site and made a giant wooden ‘LOVE’ sign. Kate also made a photo tree with our favourite pictures on.
What was the biggest hurdle you ran into during planning? We set ourselves a relatively tight timescale. For awhile we were worried we weren’t going to be able to find a live band we liked who would be available, but we managed to sort that once we put enough energy into searching. We had to align availability for the Guildhall and the reception venue, and get a temporary event notice ourselves, but it was all do-able with a bit of planning.
What was your blow out spend for the wedding? I’m not sure we really had one! We spent a few hundred pounds on a bus to ferry people between the ceremony and reception, as we thought that was important. We also really prioritised entertainment, we spent £650 on a live band and my parents booked the fire show and circus skills as a present for us! At the last minute we also added a few unplanned extras like festival wristbands – these were so popular!!
Was there anything that didn’t go as planned? Not really. I camped on site with family the night before the wedding and it absolutely poured down – we were waiting to wake up to a very soggy marquee (and I was really worried because Kate had put so much effort into decorating it the night before). But the sun came out, and everything important was dry! It didn’t rain again until the morning after the wedding.
So now you’ve had your own fabulous small budget wedding what tips or advice would you give to others planning on a small budget? Don’t get swept along by wedding sales and marketing. We just focused on the bits which were important to us and set a budget we stuck to. It’s so easy to get drawn in by advertising for ‘must haves’, but just treat your wedding as unique and decide your own must haves. Also, remember that very glossy websites, brochures and sales pitches cost businesses money – which means they’ll likely need to charge more!
Thank you to Tim for sharing his wonderful budget wedding with us!
Tim is a UK travel hack blogger over at Take Me To The Points and you may be very interested to know that Tim and Kate’s honeymoon was almost entirely paid for by points earned on the wedding spend! You can see how he did that in his post ‘Earning Hotel Points: How I Travel Hacked My Honeymoon!’
If you like the sounds of Tim’s wonderful budget wedding and you think you’d like to read more of his travel hacks then you can check out his blog and follow him on Twitter.
On 26th November I published on Say “I do” on a Budget, a guest post from Polly May. In her guest post, Polly May gave advice on how you could allocate a £10,000 budget for your wedding and then gave tips on what to think about when planning each section. Her post was absolutely brilliant, and a lot of you have been giving it a lot of love already. If you’ve not read it already, then definitely go and give it a read here.
In return I wrote a guest post for her, which she published on 29th November over on her blog. The blog post I wrote for her was all about how to minimise stress when you are in the midst of wedding planning and how you may be able to avoid getting the post-wedding-blues. I’m really pleased with how the post has come out over on her blog. If you are currently in the throws of planning, or if your wedding is fast approaching, the no nonsense advice I’ve given may be just what you need to read right now. Check out the post here.
Polly May is relatively new to the world of wedding blogging, but not new to the world of weddings, as she is an events and wedding planner. We’ve clicked really well, and have really enjoyed working together on these posts, so much so that I don’t think these posts will be the last time we feature on each others blogs!