Potential Changes to Marriage Law in England and Wales to lower the cost of getting married!


Potential Changes to Marriage Law in England and Wales to lower the cost of getting married!

For awhile now England and Wales have been behind many other countries with its laws on where a couple can legally get married.

As it stands, in England, for a wedding to be legally recognised, a couple must get married in a registered venue. This makes prices higher as it limits a couples options for where they can tie the knot. You could get married in a celebrant led wedding wherever you want, but if you want your union to be legally recognised you’d have to have a legal ceremony in a registry office.

This week, it has been announced that the chancellor will be reviewing wedding venues in England and Wales. The review will be looking to lift restrictions on al fresco locations, such as gardens, beaches and temporary structures, which would bring England and Wales in line with Scotland, where couples have for a long time had more choice in where they tie the knot. Hopefully, having more choice in venues and therefore increased competition will lower the average cost of a venue.

According to the Bridebook National Wedding Survey, as of July 2018 the average cost of a wedding in the UK was over £30,000 which to me, is just absolutely crazy! That is a handsome deposit on a house! Of that £30k, over £6k is spent on the venue (on average), so anything that could bring the cost down is very good in my opinion.

Many wedding laws in England and Wales that are still in place now, date back to 1837!

I’ll be following the developments of this closely, as it could bring long over due and much needed changes that will make positive steps forwards for all of us who wish to get married but don’t want to spend a house deposit doing so. Let’s watch this space.

potential changes to UK marriage law may lower the cost of getting married

Supplier Spotlight: An Interview with Kelly of Sparkle Vines


Sparkle Vines Supplier Spotlight blog

The lady I’m featuring today is someone I’ve known for years. I’ve known Kelly for years ever since we met working our first jobs in a supermarket. I’ve found in life, it’s rare to have a friendship survive the challenges Kelly’s and I’s has; and it gives me so much joy to interview Kelly about the wonderful business she set up earlier this year in this supplier spotlight feature.

The Interviewer: Hazel of SayIDoOnABudget
The Supplier:
Kelly Mills
Kelly is a Commercial Coordinator for Neptune by day and a creator of beautiful hair accessories by night
The Business: Sparkle Vines (est August 2018)
Location: Wiltshire, UK

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Hey Kelly, please can you tell everyone the story of how Sparkle Vines came to be?

I’m based in a small town in Wiltshire, called Calne. My day job is as a Commercial Projects Coordinator for Neptune, at their head office in Swindon. In basic terms I coordinate kitchens into building developments. Its very hands on with each day different to the last. I have always been creative, very hands on and enjoy making different things. I know how to croquet, how to sew and now I know how to make hair accessories!
Sparkle Vines started with my own wedding. Since before getting engaged when I looked through bridal magazines or scrolled through Pinterest, hopeful and dreaming of my big day, wondering if my man would ever pop the question, I always had a love for beaded hair vines and knew I wanted to make my own for my future wedding.
Kelly’s fiance whisked her away for a surprise weekend trip to Venice for the August bank holiday in 2016, and whilst they were there he popped the question!
After I got engaged I did a lot of research for

Supplier Spotlight_ An Interview with Kelly of Sparkle Vines on her beautiful hair accessories business

inspiration on what I’d like my own hair vine to look like, and I decided to hand make hair combs for my Bridesmaids too! I started with crafting hair combs for my two Bridesmaids using white, grey and pink fresh water pearls. I also used clear cracked quartz to give them a bit of a sparkle. Using just precious gemstones would have been expensive, so to save costs I padded the design out with white and grey beads with silver plated leaves to give them the finishing touch. I was really happy with how they turned out, and this gave me the confidence I needed to tackle my own hair piece using the same style and materials. I designed 2 just in case I preferred one to the other on my hair trial.
You got married in Venice on 9th June 2018 and created a lot of your own stationary for the big day; what were your favourite DIY crafts from your wedding?
I loved all the DIY’s I made for my wedding. I made everything from our save the dates & invitations to the place name cards and table plan. If I didn’t get married abroad I would have made a lot more, but I was restricted to what I could get into a suitcase! As it happens I had 4 massive suitcases to try and get to Venice, so I had to restrict myself with what I could make. The craft I found the hardest to make was the order of service.

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How we haven’t celebrated our 2nd Wedding Anniversary


Kinda not celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary

2 years ago today I went from a Miss to a Mrs when I married the man I love more than biscuits. I love looking back at pictures from our wedding day, but even more than that I really enjoy looking at pictures of the things we have done together since we promised our lives to each other.

For our first anniversary we bought each other paper gifts and 1st anniversary cards. We took a trip into town where we ate blue ice cream and had dinner at an Italian restaurant. Last year we felt we had properly celebrated our anniversary. We took pictures of ourselves with the gifts we gave each other and took pictures of ourselves eating our anniversary meal.

So, that was last year, what’s been happening since?

In the past 12 months, I paid for him to have a drifting experience for his birthday in January, we went Zip-lining in Wales with some friends for my birthday, we have both made big career changes and have taken tips to Devon and Cornwall. What we have not done, is bought a house, which is something this time last year we thought we would definitely have done by now. We may still be living with family, and saving hard, but we are really close now! We have made quite a lot of sacrifices in our bid to get ourselves on the property ladder, including not buying anything that isn’t a necessity or something that is could make use of / need.

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The Joy of House Sitting and Getting Impatient with Saving


The Joys of House Sitting and the Frustrations of saving for your own home

The husband and I are house sitting for his sister and her husband at the moment. We arrived at their house on Wednesday evening just as they were leaving, and we are here until a week tomorrow. This is the second time we have house sat this month, although last time it was for some friends of ours. Last time, it was again, for 10 days, spanning the end of August, and the start of September.

When we house sat for our friends, we were also cat sitting their cat, Marmite, so it made sense. This time, it is more of a pity situation. Yes the sister-in-law gets the security and comfort knowing people are looking after her house, and by having us here, the chances of being burgled etc are reduced, but if the husband and I weren’t living with my sister, this opportunity would unlikely have been presented to us.

Back in June I did an update post June I did an update post on what had happened since I got married in October 2016, and in that post I explained that we moved in with my sister and her boyfriend to increase our saving ability. We are now so close to having a deposit saved, and we’re hoping we will be able to look at houses and put offers in etc in November! Which is really close now, but by then we would have been living with my

The Joys of House Sitting when your in the pains of saving for your own home

sister and her boyfriend nearly 18 months. And will be a good 20 months at least since moving in that we will be moving out and into a home of our own.

The experience of living in my sisters home hasn’t been too bad to be fair. It definitely could have been a lot worse! But, her and her boyfriend are very different people to the husband and I, and well, damn it, when you are 29 (me) and 33 (the hubby) you want to be in a home of your own, where your own rules reign supreme.

And (yes, I did it, I started a new paragraph with ‘and’) that is why house sitting for people is so wonderful. We get our own space, admittedly, in someone else’s home, but we get space to ourselves to just be us without worry of others.

So, 3 months on from my post in June, I’m still feeling very much behind the curve in life. We’re trying to enjoy the stage of life we are currently at, and are trying not to compare ourselves to others, but my God, are we bloomin’ ready for our next chapter to start now!

Are you where you want to be in life?
Are you feeling behind the curve, and like life just isn’t going the way you hoped it would?  

Seeing as I am now on my second time of house sitting in short succession I thought I would provide some tips on how to be a good house sitter that might be useful for you if you are going to be house sitting soon.

Tips on how to be a good house sitter from a 20 something who is nearly pro at house sitting for people

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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A Thrifty Wedding at the Eden Project


 

Thrifty Eden Project

Two school friends of mine got married in 2016 and had some beautiful, quirky and inexpensive details as part of their wedding. I went to school with both of them, they were in the same year as me and they were both in my extended friendship group.

Logan and Steph (not their real names) started their relationship years after leaving school, Logan had joined the army and Steph was working in journalism. I don’t remember the two of them ever being in a relationship whilst we were at school, and thinking about it now, it seems odd that they weren’t. The two of them together are fantastic, and they are so well suited as a couple.

In 2016 they got married at the Eden Project in Cornwall (England). I don’t have any details as to what the cost to hire out a section of the Eden project for their wedding was, or as to what the catering cost was, but I do know they had frugality in mind when planning. So here are some of my favourite inexpensive details from their beautiful wedding.

The Bridal Look

The Blush Bride wore a princess style strapless gown which she teamed with a skull necklace, dangly skull earing black nail polish and a dark eye look. Her look was finished with a white flower in her hair, and a purple and white paper flower bouquet.

Groom Attire

You can’t get much more inexpensive than not paying for your outfit at all, and as Logan is in the army, he did what many a forces person does, and wore his best uniform as his Groom outfit. His Best Man and his Ushers were his brother and his school friends, none of whom are in the army, so they were all wearing dark suits, white shirts and purple silk ties that looked royal blue in some lights.   Quirky & Thifty Wedding ideas

The Table Centrepieces

One of the best ways to save costs on your wedding is to make things that can dual purpose. And that is exactly what Steph and Logan did with their centrepieces. They couldn’t have been simpler either. They made their table centres using decorative buckets, polystyrene spheres (although you could also use floristry foam) and Chubba Chubb lollies. The buckets they used were purple with candy style skulls on them. The lollies doubled up as the wedding favours for their guests. What could be cheaper and more quirky and fun than that?

The “cake”

Cake is in quote marks above because it wasn’t actually a cake. Instead of a wedding cake, this imaginative couple had four tiers of rice crispie cakes! Each tier was a big square of rice crispie cake with a thick purple ribbon wrapped round.

Getting married at The Eden Project means decorations are pretty much completely unnecessary because the venue is so beautiful as it is, however they did have light string strung around which made the venue even more beautiful one the evening drew in.

Other ways they reduced their costs was by feeding their guests once, with a two course hot buffet and having a DJ rather than a band in the evening.

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My last minute Honeymoon


Last Minute Honeymoon

In the evening, after most of our guest had left, and some were left chatting and enjoying their last drink together, my new husband and I said goodbye to the stragglers and snuck off to our hotel room. It was the first time I had seen the room we would be spending our first night as Husband and Wife in. The room we had at Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa was not overly fancy but was nice enough, with a sitting area, the bed and a spacious bathroom complete with His and Hers sinks. It was the best hotel room I had ever stayed in in the UK.

Once I had taken my wedding dress off and we were both comfortable, we took time to open the cards and gifts from our guests whilst sat on the bed. I made a note of what we had got and from whom to make the thank you cards we would send more personal. Many guests had chosen to gift us cash to use to book a honeymoon with. We were very happy to find out we had been given enough for an abroad honeymoon, rather than just a weekend at Bognor Regis.

On the Sunday, after checking out of our hotel, we to Thomas Cook (our chosen holiday booking company) and due to a mix of our small budget and the crazily last minute booking, our choices were very limited. We were hoping to go to Rhodes, but the price had gone up, meaning it was out of our budget. FYI – last minutes does not = cheaper anymore! We looked at the prices of some holidays the week before our wedding to get an idea of where we might be able to go, and then when we were sat in Thomas Cook on the Sunday the exact same holidays (same flights, same hotels) were a couple hundred quid per person more! We ended up booking a holiday to Fuerteventura for week. We were flying the very next day!

Got Married on Saturday > Booked Honeymoon on Sunday > Fly on Monday

Off home we went to pack our suit cases, last minute low cos honeymoonand after a frantic and rather panicked look for our passports we headed off to stay in a hotel with parking for the night. I had never stayed in a hotel the night before going on holiday, but I would definitely do it again. For less than £90 we got our stay for the night (room only, no food included) and parking of our car for the week. Upon checking in we got upgraded to a suite room. sadly, unlike the movies would have you believe, this was our one and only upgrade for our honeymoon.

Our honeymoon was not the location or hotel we would have chosen had we not been booking last minute, but we had a lovely week (after my husb stopped moaning about the location and hotel), we found some great restaurants, and spent many a relaxed day on the beach and even managed to get in a couple of excursions without breaking the bank.

Unfortunately I can’t remember the exact cost of our honeymoon, but I know the flights and the all inclusive accommodation cost us less than 2,000 for the both of us.

I know that, even though we were waiting to see what money we were gifted from our guests, we didn’t have to book a last minute honeymoon. But to me, and in he conventional sense of the word (see definition below), a honeymoon is supposed to be taken right after you get married, not months later.

Definition of a honey as taken from oxforddictionaries.com is a period in time following a couple getting married, or a holiday spent together by a newly married couple.

Since I got Married – an update


Millennial Struggle

I got married on 8th October 2016. Since then life hasn’t exactly panned out the way I expected it to. The Husb and I went to Fuerteventura on Honeymoon for a week directly after our wedding, which reminds me, I don’t think I’ve ever written a post about my honeymoon… [find post here]

Once married, the Husb and I carried on living in the rented house we had together until June 2017. Basically, my Sister and her boyfriend had bought a house together and moved into it in February 2017, they got on the property ladder! Which was really great and a big achievement in the times we’re living in. But they were feeling the pinch of first time home ownership, and were considering getting a lodger. We gave them our spare double bed from our spare room to put in their spare room as it is much easier to get a lodger for a furnished room, and they started to advertise for a lodger, but weren’t having the best of luck in getting someone. The husb and I had really started to be very determined to get on the property ladder ourselves, but the miniscule amount we were My life - an updateable to save each month whilst private renting meant it was dawning on us we may be fighting a loosing battle.

This lead us to asking my sister and her boyf to consider having us as their lodgers. It took quite a lot of consideration on both sides, as my sister and I hadn’t lived together since we were teenagers and as we are rather close, we didn’t want to end up having a big fall out. None of us wanted to out the good relationship we have with each other on the line. However we deemed it was a safer option for all of us, and mutually beneficial.

Eventually, we moved in to their home in June 2017 and have now been living with them for a year! A whole freaking year! and we don’t yet have our deposit saved! The story about our deposit I will publish in a separate post as it is quite long.

So yea, at 29 (husb is 33) I am married, but not  on the property ladder, and the joy of parenthood feels like a distant unattainable dream. This is not where I thought I would be in life at 29. I try to keep a realistic and positive mind-set. I have friends my age, who look at what I have and wish they had a serious, committed and loving relationship with someone. But that doesn’t stop me looking at my friends who are married, on the property ladder and have started a family already and feel like I am behind the curve.

Changing SayIDoOnABudget to My Budget Life


The ‘About The Blog’ up until 6th June 2018 read as follows…

Hello fellow bloggers, readers and followers,

I started this blog when I first starting planning my own wedding when I first engaged. I started writing SayIDoOnABudget because I wasn’t very impressed with the wedding planning advice I was finding for those who have a smaller budget than average. A lot of advice out there felt very samey and didn’t seem like it was giving me real, tangible ideas and advice on how to do everything for less. Plus finding suppliers that charged less than normal was incredibly difficult!

To begin with IDoOnABudget was more for logging my ideas and for sharing my planning story with friends and family, but I started to get readers so thought I’d grow the blog to try and help others who are also planning on a smaller than average budget.

There are lots of different reasons why a couple have a small wedding budget. What ever has lead you to this humble blog; my aim is to ensure that this blog provides advice on how to plan your big day; with ideas and inspiration for everything from colour themes to decorations and real advice on how you can achieve your dream day for less.

I also aim to bring to you a range of suppliers who cater for those planning on a budget; both within blog posts and on the ‘Budget Suppliers’ page.

I really love to hear from you, so please do comment on posts or contact me via my links below. If you have any post or supplier suggestions please do get in touch. Also, if you’d like your own real life wedding to feature on the blog please drop me an email.

I have really enjoyed sharing my wedding planning with you as well as providing tips on how you can achieve your dream day for less.

I hope you find this blog useful to you, and please do share with me any comments you have as I love to hear from you.

x

You can contact me via email on:
idoonabudget@yahoo.com

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Please Note…

The content of my blog is a mix of both my thoughts and ideas, as well as tips and inspiration that I have found online. If I have featured your photos in my blog and you want them removed please contact me. I do try my best to link any content that isn’t mine to the original source.

The blog has since been changed to me writing all about my budget life and my millennial struggle to get on a the housing ladder

Katherine & Adam’s 3.5k Blue and Burgundy March wedding in Leeds


Katherine and Adam's 3.5k wedding Katherine and Adam's Real Small Budget Wedding Details. Katherine and Adam got married in Leeds for less than 4k. Feature on sayidoonabudget.com

Bride and Groom: Katherine Holt & Adam Strickland
Katherine is a Wedding Stationer at Giftast and Adam works as a Maintenance Assistant and are currently living in Leeds, West Yorkshire

Ceremony Venue: Leeds Town Hall
Reception Venue: The Midnight Bell 

Wedding date: 3rd March 2017
Number of guests: 40
Wedding Colour Scheme and Theme: Royal Blue & Burgundy, and Shabby-Chic garden for the reception.
Photographer: Pure Aperture

Total Wedding Budget: £3,500

How did you decide on your budget for your wedding?
We’d just moved house so finances were a bit tight. Neither of us wanted a big wedding and we also wanted to go on honeymoon later that year, so it was a matter of basically splitting what we had!

What help (if any) did you get towards financing your wedding?
None – we paid for it all between the two of us. We tried to spend a little bit each month to stretch it across pay cheques too, so we ended up not having to dig into our savings for everything.

What elements of planning did you find the hardest with your £3,500 budget?
The thing we struggled with most was the reception – a buffet dinner for 40 people including a few bottles of Prossecco and a bar tab quickly adds up!
It was also difficult to find a photographer within our budget – we knew the photos were important and wanted them done properly, but there were so many out there for over £1000. We had a morning wedding and left the reception at 3pm to go on our minimoon – a lot of photographers charged for a full day including evening but we only wanted half of that! When we found Nic on Bark, he was absolutely brilliant and completely understood what we needed.

Katherine and Adam’s fabulous wedding suppliers: 
Cake: That Old Chestnut– a local vegan bakery.
Photography: Nic from Pure Aperture Photography was their photographer and Katherine and Adam went for the Bronze package. You can see details of the packages offered by Pure Aperture here.
Flowers: The Brides Bouquet

Adam and Katherine Wedding March 3rd 2017-85

 

Tell us all about your Bridal Outfit?
Being vegan, it was very important to me to have a dress without any silk – luckily, since we were on a budget this wasn’t too difficult! I found my dress on ASOS.com – I had an email alert saying they were in stock and bought it within five minutes! It was a massive relief when it actually fit me, although under the arms needed a vent fitting so I could lift my arms up – I can do a bit of sewing so I attempted this myself to save money. It was the most stressful sewing I’ve ever done, and I was so relieved when it was over and my dress wasn’t ruined!
I wanted to wear comfortable shoes, and again, no silk, so I wore a pair of my old favourite heels which just happened to be royal blue. We wanted burgundy roses, so royal blue and burgundy then became the colour scheme of the wedding.
My crystal head-piece was an eBay buy for about £15.

Katherine and Adam's Real Small Budget Wedding Details. Katherine and Adam got married in Leeds for less than 4k. Feature on sayidoonabudget.com

What about your beautiful Bridesmaid?
I had the one bridesmaid, and she wore a lovely dress which she bought herself. I didn’t have the budget to dress her, but she had free reign to wear pretty much anything she wanted, and it didn’t have to be new or fit the colour scheme if she didn’t want. She’s got great taste and I knew she wouldn’t let me down.

And the Groovy Groomsmen?
We only had the one groomsman too, the Best Man, who wore his own grey suit. Oddly my husband’s suit turned out to be one of the most expensive single purchases for the wedding, even though it was a standard grey three-piece from Next.

What about the bling bling? 
We bought our rings online from Orla James. We sort of forgot about rings until a few weeks before the wedding, but we found Orla James through a Google search for a free ring sizer. Together we spent about £280 on our rings. Mine was a very slim, plain gold band and was about £90. I went for a cheaper one because I do a lot with my hands and knew it would get knocked about and scuffed a lot. Adam went for a more expensive one in a harder metal with a hammered finish. Since he works with machines and thought it would likely get knocked, the idea was that it wouldn’t show damage as much – and over six months on it looks like new! Orla James also offered free engraving inside the rings. We both went for the date of the wedding in roman numerals, and the other’s initials.

Katherine’s something old was a ring her late mother-in-law left to her. Her something new was her head band, the something borrowed was a diamond baguette bracelet lent by a work colleague and Katherine’s something blue was her already owned royal blue shoes. 

Did you and Adam get your DIY on?
I made as much of our wedding décor as I could to try and save as much as possible:-

  • Invitations – I did these very last minute (that’s why you shouldn’t move house and plan a wedding at the same time!) and was never happy with the design. That’s one of the reasons I started making wedding stationery – I knew I could do better and have since made my perfect one, just a little late!
  • Table Centre-pieces – We bought a mixture of herbs in small pots and I trimmed little metal buckets from Ikea with ribbon for them to sit in. The idea was that guests could take them away with them after. This went with our wedding favours, which were little packets of seeds (from eBay).
  • Place Cards – Again to tie in with the shabby-chic garden theme, I made labels which I stuck to copper plant markers. We didn’t have a table plan so the idea was guests could seat themselves, then mark their places in the table centres.
  • Welcome Poster – the venue had a board with a board-back which they said we could use so long as we didn’t write directly on it. I had the poster printed on solopress.com and it cost us £16.99.

I wanted everything to look very simple, and the reception venue was quite old-fashioned and quirky, with mis-matched old wooden chairs and gorgeous, worn oak tables. I wanted everything to complement this rather than fight against it, I don’t think anything modern would have worked so well in such an old space.

What was the biggest hurdle you ran into when planning your wedding?
Mainly finding the line between what we wanted and what was expected. One big thing we decided was to leave the wedding early. We made this clear on the invitations so it wasn’t a nasty surprise to people and they knew exactly how much of their time we would be taking up. We wanted a very small and intimate wedding, and to spend as much of the day with one another as possible.

We also had to say no to some +1s. We made the rule that if neither of us knew someone enough to happily spend half an hour alone with them, they weren’t invited. This definitely kept the budget down, and all our guests were really understanding.

What was/were your best budget buy/s?
Probably my dress! I think it was around £180, and I absolutely love it. Amazingly, it was almost exactly what I was looking for and (other than the underarms) fit like a dream. I did spend £14.99 on a petticoat to poof the skirt out a bit, and because under some lights you could see though the lace.
Other than that, my boss was kind enough to chauffeur me to the wedding in his Tesla – that would have definitely blown my budget to hire, and he was a brilliant chauffeur!

What was your biggest blowout spend for the wedding?
Definitely the reception. That came to about £1000 altogether.

Was there anything that didn’t go as planned?
Only the ceremony itself! They read the wrong vows and the music didn’t work, and then I couldn’t get the ring on Adam’s finger! But it was a laid-back day so it wasn’t a big deal, and most of it was quite funny.

Describe your husband and your most memorable part/s of the day?Katherine of giftast.com small budget wedding Katherine and Adam's Real Small Budget Wedding Details. Katherine and Adam got married in Leeds for less than 4k. Feature on sayidoonabudget.com
It was such a blur! Probably the moment we couldn’t get the ring on Adam’s finger. The registrar had carried on with the ceremony without realising, but we just couldn’t stop laughing.

What tips or advice would you give to others planning their wedding on a small budget?
Probably to make use of what you already have. I love my blue shoes and I’ve worn them to other people’s weddings since. It’s really nice to be able to put them on and remember when I wore them on my own wedding day, and to keep getting joy out of them.

Another is to prioritise exactly what’s important to you. We made a conscious decision that it was worth finding a good photographer, and spending money on that aspect because that was what’s going to last throughout the years.

Final Thoughts and Feelings from Katherine she’d like to share:
From when we got engaged, we knew we wanted a very small wedding. We considered a lot of different options, but the most important thing was that we spent as much of the day together as possible. A 4 hour car ride to wales in the evening definitely made that happen!

Another aspect which massively effected the budget was leaving early – while we had the room hired for the whole day so guests were welcome to stay if they wished, we only provided one meal which definitely kept costs down.

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To see more of the stationary Katherine creates at Giftast:
Visit her website 
Follow her on Twitter

Browse her Etsy shop

or Follow her on Insta  

My Wedding Breakfast


How we reduced the cost of catering our wedding by opting for cheaper options for drinks and choosing 2 courses instead of 3

I’ve shared many details about my wedding, I’ve shared with you some of the decorations and entertainment we created, how the husband and I made our invitations, I gave you 14 ways how we reduced costs, I’ve divulged a breakdown of the wedding day and I let you in our own very own personal vows!

But in none of these posts have I ever gone into detail about our catering, what food and drink we chose for our wedding breakfast, how we went about making the decisions we did and what our reasons were for those decisions. In this post I will finally share these details with you.

It’s probably quite evident from everything else I’ve shared in the past 2-3 years on this blog that the Husband and I wanted our wedding planning to go as smoothly as possible, and we really didn’t want to be spending all our spare time planning the wedding. We also didn’t want to cause ourselves any more stress or grief than was necessary, so if there was a way we could cut out any potential stress we would.

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What is a Celebrant and why would I have one conduct my wedding ceremony?


Why Should I consider a Celebrant

Have you considered who will be conducting your wedding ceremony? 
Do you know what your options are regarding your wedding ceremony? 

I’ve got to be honest, even though I’ve been a member of the wedding blogging world since 2011 I never considered my options regarding who I could have conducting my ceremony. This may be because I did stick to looking at licensed wedding venues which meant I didn’t consider anything other than booking to have Registrars from the local registry office. 

In England and Wales for a wedding to be legally recognised the ceremony needs to be conducted in a licensed and registered venue by a registered registrar. 

However, if you want to have your wedding at a venue that is not a licensed wedding venue or if you want to have a more personalised ceremony than the registrar conducted ceremonies are able to offer than you can opt to have your ceremony conducted by a Celebrant. 

In England and Wales a Celebrant led wedding in not legally recognised, meaning couples opting to have their ceremony conducted by a Celebrant often have to have their legal ceremony conducted at their local Registry Office before or after their wedding day.

This leads me to a question that was posed by Linda on the SayIDoOnABudget Facebook page. Linda, who writes ‘Boots, Shoes and Fasion‘ asked “is there a way to make the legalities part of the Celebrant led wedding?”

To answer this question and others we have three wonderful Celebrants who offered to help us understand what a Celebrant is, how they’re different to Registrars and why you may want to consider hiring one for your wedding ceremony. 

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#BrideHour – A Twitter Chat Hour


#BrideHour

A few years ago when I first started participating in Twitter chat hours, #Bridehour was a very popular and busy chat, filled with tweets from wedding vendors and engaged couples alike. It was one of my favourite twitter chat hours, but sadly the chat died away. I’m not sure why, I can only presume because the person who hosted the chats stopped using twitter, which meant without a host the chat slowly got less and less popular.

Often it is the case that chat hours need someone who hosts the hours and tweets about the chat throughout the week to keep people interested in joining in and to serve as a reminder. If there is no one hosting and promoting the chat it is unlikely to keep going.

Well, a few weeks ago Bridal Bay decided to get the #BrideHour chat going again, and as soon as I found out they were trying to re-start #BrideHour I decided to join in with helping to promote the hour.

It will still be on the same day and at the same time it has always been; Every Thursday from 8pm to 9pm (UK time). #BrideHour long (1)

But don’t forget that there is also #weddingdaychat

Every Sunday 8pm-9pm too. 

Real Budget Wedding: Chris and Emma’s 2k Purple July Wedding


Real Budget Wedding 2k Crafty

Bride and Groom: Chris & Emma.
Emma works as a teacher and artist and Chris is a Graphic Designer

Ceremony Venue: Ashton Memorial, Lancaster
Reception Venue: Ribble Cruising Club, Lytham

Wedding Date: 25th July 2015

Wedding Colour Scheme and Theme: Purple with the subtle inclusion of their love for Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

Total Wedding Budget: £2,200

How did you decide on your budget? We knew we wanted a small wedding and didn’t want to spend a fortune, but most importantly we wanted it to be very us. We were also moving in to our new home a few months before we were due to get married so we knew that the budget had to be small.
What elements of planning were the hardest with your budget? There were so many ‘extra’ things that we would have liked to have but just couldn’t afford within the budget. Though these really didn’t matter on the day.
Chris and Emma’s fabulous wedding suppliers:
The paper flowers and table décor were created by Emma herself.
For their catering they had Hot Pot and Cheese and Potato Pie from a local vendor.
Their wedding cake was a small white cake from Tesco which they added to with home made cupcakes.
As a way to cut costs Chris and Emma forewent a DJ and instead they made a playlist full of their favourite songs and songs from their guests suggestions and played these through the sound system at the venue.
Victoria was Emma’s MUA and nail tech and Emma’s aunt did her hair for her on the wedding say as her present to them

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