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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The Wonders of Paper Flowers


The Wonders of paper flowers

I have a real soft spot for paper flowers. In fact I have a soft spot for anything “alternative” to flowers at weddings. There’s so many wonderfully creative and inspiring ideas for what you can use to make your bouquet, or decorations with, other than your standard blooms.

Over the years I have created a couple of alternative bouquets myself such as this bouquet made from woollen pom poms.   I also swoon over bouquets made using beads, feathers, buttons… or any other quirky and unique items.

For my own wedding in October 2016 I had an alternative bouquet made by Hazel of ‘Love to Marry‘ using feathers, gold beads, and acorns. You can see a picture of my alternative bouquet in a feature about my small budget wedding on another wedding blog here.

Although there’s an incredibly large amount of different ideas for what you can use instead of flowers in your wedding (pretty much all of which I am in massive favour of) in this blog post I will be concentrating on flowers made out of paper. 

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Real Budget Wedding: Ira and James’ Icehotel Wedding


Real Budget Wedding Sweden Title

Bride and Groom: Ira Blake & James Humphries are both lighting designers and advisors based in Salisbury, England.
Wedding Venue: Icehotel, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
Wedding Ceremony venue: Ice Church

Ira and James decided to get married in Sweden because their both ‘Scandiphiles’ and they fell in love with the place when Ira took James there for an early 40th birthday present whilst he was working in Stockholm.

Wedding date:  31 December 2013
Wedding colour Scheme: Not white!

Number of Guests: 6

Their guests consisted of, Ira’s sister and brother-in-law, Ira’s brother and sister-in-law and Ira’s best friend and her husband.

Photographer: James and Ira’s guests acted as their photographers, taking all the pictures they have of their day

Total wedding budget: 10K

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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…

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Happy Hanky


TheHankyShop
Any stylish Groom will have a handkerchief as part of his Groomswear whether it be tucked into his jacket pocket or his waistcoat pocket; however all too often the hanky is part of the hire set or simply matches the tie or cravat BUT the hanky can be a statement piece on it’s own.

The handkerchief doesn’t need to be a block colour to tie in with the rest of the outfit. The Grooms hanky can even be different to the rest of the groomsmen’s. Think fun patterns, stripes, paisley and polka dots to bring an element of fun to the outfits and to bring a bit of personality and a bespoke feel to a suit that is likely to otherwise be “off the rack”.

The Handkerchief Shop

I’m always drawn to grooms outfits where personality is shown whether that be in quirky socks or retro braces, but the hanky is where it is at right now.

you-are-my-anchor-embroidered-handkerchief.jpgThe Handkerchief Shop was created in 2008 by Colleen Corcoran with two main ranges – The Happy Hanky (think one to mop up the MOTBs happy tears) and The Hank which couldn’t be more perfect for men two wear as part of their wedding suit outfits as well as to be given as wedding gifts. The Handkerchief Shop gives you the option to monogram each hanky or to have a personal message embroidered onto the hanky as the perfect keepsake.

For the pocket happy price of $12 (on average, some are cheaper, some are more) you can bring new life, colour and extra style to the groomsmen’s outfits giving a feel of bespoke luxury without breaking the wedding budget.

If you’re in the UK, I think the import tax would definitely be worth it, especially if you’re buying one for each member of the bridal party.

Find The Handkerchief Shop on twitter 

TheHankyShop

For the Love of French Fancy


I don’t know many people that don’t enjoy a French Fancy.

Relaxed, tea party feel weddings are BIG right now. Think: Babys Breath, bunting, pastel colour theme, men in braces and skinny/bow ties, floral table cloths, table centrepieces in mis-matched cup and saucers, fairy light lit barns or marques and bands instead of DJs.

I can’t imagine a better way to tie this wedding style together than with a tiered French Fancy wedding cake!

Check out these beautiful examples

Image by Daffodil Waves - Classic Marquee Wedding With Bride In Sleeved Chanticleer Gown And Groom In Navy RAF Uniform With Bridesmaids In White

French Fancy Wedding Cake

You can easily create this relaxed and elegant feel on a budget

1st) Buy a French Fancy Birthday cake from any supermarket.
2nd) Buy French Fancy cakes from any supermarket or wholesaler
3rd) Buy/rent/borrow a cake stand
4th) Arrange the cake and the cakes on the cake stand.
Delegate this task to the wedding co-ordinator or to a member of the weddingB party on the morning on the wedding

You could add extra decoration to the big and small French fancy cakes such as a sugar craft flowers and your own cake topper.

You could choose to have a cake maker create 1 French Fancy style cake for you in your chosen colour and then buy shop bought French Fancies for a reduced cost wedding cake that still have a professional, personalised touch.

Hen & Stag Party Ideas


Bored of Go-karting or Paintballing? Want something more unique than going for a meal, to a club and spa the next day? Are you a Hen, Groom, Chief Bridesmaid or Best man planning a Hen or Stag party wanting to wow your group? I can help you find the perfect activity to book.

Recently I posted about a Hen party I arranged for a friend of mine where we did a cocktail making masterclass in the city of Oxford, and since then I’ve been collecting unique ideas to share with you.

Crafty Crafty Crafty
Bunting Making with The Crafty Hen

With The Crafty Hen you and your party can book an array of craft activities including bunting making to be used at the wedding giving your hens/stags the opportunity to truly help with wedding planning. How about getting the Hen/Stag party create props for your wedding photobooth? The Crafty Hen cover the whole of England, Scotland and Wales and are in Norther Ireland too.

Bunting making

Crafty Crafty Crafty
Jewelry Making with Tea & Crafting 

Tea & Crafting is based in Camden although you can have a mobile tutor come to you. Tea, coffee and muffins are always provided as part of the party package giving you and your hens/stags nothing to worry about except for having a giggle learning something new. Each of you can create a piece of jewelry to wear to the wedding. Tea & Crafting provide a range of other crafting activities as well as jewelry making.

Crafty Crafty Crafty
Macaron Baking Classes with Ganache Macaron

Get messy learning the coveted art of making macarons before the enjoyable task of tasting your creation with Ganache Macaron in Hackney. If you book the hen party close enough to the wedding, the macarons baked can be used as the favours! This idea is a fresh take on cupcake making that your whole party will love.

Crafty Crafty Crafty
Knicker Decorating with Hand Made Hen

All you need to bring with you is knickers then you start pimping your pants with ribbons, lace, pearls and sequins – you can customise as many pairs as you like and your hen party can be anywhere you are as the party comes to you! You can book an array of crafty activities with Handmade Hen including garter making classes.

Physical Physical Physical
Zip Lining with 3 others in Wales with Zip World

The Titan zip line experience at Zip World is the only 4 person zip line experience in Europe. Not only can you descend over moor mountain and mine with your mates but you will be doing it at speeds up to 70MPH. There are three zip lines included in the Titan experience; Anarchy (the longest), Bedlam and Chaos.

Physical Physical Physical
Cavern Adventure Course and zip lining in Wales with Zip World

Home to exhilarating underground zip lines, rope bridges, obstacles and tunnels based in an underground cavern in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Wales. 

Physical Physical Physical
Zombie Survival Experience with Zombie Experiences 

Battle the undead, thwart the apocalypse, defeat the demons and save the day! With a range of experiences in Droitwich, London, Reading and Warrington you and your stags will have the time of your lives living out all the drunken conversations of which of you would survive longest if the zombie apocalypse happened. *change of underwear not iincluded

Physical Physical Physical
Burlesque Dancing with Burlesque Baby 

Burlesque Baby host Burlesque dance classes at locations across England where all props are provided for you and your hens to learn some classic showgirl dance moves. Your experience can be topped up with a dinner cabaret show to watch women do what you’ve just been doing.

burlesque hen 8

Activity Experience
Victorian Themed Day with Victorian Escapades 

Book through HenorStag and “you will start the afternoon dressed as servants and carrying out household chores from Victorian times. After all that “hard work” you will compete against your hens in a range of Victorian themed challenges! It’s then time to change into classy Victorian attire and make your way into the drawing room to play some fun parlour games and enjoy the photoshoot” before having a Victorian dance class and a 4 course meal.

Unique Places To Stay
The Lake House – Somerset

The Lake house is your secret hideaway that sleeps up to 12 in a ‘boutique and funky’ yet chilled  environment with chic luxury and exclusive use in the form of a spacious thatched barn.

lake house

 

Unique Places To Stay
Teapot Lane Glamping – North Leitrim, Ireland

In North Leitrim, Ireland you can choose between Yurts, a tree house, a caravan or a cottage for your Teapot Lane Glamping experience (perfect for small hen parties) where you can sit around a camp fire enjoying a festival vibe. All Teapot Lane Hen Packages include professional catering on one night where a qualified chef will cook your evening meal using a delicious selection of locally sourced produce, with lots of fun activities to keep you entertained for your night/s away.

Reception Games


Not everyone likes to dance and for those who don’t breaking the ice with people during the evening reception can be difficult. Many couples look for ways to keep guests entertained during the reception, however, entertainment such as magicians can be outside of many couples budgets. This doesn’t mean you can’t provide excellent entertainment on the cheap. Board Games scattered on tables, or having a board game table during the reception is a popular idea. Even if you don’t own board games you’re bound to be able to borrow a pack of cards and a couple board games from family or friends.

If you’re having a Games Table think about providing some of these:
A pack of cards
Mr & Mrs board game
Backgammon
Pictionary or Articulate
Something simple for younger children such as Connect 4

If, however you like the idea of inserting a bit of personalisation into this entertainment which will have your guests in hysterics why not give one of these personalised game ideas a try…

Personalised Guess Who 

You can get creative and have guests rolling with laughter with personalised Guess Who.

Remove the pictures from two Guess Who boards and add pictures of the wedding party (Bride, Groom, Best Man, Ushers, Bridesmaids, Father of the Bride etc). The pictures can DIY your own board gamesbe current or from childhood. This idea will work as long as you have 24 people you can use pictures of. Gather your pictures, print off four copies of each picture, two copies on paper (to go inside the slots of the Guess Who boards) and two copies on card to use as the picture the other has to guess.

Place the photos of each person in difficult slots on the two boards and you’re all set up.

If you’re not sure how to play, view the Hasbro rules here.

 

Personalised Wedding Top Trumps

This idea has to be my favourite! I grew up playing Top Trumps and love the idea of making personalised Top Trump cards using my friends and family. A Top Trumps deck usually includes 30 cards and have 5 categories, but if you can’t create 30 cards, any even number upwards from 22 will work fine.

Wedding Top TrumpsI had a quick go at creating my own Wedding Top Trump card using a stock image from Google and Excel on my lunch break – so if I can make them you definitely can too! :- D

The hardest part was thinking of the categories the game is played with, as I couldn’t find any inspiration on the internet to help me. I wanted the categories to be related to the wedding day as opposed to generic categories.

I finally decided upon Likelihood of tears, joker rating, chance of drunkenness, dancing odds and poser status. Guests playing the game in the evening will be able to see if the ratings have come true or not.

I created a Bride card and a Best Man card (the names are made up and the pictures are Wedding TopTrumpstaken from Google image search). With these cards the Bride would win against the Best Man for Likelihood of tears but the Best Man would win against the Bride for joker rating.


I’d print these off on card, cut them out and put them in a nice box to place on the games table. You can decorate the cards in your wedding colours and make the design as plain or as intricate as you wish.

If you’re not sure how to play Top Trumps, you can find play instructions here.

Recipe Gift Book


A brand new gift list service only launched THIS YEAR that I have fallen in love with is ‘Recipe Gift Book‘. Many couples getting married live together before getting married so the gifts for the home are no longer needed, so it can be difficult to know what you ask your guests for. You may feel uncomfortable with asking your guests for gifts, but at the same time guests usually WANT to buy the couple a wedding gift, and appreciate having ideas of what you may like. I’ve always felt uncomfortable with asking people for money, so this new gift idea is the perfect solution.

Just imagine having the recipes to your Aunts cookies, your grandmothers sponge pudding and your best friends lasagna.
This this brand new unique gift you can! The gift is completely free for the Bride and Groom (Bride and Bride or Groom and Groom), and your guests just pay a contribution to submit their recipe.

Your guests can submit their recipe, photos and a personal message which will then get made into a hardback in the style of your choosing to be made and delivered after the wedding. The book can then be handed down the generations as a wonderful family heirloom.

The H2B and I will be putting the details of our Recipe Gift Book in with our invites as well as putting the details under the ‘Gift List’ section of our wedding website. I can’t wait to get my hands on the recipes of some of my families best meals and treats!

Shoes Shoes Shoes!!!


lacelove

Are you a shoe fanatic? Are you struggling to find the perfect shoes for your wedding day? Do you like personalisation?

If you are budgeting a max of £150 for your bridal shoes then a website you should most definitely visit is laceandlove.co.uk who create custom made shoes to your own design.

You can either provide your own shoes to Lace&Love or you can tell them what type of shoe you would like and they will source the shoe for you. Once the shoes have been chosen you then discuss what colour, materials and items you want to include in the design.

From this brief, I’ll create a rough design onto the shoes and send some pictures. At that stage, we can tweak anything. Once the design is approved by you, I fix it all permanently before coating them with a water and stain repellent. They are then bagged and boxed ready to send on their way!

The following pictures are taken from the website of Lace&Love and are linked to the website. 

I am seriously considering buying a pair of shoes I like and sending them to Lace&Love to have them personalised. Some of the shoes I would take inspiration from out of their portfolio are:

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I’d have the vows on the back of the shoe as permanent reminder of the promises we are making to each other.

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The time on the clock face could be set and frozen at the time of the ceremony and the other charms would be personal to the H2B and I. For us it would be a car charm and a little acorn charm maybe.

The lace put on the shoe could be off cuts from my wedding dress.

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Lace&Love can help you keep lost loved ones close to you as you walk down the isle. I can’t think of a more special way to incorporate your loved ones who sadly can’t be with you.

Lace&Love are based in the UK. You can find them on Twitter here or on Pinterest here.

Dry Nuptials?


Since January 31st 2015 the H2B and I have been teetotal. Not a drop of alcohol has passed our lips. Our reasons for putting down the booze are slightly different, for the H2B it is health related, where as my reason is purely to support him.

I don’t think that we will still be teetotal this time next year, but living life without alcohol for the past 4 months has made me wonder about having a wedding without any alcohol. Obviously a lot of couples must choose to have a sober wedding, but you don’t hear of them very often. When I went to view venues they didn’t even ask if it would be an alcohol free wedding or not, the assumption was there would be a requirement for alcohol. At the time an alcohol free wedding wasn’t on my mind at all, but living without it for the moment has made me ponder they venues don’t question this.

How does a teetotal bride and groom have a dry wedding without loosing guests they want to have attend? There must be a number of obstacles to overcome, not to mention what if guests either do not want to come, or do not stay long because they aren’t able to loosen up with a drink?

I’ve never been a big drinker as I dislike the feeling of loosing control, (plus I have horrendous hangovers!) so, the idea of going to a dry wedding doesn’t bother me. For some people attending an alcohol-free wedding would be a complete no no as they would feel like they couldn’t relax, especially when it comes to the evening. Should a couple have to disclose to their guests early on that the wedding will be sober? Should there is a mention to choice on the invites? If you have guests that are drinkers, surely it is only fair to disclose this detail to them, just as you would disclose if you are having a childless celebration.

REASONS FOR DRY NUPTIALS

If you are facing the fear of how some guests will react to a teetotal wedding celebration, or if you are worrying how you can still make the wedding fun without booze, then I have scoured the web, and thought long and hard for the following hints and tips. You can use the tips individually or combined.

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1920’s Wedding


Although a 1920’s themed wedding is not for me, I really love looking at wedding pictures from couples who have chosen 1920’s styling for their big day. Pearls and feathers are my favourite ways to subtly or elaborately bring a touch of the 1920’s in to the celebrations. The sleek dress silhouettes are simple and flattering on most figures but especially boyish figures, adorned with beads, peals and thin pleats, lace and ‘visible stitching’.


Other features of the 1920’s brides style is statement headpieces or long, draping veils, that cap the head and drape from in front of the ears and around the back of the head. When re-styling the 1920’s look, the modern bride often opts for no veil and instead having a lace or beaded headdress.

The Groom can also style himself in a real dapper 1920’s suit. Think pinstriped wide leg trousers, club collared shirts, and for the brave, contrasting jackets, with brogues to really finish off the look.

Choosing 1920’s inspired bridesmaid dresses is as easy as 1, 2, 3 by following these key ideas:

  • drop waists
  • beading
  • tassels
  • cap sleeves (beaded is lovely!)
  • Accessorize with long pearl necklaces

The great news is metallics are perfect for 1920’s inspired weddings, and gold is used in pretty much every 20’s styled wedding. Think gold leaf decorated wedding cake, gold shoes, metallic writing on the stationary, and vintage, art deco brooches, watches etc as wedding favours.

This wedding theme does not tend to lend itself to the budget savvy, however, 1920’s style bridesmaid dresses and wedding dresses are easily found on the high street, and affordable online retailers even now, a couple of years after the infamous Gatsby film release. Plus gold beads/ ‘diamond’ gems scattered around vintage glasses/empty vintage perfume bottles can all be sourced very cheaply and create beautiful table decorations.

For a budget favour why not dip the tip of white feather in glitter and insert the inside of a cheap pen into the end? In my opinion there is nothing better than a usual wedding favour as people are more likely to take them home.

String gold- and glitter-dipped feathers around the ceremony for an ethereal feel: | 24 DIY Decorations That Will Make Any Wedding Look Like A Million Bucks

Irrelevant of your budget a 1920’s style wedding is achievable for all – remember rationing and frugality was around in the 20’s so a Great Gatsby style wedding celebration was very rare. Have you had a 1920’s inspired wedding, or are you planning one? If so what is/was your budget? What budgeting tips would you give to fellow Bs2B?

Alternative Table Plan


Most brides are looking for unique ways to provide the seating plan for the wedding breakfast to their guests. Gone are the days when couples were happy with the conventional seating plan.
There a lot of options for how to display your table plan, however most stick to the theme of the table plan to the left, by having each table set on a mirror rather than a piece of card.

However as most of you are aware by now I am all about stretching even further into the unconventional and can often be found searching for new and unique ways to display table plans.

Today a unique idea found me when I was taking part in the crazy #weddinghour on Twitter.

The below tree inspired plan was created by ‘Paper Tree Designs‘ who create some of the most gorgeous wedding stationary with natural themes. The below table plan really appeals to me for a number of reasons:
The design has a simple feel about it even though it is a very crafted and unique design
I have never seen a design anything like this before
The mix of the coloured leafs and the black tree is very modern
The nature theme really speaks to me (nature is a big love of mine)

What do you think of this design?
What sort of table plan are you thinking of having?
Where did you get your inspiration from?

This table plan really gives a feel for what the wedding might be life. I imagine a spring wedding with a rainbow colour theme; each bridesmaids in a different coloured dress and each male member of the wedding party with different coloured ties. I can see the wedding being outside or in a marquee with wild flower centerpieces and a bride with a flowy dress and her hair in loose curls.

Your table plan helps to create the feel of your wedding which will last in the memories of your friends and families for a long time to come.

Personalising The Wedding Ceremony


For me, my favourite part of any wedding is the ceremony. The ceremony IS the wedding to me, the rest of the modern wedding day is just “fluff”. If the worst came to worst it wouldn’t bother me if my wedding day consisted of the ceremony only. I’ve cried at every wedding, except for one, that I have been to and even watching people get married on TV has me welling up.

The H2B and I will most definitely be doing our own personal vows alongside the normal vows (when we get our pack from the registry office closer to the time we will choose which set of their vows we want to use), but I want to do something else as well to really make the ceremony special and unique.

I have previously looked at rose and sand ceremonies, but somehow neither of those feel “us”; so I’ve done some more research on how we can create a more memorable ceremony and one that truly reflects us as a couple. Maybe some of these ideas will help you too.

PLANT A TREE
Before the ceremony, a tree in a pot is placed off to the side of where the ceremony would be taking place. During the processional, both mothers walk in with a small vase full of water and add it to a watering can. During the ceremony, the officiant speaks about the symbolism of the tree and how it relates to a marriage- the stable trunk, the outstretched limbs that offer comfort etc. The water that the mother’s brought symbolizes the love and nurturing that each family provided to bride and groom as they were growing up. When the couple water the tree they are giving the tree love to grow just as their families love will continue to support them in their relationship.

An extra step that can be carried out if for the fathers to bring in a pot of soil from their home town which the Bride and Groom add to the tree pot before pouring the water.

Ideas for the wording of this ceremony
Celebrant: The Bride and Groom will now take part in a Tree Planting Ceremony, to symbolize the roots of their Planting a tree instead of unity candles!relationship, and the continued growth of their love, as they become each other’s family today. Love is the essence of human experience and emotion. It is the root of all and everything we, as humans, do. Love richens our experience, and fills our lives with meaning. It gives us a firm base from which to grow, to learn, and change. Let your relationship and your love for each other be like this tree you plant today. Let it grow tall and strong. Let it stand tall during the harsh winds and rains and storms, and come through unscathed. Like a tree, your marriage must be resilient. It must weather the challenges of daily life and the passage of time. And just like the tree you are planting, marriage requires constant nurturing and nourishment.
Bride and Groom, would you please water the sapling?
(Bride and Groom water the sapling.)
Celebrant: Remember to nourish each other, with words of encouragement, trust, and love. This is needed on a daily basis so you each can grow and reach your fullest potential – just like this tree. The Bride and Groom will plant this tree in their garden to always be a symbol of their love for each other.

CREATE A TIME CAPSULE
Invite any guest attending to write you a note that’ll be read when opening your time capsule at the agreed time, whether that be on your first, fifth or tenth wedding anniversary. The letters from your guests can include well wishes, advice for married life, predictions of what the next x amount of years will hold for you, favorite memories of you two together, or anything else they’d like to include (you can either include a card about this with your invitations, post about it on your wedding website, and/or have nice stationery and pens available at the venue). People could even put in a gift, or a memento they may have from your relationship together, such as ticket stubs, a photo or even a cracker from your first Christmas together.

You can nominate a member of the wedding party to pass around the time capsule box during the ceremony for your guests to drop in their notes, or have the celebrant/registrar mention the time capsule and then pass it to someone near the front. Once the time capsule has been passed around, (to ensure guests have been given enough time to fill it maybe wait until after you’ve signed the register) seal it up as a couple until your chosen anniversary! To help remind each other of your love for each other put something in the capsule yourselves without showing each other as a surprise for each other when you open it.

This idea really appeals to me, as something different to the usual unity ceremonies but involves all of your guests, and will help them to fill the moment when you are signing the register and posing for photos with your photographer.

Extract from Rev Fullers blog
“I officiated a wedding earlier this year where the bride’s father, an accomplished craftsman, gave them a gorgeous wooden box engraved with the couples names and wedding date he had made himself.

We arranged ahead of time for key individuals to bring something meaningful to place in the box. Each person wrapped their item so the bride and groom would not know what it was and included a letter to the future. We placed this ritual towards the end of the ceremony between a Declaration of Support and  the Blessing of the Marriage.

Today, (Bride and Groom), who began on separate paths, have been joined as one. You, their family and friends are a community of support for (Bride and Groom). Each of you, by your presence here today, is being called upon to uphold them in loving each other. I ask that you always stand beside them, never between them. Offer them your love and your support and refrain from judgment. Encourage them when encouragement is needed and listen carefully when they seek your advice. In these ways, you can honor this marriage. Therefore I ask, now that you have heard (Bride and Groom) exchange their marriage vows, do you, their family and friends, promise from this day forward, to encourage them and love them, and to help guide and support them in being steadfast in the promises they have made?” If you agree, please say, “We do.”  ~ We do.

Truly blessed is the couple who come to the marriage altar with the approval and blessings of their families and friends. At this time I would like to invite (Names) to come forward and place their tokens of support for (Bride and Groom) into this time capsule, lovingly prepared by (Bride’s) father.

A phenomenal tenor sang a beautiful song he had written for the occasion while their friends and family filled the time capsule. Once the last item was placed in the box, I continued…

(Bride and Groom), happiness is having something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to. May you be ever grateful for the presence of this precious person who has chosen to make a life with you, and look with anticipation on the day you will open this box together, your tenth wedding anniversary, (date)! “

Budget Decorations – String Balloons


In previous posts I have shared my passion for bunting; that passion for bunting refuses to fade, however I also have a new ‘amare’ in my life – cotton string balloons!

Cotton String Balloons are just as versatile as bunting but have been less over-used in the wedding industry to date.

First of all, before I get too carried away with myself, let me introduce you to what a string balloon is: It is a balloon that has had PVA solutuon string wrapped around it; once the string has dried/set the balloon is popped and removed so that all that you have left is the string in the shape of a balloon. Click Here for a good ‘How To’.

The look of your string balloons can be changed depending on how thickly the string is wrapped around the balloon, the type of string used, the size of the balloon used, whether you spray paint the string afterwards or not and how you use the string balloon within your wedding decorations.
Winter Wedding Decorations | Winter Wedding DIY - Craft Ideaslove this DIY idea using string, glue, and a balloon. could stick things into the mesh and have a couple of candles. Cheap but effective!

If you are going to use the string balloons on your reception tables, how about sticking flowers in the top of them? Or cut a hole in the bottom and position the string balloon over the top of flowers.

For a extra twist on this, you could put things inside the balloon before tying it off, so that when you pop the balloon certain items are then trapped inside the sting ball.

String balls look fantastic teamed with pompoms when hung together – thinking about having some hung over the gift table, or hung outside where you’ll have your pictures taken, or even hung as pews ends for the ceremony.
Pink and Purple Pom-Poms with Snowy Cotton Balloons: Pink and Purple Shower/Party DecorationYou don’t just have to wrap string/wool around the balloons, using a similar method, other fantastic results can be achieved! How about PVA pasting paper doilies to the balloon? This gives an UBER unique way to decorate your venue for a sake of a few quid.
DIY project: Spray glue the dollies/twine to a blown up balloon and allow to dry. Then pop the balloon!! MUST do this for my reception!
You could either team the string balloons with the doilies balloons or have one or the other.

As mentioned previously I am the most artistically challenged person I know, but I think that these string balloons are very achievable for a budget bride/groom to create.
Have you seen these before? What are your thoughts on them? 

If you choose to go for the string balloon theme for your wedding decorations, you can continue the theme through the wedding by incorporating this idea on a smaller scale for your wedding favours. Your guests wont care what your wedding favours are if they are trapped inside a string cage like this!

You could put wrapped chocolate/fudge etc inside the small balloon, or other small wedding favours, the larger the favour the large the balloon!

My wedding colour scheme is glue and gold so I like the idea of putting two Ferrero Rochers in the balloon. Your guests will think of all sorts of ways to try and get to their favours, and are much more likely to take the favour home.

Can you think of a cheaper and easier way to create the most memorable wedding favours ever?

What would you put inside the string ball for your wedding favours? 

Budget Table Decorations


For your wedding guests the table decorations are the ones they will have the most time to view so it is important to take time to think about how your table decorations will fit within your chosen theme and style AND within your BUDGET.

There are a lot of companies out there who sell or hire everything you can possibly need to decorate your reception tables. Buying or hiring the full table detailing may not be the best idea for the couple getting married on a budget. As a person I would not be described as crafty by others nor by myself; however DIY reception table decorations are easily do-able by even the most inept crafter.

Work With The Season
Autumn is my favourite month. The colours of the turning trees and plants, the falling of the leaves, the fresh crisp mornings and the bounty of free beauties.
Bring the autumn in to your autumnal wedding
Name cards just got fun..... spray leaves with gold paint. When dry use a soft tip black permanent marker to write names. Autumn wedding perfection!Leaves make perfect place names for your reception tables. I love the look of them sprayed gold with guests names hand written on to them in sharpie.

When choosing your leaves it is best to take them early in the season on a dry day. If need be you could take them while they are still on the trees and even before they start to turn.

You could forgo the spraying and write place names on them as is for a more natural and earthy look.

leaf shapes can even be attached to a natural favour such as an apple or pear for a spring wedding. Attach the leaf shape with the guests name written on it to the fruit of your choice with a pin or tooth pick.

15 Leaf Ideas for Fall Weddings | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 4
Other autumnal items to bring in to your wedding are pine cones, acorns and conkers.

Fill the bottom of your jar with acorns, conkers or pinecones, stick in some small branches that still have leaves attached and then add your own touches. The examples here utilises gold bell strings and tiny battery operated fairy lights.
For a December wedding you could add fill the bottom on the jar with small tree decorations and stick in thin branches sprayed white or silver and hang Christmas decorations and fairy lights from the branches.
The battery pack of the fairy lights could be hidden in the base of the jar to keep everything tidy.

Rustic Natural Influence
For a Spring or Summer wedding bring the outdoors in with rustic influences.
Wedding centerpiece ideas Forget-me-nots!!
Team un-decorated glass jars and pots with wild flowers, short pillar candles and a narrow un-treated log circle.

Keeping the center of gravity of your table decorations low enables better communication between the guests at each table; which will create a better atmosphere – what more could a bride want than a buzzing conversational and relaxed atmosphere on her wedding day.
Baby's Breath and Mason jar. Simple and beautiful. Wedding decorations

Babys Breath is BIG at the moment and simply stunning when teamed with simple jars, and works well for any wedding theme!

Go simple and rustic with babys breath or glitz things up by putting clumps in jars that have been customised with glitter or spray painted in the your wedding colour/s.

Spray painted bottles

I’m going to end this post with the elegance of spray painted bottles. The bottles need cost you nothing, just save up some spray painted old glass bottles with gold metallic paint. Used shower curtain rings as bottle decor.wine bottles or even nice olive oil bottles, glass coke bottles or even glass water bottles. You can even ask friends and family to save some interesting shapes bottles for you. The variety of bottle shapes and heights only adds to the effect.

Clean the bottles out thoroughly and  spray paint them your chosen colour. I think metallic colours look amazing!

Add glitz with bangles (the attached picture uses shower curtain rings!), or wrap strings of “pearls” about the thin part of the neck. Put a mix of bottle shapes and heights on each table and stick flowers or feather in the top of the bottles to create height and interest.

These bottles could be stood on mirror plates or complimented with table crystals.

So there you have it; some interesting ways you can create budget table decorations that look anything but cheap!

Continuing the bunting theme


A friend of mine who is also a bride to be, getting married in November this year, and I went to a wedding fayre at a venue near us.

The wedding fayre was my first ever fayre, and to be honest it wasn’t great. I’ve heard people talk about a lot better wedding fares; however I did get a really good idea!

In the reception room at the evening they had tables laid out with flowers and stationary examples and the supplies of those flowers and stationary were also in the room.

One table really stood out for me!

The colour theme of the table was Orange, Yellow and Blue – not exactly to my liking – but I loved the paper pinwheels and the bunting idea for the menu’s.

Here is a close up of one of the bunting menu’s on the table. Although I loved the pinwheels, my budget wouldn’t really allow me to bring in yet another dimension to the wedding, but the bunting for the menu really inspired me!

So while making the bunting as discussed in my previous post we decided to make some bunting for the menu and the place names.
What you will need:

  • Card
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • fabric cut into bunting triangles (to see how to do this see my previous post.)
  • Bunting line
  • Sowing machine
  • Craft Glue

With your chosen card draw triangles onto the card to the designed size. We chose to make our triangles a good size but still smaller than the fabric triangles.

Then cut these out. We used A4 paper, folded the paper in half and drew the triangle going down from the folded side.

This meant that we could write the place-name on the top side, and open up the triangle of card to write the menu on the inside.

You will then want to sow the bunting triangles onto the bunting line. Which is quite easy especially if you have been sowing loads of bunting already.

Simply pin the bunting triangle onto the bunting line and sow.

Due to wedding guest list issues we haven’t got much further than this, and we do need to confirm the menu with the venue, however, once you’ve sown your bunting and written your menu and/or place settings onto your card attach your card to your bunting with craft glue.

Here is a mock-up of the card part.

Making of Bunting


This weekend my MOH and I got together for another weekend of wedding crafts. Some things that we want to get done, such as the Table Plan, Place Names and Menu’s etc can’t be done yet as the guest list is up in the air at the moment due to family issues relating to the afore-mentioned guest list. So we had to move onto the bunting.

The hardest part of the whole process was getting to grips with the sowing machine; as neither of us had handled a sowing machine since GCSE Design and Technology class.

Here are some pictures of us trying to set the sowing machine up for you to giggle at.

Now you’ve had a giggle at us, lets get down to the How To.

You will need:

  • Your chosen fabric (We had four different fabrics, green gingham check, plain cream, gold netting and brown netting)
  • Cardboard
  • Pinking scissors
  • Sowing machine etc
  • Pins
  • Bunting line

1) You need to create a triangle template out of cardboard to the desired size.

With the fabric you have chosen, layer two of the fabrics on top of each other and pin them along the top of the fabrics.


We layered them on top of each other so that it cut down on the labour time of cutting the fabric into the triangles. Don’t worry too much about holding the fabric taut when cutting around the triangles. We kept the fabric loose, so that the fabric triangles were slightly bigger than the cardboard template.

2) Once you have your triangles cut out you may want to choose a pattern for them so that you know how you are going to attach them onto your bunting line. The pattern we went for was; cream & brown, cream, green & gold, cream, green & brown, cream & gold, green etc. This gives you structure to what you are doing.

Once you have decided on your pattern you will then want to start pinning the triangles onto the bunting line.

As you pin the triangles onto the bunting line make sure you are evenly spacing the triangles on the line. We used a piece of cardboard to measure the spaces.

3) Start sowing the triangles of fabric onto the bunting line, removing the pins as you go.


I continuously sowed for the duration of three films. Free Willy, Free Willy 2 and Free Willy 3. Before I knew it I’d mounted up a fair pile of bunting.

Here is the finished product.

What came after the amazing fork pom pom!


The Worlds Best MOH sped through making the pom poms once we mastered the fork technique; so much so that we had a very productive production line. At times I thought I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with my job of cutting the hoops and tidying the pom poms up.

Once we had used up all the wool I had making as many pom poms as we possibly could it was time to actually get making the button holes, bridal bouquet and wrist corsage’s.

Button Holes
One moment I was tidying some pom poms while watching an apparently tear-wrenching film, the next minute The Best MOH EVER was holding up towards me a wonderful button-hole. The film did not make me cry, but the button-hole did. I was so happy! I knew what I wanted to achieve but as someone who has less creativity than an armless gibbon I was sceptical that I would be able to achieve what I wanted to. But there in front of my eyes was the vision coming to life. It needed a few tweaks and finishing touches but she had done it! Just by having a little play around with the items we had in front of us.

pom pom button hole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All we had to do was wrap the stem in ribbon and make 4 more.

buttonholes autumn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It felt like a big achievement to have just got the buttonholes done!

Bouquet
We, however, had a lot more to do. The buttonholes were done – aka the easy part was over. Now it was on to the bouquet, which was deemed by us to be the next easiest thing.

Bridal bouquet pom pom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OK, so it isn’t quite finished in this photo, it looks a bit dark and look like it is definately lacking something… but we have the basic idea. I wanted to add some feathers to it, and I wanted to add more of the pearls that you can see at the back to the bouquet to add  more character to it.

The buttonholes and the bouquet were done on Saturday (it now being Sunday afternoon). The MOH and I didn’t finish until late on Saturday night. At about 10.30pm we decided to call it a night. We sat and watched a film with a glass of wine admiring our work.

Sunday morning saw my maid of honour wake up early as she always does to another day of wedding crafts.

Wrist Corsage’s
I had the belief that the wrist corsgae’s were going to be the hardest thing to make. Mainly because there are many people on the internet showing step by step guides on how to make a bouquet or a button-hole, but there aren’t many web pages dedicated to wrist corsage’s out there, especially not non flower wrist corsage’s. The un-known entity of what we were about to try and make was daunting but we were also determined.

I will be honest, the process was long and difficult. We didn’t agree on how to do it like we did with the bouquet and BH’s, and our communication broke down a little bit which did not help.

In the end we got there and this was the result of all our hard work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were both really happy with it and thought it turned out really well. So we just had to make a second one and we were done. What do you think? I would really love to know, so please comment and let me know 🙂

I will write-up a bit more instruction about how we made each thing and post more pictures of everything soon.