The High Street Wedding Game Has Reached A New High with John Lewis Wedding Shop


Discovering the John Lewis wedding range

I am sat here incredibly excited, not only because of the new discovery I have made this morning that I will share with you in this post, but also because I am 19 weeks pregnant and my wonderful husband is currently changing the flooring in our bathroom. Whilst I’m on this side note of sharing about myself, if you would like to hear more about my thrifty home decoration and my thrifty planning for the arrival of baby number 1 please let me know.

So today I have discovered the John Lewis Wedding Range and I am in complete awe of what they have available. I’ve looked at a lot of high street stores wedding ranges and John Lewis’ is by far the best range for variety of style I’ve ever come across. Below are a few of my top picks of my favourites from their current range. All of the images below belong to John Lewis and are hyperlinked to the product on their website.

The Raishma is one of the more conventional wedding gown options and is right on point for the current fashion in wedding dresses with the long semi sheer sleeves and neckline. This gown has a small slit opening in the back at the top of the concealed zip fastening.

Discovering the John Lewis Wedding Shop Raishma Bridal Gown

I have a real soft spot for a jump suit and can see this looking amazing on a Bride who knows she does not want a dress for a special day. This is a powerful yet still feminine look that will have a lot of jaws dropping, especially with the details of the frill cap sleeves, mid depth v back and the embellished detachable belt. I can imagine this jumpsuit teamed with a fabulous birdcage style veil. Discovering the John Lewis Wedding Shop Victoriana Bridal Jumpsuit

Could you get a better bo-ho-chic gown for the day you commit yourself to your significant other than this maxi from French Connection? I think you’d struggle especially for this mightily frugal price! The delicate lace at the centre of the deep V neckline and the balloon has me swooning.

Discovering the John Lewis Wedding Shop French Connection Cari Maxi Bridal Dress

 

Out of all of these, this gown is not technically in the wedding range on the John Lewis site, but if you ask me, it really should be, because every about it is screaming 2019 wedding trend. Wedding dresses with colour started to prove very popular last year and featured heavily in bridal magazines, and the trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere this year. From the Rose Pink colouring to the intricate embroidery this dress is a frugal show  stopper and would suit the fashion conscious bride-to-be very well. To add a bit of extra wow-factor team this gown with a chapel or cathedral length veil. Discovering the John Lewis Wedding Shop Phase Eight Yasmin Embroidered Dress, Rose Pink

 

Amazing finds in the January Sales


There is one big reason that I love January. The January sales!

If you work the sales right, you can pick up everything from a wedding dress to stationary pieces at very discounted prices. Plus, with the advent of the internet, sales shopping is so much easier than it used to be! You don’t even need to traipse around the shops to pick out some amazing bargains to help you come in under budget.

If you are able to pick up pieces for your wedding day under budget what would you do with the money saved

Put the money towards another part of your wedding day so you can splash out a little more in that areaOr would you keep it in the bank to spend on something non-wedding relatedWhatever you may choose to do with the money saved from sale shopping, we can all agree there isn’t much that will give you a better feeling than finding a beautiful gem at a cost lower than you’d budgeted.

I thought I would search the internet to find some of the best bargains on the web to share with you. *please bear in mind that my finds are right to the time of publishing this post

Images are not linked to websites as in my experiences those types of links change quickly and therefore aren’t reliable. Hopefully the information in the images below will enable you to find the items on the company’s website easily.

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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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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  

Real Budget Wedding: Matt & Monika’s


Matt & Monika's Real Budget Wedding Feature. Matt & Monika got married in Slovakia in August 2015 for just 12k all in.

Bride and Groom: Monika & Matthew Holmes live in Berkshire
and both work as Account Managers

Wedding Venue: Chateau Mignon Castle, Slovakia
Wedding date: 22.08.2015
Number of Guests: 90 (60 day guests plus an additional 30 evening guests)

Wedding colour Scheme: Pink, Cream & Gold
Videographer: Radko Janis  
Photographer: Lubko Durica

Total wedding budget: £12, 000

Matt and Monika met at work. After Matt joined Kosnic their romance blossomed over their computer screens. Matt proposed to Monika in front of all her family during a holiday to Slovakia. Their engagement lasted 1 year as they married nearly exactly 1 year after getting engaged. 

How’d you decide on your budget? We didn’t set one. We just did it bit by bit. Didn’t think about money. We didn’t go too mad of course, but when we liked something we just went for it!

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3 Great Wedding Discoveries


3 New Wedding Ideas You will love

Here are 3 very different wedding ideas I have discovered recently that I think are definitely worth sharing with you.

1) A fabulous recycling idea…
Recycle your wedding dress to make a christening gown. 

Previously I discussed my reasons for donating my wedding dress to charity. One of my reasons for not keeping my gown was because I couldn’t see the logic behind keeping the dress when most people store their dress away never to be looked at again, or to be pulled out once a decade or so.

But instead of simply storing, selling or donating your dress why not turn it into something else?

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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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Wedding Dress = Donated


My Wedding Dress = Donated
I got married on 8th October 2016 and today my wedding dress was donated to a charity shop.

The morning after my wedding my parents helped the Husband and I clear out our bridal suite hotel room, and load the car up with all the decorations etc. As we were checking out Dad asked me what I’d like done with my wedding dress. My parents were taking the pedestal flowers with them to donate to their local church and Dad had agreed to return the hired groomsmen suits for us. As we were stood there checking out my Mum had my dress in its bag slung over her arm. I instantly said they could donate it to their favourite local charity shop.

You see, I’ve moved around a lot. In the past 7 years alone I’ve lived in 5 houses. Safely storing a wedding dress is difficult when you are moving regularly. Plus the Husband and I were planning on starting saving for a house deposit as soon as we got back from honeymoon. So hopefully the next move I make will be my last for a good number of years if we are able to (fingers crossed we will be able to) buy a home of our own. Due to this, £200 or so to get my gown dry cleaned just felt like a lot of money, especially if I were to add another £100 or so to have it put in  a proper storage box.

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Bridal Reloved



KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON THE SUMMIT

Say I Do On A Budget is all about having your perfect wedding day for less. However having a smaller than average budget for your wedding day does not mean that you have to settle for less. It may mean you have to be crafty about how you spend your money, it may mean that you have to decide what wedding elements are most important to you, and it may mean spending a little longer researching the best option for you. But it does not mean you have to settle for less, or that your wedding day is any less. 

Hopefully this blog has helped you with the researching side of planning. I always aim to not only bring you hints and tips on how to reduce the cost of your big day, but to also BridalRelovedLogohighlight budget friendly suppliers of everything from stationary and decorations to dresses and suits.

When it comes to choosing your wedding dress, as a bride to be on a budget some of the options open to you are sample sale dresses, borrowing a dress from a friend or relative, risking ordering a dress from an eBay store or sourcing a second hand dress. 

The last option mentioned above is one of my favourite options. It speaks to the planet saving side of me and anything that means a bride to be can have the best for less is fine by me! 

Bridal Reloved was dreamed up by Kate Atkinson to help Bride-to-be’s searching for the dress as well as the married woman looking to recoup some of her costs. The Bridal Reloved stores sell immaculate dresses are either brand new, ex-sample or worn once and cleaned. With stores in Cambridge, Yorkshire, Coventry, Essex, Dorset, Liverpool, Kent and Shropshire with more on the horizon you are very likely to be able to make your way to one of their stores. 

BridalRelovedDressesOne of the wedding planning experiences that many budget brides feel they miss out on is the experience of buying their dress from a boutique and getting the full dress shopping, trying-on experience, but rest assured, just because you don’t have the budget to order a designer dress new, doesn’t mean you can’t have the full experience that buying your dress from a boutique offers.

At your pre-booked appointment with Bridal Reloved you will be the only customer in store, meaning the full attention of the staff is on looking after you, they’ll offer you a cup of tea and a biscuit and full styling advice.

If you’ve been struggling to come with a way to have the dress of your dreams within your budget then why not check out the Bridal Reloved links below and contact your local boutique store for an appointment.


Website: http://bridalreloved.co.uk/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/bridalreloved
Pinteresthttps://uk.pinterest.com/bridalreloved/
Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/bridalreloved/

Facebook – Each store has it’s own Facebook page where you can view their current stock in sized albums.

I love the concept of Bridal Reloved so much that I’ve added them to the IDoOnABudget Budget Suppliers page.

Gold Bridal Shoes


Some Brides may have 2 wedding gowns. Very rarely does a budget bride have 2 dresses. But you know what a budget bride can have 2 of?

2 pairs of shoes!

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I had two pairs of shoes on my wedding day and I loved having both pairs. 

 A couple of months before the wedding during a dress fitting with Tina, (the lady who was making alterations to my dress) I was told that I needed to bring my wedding shoes with me to the next appointment. But I hadn’t bought them yet! So a hastily planned shopping trip with my Mum was arranged to get my shoes. 

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My Super Budget Bridal Accessories


As promised here is my post on my Bridal Accessories I had for my wedding on 8th October 2016. 

I  don’t tend to wear a lot of jewellery day to day. Occasionally I’ll put earrings in and every now and then I’ll wear a necklace, however generally the only piece of jewellery I’d wear before getting married was my engagement ring (now it’s engagement ring and wedding ring).

For months before the wedding I was pinning bridal accessories such as the below. I had my mind set on a leafy gold hair piece of some kind and pearl earrings.

accessoriesblogWhat I’d imagined for my Bridal accessories

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1st Time Trying on Wedding Dresses


So, it all got a bit more real yesterday as I tried on wedding dresses for the first time. As someone who has watched too many episodes of Don’t Tell The Bride and Say Yes To The Dress to count, the expectation of what trying on dresses should be like was almost overwhelming.

Thankfully I’ve always been rather level headed and able to talk sense into myself:
This is just the first time of trying them on to figure out what shapes and styles I like on my body
I am in no way expecting to find the one as I know I can’t afford to buy one at full price anyway!
Take a breath… steady, calm…

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I almost thought I’d be going on my own but thankfully my MOH was able to make it with me which I couldn’t have been more glad for as her opinion really matters to me.

I had booked an appointment with a bridal shop in my home town called Mrs Jones Bridal with the intention of just trying on different styles of dresses so that when I go to sample sales I have a better understanding of what I do and don’t like.

Kathryn asked me what type of things I wanted in a dress before picking some dresses off of the racks and asking what I thought of them. I said that I find myself more drawn to A-Line gowns but was open to try on other shapes except mermaid, that I want lace, definitely do not want strapless and I am not keen on the dress having lots of bling/sparkle.

So Kathryn picked a few dresses for me and I tried on a total of 8 dresses. I don’t have pictures of all of them, and the pictures I do have are poor quality, so I do apologise for that but I thought it would be nice to share my experience with you.

Hana by Charlotte Balbier

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This Dress fit nicely but was just TOO simple and too shiny for me.

Lizzie by Charlotte Balbier

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I really liked the lace top half and plain bottom half of this dress and the sweetheart neckline was very flattering on me. However the skirt was too stiff for my liking and again it really was rather shiny. #

Lillie Mae by Charlotte Balbier

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This was the dress that both my MOH and I loved on the hanger. We both saw it and thought this would be the one.
Sweet heart neckline – TICK
Lace top half – TICK
Flowing skirt – TICK
This dress was stunning – although the skirt was difficult to walk in (my shoes got caught in it twice!) Kathryn assured me it was because it wasn’t the right length for me.

Sophia by Augusta Jones

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I was really surprised by how much I like this dress! Yes you heard me right! I really didn’t think I’d like something that was a bit more figure hugging. The dress hugged by hips and bum and came into the skirt at the top of my thigh. I couldn’t stop looking at myself from the side as the lace on the back looks stunning from the side.

Delphine by Caroline Parkes 

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This dress made me feel the most like a Bride. It has a hidden corset and a stiff skirt but two layers of Tulle/Organza over the top create a softer appearance which I like. I didn’t mind that it had a bandeau neckline although the main change I’d really have liked to make to the dress would be to have the back in more of a V shape like Sophia. I was really surprised by the fact I loved the fuller skirt so much. It isn’t a ball gown, but isn’t A Line – It’s somewhere in-between.

I left Mrs Jones Bridal much surer of what I do and don’t like and feel more confident about attacking sample sales. One of the best things about the whole experience was finding out that the MOH and I are completely in tune with each other. It’s good to know before hitting the sample sales that she will be the perfect person to help me find the perfect dress for me.

Curls like Taylor swift


My perfect Bridal hair would be to have my curls styled like Taylor Swift’s. In previous posts I’ve mentioned how my hair is naturally curly, and I couldn’t bare to have my curls “naturally mine” on the day because I want to look a little different and because naturally styled curls are unreliable. You never know how they will form.

My curls form quite differently to the way Taylor’s do, but having my curls done like hers on my wedding day styled into a loose up-do or half-up-half-down style would just be perfect!

If you’re a hairdresser in the South-East / South-West area of England and think you could do this please contact me!

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Bridal Garters


Planning your wedding day on a budget does not mean you always buy the cheapest option. Creating your big day for less is about carefully selecting where to save and where to spend. Most of the things you will decide to spend on will be big, but sometimes high quality small items give your day that extra special feeling.

There are some suppliers that provide exactly this – high quality small items that could be the difference between simply feeling good & feeling better than you’ve ever felt before on the day you say “I Do”.

I would like to start sharing these suppliers with you starting off with…

Truly I Do – bespoke handmade garters
I’d never given much thought to garters in the past. I’ve especially not given much thought to what separates a standard garter from a truly personal one. I have bought garters for friends, and I have to admit they have always been purchased from eBay or Amazon.

I’d never stopped to think that the garter may not fit. Why are garters ‘one size fits all’ and how can this really be possible? legs differ in size greatly. No bride wants to be tripping over her own garter half way down the aisle or to lift her dress for a garter picture only for it to seem as though it is cutting off her circulation.

When you place your order with ‘Truly I Doyou can provide your thigh measurement or your dress size for Charlie to create your bespoke, hand-sewn garter that will fit you beautifully.

You can choose to have one of Charlies designs, make some changes to one of her designs or discuss a completely custom idea for her to create. Here are a couple of my favourites from her standard range which are both under £20.00…

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All garters from ‘Truly I Do’ can be customised. Choose the colour you would like the garter to be, and the colour of any ribbons then for a small fee you can add personalised touches such as charms and trinkets.

Here are some stunning custom garters created by Charlie..

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As a budget bride it is likely your dress will be from a high street shop, from a sample sale or will be a pre-loved dress. Hopefully irrelevant of where your dress comes from you will love your chosen dress and feel every inch the perfect bride in it. I will likely be wearing a sample sale dress on my wedding, which means that it won’t have been created to my measurements even though i’ll choose one that fits. Wearing one of Charlies garters would give me that special feeling that I have something truly bespoke and made just for me.

 I will definitely be wearing one of Charlies creations on my wedding day; and I can’t wait to buy a garter from Truly I Do as a gift for the next person in my friendship group who gets engaged.

Curly Bridal Hair


As a Bride-2-B with naturally curly hair the thought of trying to find a hairdresser who can style my hair for the big day is a little daunting.

For me I will not be having my hair naturally curly on my wedding day. My natural curls are way to unpredictable; the way my hair looks day to day depends on humidity, if I’ve washed it or not and how it dries. For these reasons having my hair natural on the day is way too much of a stress inducing idea. Although you may not want to go the “fake” route if your hair is as unpredictable as mine I would suggest having a hair stylist blow it out straight and then curl your hair with a curling iron, or sleep in rollers the night before.

If you are one of the lucky ones who has reliable curls then go with your beautiful natural curls.

Before you start having a go at styling your natural curls for your wedding day I would advise you to pop over to naturallycurly.com and take their quiz to find out what curl type your hair is. My curls are type 3A. Making sure you are using the best products for your curl type will help to give you the definition and reliability you need to brave going natural.

If you know your hair well and are used to styling it you can attempt a simple style yourself. Below are some links to tutorials that are simple to follow and will look wonderful for all wedding styles.

Half Up/Half Down & Full Up Tutorial

Half Up/Half Down Tutorial

Afro Side Swept Tutorial

My Dream Hair – Love this girls hair! 

Sweet Pea Flowers


Sweet Peas growing in garden

There’s something wonderfully nostalgic about sweet peas and their use in vintage-themed wedding flowers has meant this unassuming, delicate blossom has become fashionable once again. Whether displayed in clusters tied together with ribbon, or handfuls of frilly petals sprinkled amongst glasses as you dine al fresco, sweet peas are one of life’s little luxuries and notoriously difficult to buy. Despite flowering abundantly during summer, sweet peas are expensive to import and short lived once picked, so have a noted absence from florists’ buckets and bouquets. Despite their scarcity in the shops, sweet peas are simple to grow and flower prolifically, meaning you can fill your home and garden with their intoxicating scent throughout the summer.

My father has been a gardener his whole life. At the moment he does not have a garden but he does have two allotments where he grows mostly veg. Flowers are a rarity on my fathers allotments, however there are always Sweet Pea Flowers

because the Sweet Pea is a vegetable that just happens to grow the most lovely summer flowers. I could talk for a long time about Sweet Peas, and the way my father eats the peas straight out of the pod when he is feeling peckish at the allotment, but this post is in ode to the flower that grows from the vegetable vine and it’s re-emergence into the wedding scene.

Growing up there was always a vase of Sweet Peas of assorted colours in the house. Dad would pick them and bring them home as an easy floral display that just kept on giving, believe it or not even once the flowers had “died” they still looked good.pink sweet peas bridal bouquet

As sweet peas are delicate frilly blooms with a wonderful natural scent, they look lovely on their own or mixed with other flowers such as roses, baby’s breath or stems of lavender to create beautiful bouquets, button holes or floral table centrepieces. If you’re not fussy about the colour of your flowers and you are getting married between February and July then why not create your own bridal posy out of the flowers from your own or a friend/relatives allotment/garden?

A simple hand tied sweet pea posy would be perfect for flower girls or younger BMs. If you’re having a relaxed, homey vibe to your nuptials why not use sweet peas with heritage style roses in jam jars (mason jars) for your centrepieces? Sweet peas mixed with candles create the most wonderful feminine, romantic vibe, plus they will provide your wedding day with a scent that is familiar to many and loved by all who know the smell.

Here are some links to video tutorials on arranging Sweet Pea flowers.

Arranging a Sweet Pea Bouquet

A Sweet Pea Wedding Bouquet and Boutounieres with Martha Stewart

Are you considering using a vintage favourite for your wedding floral displays? Had you considered using Sweet Peas before? They can be expensive when bought due to the fact they don’t have a long shelf life after being picked and because most Sweet Peas from florists are imported, but for the budget bride, using Sweet Peas from your garden couldn’t be a better way to save without compromise.

Curly Bridal Hair


I am a white girl with naturally curly hair, and my teenage years were when it was all about straight hair. After years of fighting my curls and desperately trying to find the right products for my hair, I am so glad that now I’m in my 20’s curly hair is back in and the shelves in any beauty type shop are filled with all sorts of products for the curly haired lady.

I am proud of my curls and I love them, but I have serious trust issues with hair dressers as even now it is hard to find hairdressers that know what to do with my natural curls. The amount of times someone has raked a fine toothed comb through my hair to prep it for cutting, or used the smallest amount of moose thinking it will tame my wild locks, upsets me even now. This causes real anxiety for me about who I am going to hire to do my hair on my wedding day, but also anxiety about what I have done. Natural curls are unreliable and change from day to day, so I definitely think I want my hair…curled…on my wedding day, to create a more reliable and “formed” curl so that the style can be worked properly.

Anyway…enough of that, here is my curly bridal hairstyle inspiration.

If you have naturally curly hair and have had hair trials or are now married I would love to hear from you! What style did you go for? Did you have “formed” curls? If so what method did you use?

Hello Again – I’ve missed this


Hello All my fellow bloggers, readers and wedding planners!

I am back! Oh boy, have I missed this. After calling off my engagement back in May 2012 I didn’t think I would come back to this blog for a very long time – if ever; but lucky lil me is engaged again!

I met my fiance through work and he helped me to discover me again; and it became so obvious why my previous relationship didn’t work out. We moved in together (with family) in January 2013, and then moved in to our own place in March 2014. I was simply enjoying being in the new relationship, when we went on holiday in October 2014 and he proposed.

Now, my fiance is not the romantic type, he really isn’t. He doesn’t buy me flowers, or tell me how special how I am, or whatever else the Mr Darcy’s of this world do, but he is solid, dependable, he protects me and he shows me how much he loves me through small every day gestures. Our first valentines went by without him buying me anything, not even a card, but he did take me out for dinner the weekend after.

I’ve put the little description of my fiance’s romantic downfalls so that you can picture how romantic the proposal was…for him…and for us.

The Proposal.

The first full day of our holiday in Cyprus, we had dinner in our hotel and then he suggested going for a walk along the beach. The sun had set, and there was a slight breeze moving out across the beach. We found the route from the hotels restaurant down to the beach and took our shoes off so we could paddle our feet in the surprisingly warm water licking its way up the beach. After a little while of walking hand in hand he disappeared away from me, but I was still running in to the water and then running away as the tide chased my feet when he called over to me. He was knelt on one knee in the sand scratching his leg. As the dutiful girlfriend I stepped towards him to check his leg for any offending reason for the itch. As I informed him I couldn’t see anything to cause an itch he produced from behind his leg a box. His words were short and sweet, a simple “I love you, will you marry me?” and he opened the box to reveal a ring I couldn’t have chose better myself.

My #engagement ring #round cut #half carat

After accepting, and crying a little, we walked back along the beach hand in hand to the restaurant bar where we ordered…ha! not champagne! no! just a bottle of nice wine and told some people we had already met that we were engaged!

The ring however was four sizes too big (learnt how big it was upon arriving back form holiday and going to the jewelers to get it re-sized), so sadly I couldn’t wear the ring until a week after we came back from our holiday.

Wedding Plans

Originally the plan was to have a short engagement and to get married October 2015 (1 year after getting engaged), however, after doing our wedding spreadsheet we decided we needed long to save; therefore the date is set for Saturday 8th October 2016.

The wedding costs spreadsheet will be in my next post.

SmartieB