How we haven’t celebrated our 2nd Wedding Anniversary


Kinda not celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary

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

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

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

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

As we are trying to follow the traditional anniversary gifts as per the list I posted last year, this year we were to get each other cotton gifts. After thinking quite a lot about possible gift ideas, I came to the conclusion that pretty much every idea I came up with was a useful gift, such as a new bedding set or a new shirt. Eventually, he told me he would like me to buy him some thermals. I was dead set against this idea. Thermals?? As an present to celebrate two years since our wedding day?? Uh, No!

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But, he kept saying that was what he wanted, and persuading me with his argument that there was no point buying each other gifts that we wouldn’t use. Plus, although I liked the ideas of getting him something such as a lovely cotton cushion or a framed cotton print, let’s face it, we live with my sister. We don’t really have anywhere to put the cushion or to hang the print, so why get something like that for it to just go into storage with the rest of our stuff in the spare room of my parents house?

So… you guessed it, I bought him some thermals, from Heat Holders, and they’re 47% cotton. He works outside now, and so they will come in very handy in the cold winter months. Maybe not the most romantic of gifts at first sight, but what can be more loving than making sure your Husband, is comfortable and warm? With this thinking, I picked out some pyjamas (I checked the label, they’re 99% cotton), and some new slouchy, wearing around the house comfy bottoms (58% cotton according to the label) for him to buy me. Last year, the gifts we got each other were a total surprise. I like gifts to be a surprise. Next year, is leather, so I’m hoping we can do surprise gifts for each other next year.

We swapped gifts on Saturday, and yesterday he treated me to a Carvery for Sunday dinner. I was planning on setting the dining table really nice and cooking a steak dinner for when he comes home from work today, but we have cancelled that idea because he has been hit down with the common cold. He has bravely gone to work today, even though he is dying with man flu, and says he doesn’t want me to cook him a special dinner tonight because his cold means he won’t be able to fully appreciate it. Therefore, as we have already swapped gifts, we aren’t actually doing anything to actually celebrate our anniversary today.

We may not feel like we’re really celebrating it properly this year, but what we are doing is right for us right now. We both have a shared vision of what we are doing to get to where we want to be, and that, to me, is what I want right now.

I love him more than biscuits, and he loves me more than pizza, which is saying A LOT!

Have you had an anniversary you kinda, didn’t celebrate? What were the reasons you didn’t celebrate it in the way you would have liked if things were different?

When you're kinda not celebrating your 2nd wedding anniversary from sayidoonabudget.com (1)

 

The Joy of House Sitting and Getting Impatient with Saving


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tiny Weddings Fair – a wedding fair for small weddings and elopements


Tiny Weddings Wedding Fair

on the 30th September the first ever ‘Tiny Weddings Fair’ will be taking place at Wycombe Swan Theatre in High Wycombe. It’s getting close now, but it is still over two weeks away, meaning you’ve still got plenty of time to prepare for your visit to The Tiny Weddings Fair.

The fair will focus on the needs of couples who are planning a small wedding or elopement, either at home or abroad, and has been spear-headed by three women who are, in my opinion, true experts in the fields of tiny weddings, elopements and destination weddings. Carly of Epic Elopement, who has been featured on SayIDoOnABudget a number of times. In January 2017, I featured an interview with Carly, then in February 2017 I wrote a blog post for Carly’s blog around the subject on budgeting for your elopement. Claire of Wed in Central Park, featured on this blog in April 2017 in an interview where she gave you advice on how you can get married in New York on a small budget.

There will a great range of exhibitors that have been specially chosen because of their amazing credentials at working with couples who are eloping or planning a tiny or destination wedding. Some of these vendors who are exhibiting will also be giving talks full of really helpful advice to get you through the difficulties that come with planning a tiny wedding.

You can buy your ticket in advance for £4 (+ £0.78 of fees) through eventbrite, or you can purchase on the day for £8.

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Bunting by Jen: the bunting service you need to know about


Bunting Hire

Jen, who is based in Wiltshire, is a wedding supplier I connected with during a wedding Twitter chat hour a few weeks ago. I was very intrigued about Jen’s business and asked her about her story of how she came to create Bunting by Jen. After a bit of chat with Jen and then me scoping out her website, not to mention, a bit of stalking on Instagram, I decided I just had to share her with all of you. 

Decorations for your wedding can really stack up, which is why I often blog about creating DIY decorations and buying second hand items, plus I often post pictures of bargain items I find on the high-street to Twitter and Instagram. However, amongst all the posts on this blog featuring budget friendly suppliers, I’ve not featured many who create and supply decorations for the frugal conscious engaged.  So, what more perfect reason did I need for featuring the fabulous Jen and her bunting hire business. 

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Bunting by Jen

Jen was asked to make bunting for her sisters’ wedding back in 2014; she ended up making 150 meters of the stuff, and was then left wandering what to do with all of it when the festivities of the day were over.

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A Thrifty Wedding at the Eden Project


 

Thrifty Eden Project

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

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

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

The Bridal Look

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

Groom Attire

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

The Table Centrepieces

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

The “cake”

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

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

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

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My last minute Honeymoon


Last Minute Honeymoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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