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.

Continue reading

Lesson Learnt from a Sample Sale


samplesaledisappintmentOn Monday my sister and I attended a Sample Sale event hosted by a Bridal Shop in Swindon. I feel for this post it is best that I do not state the name of the boutique in question. The sample sale was hosted in a pubs function area where pop up changing rooms had been erected and three dress rails took centre stage.

I found out about the sample sale as my sister advised me they were having a week sale of sample dresses within the boutique. I couldn’t make it to the boutique that week so I phoned to ask when they would next be having a sale and the assistant advised me (on the down low) that they would be selling all of their 2015 samples over two evening sales.

4P-8PM on Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th – So naturally I went on the Monday.

The feel of the room did deflate me quite a lot. The realisation of what finding your dress on a budget can mean you miss out on – the special feeling you get with booking a private appointment and twirling in front of just your chosen people in dresses you’ve hand selected.

Pushing the disappointment aside I put on my practical head and started to look through the dresses on the rails. Another wave of displeasure came over me as I couldn’t find a single dress I liked even a little bit. There was mountains of bling, satin and strapless – not what I am looking for at all! My sister encouraged me to stay for a bit longer to see what dresses came out from the changing rooms as women discarded dresses, but as gowns came out of the dressing rooms I still didn’t see a single dress that I wanted to try on, let alone buy.

THE LESSON I LEARNT

Before you attend a sample sale event make sure you visit the bridal boutique beforehand. I did not visit the boutique to see what styles they stocked before attending the sale which was a big mistake. Each Bridal Boutique stock different styles of dresses (plus they choose to stock different sample sizes) and the styles stocked will change each season. Some will stock more lace or more embellished, some will stock more with sleeves or straps while others will keep a majority of strapless gowns.

it is vital it ensure you know the type of gowns the boutique stocks and what dresses may be included in the sample sale (A few covert questions are all that are needed to figure this out).

I have not been put off of attending other sample sales in the future! But I will be more careful to ensure that I know more about the boutique first.

Exciting Day


I have the day off work today because I am going to a sample sale.
The sample sale is in Swindon between 4-8PM.
It is just me and my sister going as I can imagine it could be very busy!
I’m not expecting to buy a dress this evening – it’s still over 11 months to go!
But you never know…maybe I will find my dress…

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…

MyDresses1710

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

wpid-imag1208_1.jpg

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

Lizzie by Charlotte Balbier

wpid-imag1210_1.jpg

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

wpid-imag1213_1.jpg

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

wpid-received_10154282317728989_1.jpg

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 

wpid-received_10154282316838989_1.jpg

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.

Choose Hire


In Slovakia (and right across Europe) hiring your wedding dress is common. In fact more brides hire their wedding dress in Slovakia than buy. I think this custom should come to the UK. There are a few bridal shops that either specialise in or offer a hire service, but they are few and far between.

The cost of wedding dresses can be quite a shock to a newly engaged lady, I know it was a shock to me! The cost of high-end designer wedding dresses, can mean that a bride-to-be will lower her expectations and look at cheaper designers, look on the high street or buy a second hand dress. I am an advocate for all of these options as great ways to save money. But what do you do if you want a wedding dress from this season made by a top designer but you don’t want to spend thousands for it? Hire is the answer.

Think how many weddings you’ve been too where the groom and grooms-men are wearing hired suits. If you’re planning your own wedding or have recently got married it is most likely that your groom will be wearing/did wear a hired suit. If a hired suit is good enough for the groom why not a hired gown for the bride?

One of the massive benefits of hiring your dress is that you can wear a designer you may not have been able to afford to have if you were buying the dress. Many bridal shops have to make difficult decisions about what stock to carry; often choosing not to carry high-end designer dresses due to fear they will sit on the shelves for a long time before being bought. A bridal dress hire shop is more likely to carry a high-end designer gown because they can hire it out a number of times at £500 much more easily than a conventional bridal shop could sell at £3,000.

By renting a dress you will not only gain budget savings and have the dress of your dreams but you will also save on the stress of caring for the dress and the worry of storing it.

Bridal shops with a Hire service across the UK
Cardiff: To Have & To Hire Ltd
London (Tottenham): Vonlee Bridal Hire
Surrey: From Me To You Hire
UK wide: Chic-By-Choice

If you know of any other bridal shops that offer a hire service please do let me know, either by commenting or my emailing me at idoonabudget@yahoo.com so I can add them on to this list.

9 days until I attend a Wedding!


social-media-marketing-101

In 9 days time I am attending a wedding! The wedding is the H2Bs Aunts second wedding. The venue is a hotel near by which is very popular for weddings within the local area. My aunt got married at the hotel 12 year ago, although I don’t remember much about the venue except my parents complaining about how expensive the drinks at the bar were.

I’m very excited about attending as I am a sucker for a good wedding. As most girls do I’ve bought myself a new dress from Phase Eight. It can be hard to choose the right outfit, and everyone has a different style, but I follow a few simple rules to make choosing an outfit a lot easier:

  • Do not wear a white dress
  • Do not wear a black dress (unless the colour theme has black in it or unless you are attending the evening only)
  • If you know the colour the bridesmaids are wearing, do not wear the same colour (as block colour)
  • Ensure your outfit is not too revealing

Following my rules I found my Phase Eight dress. I do not know the colour theme of the wedding as the invites gave no indication, but as the dress is patterned I don’t have to worry. I will be teaming the dress with grey sandals and a grey/sparkly clutch.

 In 2010 I attended my first wedding as an adult where I wore a knee length red dress then last year I attended three weddings – what a great year that was! 😀 The first wedding was a church ceremony in May, the H2B and I strangely enough attended the ceremony only. The other two weddings were both in August, but as one was the H2Bs family and the other a school friend of mine I decided to wear the same dress to both of the weddings in August. For the May wedding I wore a knee length pattered cream, black and orange dress and for the two in August I wore a plain navy blue knee length dress. I teamed the navy dress with a cream shrug, pink shoes and a pink clutch.
wedding guest dressI got a lot of compliments on the above dress – even from the Vicar of all people! I may go safe when it comes to the dresses I choose for attending as a guest, but the dresses are always well received from other people and I’ve never had to worry about an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction being caught by the photographer.

After the wedding – in 9 days!!!! – I will post all about it. Watch this space for the wedding review.

Chanticleer Brides


My dream is to find a way to save up enough for a Chanticleer gown. If I couldn’t I pray I will be able to get one in a sample sale/end of line sale I would be one of the happiest Brides-2-B around!

If you are a Bride-2-B and use twitter you should check out #BrideHour which is every Thursday or #WeddingHour every Wednesday as I have met some wonderful suppliers while participating in these Twitter event. Chanticleer Brides is one of my favourite finds. My heart now belongs to one dress in-particular – ‘Sweet Briar’, however there are others I love nearly as much.

Sweet Briar http://www.chanticleerbrides.co.uk/

I think I’ll be popping to my local stockist later on this year to try this dream gown on.