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.


My first things first

As I write about certain areas of the wedding planning process and how money can be saved, I will also write about my own experiences and how I came to make certain decisions.

My budget amounted to 6k, which to be honest, at first felt like enough, until I started to look at how much a venue would cost, and then it started to feel smaller than it had to begin with. My family has a history of small weddings, and to be honest, my parents thought that the 6k budget was huge and a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a wedding. The difference is in the past 27 years since my parents married the cost of a wedding has gone through the roof. It seems that no matter what, if you want a cake made, or want to hire a venue the price doubles as soon as the word wedding is mentioned.

The first thing I did in the whole wedding planning if I am honest was buy my dress. I hadn’t meant to buy it so early in the planning, but I started to look around different bridal shops, and was looking on line, and then one day my mum and I popped into a bridal shop and found a dress that looked perfect, tried it on and loved it, so went back the next day to try it on again with my dad and sister there to see it too and bought it. We thought it was a better bargain than it was due to a misleading price tag. However, this then gave the first expense of £700 – a little over the 10% that should usually be budgeted for the wedding dress.

In September of 2010 I started looking at wedding venues. (I got engaged in April 2008 at the tender age of 18, and booked the venue in November 2010). I decided I would look for venues in Berkshire and Wiltshire. Some of the venues I looked at online include:

  • Mill Hall







  • Old Luxters Barn









  • Elcott Park Hotel







  • Wellington Barn










  • Templars Barn







I loved the idea of having the wedding in a barn as we’re both really out-doorsy and thought it would give the perfect romantic yet relaxed vibe that I longed for. I started to email the venues I’d looked at online to ask them about prices and availability for the months that we had in mind. Some venues never got back to me, and other got back to me with rather vague responses. The venue that came back with the best response was The Ivy Hotel in Wroughton. Their website looked lovely and Wroughton was a perfect location for us, only half an hour’s drive from where we were living.

I arranged three viewings, The Ivy Hotel, Templars barn and Old Luxters Barn. The first viewing was The Ivy Hotel, and after having that viewing I was in love, not only with the venue, but the location, the price and the wedding planner who was so open and honest in answering all of our questions, that I then cancelled the viewings of the barns as I felt I didn’t need to see any more venues than that one.

The other reason I cancelled the viewings of the barns was that in my research I found out that barns can work out rather expensive. You have to hire in the furniture (tables, chairs, cutlery etc)  in many cases, along with a caterer, entertainment, decorations…everything. So even though the hire of the barn worked out nicely, all the extras would have come above our budget.

So The Ivy Hotel was chosen and we put down our deposit, which was the second expense to add to our expenses for the wedding.