With another baby due in October I have started to look back on the memories we have made so far, one of the most memorable is of course our Wedding Day.
Looking back on the day we got married, August 13th 2005 it was a day of such happiness and everything was perfect. When we got engaged I had no idea how to go about planning a wedding, I had only been to one and we were the first in our families to get married.
First thing on the list was choosing a venue, we looked around at various places. I originally wanted to get married by the sea, I loved the idea of having photos with the sea as the back drop but none of the venues really took my eye. We then visited a place called Hustyns in Cornwall and I instantly fell in love with the place. I am not sure if it was the waterfall in the reception that did it, the room or the beautiful grounds, but I just knew this was the place. We were given a brochure and as luck would have it the wedding coordinator gave us the previous years brochure by accident where the price for the venue was quite a bit cheaper. So when we came to book it and a higher price was mentioned we mentioned the brochure and because they had given us the wrong one they only charged us the price that was for the previous year. This saved us several hundred pounds – a great added bonus!
Originally we were going to get married at the venue also but then I discovered it was actually cheaper to get married in a church near by than pay for a registrar at the venue, it would also make the day more magical. The church was beautiful and the vicar was lovely, made the service personal and fun!
The venue we booked did offer a package for doing a table plan and decorations but I decided I would do them myself and it also made it a lot cheaper – getting married certainly can be very expensive.
My wonderful mum bought my wedding dress, I tried a few on and some were just breath taking but I couldn’t warrant over £1,000 plus for a dress I would wear for just one day. I eventually found a rose colour tinted dress and it was perfect. As luck would have it I also found bridesmaid dresses at the same shop, I only opted for two bridesmaids, family members. I could easily have had more but the expense just mounts up and at least with family members they are always part of the family, friends can always drift apart.
The dress we got the shop from was a small local business and as luck would have it she knew of a local lady who made cakes so we took her details and contacted her and arranged to go over to see her. She was a lovely lady who made cakes for a living and took time to listen to what we wanted and she also suggested some ideas. Considering the wonderful cake that she made us I think her pricing was very reasonable. So if or when you get married always look out for local people not necessary from a shop in your town. Ask around for recommendations and if you are lucky like us you will get great service at a great price. Everyone loved our cake and it tasted super yummy too.
The next thing we had to sort was a wedding car, luckily the cake lady was able to recommend someone she knew and the car was a lot cheaper to hire than many others I had looked at online. We only had one wedding car which took the bridesmaids to the church then came back for me and my dad after. The bridesmaids had to make their own way to the venue which wasn’t a problem as they had family members who were going anyway. This might seem a bit tight but car hire can prove pricey and the venue wasn’t too far away from the church – about 20 minuets.
Once that was all sorted I decided to think about table plans and decorations, actually deciding who was going to sit where was the hardest part! I then bought some lovely rose pink special paper of sorts for the backing and then printed out lists for each table and attached them to this lovely paper. I decided on butterfly names for the tables as I love butterfly’s, so pretty. Making my own table plan cost me a couple of pounds so a lot cheaper. I also decided that for table decorations I just wanted simple balloons, nice pink ones of different tones. I was able to pick these up cheaply along with some balloon weights and it was a lot cheaper than having flowers on each table.
I was quite excited about making my wedding favours, I looked around online and found some cute little tins and a website that sold wholesale sweets a lot cheaper. So I ended up buying some cute little tins, some jelly belly beans and then I found some mesh butterfly’s and ribbon online at a reasonable price too. I enjoyed making my own wedding favours and I surprised myself with how good they looked when finished, everyone commented on them and I know of one lady who kept hers and used them as little decorations for keeping little things in around the house.
Another thing we sorted was wedding invitations, a lot of people get them done through large companies or through the people they book to do their photography where as I happen to have a studio catalogue delivered and they sold personalised wedding invitations super cheap and they looked really nice and professional. We definitely saved ourselves hundreds of pounds using that website, we also picked up a package of disposable cameras to put on the table so we could see our wedding day through other people’s eyes and some table confetti. All of this was done on a budget.
Finding a decent photographer is always a challenge, we went with word of mouth and bought a reasonable package, I wanted some nice photos from the day. Some people pay to have their wedding video recorded, a lovely touch so you can look back at your special day. We arranged for a family member to use a borrowed video recorder to do the job and the church were happy for us to do this as long as the person recording stayed out of the way, so we got a recording of our wedding for free.
I have so many fond memories from our day and looking back we did manage to save money In lots of different areas, if we hadn’t I can’t imagine how much more we would have spent.
A wedding doesn’t have to cost the earth, even for a magical day you will never forget. My hints and tips are-
- Look for local people who work from home – they have less overheads and can prove cheaper.
- Consider alternatives, much as I would have loved an ice sculpture it wasn’t necessary.
- Make decorations, table plans, table names and place names yourself. Get creative and save some cash.
- Look online for deals that can save you money.
- Choose flowers that are more popular and in season, works out less expensive than the more ‘rare’ out of season flowers.
- See if there are any family members that can help out in any way.
If you are in need of some help in the form of a loan for your wedding day then you could consider ringing Chris and the rest of the personal loans team at Ocean Finance who will happily discuss your needs and answer any questions.
But remember a wedding doesn’t need to cost excessive amounts to be perfect!