Weddings on a budget

It’s easier than you think to save money on your big day. Here’s the first part with those easy peasy ways to keep to your budget during the wedding planning process…

Set yourself a budget

It’s essential to have a clear idea of what you can and can’t afford before you even begin any planning. With a strict, set budget you’ll be able to keep track of where your money’s going and you won’t end up overspending!


Before you start planning, think about what’s most important to your on the day. Plan to splurge only on the things that are really meaningful to you and your h2b, and save on everything else.


It’s important that your day reflects you. Don’t try to plan an extravagant wedding if you don’t have the funds! Simple, elegant weddings can still be perfect and you won’t blow the budget. Remember – your wedding day is about sharing and showing your love for your partner, not showing off.

Shop around

Don’t rush into buying anything as soon as you’re engaged. Dress shopping is definitely a planning highlight, and it’s so easy to get carried away and end up buying the first dress you fall in love with. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the best offers and get an idea of different styles that are available. Likewise, get several quotes to make sure you’re getting the best price and research carefully so you don’t end up being overcharged.

Hunt for bargains

You don’t have to splash out on a designer gown if you don’t have the money. The high street has a great selection of wedding gowns and if you search vintage shops you may discover quirky and original finds for a fraction of the price.

Let your bridesmaids wear their own dresses

It can be a nightmare finding bridesmaid dresses that your girls all agree on. If you let your maids choose their own, not only will you cut out any dress shopping drama, but they’re also more likely to foot the bill at the end!

Create a salon at home!

You can still look and feel fab if you do your own hair and make-up. While getting styled by the professionals is a definite luxury on the day, if you’re used to doing your own make up, you’ll still be able to create a natural, beautiful look as well as saving money.

Just remember that it’s important to practise a few different styles before the big day to avoid any beauty mishaps! Why not book an appointment with a beauty consultant in a department store or go to a masterclass as party of your hen do?

Don’t turn into a Bridezilla!!!

We’re sure you already know that wedding planning has its ups, and its downs. Here are the signs that wedding planning has got a bit too much for you (it’s only temporary, promise!)…

Taking over your life

With it being a day that most brides-to-be have dreamed about since they were a little girl, it’s no wonder that it planning your wedding will take up a lot of your time. Even if you’re not actively out shopping for it or actively getting those DIY tasks done, you’ll find yourself subconsciously ‘favouriting’ all sorts of articles and shopping searches so you can come back to them later. Even your iPod that you plug in on the way to work is filled with ceremony classics to help you pick out your playlist.

The one becomes not the one

If you’re starting to question the magical feeling you had when you found ‘the one’, you’ve been thinking too much about it. When the dream-dress-doubt creeps in, it’s time to get a grip! It’s a common thing for brides to feel in the run up to their wedding – they want to look and feel their best after all – but get yourself through the doubting stage, and that magical feeling will return when you put it on. Then you’ll be wondering how on earth you ever thought it wasn’t the one!

Goodbye wedding diet

Sometimes brides and grooms-to-be fancy going on a diet or a mission to get into shape before their big day, and that’s okay! Healthy eating and taking up jogging is all around good for you and we totally recommend it to not only look your best, but also feel and be your best (but no ridiculous dieting please!). But when the stress kicks in, so do the carb and sugar cravings, and before you know it: your head is lodged in the back of the cupboard trying the find that secret stash of Mars Bars you hid away from the healthy-you. Oops.

Your friends stop contacting

Suddenly, conversation becomes just you talking. Why aren’t they replying your WhatsApp’s, texts, phone calls, Facebook messages, emails or tweets? Just why? Because maybe, just maybe, your predominant conversation topic – your wedding – is getting a little too much. Linking to the first point, just because it’s taking over your life (to a degree if you’re careful!), doesn’t mean it has to take over theirs. If you can’t think back to what you and your best girls spoke about before you got engaged, you’ve gone a step too far.

OR they’re constantly asking if you’re okay

Or perhaps you’ve got to the stage where you don’t want to talk about your wedding, in fact, you don’t want to do anything. Like any good friend, they will all be worried about the fact you’re not getting out of bed due to wedding-meltdown. When you actually do make it out of your dressing gown and slippers and go out, you’ll be jumped on with incessant questions like, ‘Are you okay?’, ‘I’m always here for you, you know that, right?’ and ‘If there’s anything I can do, will you tell me?’. If you’re at either of these stages with your friends – them either outright ignoring you or them overly anxious about you, it’s probably a good time to have a little break from planning, we think…

Can the honeymoon hurry up?

Talking of a little break: the honeymoon! You just cannot stop thinking about the honeymoon. The happiness of the thought of just utter relaxation and having nothing to worry about is so much that you even start to curse the wedding because it’s getting in the way of it! It’s the one obstacle between you and that sunbed.

You’re ticking all the boxes.

If you’re ticking any of these boxes of 10 signs that you are an un-cool bride to be, you only need a quick reality check and you’ll see the monster you’re turning into!

Fairytale Weddings

When it comes to romance, beauty and timeless charm, Disney has it all sewn up. Everyone has a favourite Disney character or story, and even if you’re not the biggest Disney fan, it’s hard not to be bewitched by the escapism of Disney’s larger-than-life fairy tales.

In celebration of Disney’s enduring sparkle, be inspired by four of the most famous — and best loved — Disney princesses. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for a Disney themed wedding, or you’d just like a touch of Disney magic on your big day, check out these four very special Disney princess mood boards.

Eternally Elsa

Frozen is a modern classic, loved by millions across the globe. Perhaps you’re such a big fan of the film that you’ll be playing “Let It Go” as you walk down the aisle…or maybe you just want to incorporate some of Elsa’s signature sky blue into your wedding styling. With her side plait and ice cool beauty, Elsa is a stunning Disney icon — and a few touches of Frozen magic will make your wedding day spellbinding.

Charming Cinderella

Cinderella is perhaps the most popular princess to inspire a wedding day. Her fairy-tale revolves around love and marriage — and a beautiful girl’s search for Prince Charming. Now you’ve found “the one”, you could celebrate your own love story by taking a leaf out of Cinders’ book: go for full-on glamour with a huge ball gown, sparkling headdress, sensational underwear, a horse drawn carriage, glitzy reception décor and — of course — a beautiful pair of glass slippers.

Seductive Snow White

Snow White is a dark fairy-tale complete with a wicked witch, a poisoned apple and a glass casket where Snow White sleeps until she is woken from her slumber by a handsome prince. If you’re using this story as your inspiration, forget the seven dwarves and concentrate on the enigmatic beauty of this Disney classic. Opt for dramatic make-up, a crimson dress, blood red roses against bright white icing, linen and candles, and a classic red and white colour palette. If you’re a raven haired beauty with a mysterious side, Snow White is definitely the princess to inspire you.

Rocking Rapunzel

In the 2010 Disney movie Tangled, Rapunzel appeared as a feisty, independent and spirited princess with a bubbly personality — as well as magic golden hair. If you want to blend timeless Disney romance with a contemporary edge, use Rapunzel as your role model. Look for a boho-inspired gown, 70s-style headband, pops of purple in your colour scheme and – in keeping with Rapunzel tradition – a castle with a tower for your reception.

Bridal shower ideas

Planning a bridal shower for your sister, best friend, cousin, or another special person in your life? Then you need a creative bridal shower theme! Some brides are all about wedding flowers and lace while others just want something unique.

  1. Brunch and Bubbly


What’s classier than champagne? Hosting a “Brunch and Bubbly” theme for your bride allows for lots of blush pink, gold, and cream. Fresh flowers, white or cream tableware, and cloth napkins are all a must when decorating for brunch. If you’re really ambitious, you can have brunch at someone’s house. If you’d rather have someone else handle the details, hiring a Caterer is always a great option!


  1. Mad Hatter Tea Party


A Mad Hatter Tea Party bridal shower theme is perfect! You can get creative with decor and refreshments, too. Use mismatched teacups, plates, tablecloths, and napkins to add to the eclectic feel of the party space. For refreshments, tea of course! And other miniature desserts like petit fours, macaroons, or cupcakes are perfect for a tea party. Adding “Eat Me” placards or even putting the words on cakes or cookies is a great way to incorporate Wonderland into the party. You can serve other drinks like lemonade or wine spritzers, but don’t forget the “Drink Me” tags!


  1. Wine time


Wine is a girl’s best friend sometimes. And why not use this as inspiration for a bridal shower theme? Your bride will no doubt welcome the chance to sip some wine, open presents, and just enjoy some time away from the planning process. White wines pair well with white meat or light foods like quiche. Red wines complement richer flavors like red meat and roasted vegetables. So sit back, sip, and enjoy the party with your bride!


  1. Kick back and relax


Planning a Wedding is stressful. Being “on” all the time can take a toll. Laidback bridal shower themes are definitely the best choice for the stressed out bride-to-be. Set up a buffet bar, add some crisps and homemade salsa or guacamole for tasty appetisers. Let bride to be kick back with her favourite food…and a cold margarita for some laughs with friends and family!


Valentine’s Day proposals

It’s completely understandable why you’d want to! Is there a more romantic day of the year? Whilst everyone seems to be planning a wedding you haven’t even proposed yet!!!  So even if the day is cliché, your proposal doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 creative ways to propose on Valentine’s Day!

  1. Put It in the Movies

Are you and your love a couple of movie buffs? Rent out an ad space at your local theatre to play your “trailer” asking them to marry you! Thanks to technology, you can produce a short video fairly easily using video editing software. Or hire a Videographer to help you produce something that’s a little more high-end. Turn your life into a true romantic comedy with clips of video of the two of you, or recreate classic scenes from old romantic movies. We guarantee they won’t see this one coming!


The Proposal: During the last scene of the trailer, proclaim your proposal onscreen and have the ring waiting for the moment of surprise.


  1. Make it a public affair

An idea for the artsy couple, or just those who appreciate spontaneity and the unexpected: Incorporate live art. The trend of “living creativity” is definitely growing, and live artists are quite amazing to watch. Maybe you set up an evening stroll, and “happen” to come across a Performing Artist who is painting on a canvas, or creating a chalk mural on the sidewalk. Encourage your significant other to stop and take it in for a moment, for a truly unique memory.


The Proposal: Coordinate with the artist ahead of time to have them include the two of you in their piece. As your darling realises that it’s about the two of you, pull out the ring for your big moment.


  1. Say It with Paint

For the imaginative couple who loves to try new things together, hide your proposal in painting class. Most cities offer a wine/paint class, where romance and art meet! They’ll assume that you’ve found something new and exciting to do together, never suspecting that you have a proposal waiting. And after the big event, you’ll have a memento to remember the evening for the rest of your life.


The Proposal: Paint several easels ahead of time, spelling out “Will You Marry Me?” and make arrangements with the class instructor to have them help coordinate the big reveal.


  1. Create a Storybook

There’s no better way to lead up to the next chapter in your life than to start at the beginning. Create a book about the journey that has brought you to this moment by highlighting key moments in your relationship! Start with how you met, your first date, first holidays, memorable trips, or inside jokes along the way. Don’t worry if you’re not an amazing artist or writer.


The Proposal: On the very last page, create a part of the story that says something like “This is when I asked you to be mine forever.” Or simply draw or include a picture of a ring.


Unusual wedding entertainment ideas

Perhaps, but you want your special day to be unique! So how can you make your wedding day extra special? What sort of wedding entertainment should you hire for your big day? We’ve come up with a few unique cabaret ideas to help get you thinking!

Drag Queen

A Drag Queen isn’t a typical addition you might expect to see at a wedding but they can be a wonderful Master of ceremonies and deliver a stunning and outrageous show at the reception. From stand up to singing, a drag queen diva will wow your wedding guests. The ultimate in unique wedding entertainment.

Aerial Silk Artist

One for the larger wedding venues, there is no piece of unique wedding entertainment more beautiful than an aerial silk artist. Suspended from the ceiling by flowing silk drapes, a talented performer can twist and turn to music to create an ambient acrobatic display or even improvise a hanging routine. A majestic and graceful act, it’s best to let the photos speak for themselves! No performance is ever the same.

Classical music artists

One for the classical music lovers how about a little background music on your wedding day? Classically trained singers from the Royal Academy of Music will captivate your audience. A fabulous addition to any wedding, enjoy a flawless rendition of your favourite classical piece to make your wedding day truly magical.


When it comes to unique wedding entertainment ideas, it’s often easy to forget that your guests are as part of the big day as yourselves. A function band is great to get the room going but many attendees are often too shy to hit the dance floor. By booking a dance group who relate to the style of music that your function band play, the evening can incorporate the fun nature of your event and music that suits your particular musical tastes.    

Wedding food on a budget

Thinking about ideas on what food to serve at your wedding when you’ve on a tight budget is sometimes difficult. We’ve got 10 top tips to help you serve great wedding food ideas on a budget!

Although you are catering for the whole wedding party, when choosing your menu, don’t offer too many options. Offering a multitude of choices for the wedding breakfast doesn’t enhance your guests’ experience, or make anything taste better. More choice only means more expense.

Some of the most beautiful wedding venues are outdoors – be it a marquee or a hog roast festival – but these celebrations do not have on-site kitchens or furniture. You will be required to pay extra to supply these facilities, so make sure you include this in your budget.

The key to a successful wedding reception is timing and service. Making people wait for food and drinks is not a great idea. Pay for extra serving staff to ensure a smoothly-run reception and you will notice the investment – and your guests will love you for it!

Champagne is everyone’s top tipple for parties, but it can be a little on the expensive side. However, there are some great sparkling wines available, which are just as good but cost less. To impress your guests on half the budget, add a little elderflower cordial and a hibiscus flower to Cava, to create the perfect festive fizzy cocktail. Not only does this add a light, sweet, floral taste to the drink, it makes the Cava go that little bit further – good news all round!

If you plan to party in the early hours of the morning, don’t serve an evening buffet – you are essentially paying for two full meals that many people won’t even touch. Why not serve bacon sandwiches or posh kebabs a la Lily Allen? This will give the illusion of an evening meal and your guests will be thankful for the traditionally British fuel injection before the trip home.

Cheese cakes are a great alternative to traditional tiers. You can ask your caterers to cut and serve the savoury slices with fruit and biscuits as the dessert after your meal. Alternatively, cupcakes are a cheaper option than a tiered cake and work well as both a dessert and a favour.

The drinks reception tab can easily set couples back a few thousand pounds, so limiting what is served can be a great way to reduce costs. Ask your bar to carry beer and wine, or alternatively, have a cash-only bar that your guests will have to pay for. If you have provided them with a lovely meal accompanied with great entertainment, guests won’t mind forking out for a few drinks towards the end of the evening.

Coffee and mints are an essential part of any party and the perfect way to round off your meal. Why not add flavoured syrups and amaretto biscuits to freshly ground coffee, to give your guests a delicious caffeine fix? They’ll be guaranteed to keep dancing late into the evening after one of these!

Cutting corners doesn’t always mean cutting costs. If you cut out canapés, you will end up with hungry guests at the beginning of the day. Why not spend more on canapés but less on the evening buffet? Many people overspend on the evening food when most guests are still full from the wedding breakfast, which is a waste of both money and food! Lighter evening snacks will go down just as well with your guests, and save you money, too.


Countdown to the big day…

Time is moving on and it’s that bit nearer your wedding now. You’ll be well ahead with your plans, having sorted your budget, venue, wedding dress, wedding photographer and florist.

Now it’s time for the other wedding players to enter onto your big day stage.

Bridesmaids used to be thought to protect the bride from evil spirits on her big day. Well, we’re not sure about that, but carefully chosen bridesmaids can certainly help you to maintain your composure and keep everything running smoothly – and at the very least hold an umbrella over you to protect you from wet weather!

We’d recommend a chief bridesmaid who you feel you can hand the reins over to from time to time, and who you can trust to deal with your wedding venue, suppliers and wedding plans, as all these are an essential part of the bridesmaids duties. So think hard about who you ask. You can have as many, or as few, bridesmaids as you wish.

Men should get their suits organised early on – particularly if they all need to get together and go to a menswear shop for fittings.

Traditionally, men’s accessories (ties, cravats, waistcoats) follow the colour scheme of the wedding, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. Just like your wedding dress, a groom’s suit should reflect his personality and the style of ceremony you’re having.

The golden rule is that all hired suits should be tried on BEFORE the wedding day. Missing cufflinks, trousers that are too short in the leg… these are all very real wedding day dilemmas that can be avoided if you check, check and check again!

Sort your stationery

Wedding stationery is a very personal and individual part of your big day, and includes more items than you might think! By stationery we generally mean the following:

  • Save the date cards

  • Invitations and RSVPs

  • Orders of service

  • Menus

  • Place cards

  • Table numbers or names

  • Thank you cards


Save the date cards should be sent out as soon as you’ve set a date. This could be 12 months in advance of the wedding – which is a particularly good idea if you’re planning on getting married abroad, as friends and family will need to book flights, time off work and may also like to build a holiday around your wedding.

Invitations should be sent out six to eight weeks before the wedding, but if you want these designs personalised in any way it’s best to give your designer as much time as possible to produce them.

Invitation packs should include hotel or B&B ideas for out-of-town guests, directions to the venue with postcode for sat navs, a request for any special dietary requirements and details of your gift list. Some brides prefer to exclude their gift list details from the evening-only invitations but generally all guests will want to give you a little something, so have an idea in mind before they ask you.

Remember that larger invitations cost more to send and very small envelopes can get lost in the mail. Hopefully you’ll get all RSVPs back from your guests at least two weeks before the big day, so that you can finalise numbers with your wedding venue.


Pick the right shoes

When you are tense and nervous, you are more awkward and therefore clumsier. We know this is easier said than done but this aside, it’s your wedding day, your friends and family are there to see you get married to each other, and they want the best for you. Smile, look directly into your partner’s eyes and take a deep breath.

There is nothing worse than limping around with sore feet because of ill-fitting or cheap shoes. Please remember that comfort is key here – pick a pair from a reputable seller of professional bridal shoes. The biggest secret of wedding shoes is they are designed to be the most comfortable shoes you will ever wear. Most shoes purchased off the high street do not have these extra added comfort features as they have cushioned lining and extra insole padding. Shoes with leather linings are also really comfortable as they mould to the shape of your foot, enhancing the comfort.

Don’t choose your wedding day to be the first time you decide to wear 6-inch heels then totter around like a bride on stilts with your bottom sticking out and sore feet to boot! That’s not a good look and you are likely to fall over, too.

If you want to wear heels and you’re not used to wearing them, then you’ve got to practice! Firstly, relax, then walk slowly, lean back – it may feel unnatural, but you are compensating for heels you have so lean into them. Shoulders back, don’t swing your arms but keep them at your side, one foot in front of the other, heel to toe, head up, smile and glide!

You may have the odd glass of champagne to celebrate the big day, but no one wants to see a drunk bride wobbling all over the dance floor – and falling flat on her face! You won’t have had a lot of practice walking in these shoes so do yourself a favour and stay away from the booze.


3 tips for buying your dream dress!

Here are some top tips to share about the secrets for selecting a sensational wedding  dress! Here is a small snippet of all the great tips when choosing your dream wedding dress.

When you visit a bridal boutique to start trying on a selection of dress, make sure you bring a pair of heels with you. They don’t need to be the exact pair you plan on wearing on the big day, just a similar height. The height of your heel changes not only the length of your dress but how it also fits your body with how you stand.

Whether bridal underwear means Spanx or lacy lingerie it’s important you try your wear them when trying on your dresses. The shaping of your underwear will mould your body making your gown fit differently.

Know your weight expectation from the start of wedding dress shopping. Many brides want to lose a few pounds before their day and if you choose a dress that fits you at the time before you’ve changed weight it may look very different when you do! Remember that different shaped dresses suit different body shapes so where possible get to your ideal weight before shopping!

So there you have it, but all in all don’t rush the experience, take some trusted friends with you to give you an honest opinion and relax.  If you feel like it’s just not going right for finding the perfect dress, just make another appointment for another day. Your dream dress will turn up and you will feel a million dollars.


Photoboothing is all the rage

What are the benefits of having one? Here are 5 reasons why you should have one.

They’re Great Fun

It seems like an obvious thing to state when hiring wedding entertainment – all of it is fun! – but a photo booth will give you more value for money than many other forms of wedding entertainment through the sheer amount of fun and laughter you’ll hear coming from the booth over the course of your wedding evening. It’s not a singular activity and people tend to visit the booth in large groups for a photo. Upon seeing the props available for their snap, even the most camera shy love to get involved as you take your four photos. And that fun and laughter we mentioned? It keeps other people at your wedding interested in the booth as well.

The Guest Book

Perhaps the main reason to have a photo booth at your wedding is for the guest book that comes with it. Once your wedding is over and upon return from your honeymoon, you’ll finally be able to have a look through your photo booth guest book and take in the photos. If pressed to write a message, many guests might struggle to know what to say but when delivered in the form of a photo that can be captioned, you’ll find some truly lovely thoughts from your nearest and dearest. Friends and family alike will have contribute to a unique wedding gift that you can treasure for the rest of your lives.

The Wedding Photographer Can’t Photo Everyone

A great reason to hire a photo booth for an evening and one of the main points as to why it’s a must have at your wedding is because your wedding photographer simply can’t photograph everybody in attendance. Some don’t like to be photographed for whatever reason whilst others might just keep missing the photographer as they come round. With a photo booth though, you can rest assured that you’ll have at least one snap of your guests to enjoy. Sure, they’ll probably be sporting ridiculous fluorescent glasses or have a random bowling pin in their hand, but at least you’ll have a photo!




Perhaps the number one reason for having a photo booth at your wedding is the memories that it creates. Not only do guests create photos for your guest book but they receive a strip of their photos as well. They could even send a digital copy to their email address if they so desire. So many people will see these photos over the next few years and so many people will ask questions as to where it was taken. Your wedding will live long in the memory thanks to just a few photos taken at a photo booth. They really are a wonderful addition to your wedding day.