Posted in Wedding Tips & Advice

Saving Money – Budget Priorities

In my last post, I explored the 4 things worth spending the majority of your wedding budget on (you can find it here). This post is about saving money…

Saving your money

  1. Stationery. Don’t get me wrong, I love stationery. And because your stationery the first time your guests get to see a glimpse of your wedding day, it is a really important added touch. But it is an added touch, and whilst everyone needs to know where to be and when, there comes a point where all those stationery extras become a little unnecessary.
  2. The Guestbook. Again, having a guestbook is a lovely touch and a great way to get creative. But let’s be realistic for a second. You don’t need to spend much on a guestbook. There are many different guest book ideas, none of which cost too much, so don’t try and overcomplicate things by coming up with some elaborate guestbook plan. Save your hard earned cash for putting towards one of the budget priorities, because – let’s face it – your guests really aren’t going to notice or care about how much money/time/effort you put into the guestbook. They’ll be more interested in the booze – trust me.
  3. The Wedding Favours. Personally, I adore the idea of wedding favours. Anything miniature and you’ve got me hooked. That was – however – until I was looking into having gin miniatures as wedding favours at my own wedding. I was going to end up spending £250 on essentially a large shot of gin per person, and for what? The idea is great, and the gin miniatures would’ve been super cute (for about half a minute). But is it worth £250? I’m not saying don’t bother with wedding favours at all, I think they are a lovely touch. Just be clever about it. Instead of spending £1.50 a head, trying spending 40p. Every little saving hack helps!
  4. Those extra bits. The list of ‘extras’ you can add to your wedding day is honestly endless. Baskets of flip flops, sparklers, sweet stations, additional decor, the list goes on… And if your budget allows, then go for it. But if you’re trying to cut back on your spending then trust me, these things are not a priority. A lovely touch, don’t get me wrong, but should in no way be the focus of your time, energy, and money.

Posted in Wedding Tips & Advice

Budget Setting – What should you prioritise?

Budget setting is really important for most things in life, but especially so for your wedding. It’s incredible how easy it is to end up spending a fortune. Planning a wedding is no small task, and it can be so easy to get carried away. So what do guests actually notice at a wedding? What should you prioritise?

Top 4 Budget Priorities

  1. The Ceremony. Your guests will have been waiting possibly years for you crazy kids to tie the knot. This is the most important part of your day, and the bit that holds the most meaning. I’ve found over the past year or so, the ceremony part of the day has become less & less important to couples, and I think that’s a real shame. Of course the rest of the day is important – it is a celebration after all. But the reason the rest of the day exists is because of the marriage, aka the ceremony (or service if you’re getting married in church). Make the most of it. That might be by having a reading that means a lot to you, or maybe even writing your own vows. Either way, this is why everyone has ‘gathered here today’, so don’t let it become unimportant.
  2. The Food & Drink. Something guests will always remember is the amount of food & drink (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) that was provided.  If the food was scarce or rubbish (or both) then that’s what guests will come away with in the forefront of their minds. Likewise with the drinks (okay, maybe mainly alcohol – but the non-drinkers will sure remember if all they were offered was water!), if the alcohol runs out or the bar is very expensive, this will have a negative impact on the day as a whole. The last thing you want your friends & family to say is ‘lovely wedding but I left hungry and the drinks were overpriced’…
  3. The Venue. It doesn’t matter what ‘add-ons’ you have to your wedding day, if the venue isn’t right then guests will notice. There are loads of elements that make the venue ‘right’ for you. It’s about deciding what kind of wedding you want and how the venue will reflect you as a couple. The time of year you want to get married and finding a venue that suits your chosen season is also a factor to consider. Plus, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting for your money too, and what you’ll need to pay for in addition to the venue hire.
  4. The Music. Whether you opt for a band or a DJ, make sure the tunes are fun and get people on the dance floor. You can’t beat mixing it up with some old-school classics as well as modern pop-hits. And if you are having a band, make sure you’ve either heard them live yourself or they come with excellent recommendations from someone you know or respect. Bands are not cheap, and you can be sure your guests will remember if your first dance was sung out of tune or they only played classic love ballads… Not exactly the crows pleasers you may have hoped for!

So those are the top 4 budget priorities. Next up I’ll be exploring the less important elements of a wedding which sometimes get more attention than they deserve…

Check out my previous post!

Posted in Lifestyle

Being Engaged and all it entails…

Being engaged is one of the most magical & special periods of life. The endless words of happiness and excitement from family & friends. And the promise of a beautiful wedding and an even more beautiful future with the one you love. But, it’s not always just a love bubble or clouds of happiness. How do I know? Because I’m right here with you.

I’ve been engaged for almost 2 months and it has been absolutely wonderful, for the most part. We’ve had our friends over to celebrate, special dinners with family, and loads of exciting conversations. On the flip side, though, there has been a lot of stress and many arguments…

We’re in those early stages of being engaged where you get the ‘big’ things decided, whilst leaving the details for later. Often this is the hardest part of the engagement because even the most decisive people will come up against decisions that they just don’t know how to make. And whatever you do, someone will always be offended.

The Guest List

Oh yes, the guest list. Anyone who is or has been engaged will no doubt be squirming reading that word. I’m squirming writing it! Before I got engaged I seriously underestimated the guest list problem. Like, seriously. Both myself & Euan couldn’t understand why people found it so difficult. That was, of course, until we were doing it for ourselves. I’m going to be honest here, we still currently have absolutely no idea what to do. Yep, the people who thought they’d know within the first day exactly who they’d invite and how many people they’d have, have no idea what to do.

There are a number of politics involved with wedding guests and unfortunately (even though we’d quite like to) we can’t avoid that. And we’ve just got to come to terms with it. Something we’ve found to have a huge impact on the guest list is the fact that we’re having the wedding at my parents house and they are therefore ‘hosting’ the wedding. The advantage of an unconnected-to-your-family venue is that the venue is hosting the wedding, therefore the discretion is yours. Whilst we are so lucky my parents have the space to host our wedding, it does mean that the venue is essentially theirs and there are a number of people who will be offended in this scenario who may not have been if we had opted for a proper wedding venue (far, far away…).

On the flip side, though, we are incredibly lucky to have so many people in our lives want to be invited. Whilst this does make guest culling hard, it’s also important we look at the positives and take it as a huge compliment. There are worse things than having too many people on your guest list, right?

Bridesmaids, Ushers, and all that stuff

Okay, this one I have to say we’ve completely tucked away in a little cupboard somewhere (for now). I know a decision has to be made at some point, but luckily we’ve left ourselves plenty of time. Do you ask your whole group of girls to be bridesmaids, or just one or two and risk offending the others? Do you pay for the usher’s suits or expect them to? Honestly? I don’t know. Neither of us know exactly who to have, or how to involve people we don’t choose. And it is really really hard! Like I said before, someone will always be offended. We’re still learning how to come to terms with that, and I daresay we’ll get there. As for the bridesmaids & ushers, I’ll keep you updated…

Being Engaged and enjoying it

Both of us have to keep reminding each other to just enjoy being engaged. Weddings are so difficult, and nothing prepares you for them (not even organising other people’s, trust me!). Whoever you are & whatever your situation, the same problems will crop up with each and every wedding and it’s about managing them the best you can. Being decisive is good, but so is being understanding and accepting. And relaxing. I’m terrible at relaxing, and so far have completely failed at having a relaxed engagement. But I’m trying, and that’s the main thing.

The guest list and the bridesmaids/ushers are (so far) the only things we’ve found difficult. So it’s not all bad! A church wedding has always been on the agenda for both of us so no qualms there. And working with the abundance of incredible suppliers that I do, choosing the photographer, florist, and videographer has been the easiest part so far! Not everyone will find the suppliers as easy as we have, but not everyone will find choosing bridesmaids & ushers as difficult as we have. Just keep focused on the reason you’re having this wedding in the first place; your marriage. Your future, your lives together, your love. Notice a pattern? You. And everything else will fall into place (well that’s my philosophy anyway, so let’s hope I’m right!).

No doubt there will be many more developments throughout this engagement, and many more excuses for some blog posts!