Thursday, 19 February 2015

Customised wedding shoes from Elegant Steps | Budget Wedding Blog

Morning thrifties!
I had a rather lovely delivery the other day from Elegant Steps, the UK's No.1 for bridal and occasion shoes.  They contacted me a little while ago to see if I'd be interested in reviewing their services as they launch their new customisation guide for brides and I jumped at the chance, I LOVE shoes!

The parcel arrived and it was like Christmas, literally, it was so beautifully wrapped I felt bad about opening it...

Autumn was most jealous as she didn't get a present...

They stock tonnes of designers and I had a pretty hard time selecting a pair but in the end I went for a pair of Evie Dyeable Satin Wedding Shoes which are mid range in price at £69. They stock beautiful shoes from as little as £9.99 in the sale but for a wedding around the £70 mark would be a reasonable price to spend I think, after all you are going to be in them for a very long day, dashing about, dancing and having fun!

The Elegant Steps team offer a bespoke dyeing service, you can send them a swatch from your dress or your bridesmaids dresses or you can select from their extensive colour studio and have the shoes that you've chosen dyed to match what ever you like.
I challenged the team to match the Pretty Thrifty blog colours and I think they did a rather good job don't you?!

I was also supplied with a pair of shoe clips to jazz up my shoes, again they have a big range of these to suit all the different shoes they stock and they can be worn on the front, side or back of the shoes (or on any of your other shoes - hello investment piece!) Some of the bows are just adorable and I think I'll be stocking up on a few more pairs to liven up my plain old court shoes. Shoe clips start at less than twenty quid so you really can't go wrong.

So I don't often wear heels (I'm much more of a Birkenstock or Boot kind of girl) and my main concern is always comfort and weather or not I can dance like a lune and consume copious amounts of fizz in them... let me tell you, these are the COMFIEST shoes I have ever worn, I may never take them off...

Check out their customisation guide for a tonne of ideas for creating your own personalised unique to you shoes

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Budget Friendly Valentines | Budget Wedding Blog

I don't know about you but I'm still financially recovering from Christmas... I'm always a bit skint at this time of year, and although I know deep down it's a Hallmark holiday I still kind of want to join in with the Valentines festivities... but I don't want to blow loads of pennies on it!

So I thought I'd share some of top budget friendly Valentines ideas with you...

1) Spend the day together

Sounds lame and cheesy but just actually spending time together is something most couples rarely get to do what with work, kids, pets or other responsibilities. Do something together that doesn't cost money, turn off the tv and put down your devices and really spend quality time together. Want some cheap date ideas? Check out this post for some awesome ideas. Oh and number 14, screw that get outdoors, yes it's chilly but that's what blankets and a thermos full of Heinz tomato soup were invented for, natures free baby!

2) DIY those cards and gifts!

I guarantee this will score you more brownie points (A for effort) even if it turns out looking like a 6 year old made it! From crafting your own chocolates in ice cube trays to making jewellery there is something for every level of crafter in this post and some more fab ideas here (it's all about the LOVE CACTUS!)

3) Get cooking

Stay in and eat, don't order a takeaway, cooking together is such a nice way to spend time, or if your other half is out during the day cook up a surprise dinner for when they get home! Check out some of these yummy recipes for inspiration

Happy Valentines lovelies

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Put a ring on it | Budget Wedding Blog

It's nearly that time of year again! In the run up to valentines day I know a LOT of people may be planning on popping the question, but before you shell out on that big sparkly rock just have a little think... who exactly was it that said the 'correct' amount to spend on an engagement ring is 1 months salary?

De Berrs, that's who! That's right, it was all a marketing campaign by the big diamond peddling cartel... way back in the 1930's they started to push diamonds as THE stone for engagement rings, it was a huge marketing campaign that has influenced generations to come and thus become written in the laws of tradition. Prior to the 1930's a diamond engagement ring was not the norm...

So think outside the box, don't be swayed by shop assistants pushing the shiny stuff on you, just say NO!!

Here are some beautiful, affordable alternatives...

This gorgeous silver and emerald ring is just £56 and can be found on Etsy

I'm a bit obsessed with anything sparkly and thus Druzy rings are my current faves! This rose gold beauty is just £45 over on Etsy

Not a fan of gems? How about this gorgeous little handcrafted creation a bargain at just £180 with it's pretty little 18 carat yellow gold rose

I adore this moonstone ring from Jessica Flinn Jewellery and it's a total snip at just £39, that's right this beautiful hand crafted silver and gold vermeil ring is just THIRTY NINE QUID!

How about a simple love knot? I honestly think the sentiment behind this ring is as lovely as any princess cut stone (and at just £25 you can't go wrong) available on Folksy

Also whoever said that an engagement ring should be a thin band with one big old stone? There are no rules! I love this rough finished band with white sapphires and white topaz and it's just £84, available on Etsy

My top places to hunt for an alternative (and affordable ring) are Etsy, Folks, Ebay, Antiques centers, and local artisan jewellery shops where they sell hand made work by local artists!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

2015 Wedding Trend Forecast | Budget Wedding Blog

You might have seen a few of these 'whats hot for 2015' type posts over the past week or so, well here's our take on the trends, lets talk fashion first...

The new pastels

Image: Eric Kelley Photography via Bridal Musings

Shades of mint baby blue and pastel pink will always be pretty in my eyes but the new pastels are a little darker, a little moodier. Tones of dove grey, dusky pink, lucite green  and of course shades of marsala make up a gorgeous pallet of colours that are set to be hugely popular this year, or so say the kings of Colour over at Pantone. Team these with various shades of cream and ivory and you're on to a winner. As well in the bridal shops, these colours will likely filter down to the high street so you'll be able to dress your maids in bargains.

Texture, colour and detail

Image source Claire Pettibone
Image: Jess Petrie via Love My Dress

I am more than a little bit obsessed with dress designer Claire Pettibone and in particular her Still Life collection which is full of colour and gorgeous detailed embroidery. This is part of her 2014 collection and I expect there will be lots more of this coming in various designers collections in 2015. Texture and colour gets bigger and bigger every year, from feather or sequin capes to rainbow tutus, use accessories to put your stamp on the classic ivory dress.
For some beautiful detailed and coloured dresses that are a bit easier on the purse strings check out Free People, their clothes are some of my absolute favourites.

Dress: Free People

Vintage vibes

Image: Shelley Richmond Dress: Kate Beaumont Vintage

More and more brides are being drawn to vintage dresses and with so many gorgeous boutiques out there who can blame them! Vintage is waaaaay more affordable and don't fret if that gorgeous gown doesn't fit you perfectly, a trip to your local seamstress and it will look like it's made for you at a fraction of the cost of one that actually was. And it's a myth that all vintage dresses are tiny, you just need to find your era

Folk Art

 All things Mexicana, crafty and folky are awesome for a late summer wedding, think embroidered dresses, home made pinatas, crazy paper mache skulls, bright colours, crochet blankets, hand drawn everything and Frida Kahlo's style (without the monobrow...)


Green green and more green, pick your own, foliage is free! Add a few flowers for splashes of colour or just celebrate all things leafy

Alternative Venues

Take DIY to the max and go for a non traditional venue, anything goes; warehouses, woodlands, caves, circus tents... cool couples want to create their own events in their own style, and why the hell not?! It's hard to put your stamp on something when your choices are limited to chicken or beef on the hotel package menu. Break the rules (rules, what rules!) get creative, you don't need to do something because it's the done thing the main aim of your wedding is to get married and have a bloody good time doing it!

Location Location Location!

Image: The AMAZING Kitcheners

Couples are searching for scenery first and foremost when thinking about their wedding venue, (nature is free after all) which is totally awesome! If you're getting wed in an area you're not familiar with speak to the locals for some inside info on spots that you can visit with your photographer during the day. Don't limit yourself to the grounds of your venue or the carpark round the back, jump in the car and dash of for half an hour. You won't miss much of the party and the images you get will be forever worth it!

I am so looking forward to the 2015 wedding season, so many exciting things are coming up for Pretty Thrifty this year!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Authentic Vintage Bridal | Budget Wedding Blog

I have some beautiful and very affordable vintage gowns to share with you all this chilly Monday afternoon. Laura Bath first got in touch with me last year to tell me all about her new online Vintage Bridal Boutique that offers stunning 1920s silk pieces right through to show stopping Oleg Cassini 1970s numbers. Her dresses range in price but are firmly rooted in the hundreds not the thousands.

The stand out feature of Authentic Vintage Bridal’s clothing is the quality of the dresses, enabling you to be married in the vintage dress you’ve always dreamed of. Where remedial work has been needed, British based seamstresses have hand-restored the dresses to their former glory. Laura is a young mum who discovered her love of vintage wedding dresses when she set out to organise her own wedding. She realised that the only way to get the dress she had always wanted was to seek out an original vintage dress. A year later, and pregnant with her first child, Laura decided to establish her own company, with the aim of helping brides-to-be find the vintage wedding dress they’ve always wanted for a price that won’t drain your wedding budget.

Laura said: “It’s wonderful getting to collect these amazing wedding dresses, it’s like being a kid in a sweet shop at times. There’s something so special about the intricate work, beautiful design and individuality of authentic vintage bridal wear that you just don’t get in off-the-shelf wedding dresses. I hope makes vintage wedding dresses more accessible, and helps brides-to-be find the wedding dress of their dreams.”

“Every woman wants their friends and family (not to mention their other half) to be knocked off their feet as they turn to see you start your walk down the aisle. Nothing does that quite like a vintage wedding dress that is as unique as you are.”

“I loved finding my wedding dress; the moment I saw it I knew it was the one. It’s been so exciting finding the treasures that make up the AV Bridal collection. It’s also exciting to think of brides-to-be lighting up when they see their dream dress in our collection; allowing us to be a little part of their special day.”

Despite now having a new baby to look after, Laura has somehow found the time to set up a website, organise photo shoots and build the foundations for the new enterprise. It’s been hard work, but Laura is now absolutely delighted to present Authentic Vintage Bridal, or AV Bridal, to the world. The Authentic Vintage collection includes dresses from Oleg Cassini, Jay’s Ltd and a recently sourced Norman Hartnell; all designers who have gowns on display in the Victoria and Albert museum. Our dresses are all handpicked with love and our collection is constantly growing. We usually have between 40-50 beautifully restored dresses in stock.

Huge thanks to Laura for sharing her beautiful new business with us today, vintage is set to be bigger than ever in 2015 and is certainly one of my all time favourite themes for weddings, I particularly adore anything from the late 70's with a floaty hippie vibe... sometimes I think I was born in the wrong decade!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Tuesday Inspiration: Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Feature | Budget Wedding Blog

Last week a rather special new magazine hit the shelves! Rock n Roll Bride is my favorite wedding blog and Kat the genius behind it has been a huge inspiration for me in starting Pretty Thrifty.

Well last week the very first issue of the Rock n Roll Bride bimonthly glossy magazine hit the shelves of some well know retailers and I was so excited to see our Post Wedding Shoot featured along side a brilliant wedding planning advice piece written by Kat .

From what I've seen online over the past few days the magazine is selling like actual hot cakes so if you want one you need to head down to your local (large) WHSmiths or Morrisons asap! The magazine is packed full of gorgeous inspiration, helpful planning advice and fab suppliers, so go get yours now!