Monday, 8 December 2014

Money Saving Monday: Why do a hair trial? | Budget Wedding Blog

Getting your hair done for your wedding can be one of the most enjoyable parts of your preparation, it's often more expensive than getting your hair styled on a regular day and stylists will encourage you to have a trial before your big day. If you're on a tight budget you might think it best to cut the trial out (it's rarely free) to save money but that could be a big old mistake that could lead to you feeling stressed on your wedding day...

I chatted to Amy McCullagh, hair stylist extraordinaire about the importance of the trial and why it's not worth cutting it from your budget.

Firstly I'll tell you a bit about Amy; she has 14 years industry experience, managed a successful salon in Sheffield and specialises in colour correction. More importantly she is a specialist in wedding hair and up do's for all occasions. She's been involved in a variety of fashion shows, charity events and photo shoots and was a UK finalist for the Wella Trend Vision Awards as well as regional finalist for the Wella Generation Now art team. She's now freelance and works in and around the Sheffield area  traveling all over for weddings.In short this girl knows her stuff.

I'm on a tight budget so I'm thinking about not having a trial, would that be ok?

I would ALWAYS recommend having a trial, it isn't costly but is worth every penny just for piece of mind. Your hair is just as important as the dress and they need to compliment each other.

When do you normally do a trial, how far in advance of the wedding?

I'd usually suggest booking your trial anywhere between 6-8 weeks before the big day. Trends change and so will you, so you shouldn't do it to far in advance.

What if I don't have any idea how I want my hair?

I will always ask for a picture of the dress as that narrows it down a lot. Then we will go through everything from the different eras, accessories and even certain features you may like to hide. You are a blank canvas that we will build on m to create the desired look.

What if I change my mind after my trial or on the day of my wedding?

You may change your mind or decide to try a few different looks, therefore having a couple of trials might be for you. If you change your mind on the actual day (which has happened to me) then we will improvise and we can create anything you like, no problem, you just sit back, relax and enjoy.

Thanks Amy, hair trials sound like a lot of fun to me!
To see more of Amy's work visit her facebook page

Friday, 5 December 2014

DIY Fabulous Festive Flower Crown | Budget Wedding Blog

Flower crowns are not just for summer. Fact!
DIY your own glittery faux flower crown in about 10 minutes, perfect for a festive bride...

What you need:

* a plain headband (preferably metal)
* scissors / wire cutters
* florists wire
* fake flowers
* bits of Christmasy decorations (these pretty much all came from Poundstretcher)
* some felt in a matching colour
* hot glue gun & glue

Organise all your Christmasy bits and decide what you want to place where, cut a few pieces of wire  and poke through the flowers/ pine cones etc so that you can wire them to the headband

Start attaching bits by wrapping the wire around the headband; it's best if you start in the middle and work out towards the ends

Once you've got all your bits attached you want to  cover the inside of the crown so that all the wires don't get caught in your hair...

Cut a long strip of felt; long enough to cover the inside of your crown, in a long pointed almond shape, wider in the middle to protect your nogin from all those big decorations. Attach using your hot glue gun...

ta dah!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Post Wedding Christmas Presents | Budget Wedding Blog

Howdy! I've been a bad bad blogger this week and let life get in the way! 4 whole days without a word, bet you thought I'd been hit by a bus! Well I'm back and today I'm devoting the whole day to Pretty Thrifty and writing up some articles that have been languishing in my to do pile for faaaaaar too long. First up, you may have noticed that it's almost Christmas (what? when did that happen?) and time to get a spending! This can be such an expensive time of year but it doesn't have to be.

Are you struggling for Christmas pressie ideas for your nearest and dearest? Well if you're recently married you'll have some lovely photos no doubt so why not use them to create some special gifts for your favourite people.  Of course these aren't reserved solely for the newly wed, if you've just had your engagement photos shot or just have some super cute home snaps then personalised photo gifts could be for you.
They don't have to be cheesy, honest! Here's my run down of the best (quality & value) photo gifts out there plus some extra tips and a cute DIY idea, dig in...

Super cute photo transparencies from

Photo Transparencies from Oakdene Designs

These gorgeous stylish little personalised frames are a snip at just £18 , they're free standing and would look fab on a windowsill

Photo Journals by Photobox

Photo journals from Photobox

I adore these photo journals and have started making them after every holiday rather than standard albums, I scribble notes about places we've been and experiences we've had, they would make adorable post wedding gifts for relatives plus they're just £14.99!

Photo Canvases with a twist

Polaroid Style Canvas from etsy

Be a little careful with photos on canvas, they can go baggy over time if they're low quality, go for a small sized print like this gorgeous Polaroid style one. They look fab, especially if you cluster a few together

The best place to buy prints

I'm a big fan of Photobox, their service is great, their website is super easy to use and the quality is fab, plus they have a great range of print sizes and options. If you're planning on giving unframed prints as pressies it's a great idea to mount them on mount board or foamboard which you can buy from any good art & craft shop, some handy tips on how to do it here

Frame it...

Kiko glass frames from notonthehighstreet

I am completely in love with Kiko glass frames, they are just so beautiful! You can get them from Fill them with all sorts of gorgeous stuff, tape your prints in place with a little Washi Tape and sandwich in a few other gorgeous things like a spare wedding invite or saved place name

DIY delight

These cute little DIY photo embroideries were found on German blog Brigitte
I don't speak German but the step by step photos are pretty self explanatory, you'll need some fabric, embroidery hoops threads and needles, plus transfer paper to print your images on and and iron to transfer the images to the fabric, make sure to flip your photos before you print them or they'll come out the wrong way round!

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Venue Review: Ox Pasture Hall | Budget Wedding Blog

Ox Pasture Hall is a beautiful luxury Country House wedding venue in Yorkshire.

Wait.... luxury?! But this is a budget wedding blog... Well let me tell you, the team at Ox Pasture Hall have put together some fab offers for mid week or off season weddings, and they invited me down to check out what they can offer a few weeks ago.

Hidden down a little lane, nestled amongst woodland and rolling hills you'll find this former country farm house surrounded by restored barns and outbuildings. This is the kind of house that I dream of living in, which has been transformed into a cosy and inviting wedding venue (which would just make the perfect venue for a winter wedding... as well as a summer one as the gardens are beautifully kept)

When we arrived we were greeted by lovely friendly staff and shown to our room which was huuuuuuge! (like bigger than my first flat huge)
With a super king sized bed and a luxurious bathroom, plus a separate lounge are this would be the perfect room for a bide to prepare for her wedding in...

Can't you just imagine your gorgeous gown hanging by the side of this window with the morning light streaming through it?

The bathroom, was just perfect, with an enormous bath (plenty of room for 2) a great big rain head shower and attention to detail with quality products and lovely fluffy white towels

After we'd settled in we headed back to the lounge for afternoon tea. Walking through the courtyards as the sun was starting on it's way to the horizon I could just imagine how lovely it would be have your photographs taken and mingle with your guests here...

Even on a misty, rainy, over-cast day this place is still a photographers dream.  We made our way down to the lounge for our home made afternoon tea which was delicious. It's not part of their standard offer but the team at Ox Pasture Hall can offer afternoon tea for your wedding reception if you don't want to go for a heavy meal early on in the day, which quite frankly I think would be delightful. There was plenty to fill you up and the cakes were delish especially the mini lemon meringues!

After we'd stuffed ourselves with cake and tea we headed out to Scarborough which is just down the road (10 mins in the car) regressing back to our teenage selves we hit the 2p machines and won some tat. This would be such a fun pre wedding evening activity if you were staying here the night before, get the girls out for some arcade action followed by a couple of glasses of vino in one of the seafront bars.

Returning to the hotel we went to get ready for dinner. I expected the food to be good here but didn't quite expect it to be this good! We both envisaged tiny portions of tastiness but that we might be left feeling hungry but we couldn't have been more wrong.

The restaurant has a lovely warm and cosy feeling to it and the menu sounded amazing. I'm quite a picky pescetarian (basically a veggie that will eat fish) but the husband is a carnivour through and through so it was great to have a menu that catered to both our tastes, plus had some pretty tasty veggie options too which is always great to see.

For starters I had the Wild Mushroom Risotto, and the husband had Confit Duck Salad, Parfait with Cherry Sorbet, but before that arrived we were surprised with this tasty little treat!

A little sample of their tomato and red pepper soup, with a glass of Prosecco, and it was absolutely delicious!

The risotto was perfectly seasoned and creamy with just the right balance of flavours and Paul rather enjoyed the duck!

After the starters another little treat arrived in the form of a palate cleansing strawberry compote YUM!

So tasty in fact, it made Paul's face do this...

For mains I ordered the Crispy Tartlet; Filled with Smoked Haddock and Leek, Pea Puree and Potato Gnocchi, mainly because I though it sounded both yummy and small (tartlet not tart) after my ample starter, and Paul plumbed for the Pork; Slow Cooked Belly, Tender Loin Stuffed with Apricot and Sage, Savoy Cabbage, Sauteed Potato, Homemade Black Pudding & Red Onion Marmalade.

My Tartlet turned out to be a real hearty portion which was rich and creamy, which I could eat again and again. Paul's Pork was beautifully presented and being 90% meat he was a very very happy carnivore, a particular huge thumbs up for the home made black pudding which he said was the best he'd ever tasted!

For desert I opted for the cheeseboard while Paul went for the Chocolate & Pistachio option featuring Fudge Cake, Arctic Roll and a Banana Mile Feuille.

Dinner was amazing and the service from the staff at Ox Pasture Hall really is second to none, they go above and beyond to make sure you're happy but as well as that they're just thoroughly lovely people. Special mention to our waiter for the night Connor who was an absolute pleasure.

After dinner I pretty much slipped into a food coma, and slouched out in our super comfy room. If you're booking your wedding at Ox Pasture Hall, their food is hearty! Don't go for too many courses and canapes as you want your guests ready to party not snooze!

After a lovely long and peaceful nights sleep we headed down to the restaurant for breakfast.  Sitting looking out over the gardens and countryside you really wouldn't imagine that you are just a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the popular tourist town of Scarborough.  I couldn't have been more relaxed.

We had croissants and coffee to start, which are available buffet style with cereals and fruit, we then ordered from the hot breakfast menu. Paul went for the full English (with more of that delish home made black pudding) and I enjoyed some perfect scrambled eggs on toast

After breakfast we got to look round the rest of the hotel and have a nosy at the wedding reception room which is waaaaay bigger than I'd imagined!

The space is light and bright with a bar in the same room as well as the bar over in the main part of the hotel.  It looked great when we saw it but check out how pretty it looks when it's all dressed up!

And check out the grounds, the views are so perfect for your photographs and even on an overcast day this place is really beautiful

There are lots of lovely little seating areas dotted around the gardens which give it a lovely laid back relaxed feel.

Plus just down the road there is this gorgeous little lake where you could sneak away for a few romantic portraits while your guests enjoy the hospitality

So on to the numbers, how much does it cost for all this loveliness? Well as I mentioned before Ox Pasture Hall have some pretty substantial discounts going over the off season, but also for mid week weddings so it works out about the same to marry on a Saturday in January as it does a Thursday in August.

Here's a rough guide to their prices, for full details please download one of their wedding brochures available on their website here

You can have your luxury  wedding here at Ox Pasture Hall for less than 5k!
Based on a medium sized wedding party of 70 people:

Food & Drink:
4 course wedding breakfast - £39.50 pp
Bacon sarnies & rostie potatoes in the evening - £9.95 pp
Basic drinks package - £13.95 pp

£63.40 per head x 70 guests = £4438

Additional charges:
Civil ceremony room hire - £395
Evening room hire charge - £360

Total: £5193 
The team Ox Pasture Hall are currently offering the following awesome discounts
*Upto 30% off food costs and room hire charges in December - March even on Saturdays!*
(When applied to the above example that could bring your costs down to just £4540.55)

There's also up to 25% discount in early spring too

*Upto 30% discount on weddings on Mondays - Thursdays, even in the summer!*
(You could get the same great deal mid week in peak wedding season, but I'd be quick, I suspect they book up fast!)

Many thanks to the staff for inviting me up to their lovely venue