Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Summer of Love feature on Festival Brides | Budget Wedding Blog

Today we're featured over on Festival Brides one of my absolute favourite wedding blogs.

A few weeks ago I got together with some fab suppliers from Sheffield to shoot some beautiful Hippie Bride on a budget images. Get on over to Festival Brides now to see the full feature...

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Summer v's Winter Weddings | Budget Wedding Blog

One of the best bits of advice for saving money when booking your wedding is to go for a winter date rather than a summer one. Especially if you want to book a hotel type venue, going for a winter date could save you plenty of cash particularly if you pick a weekday rather than a Saturday.

However there are a few things that you should have a think about before you hand over you deposits and decide on a winter date...

1. Lighting

Give your photographer a chance! If you're planning a Winter Wedding then go for an earlier ceremony time while there is still some natural light, especially if you're getting wed in a church. Even in the summer months these places are dark! Think about the lighting for your reception, creating a lovely low light can be wonderfully atmospheric at the time but a lot of photographers would struggle with it. There are a few things you can do; fairy lights are fab and work wonderfully in photographs; try asking a member of staff to turn up the venue lighting at key times, like during the speeches, book a photographer who is comfortable working in low light, ask to see examples of weddings in similar conditions, it doesn't have to be another winter wedding, just a venue with low lighting.

2. Temperature

You may plan your winter wedding with the secret hope that you'll get a dusting of snow or a crisp frosty morning or you may be hoping to get your guests outside for some photographs in the open air but in reality you may find this hard to do on the day. People hate being cold and are always VERY reluctant to leave a cosy venue to stand in the cold air outside. Have a good scout around your venue for indoor locations that you can use for any group photos that you would like to take, think about how many people you need to get in there, stairways are great for this especially the grand and sweeping kind! When planning your winter wedding keep in mind you most elderly or vulnerable guest and that will help you to make sure that everyone will be happy and comfortable on the day.

3. Accessibility

Again if you're hoping for that dusting of snow be aware of what the effect could be if that dusting turned into 6 inches or more. How remote is your venue? Do the gritters get up there or is it out in the wild and windy moors somewhere? Bearing that in mind, this is Britain and our weather is crazy and unpredictable, just look at this wedding in August for example!

4. Seasonality

This is important to think about in terms of food and also flowers you will find that things in season are cheaper and more readily available, also think about things that you can collect yourself to use for decorations such as pine cones. If you have your heart set on peonies though you may well be disappointed...

5. Decorations

Many, if not most venues will have Christmas decorations up from November time until early January. Great if you wasn't a Christmassy themed wedding but not so great if you want more controll over how the venue looks for your wedding. Ask the staff if they have any photographs of the venue at Christmas time so that you can see how it is styled and don't be afraid to ask (nicely) if that singing Santa or life sized fibreoptic snowman could be discreetly banished for the day...

Images courtesy of Ellie Grace Photography

Friday, 8 August 2014

Top 5 Cheap Wedding Invitations | Budget Wedding Blog

If you're planning your wedding for next year it's time to get those save the dates out and for some of you super organised types you'll be planning on sending your invites out already. People are always asking me about cheap ideas for their wedding invitations so I've come up with my current top 5 cheap wedding invitation ideas, some are quite traditional and some... well, some are really, really not.

1. Stop Motion Magic

This is an oldie but a goodie! I love this sweet little stop motion video, all you would need to recreate something similar, is a camera, a cheap scrap book, some felt tips and some super basic software like Windows Movie Maker which probably came with your laptop. Add in your favourite song, stick it online and share the link. Practically free and as sweet strawberries dipped in sugar!

2. Photo Card Fabulous

Online Print companies have lots of customiseable and very affordable options such as these sweet and very simple cards from TRUPRINT

3. DIY (ish)

Lots of lovely stationery companies do a bit of a DIY option where you can have your invite designed professionally and then print and embellish them yourselves. Check out the "We'll take it from here" service at Best Day Ever

4. Stamptastic

If you want a bit more of a DIY feel and to literally get your hands dirty then why not get yourself a custom stamp made like these ones by Doodle Stamp on Etsy. For around £15 you can have a beautiful stamp made with all your details, then just get yourself an ink pad and some pretty paper and you're away!

5. Super cool wedding Zine

I love a Zine, I'm a big fan of that low-fi photocopied feel, though it's not for everyone but if you're having a budget city wedding this could be a really cool and quirky idea for an invite, plus you can probably run them off on works photocopier in your lunch break! To make an ace wedding Zine like the one above check out this tutorial

If you've made your own wedding invitations and you'd like to share a tutorial on how to make them get in touch

Monday, 4 August 2014

An honest guide to wedding planning: Part 3: Letting People Help | Budget Wedding Blog

It's time for the final installment of wedding planning advice from Jess. If you missed them before here's part 1 and part 2. Get yourself a brew and get stuck into Jess invaluable, honest and eloquent advice...

Giant Bear and I organised a two-day wedding, hen party, stag do and honeymoon in less than four months, for just under £6k. Here’s how we did it: i. prioritising; ii. making stuff; iii. letting people help. In this post, I’m going to talk about letting people help.

Do it quickly 

Having a short engagement helps you focus. There wasn’t time to agonise– we just went with our first instincts and moved onto the next thing. For example, we didn’t do ‘save the date’ cards – we picked dates and sent out the invitations (Etsy, £60) as quickly as we could. We made RSVP cards (moo.com, £30), with tick-boxes on the back and an image of engagement rings on the front (our house was built in Queen Victoria’s jubilee year and we have a commemorative book full of glorious Victorian adverts). I tied the invitations up with fancy yarn (Darn Good Yarn , $20) to make our budget invitations look cheerful and bright. Each invitation (card, envelope, postcard, yarn and stamp) cost less than £1.50. We also invited (by email) more distant friends who live or work close to church to just come to the church service, which we held at 1.15pm so they could nip out in their lunch hour. This was a very easy (and completely free!) way to include lots of people we couldn’t afford to invite to the reception, or who couldn’t get the afternoon off. 

Get married out of season and/or on a weekday 

Everyone loves a summer garden party wedding with croquet and Pimms and sunburn, but it costs so much money; and you still have absolutely no guarantee of good weather. Our reception was on a Wednesday in April and hiring the venue cost us £725. A Saturday in July would have cost us over four times as much. Nobody minded traveling during the week because they had nearly four months’ notice to arrange time off, and we had glorious weather for both wedding and honeymoon.  

not bad for April eh?

Don’t worry about gifts 

Personal Opinion Alert: I think it’s vulgar to ask for wedding presents. We made it *very* clear on the invitations that nobody was expected to buy us anything. Several guests said how much they appreciated being told not to worry about gifts, and that they felt we genuinely wanted their good wishes, rather than their money. We *did* have a list of gifts (because some people will still want to buy you something, so you might as well help them buy something you actually need), but they were all under £35 and mostly fun, cheap things like comedy ice-cube trays and film posters. Inspired by our homemade wedding, some people made gifts, including cakes, chocolates and flapjacks for afternoon tea. Giant Bear’s godfather drove us to the civil ceremony in his classic car; another friend wrote a poem about our relationship, which he insisted on reading aloud at the reception (sounds awful but wasn’t); another wrote a piece of music for the choir to sing at the church ceremony. I have a lot of Chinese friends, and in that culture everyone gives money to newly-weds, so we wanted to make it easy for people to give us money *if they so chose*. Our invitation read as follows: ‘if you simply prefer to send us some filthy lucre, you can be modern via PayPal , or old- fashioned via cheque. Any money will be put towards our honeymoon.’ We were given £1,000 towards our photography as a wedding gift from my amazing parents-in-law; other people sent us various sums of money, large and small. This added up to just under £750, so even though we had made it clear nobody needed to give us anything, almost a third of our budget came from gifts we hadn’t asked for. We spent the majority on our honeymoon, and took lots of photographs, which we posted on Facebook or sent via email, to make the monetary gifts meaningful and show we appreciated them (e.g. ‘Here we are eating a lovely lunch in Marazion. This meal was sponsored by . Thanks, !’). 

lunch sponsored by auntie Ethel..

Help everyone feel involved and useful 

My hen party was an evening tea-party in a local cafĂ©, at which we made all the flowers for the tables at the reception (I needed to come up with something suitable for my twenty- something friends and Giant Bear’s octogenarian grandmother).  

We had a blast: there was a chocolate fountain, every kind of cake, scone and fruit salad known to man, mocktails, tea and hot chocolate. Everyone paid for themselves (Crafty Teacup , £15 per head) and we spent the evening making flowers out of scraps of wedding dress fabric and vintage knitting needles. We made nearly a hundred flowers, which cost us virtually nothing (knitting needles, charity shops, total £8; fabric, dressmaking scraps) and looked amazing in old ginger beer bottles (Ebay, £4 each). 

I’m in the process of dismantling the flowers to make a quilt. My bouquet lives in a vase looking spiffy, and I even bought some short children’s knitting needles (Ebay, £2) to make buttonholes. Several friends who couldn’t be at the wedding could make the hen party, and really appreciated being included. Everyone felt that they had contributed and at the reception I noticed several ladies checking to see if the flowers on their table included ones they had made. Similarly, the stag party at our house included communal cake-making at 11pm (an unexpected response to my ultimatum of ‘help me with the simnel cake or go home’), which we then served at afternoon tea after church. 

Finally, don’t be snobbish about sourcing 

I was very proud that our wedding was homemade and second-hand. Nobody knows (or cares) that your ring is Cartier and your dress is Vera Wang unless you tell them; equally, nobody knows that your confetti came from a wedding that got cancelled unless you tell them. The confetti was made entirely from dried flowers and herbs, organic, grown locally, and in gorgeous little organza bags. I bought everything they had for £13. Bish bash bosh.