Wedding Planning Wednesday 004

Ah, that dreaded word. Budget. This is the one part of wedding planning that truly terrifies me. Just today I was talking to my friend Clare about weddings and she was telling me how she has gone over budget – it is so easy to do!

There are so many things to consider when planning a wedding; so many expenses that you have to account for. At the moment, the complete amount of money in the wedding fund is £0, that’s right, zilch. It is not a secret that Steve has been out of work for a while and money has been very tight, however it is 99% guaranteed that he will be getting the job he interviewed for last week so hopefully money will start pouring into the wedding pot very soon! We’re also looking at other ways to make some money for the wedding: odd jobs, Ebay, cashback, surveys. We’re also entering every cash competition going (which I would probably be doing anyway – being a comper and all!). We just have to see what is right for us when the situation arises.

The problem is once we have a substantial amount and things become a lot more real, shall we say, we have to work out exactly who to invite and who not to. Since the majority of the friends we want to invite will be in the bridal/grooms party, there will only be a handful of others invited which is no problem. However, when you consider the fact that I am one of 5 children, Steve is one of 4 – if you include our parents, that is a lot of people right there. Then there’s grandparents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins. I know some people say ‘Oh, why invite them all? Just have a small intimate wedding!’ – the problem is I have always dreamt of having the majority of my family at my wedding – we are so close and tight knit that I couldn’t imagine not inviting some of them. Of course, I have some family I rarely see so I won’t feel bad about not inviting them – but others? I want them there and there is a lot of them. That doesn’t even begin to start on Steve’s family. 

He is just as close to all of his immediate and extended family – and his family are even bigger than mine. In both families, weddings are a big event so you can see why budgeting is a must. The problem is realistically this will probably cost a small fortune – but it’s something I’ve dreamt about since I was a little girl…

On another note, my niece got married with a very low budget and still had a spectacular day – showing that it can be done. In a dream world, I would be able to have the day I’ve always dreamt of for a relatively small budget…however, this isn’t likely to happen!
What are your thoughts? Have you got married or are you planning a wedding? How did you budget? How did you save money? I’d love to know – leave your comments below!

Sorry for the long spiel, sometimes you gotta say what you gotta say….

Wedding Planning Wednesday 003

Last week, I talked about setting the date. This week, I am talking about choosing a venue. I have only recently started looking for a venue but already have a few ideas in mind: I want it to be local to me (thus in the Hertfordshire/Bedfordshire area) and be able to fit all of our proposed guests in – both Steve and I come from incredibly large families and although we know that realistically, we will have to leave some of them out, we also need to know that our venue can fit those that do come!

Ever since last weeks post, I cannot get the picture from Sopwell House out of my mind. Sarah from Friday Is Forever made me want to check it out in the flesh even more after this post. I know that I really shouldn’t fall for the first place I’ve seen pictures of – I mean, I haven’t even seen it in real life yet! – however, I can’t stop thinking about it.
I’m currently looking around for local bridal fairs so that I can see what other venues and businesses have to offer.

Is it normal to fall in love with the first venue you look into?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Wedding Planning Wednesday 002

Last week, I shared with you my favourite selection of wedding planners (link) which I feel is probably the first step to planning a wedding – after all, you’re going to need somewhere to jot down all of your ideas, right? 

The next step is perhaps the biggest of them all and one that myself and Steve have been discussing at length this past week.

Setting the date.

Setting the date gives you something to work towards. Both Steve and I know that it is pretty much impossible for us to get married before 2015 and we don’t mind that, this gives us at least 2 years to plan. However, we also know that our finances aren’t in the greatest stead right now and we may have to put it off until 2016 to make sure we have the day we’re dreaming of. Luckily, it looks as if our finances may be looking up so hopefully our savings account will start seeing a healthy, steadily growing amount very soon. I know this is a post about setting the date and although it looks like we won’t actually be setting ours for a little while yet, it is obviously the second step in the process – as without a date, how can you know when you’ll need your dress for, book photography, book caterers, sort out bridesmaids and ushers?

I do know what my perfect wedding would be like – and what time of year I’d like it to be too – so I thought I’d make a collage I have made with some ideas. 
We both know that we don’t want a church wedding for a variety of reasons, none that I will go into here. We have been looking at manor houses and whilst creating this collage, I came across this picture of a local wedding venue and fell in love. How lovely would it be to take some pictures on that bridge or under that tree? The building is just as amazing and I admit, I did request some more information about the venue!! I chose the dress as it is strapless which is one of the main things I am looking for, it is also not too big (I hate huge wedding dresses, just a personal thing!) but still looks elegant. The shoes are actually a pick from Clarks – I chose these because they are just the right amount of sparkle without being too flashy and taking away attention from the dress.

I still feel very unprepared when it comes to this wedding which I suppose is only normal, I’ve hardly started planning just yet! That being said, hopefully our photographer and wedding cake are already sorted – I spoke to my friend as soon as I got engaged about being our photographer – you can check out her portfolio here. Although I haven’t seen her in a while, she was one of my closest friends in secondary school and is a fantastic photographer – someone who I know will do the job amazingly. We also know that Steve’s cousin has offered her services as our cake maker – and I know just how good her cakes can be!

Are you or have you ever planned a wedding? What parts did you find most stressful?

Wedding Planning Wednesday 001

Since getting engaged in September last year, wedding planning has pretty much ground to a halt. Money has been very tight the past couple of months and saving for a wedding has had to take a backseat. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t indulge in a little whimsy on the blog, does it?

So for the first instalment of Wedding Planning Wednesday, what better item to start with than something essential: a wedding planner.

Wedding Planning Wednesday

I still haven’t got round to buying one of these just yet and as you can see, my tastes are very vast. The top left is just a typical pretty, traditional one that just screams wedding perfection. I fell in love with the Me To You wedding planner when sorting out the wedding gifts at work the other day, may have to put my discount to good use!

The top right is another traditional type of planner, another that just speaks wedding to me. Of course, a post about weddings would not be complete without mentioning Rock N Roll Bride, would it? Although not your typical wedding planner, I just adore how different and interesting this book looks. I’ve been tempted by the ‘Our Very Huge Big Day‘ planner a few times whilst browsing Amazon recently, however something seems to be stopping me from clicking that place order button. Finally, perhaps my favourite of them all, the Paperchase wedding planner which unfortunately seems to be out of stock everywhere at the moment… just my luck!

Where would you suggest going for a wedding planner?
Also, would you like to see more Wedding Planning Wednesday posts in the future?

A Proposal Story

If you hadn’t guessed by now by my endless tweets and statuses about it, I’m engaged! I asked on Twitter if anyone would like to see a proposal story and the answer was a resounding yes – so here we are. 

It happened whilst we were on holiday in Rome (pictures of Rome to come soon) and I’d told a few people that Steve had been acting a little weird before the holiday and I didn’t know why…Now I do!

Steve kept looking for little restaurants that were tiny, personal and romantic but shockingly (in Rome!), we could not find one – or rather, he could not find the perfect one. At our hotel, the main restaurant was situated in a courtyard with parasols over some of the tables. We’d had lunch there when we’d first arrived at the hotel and both of us had said how much we loved it – being able to eat in the sunshine without leaving the hotel? Bliss. We’d also had our evening meal there a couple of times – sitting in the cool night air by candlelight was definitely something special.

On the final night, I decided I wanted to start packing before going for our meal, even though we didn’t leave until 6pm local time the next day! However, Steve kept telling me not to and to start getting ready. ‘We’re only going for a meal downstairs’ thought I and didn’t understand why he was getting so antsy. 

We got downstairs and ordered our meals (tomato & cheese pasta for Steve, gnocchi with sea bass for me) and Steve decided to buy a bottle of wine. We chose the one the waiter suggested and settled down for our meal. Jack was whingeing most of the time, the day had been tiring and he wanted to sleep but no matter what we had tried, he just wasn’t playing ball. It didn’t help that every time the waiter came over, he started giggling! 

My gnocchi was amazing and Steve asked if I wanted a dessert. I wasn’t going to, but I saw the dessert I’d had on the first night on the menu and had to choose it again…

This is a picture of the dessert from the first night by the way…

Our waiter, Nicola, brought the desserts out and they had those silver lids on them. I was in the middle of sorting Jack out so found it a little odd when he didn’t remove them and leave. I sat back down and he removed them – then he kept asking strange questions like ‘Did I get the right fruit on it?’ and stuff like that. I didn’t realise he was trying to get me to turn it round – to where he had hidden a little pouch that Steve had given him. I went to eat some of it and Steve bluntly told me to turn the plate around…

I’M SUCH A DOUGHNUT, HOW COULD I NOT HAVE NOTICED A POUCH SITTING AMONGST MY DESSERT?


I asked ‘What is it?’ and I got my answer by Steve getting down on one knee…

Of course, I said YES
The rest of the night went by in a blur, the next thing I remember is going to bed! We did take a few pictures of the waiter and ourselves – he had been great throughout the week and was so great on the night – he even took these pictures! Miraculously, Jack stopped whingeing throughout the whole thing! Steve obviously has him well trained!

We haven’t decided on a date just yet but we’re thinking 2015 – unless we manage to come into some money. I’m selling loads of stuff on Ebay and in a blog sale to be put up later in a bid to start saving for it! Now to start buying all the wedding magazines….