Afternoon all! We are back on track with the weddings now and what a way to start. John and Emily’s wedding was done on a budget (under 6k!), but you really can’t tell. There are so many cute details, lots of DIY and a gorgggeouuus dress. Emily leaves some wonderful advice at the end of the most that you must read. Especially if you are looking to keep in your budget. What a vibrant day! Love it.
photography by Chanelle Knapp Photography
Justin Alexander dress, bought in the sale at White Minx, Hereford. A friend, (seamstress by trade) helped me strip the dress down, and redesign certain aspects to achieve the look I wanted- this not only gave me what I wanted but I found it a lot of fun! Shoes bought in the sale at Dorothy Perkins.
Bride’s hair accessories/veil: Chapel length, lace trimmed veil bought from White Minx, Hereford
The theme was home-made, country bohemian. A lot of our décor was made from recycled materials- old bottles, jars etc, but we added some coral paint, feathers and gold glitter to some. Our main features were flowers & candles- so we had quite a few. Everything else was borrowed from our church or from friends- lanterns & candelabras. All our signs were homemade.
Evening Garden Party: How Caple Court, How Caple, Herefordshire.
Groomsmen’s outfits/accessories: Bow ties bought off Etsy, the groomsmen put together the rest of their outfits from existing clothes
Seeing my now-husband down the other end of the aisle. I had been so nervous and only had 2 hours sleep the night before, but my nerves faded as soon as I saw him. We had also asked friends and family to share things and take part in the ceremony which made it really special and personalised to us- we’ll always remember and treasure that!
Friends donated all of the food towards our ‘afternoon tea’ style reception at the church after the ceremony. The evening food was a selection of cold meats, salad and desserts provided by a local butchers
Start by writing a list of your essential, non-debateables. These are the things that you cannot go without and are important to you. During this time, you not only have an opportunity to both communicate your dream and vision for your day, but it also helps you set an idea of numbers for your guest list and a bare minimum budget. Don’t freak out at this point- I know we did, and looking back now it was unnecessary. For us, the thing we really couldn’t make work financially was food. Food can be really expensive- but notice that I said ‘can be’. A few months before our wedding, we scrapped our ideas of caterers and a posh sit down meal and opted for a relaxed, English, kinda-bohemian, afternoon tea. We put a post out on social media, asking if anybody would like to help contribute food and we learnt a huge lesson- people actually want to help you, especially for your wedding! It makes them feel part of something, makes them feel good that they’re helping and also makes things cheaper for you! We didn’t have to buy anything for that part of the day- it was all contributed, there was loads of it and it wasn’t cheap and horrible- it was really good, people loved it! If it makes you feel more relaxed and in control, ask people for specific things and then you know exactly what you’re getting and you can make sure it’s what you want!
Secondly, your day will be special, what you want and you will love it (after all, you’re marrying the love of your life!) but be flexible! Things I was really inflexible about to begin with, I really didn’t care about in the end. That’s not because I became a push over (some things I really didn’t budge on!) but it’s because our 15 month engagement taught me perspective. Keep reminding yourself of what’s important to you both (those non-negotiables), why you’re getting married and choose your battles wisely. Is it worth falling out with that person forever over bridesmaid dresses? Is it going to ruin your life if Uncle Whoever comes to the evening party? Are those flowers worth putting you in debt? Does your dress have to be that designer? Those are the kind of questions you’ll need to ask yourself repeatedly, even if everything seems all dandy at the beginning. I bought my dress off the sale rack of a bridal store and had a friend do all of my alterations and take away and add what I wanted. In the end I paid less than half what it would have been to buy it from the current season’s section of the shop. Not bad, eh? I also took a risk and made all the flowers and decorations myself. Let Pinterest inspire you, but also be realistic- you can’t do everything you see yourself and it may not always look the same… Pick a few things you know you can do and run with it. I was really happy with ours and they were really cheap, you just need to get creative! Can you believe our flowers were all from local supermarkets?! They’re my pride and joy.
Thirdly, enjoy the process- even when it’s hard! Choose joy! Don’t become overwhelmed- choose to find time to hang out and not talk about the wedding, choose to get over that argument with your parents, choose to hang out with your friends, choose to ask for help when you need it, choose perspective. Everything is a choice- including how you feel. If you don’t intentionally make those choices, you won’t enjoy your engagement- it’ll probably be highly stressful and you’ll be more of a bridezilla than a blushing bride. Remember- you want your partner, family, friends to still like you at the end of this. Don’t be ‘one of those’- it’s not fun for anyone, including you.
The best piece of wedding advice I got was to be intentional about taking it all in so that you can actually remember the day. I’d go so far as to say that this is not just important for the wedding day, but for your whole engagement. Enjoy the now- not just wishing the time away until the day comes. You want to remember this whole process- you’ll never have this time again! Let it shape and grow you- after all, marriage can be hard and we all need to grow and change to be better partners and to have a stronger marriage. None of us are perfect, after all, are we? This season will prepare you for what is next