I’ve always had mixed feelings about marriage. Angsty teenage Becky wasn’t the biggest fan: I thought it was a waste of money and I’d lose total sass if I tied the knot. Flash forward to turning into mid twenties Becky who’s in a long term relationship with a lovely bearded man, marriage seems more and more appealing, especially the thought a bit of bling on my finger, except for one tiny little detail: the cost.
Last weekend I was invited to the National Wedding Show* held in Birmingham NEC. I’m a little naive when it comes to weddings and become more shocked at each wedding I attend. They are held in beautiful houses and barns and to be completely frank, I don’t know how people afford it. I don’t know how people my age are meant to save £15K for a house deposit then a further £15K+ on a wedding. I’m lucky to make minimal savings each month which pay for boring things like my MOT and IKEA furniture. Like, seriously guys, where are you getting the money from?
So, I grabbed my future maid of honour, Danny, and we headed off to the NEC with the intention of trying to see what we could get on a £10K budget. We decided we’d get a venue, a dress, suits and a cake. Luckily for us, the National Wedding Show caters for every couple and their budget. We found some real bargains mixed in the show and some fabulous inspiration. I’ve made a little list of what we learnt on being a budget bride for the day:
Unless you entered Sommerford Hall‘s (FYI Manchester wedding show go-ers, they are are at C30 if you want to chance to win) competition to win a free wedding, your venue is probably your biggest cost and will eat into your budget. In the past few years, I’ve attended some beautiful weddings where the setting has been perfect. I really love the idea of airy open rooms and beautiful grounds for picture perfect moments. One of the best venues I’ve ever been to was The Old Kent Barn but that can cost you a whopping £8,000. Generally as a rule of thumb, up north is always going to cheaper than getting married down south and it’s cheaper to get married in winter rather than summer. I spoke to a lovely gentlemen at the wedding show from Abbey House who was offering all inclusive packages for £1,200 for a winter wedding. Not bad considering how beautiful the venue is!
Probably the most important thing on a girl’s mind is the dress. Before attending the show, I didn’t know wedding dresses could send me in such a state of confusion. I felt myself getting stressed and I’m not even engaged yet. I won’t lie; I sort of needed a lie down and a bowl of pasta after the experience. The sea of white confused me and some of the prices made me want to cry a little. Have you ever bought a dress more than 3 months rent to wear for one day? Nope. Neither have I. I was determined to find a bargain dress and a number of stalls offered show prices and sale dresses. You could pick up some right beauties at Bicester Bridal costing a mere £350! I won’t lie, at first I did raise my eyebrows and go, ‘Really?’ but after trying one or two on, it’s safe to say I felt like a princess and my imaginary wedding fund felt brighter too. A good thing about attending The National Wedding Show is the fact there are so many stalls selling dresses, it’s easy to pop between stalls to see exactly what style you want.
When the Geek & I tie the knot, we are going to need a lot of suits. There will be the groomsmen, our dad’s and some of my bridal party consist of men. My secret Pinterest wedding board already has our colour scheme of purple and grey all over it. With the colour scheme in mind, we headed over to Moss and spoke to a lovely lady who instantly priced up 8 suits and a suit for my nephew for under £800. Winner winner!
I won’t lie – the thought of picking dresses for 4 girls and making sure they are all comfortable in them and match terrifies me. With everyone having a certain style and being all different shapes and sizes, it stresses me out just thinking about it. Never mind trying to do it on a budget! We decided to go for a full length dress in either grey or purple. I wasn’t the biggest fans of the plum shades so the gorgeous granite dresses won. ! We found these beauties at Eden Bridal for just over £100 each. They were beautiful V cross over and were full length. I think they’d look flattering on anyone!
Did you know I’ve never actually eaten wedding cake? Crazy considering you can spend another months rent on this wedding necessity. On the other hand, did you know that the Geek and I once stole a cheeseboard from a wedding reception? With our love for cheese so strong, it’s easy to say I fell truly, madly deeply for this baby by Peppercorn Catering. They insist on the non traditional wedding cakes and it’s right up my street. Even their naked wedding cake looks like a Great British Bake Off masterpiece!
Even with a splurge here and there, my mind felt better knowing that a wedding could be affordable yet still have the sparkle of the past few wedding I’ve been too. The National Wedding Show hosted so many different stalls and some were super affordable. One of my favourites was a video company, Shoot It Yourself, who loan out video cameras for you and your guests to shoot the wedding video. After your wedding, you pop it back in the post to them and they’ll edit it all for you. Seems a fabulous idea and affordable! With their cheapest package coming in at under £500, it’s a lot more affordable and more fun than a standard photographer!
How do you suggest trying to save the pennies whilst having your dream, fairytale big day? I’d love to know your thoughts!
*Thank you so much for Good Results PR for inviting me. Please note, even though being invited to attend all opinions are my own.