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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

wedding: the budget

Although this isn't going to be quite as exciting as ‘The Dress’ blog post, I figured hoped this would be useful advice for any other Brides-to-be.


I’m not about to digress how much we are spending, but I thought I’d talk you through our ‘budget’. 

So let's start at the beginning, after all the excitement of being engaged dies down, and you actually sit down and think about what you need to do, it helps to set a budget right from the off, obvious I know, and you may not stick to it, but it gives you something to work towards. It’s easy to get carried away when it comes to wedding planning, so budgets stop you ordering two white doves, 20 tier cakes and a Kim Kardashian style 12 million dollar figure. I jest…I was working towards 20 million!

Anyway, back to reality...a phrase that has been coined many times during the planning of the biggest most important party in your life. We did some sums, and proposed (geddit!) our ‘wedding budget’, it wasn't grand, but it seemed, what we thought, was fairly realistic.

I then downloaded, from somewhere in the internet ether, an average wedding budget for 2014, which was broken into each element of the big day. This was more than our budget, but still reasonable.

Then I started researching everything we wanted, I contacted various suppliers, and started creating my own mini comparison sheets (what can I say, I love excel!). Now, don’t get me wrong, our wedding isn't small (approx. 100 guests), and I appreciate there are certain things that are important to me, that may not be to others, but WOW, weddings are pricey. 

Now, I’m getting married in the North, where prices are generally more affordable than the South (surely every 'wedding budget' you read in every wedding magazine is based on Southern prices?), but after months of research, every single cost on that ‘average wedding budget’ is coming in over and above. Yes, we are choosing a slightly pricier venue, but I’d like to think we are counting the pennies everywhere else. We don’t need cars, and we’re roping in family members to help at every opportunity...invitations, decorations, and all the other tions.

And, my dress also came in under budget (I KNOW, BIG SURPRISE) but I hadn't built in costs for alterations, or any of my accessories…so first, durr, then again, goodbye budget. And these average wedding budgets seem to forget these smaller but no less significant element.

Now, this isn't intended as a big moan. My dad started saving for my wedding the day I was born...I have two sisters, he had to start early. So that combined with our own pennies, we should be ok. 

I just wish I’d read a post like this, before I started crunching numbers.

So a piece of advice from me is, if you download a wedding budget from the internet, I’d suggest adding around 20% to the cost of everything. Unless you choose a more affordable venue, but a lot of these have hidden costs because you end up spending on things to make it the venue you warned, at some places you have to hire chairs, tables, cutlery, crockery, table clothes...the lists goes on.

And a piece of advice I was given, chose 3 key things that are the most important to you as a couple, and spend money on those. Which is what we are doing:

The Dress (obvs!)
The Venue

But i'd love to hear if you have any money saving tips, because as they say.. Every little helps!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

christmas has landed

It's official.  I love Christmas.  

Even at the tender age of 29, the excitement levels are up there.  So much so that decorating the house has become an event in it's own right in our house.  

Yes, an official event.  It starts with breakfast, when it has to be something interesting than a bowl of cereal.  This year we opted for bacon butties, well it'd be rude not to on a cold Winter's day, or any other day for that matter...but it's always a favourite of mine.

all wrapped up and ready to shop!

We then head out for the all important purchase of the Christmas tree.  The boy had never understood or appreciated the importance of this, having never had a real one until last year, but I believe that comparing Christmas trees (fat enough, tall enough, bushy enough, Christmas smell-y enough) is a pretty big deal.  And now he understands it too, we spent a good 20 minutes deliberating this year over which was 'the one'.

Next up is the somewhat amusing drive home.  We own a mini.  But live in a Victorian terraced house, so only a 7ft or taller tree will suffice. Yep, go figure.  This involves me cramped in the back, and the boot tied shut, and a rather slow, carefully considered drive home.

And then the fun begins.  Christmas jumpers are donned.  Festive tunes are lined up on the playlist.  And decorating commences.  Not to mention the 4 (yes 4) Next Festive Spice air fresheners I bought this year, just to ensure the house smells suitably seasonal.

After several hours of takes some time to sufficiently hang enough baubles to cover a 7ft tree, feet are put up, wine is opened, and a Christmas film sees us through the nice.

Oh, and we demolished a takeaway, because all that hard work deserves a treat! Don't you think?

I've got to admit, it was hard to beat last years 'Christmas Decorating Day' (I feel I need a catchier title?) as the boy got down on one knee, and proposed.  But this year, was pretty darn good...and I'm sure after Christmas Day itself, I'l be counting down the days till next year.

Now tell me I'm not alone, and you too have special traditions when it comes to Christmas decs? 

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