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to be a rubbish bridezilla and ask you lot for wedding tips?

(117 Posts)
GreenTeapot Sun 22-May-11 07:55:20

I posted previously to establish whether it was U to put a wedding on a credit card if it was under £1k. The reasoning behind it is that MIL has terminal cancer and we want to do it quickly while she can enjoy the day with us.

Despite us living together for years and years and having DC he wanted to do it properly so we got a ring (I never wear rings but it's actually so nice smile) and told everyone.

We want to do it soon - he says within 6 months, I think sooner the better as poor MIL now has balance problems due to the cancer sad. So, we'll have family only, less than 20 people, for a ceremony with a registrar then a meal. We're doing it in DP's home town to save MIL having to travel, and so I'll need to think about logistics because we live 300 miles away. And we also have a BF baby and a 4 year old DS to think about. Oh and I'm a proper chubster so I'm dreading having to sort out a dress.

Haven't been to a wedding myself for 15 years so I don't know what's expected. I'm pretty laid back about the whole thing but there are already a lot of compromises for me due to the circumstances - which I am completely happy to make because MIL is thrilled about this, but I would prefer not to be swept along with the family organising everything. So I'd love your ideas and suggestions for cheap ways to make it a lovely special day for everyone involved.

GreenTeapot Sun 22-May-11 07:59:19

Shite, that's a bit long, sorry blush

StealthPolarBear Sun 22-May-11 08:00:52

Sorry to hear about your MIL.

Are you wanting to wear a traditional white gown?

As for the credit card thing - I think it's important to try to avoid debt. But I also think that some things are more important than money, and when you and your DH look back at your wedding, you will be able to remember his mother being there.

StealthPolarBear Sun 22-May-11 08:01:58

Are there any more of DH's family in that town who would be willing to put you up / help with practicalities / help with baby stuff?

FrumpyPumpy Sun 22-May-11 08:02:57

first of all; congratulations! It's lovely you're doing this and especially for your mil. There was a thread yesterday about asking guests to bring a plate of food that I wish we had done, all responses were positive.

Wrt dress... When you say proper chubster what does that mean exactly... Only monsoon have beautiful dresses up to a 22 which might fit the bill, and have a look on eBay for dresses, shoes, veils. Lots of nice bridesmaid dresses on there too.

babybythesea Sun 22-May-11 08:05:01

Trying to think what we did to keep costs down for our wedding now!

If you want centre pieces for the meal (for the table) we grew our own seeds and had the flowers in pots in the middle, for people to take home afterwards. And for the favours afterwards, we gave everyone a packet of seeds to take away and plant. Children got an activity pack to do at the wedding itself (colouring books, crayons etc).
A couple of disposable cameras on each table so you get photos taken by lots of people from lots of angles.
A book (just a decent hard backed notebook) for everyone to write a comment or two in.

My sister got her wedding dress from Oxfam and it was gorgeous and really cheap - they stock a lot of end-of-line dresses, and ones that have been used as display dresses, but you'd never know! Only thing is, if there's not the one you like in your size, then it's tough, if you see what I mean, because they don't stock the same thing in lots of sizes.

If I think of anything else I'll let you know. Enjoy your day. The thing to keep in mind is that most people are just expecting to enjoy seeing two people they love get married. Anything else is a bonus.

compo Sun 22-May-11 08:06:08

If you go to your local registry office you can book a date for mild registry off ice there

once date is sorted and if you're ok with a registry office then you can think about where to have a meal

or do a buffet in a hall as you prob can't afford a sit down meal unless you send a round robin out explaining the situation and ask people to pay for their meals?

You can get nice cakes in m&s that will feed 20 people so you could have that for pudding to save money

you could have the buffet at the hotel where'll you'll stay at or could you stay at mils to cut down on money?

SardineQueen Sun 22-May-11 08:06:18

No real suggestions but congratulations smile and good luck with the organisation.

I had a pretty full-on wedding which I mainly let my mum organise, we chose the important stuff like venue and I let her do the details as she was really keen and let's face it my parents paid (old fashioned!).

But I can cheerfully tell you that the essential and most wonderful things of our day were:

- Me and DH being there
- Close family and friends being there
- The ceremony was just so wonderful (civil ceremony we picked one of their standard wordings)
- The rest of it was just extras IYSWIM

Are you having a church or civil ceremony? What sort of guests are the 20 - a lot of elderly people, or children? You can easily have a lovely lovely wedding for under £1K.

I think you ought to get moving with getting the registrar/church booked up though if you want to do it soon. Personally I'd head to a local restaurant afterwards, one of the friendly ones who don't make you feel uncomfortable about staying for ages!

SardineQueen Sun 22-May-11 08:10:15

Sorry just seen you are having a civil ceremony. So ignore my question there!

I was thinking of selling my dress on ebay and there are absolutely hundreds and hundreds on there with no bids... Well worth a look I think.

FrumpyPumpy Sun 22-May-11 08:10:40

Yes, do you have a friend who is handy with a digital camera? Could they come and take some pics, or could you contact the local college that does evening classes or photography a level/degree to see if they have anyone needing more experience.

M&s do lovely plain iced cakes; just need a length of ribbon round.

Make invites, if you have a colour printer, or m&s do packs where you buy the outer then print the inner yourself.

StealthPolarBear Sun 22-May-11 08:11:05

Can you go to a dept store, try on their control pants and ask for help to find something flattering? I bet you'll look lovely

NotYourPrincess Sun 22-May-11 08:12:13

I wore a lovely monsoon dress when we got married and I was of. It had loads of floaty layers and made me feel wonderful. It was also only about £200, far cheaper than any other dresses I saw. As for the rest of it, we've been to so many weddings recently and the best ones have been relaxed and happy. The worst ones were when everyone was stressed about timings, who should be where etc and the one where there was no food until 10pm!

You should do registry office and then a nice meal. Friends of ours did a picnic in the park where everyone bought their own hampers, it was lovely and everyone wandered around sharing bits and pieces. Other friends had a meal in our local curry house, we had the whole place to ourselves and they laid on a buffet (we've been goof there for 20+ years so they know us all).

You don't have to have the 'traditional' big faff to have a wonderful time.

defineme Sun 22-May-11 08:13:00

Lovely cheap favours I saw were the local bakers (can't remember the chain) did gingerbread men with the buttons as orange smarties, wraped in cellophane with an orange ribbon-orange was the wedding colour obviously!Nice to take away something that people can have with their tea!
Things like the music you give the registrar to play will make the wedding special to you and cost nothing.
We had a friends nice car and attached ribbons. Friend took photos and everyone else took them and sent them to us. Bridemaids kids wore chain store summer dress with ribbon in our colour.Adult bridesmaid wore chain store dress. Friend did flowers as wedding present.
One of nicest receptions I've been to was in a curry house and very cheap-you could ask local restaurants what deals they have?
I have to confess my brother paid for my dress as his present to me and I got it made because I am freakishly tall and hate dresses. I would say if you don't want white then bridemaid/ball dresses are much cheaper. worth spending money on spanx etc for underneath. I think a lot of the maxi dresses around would do if you don't want white.
It will be special and I think your attitude is fab.

SardineQueen Sun 22-May-11 08:13:13

Yes agree that a friends with a camera will be perfectly good for the pics. Professional ones cost a bomb. Trick is to make sure they have a massive memory card and take absolutely loads, that way you are guaranteed some really good ones.

Do you have a top 5 of things that you really really want? If so, what are they and maybe people will have ideas on how to do them for less smile

StealthPolarBear Sun 22-May-11 08:15:50

I got married soon after Valentine's Day and bought all the newspapers for their free 'love' CDs. Can send them to you oif it would help?

NotYourPrincess Sun 22-May-11 08:17:07

Oh yes, we had the m&s cake. It was lovely. I think loads of cupcakes is very pretty as well though, do you have a friend who's good at that sort of stuff?

If you have lots of friends who have useful skills you could ask them to make/do things for the wedding rather than getting you a gift? I.e bake cakes, do your hair/makeup, loan of their big back garden for the reception, DJ skills etc

NotYourPrincess Sun 22-May-11 08:21:21

Define me - a friend of mine made her own favours by cutting dove shapes out of salt dough, bakingthem, painting them white and writing names on them in gold marker. Voila! Place cards and favour all in one. I think gingerbread is a great idea too, I love things like that.

NotYourPrincess Sun 22-May-11 08:22:43

Sorry, defineme. I'm not concentrating, DD has been up for hours!

Fuchzia Sun 22-May-11 08:29:04

I think you need to decide were you scrimp and were you want to spend. For example we didn't bother with cars at all and our cake was from m&s which we decorated with flowers. My mum grew our flowers as I wanted sweet peas. If you do grow flowers then you should plant twice as many as you think you need. Although I ended up with buckets more than I wanted! Oxfam brides do some amazing second hand dresses really cheap.

amistillsexy Sun 22-May-11 08:39:13

I'm sure if you tell us what size/style dress you need, someone will be able to lend you theirs! (I'm a chubster now, but my dress is a busty 14. It sits in my attic in its box waiting for me to turn into Miss Haversham! I'm sure I'm not the only one to keep her dress!).

I agree re. booking your registry office now-we had a 'quick' wedding (proposed in December, married in the following July- I don't do waiting!), and everyone we phoned asked which year we meant when I gave the date- they had heart attacks when I told them 'this year of course!'
But it is do-able if you're flexible. We got the church sorted first and that 'set' the date, then we worked around that. The car was the main difficulty as DH was meant to sort that and didn't do it till I asked him a month before! Luckily, we got a cancellation.

The nicest celebration we had was our DS's baptism, where we hired the Community Centre and I asked 2 friends to dress it up on the morning of the service. I provided the food (prepared the day before) and they brought the 'dressings'- bunting, etc. Because it had all been planned for, they got it sorted really quickly and it was great!

For my wedding, I would have loved to ask guests to bring their own picnics and had a grand picnic by the river. My Dad put the mockers on this as he said the rellies would expect a sit-down meal. Unfortunately, this led to one of the biggest arguments in the history of the world, and we ended up with him paying a fortune for a meal/reception in a venue, which I hated every minute of!

I think if you involve as many people as you can in the planning (forget about traditional 'roles', just let everyone play to their own strengths), and let it come together organically (ie 'let go' of controlling things- if you ask someone to do something, try to let them go with it, rather than keeping to a rigid theme).

You will end up with a wonderful celebration!

Congratulations by the way smile

kitbit Sun 22-May-11 08:39:21

Why not hire a village hall or scout hut ( the local church here has a little hall which is about 50 quid I think) and ask people to bring a buffet dish as their wedding gift to you? Organise the music and you can stay as long as you want. You could hire a mobile bar for not much since they will make their money from sales. You'll need to pay for a temporary license but you'll save by not paying for the food.

Second the Monsoon suggestion! Does it have to be a dress? Could you wear something less traditional?

Bogeyface Sun 22-May-11 08:40:29

This website has alot of really good ideas.

We didnt bother with favours and when we asked a few people afterwards, no one had noticed and wasnt at all concerned. We didnt do the disposable cameras on tables thing as we have been to a few weddings where they did this and they spent a fortune on developing them for only a few usable shots. We had a friend take our pictures, and they are really good pictures.

We didnt realise until afterwards but our dress code saved us a fortune. The men in the wedding party all wore plain black lounge suits, white shirts and straight black ties with white hankies. They looked super super smart and didnt cost anything as all the chaps already had black suits and we got the ties from Primark iirc!

If you are looking at doing it around Xmas have a look at parties being thrown in hotels etc around then. You can often get a really good deal on those nights if you booked a couple of tables for you and your guests, you would get a full meal and dancing etc and all you will need to do is turn up! At our local football club they had them for around £35 per head for a 4 course meal and disco this last Xmas, on Saturday nights from the beginning of November. They are really popular and really good food quality. If you told the organisers that it was your wedding you would probably get some extras too as they like to be seen to be generous.

adoptiveaunty Sun 22-May-11 08:42:52

Top tips ~

M and s sponge cake. We went to the local cake shop and got some ribbon a stand (maybe cheaper to get a stand or pillars off ebay or stack if you want more than 1 layer) and some lovely sugar craft flowers. You could barely tell the difference between our cake and a £500 one!

~ I was a sucker for the dress but I did also see some lovely ones on ebay. Some brand new made to size ones. (Not very ethical though as am fairly sure they are made in sweat shops)

~ I am not very crafty but there are plenty of people on ebay who are and I got some really really lovely invitations that way.

~ ebay again. Wedding favour bags in our choice of colours. We filled them with harribo and used them to dress the tables along with cheap tea lights.

~ wedding shoes came off ebay. They were new (plenty of ebay shops)

~ if people want to help with stuff let them! One of the best things of our day was the help my family gave us. It made us both feel very cared for and loved.

~ we made button holes. Quite easy if you get the right wire and tape.

There was a lot of stuff I thought we would have to miss out on but we ended up finding a lot cheaper alternitives and doing and putting together stuff ourselves.

The word wedding infront of anything makes the price go up by 10 times so getting components and putting together youself drastically cuts down on cost.

Good luck and have fun!

Bogeyface Sun 22-May-11 08:46:54

Thats a good point! Dont tell ANYONE its for your wedding until you have booked and paid a deposit! You can book a "party night" at a hotel for half what they would charge you for the same menu, number of guests etc at a wedding. Same with flowers etc. I told suppliers it was for my mums 60th birthday!

beesimo Sun 22-May-11 08:47:25

I am sure you will look beautiful on your day wether you go for high street, ebay or couture but just one word of advice if your getting something from Monsoon ect let your female guests know. One of the most embarrasing/upsetting things ever was when I went to a RO wedding wearing a blush pink Monsoon bias cut 'frock' and cream assessories and the Bride arrived wearing a blush pink Monsoon bias cut 'frock' and cream......

Oh my God I nearly passed out and the lasses face when she saw me!!

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