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Am I Insane?

(55 Posts)
milkteef Thu 16-Aug-12 11:13:05

Hi everyone. DP and I have been together for almost four years and two years ago he proposed. We're on a tight budget but would like to get married. It wouldn't be a big white wedding (I'm having a lovely ivory dress made in China - a reputable company that my best friend got her wedding dress from last year), a simple register office ceremony, afternoon tea in hired out pub afterwards and then a simple buffet and disco for 60 in the evening.

I've decided to keep costs down that I would do everything myself ie. make my own wedding decorations as much as I can, cater a cold buffet and afternoon tea myself with a little help with transportation and cooking from my sister and her wife, do all of my own hair and make-up and possibly the bridesmaids too, source things second hand and from ebay shops etc but I keep getting told that this won't work and I am insane. We're on a budget of £1300 for everything - the bridesmaids are paying for their own low-budget maxi dresses, bags and shoes but I think it's perfectly doable as I'm not expecting more than to marry my best friend and have a bit of a knees up.

I've had comments about my hen night too. I've decided to do a cocktail masterclass in a cocktail bar in the next city with just myself and my three bridesmaids and then meet up with the other women later on for a night on the town. I'd pay the £150 for the masterclass, some drinks and a private area but the rest of the night is pay your own way and if anyone else wants to come to the masterclass they pay the £30 a head themselves. Apparently this is all wrong. It's my wedding, I've been with my partner for four years, we live together and have DC's and to be honest, I'm not interested in neon fancy dress, getting rat assed pissed and strippers. I'd rather organise it myself and have a good night out rather than the 'last night of freedom' stuff.

So far we have the ceremony, bridesmaids sorted, flower girls sorted, hen night, photographer, a reception venue, the menu, the rings, the flowers (artificial), DP's suit etc all planned and booked and we just have to pay it off over the next 13 months. We were going to buy Spotify as a makeshift DJ where people could make their own playlists to go with ours. I was going to put £80 behind the bar for welcome bucks fizz or cava and a toasting drink but then have it be a pay bar and was going to spend a maximum of £150 on cakes, sandwiches and then the lot for the evening buffet. I think it's completely doable if I make some cakes and go to Iceland and Asda for buffet items.

Am I really insane?

milkteef Thu 16-Aug-12 13:28:02

It's the logistics I'm worried about. I can make enough finger snacks for 35 guests for under £40 including mini chicken wraps, cream cakes, macaroons, rice dishes, pasta dishes, crusty bread, little sandwiches etc so it would come under budget, especially as I'm just making a few homemade things for the buffet in the evening and relying on Iceland's lovely cheap priced party packs that actually taste alright so for a party of around 60 I could make it for under £60 leaving me £50 under budget for food. I want the extra £50 just in case though.

DP's uncle is a fantastic cake maker. I am considering asking him to make us a two tier iced cake (one tier red velvet and the other a simple buttercream sponge) and seeing how much he quotes. I would love it to be given as a wedding present but I obviously can't expect that but it's probably going to be much cheaper than the £200 I was quoted for a plain white iced one tier cake.

I have some time to figure out if people could help me transport the food and on Monday when I visit the venue I can ask if there's any way I could rent fridge space in their kitchen. The venue we chose doesn't have a room hire but you pay for the extra bar staff (five hours for £55 for two bar staff) so essentially I'm getting the entire pub for £55 on the premise that they make their money back when our guests buy drinks and I put money behind the bar for drinks.

I'm one of those people who likes everything done immediately. I'd love to have everything chosen, everything booked and everything planned so that it's just working out what to pay off when and counting down the days! Yes, I have a countdown app!

KickTheGuru Thu 16-Aug-12 13:21:17

We were going to have like picnic baskets on the grass after the ceremony and before heading up to the restaurant but we decided against it.

We had finger snacks at the restaurant. Otherwise it just added up financially as well. And the logistics get a bit much too.

Keep it simple. Ceremony - Bar. Then have whatever at the bar and see if you can get a couple waiters. That's the bargain about not doing it at home

milkteef Thu 16-Aug-12 13:16:16

I'm kind of thinking of scrapping the tea part. As nice as it would be it might be too much to wash up. At least if we just lay on mini tortilla wraps, prawns, finger sandwiches and cakes they can be washed down with tea or coffee bought at the bar (I'll buy the tea or coffee enough for one each) so they do the washing up behind the bar and the plates can be reused for some of the evening buffet things. They'll have a welcome toast of bucks fizz/cava, orange juice anyway to drink with them and then the evening will start at 7pm.

So it would be:

3pm - Ceremony & grounds of the register office shots of everyone
4pm - Park shots for us and the bridesmaids while the food is taken to the venue
4:45pm - Get to the venue, eat, mingle, have more photos done inside the venue.
7pm - Evening guests arrive.
7:30pm - Cake cutting, evening buffet and disco starts.

The only issue I have is that with a cold buffet a lot of the stuff like rice, pasta, meat etc would need to be refrigerated. I could sort out that the evening buffet things could be brought up and arranged around 6:30pm before the evening guests arrive so they would only be out of the fridge for an hour?

KickTheGuru Thu 16-Aug-12 13:15:52

Pick an MC as well - like your dad. Ask him to take control of shouting out what will happen and when people need to do stuff.

I had an MC but didn't think that people will mill about until they are told what to do

milkteef Thu 16-Aug-12 13:05:10

My maid of honour is helping me the night before to do the decorations and my dad and sister will take the food to the venue from my house and her house between the ground group shots and the time my husband and I (so strange to write that down) are doing our couple shots in the park. We'll be gone around 45 minutes and it's only ten minutes from my house to the venue in a car. Everyone will be at the venue having tea and cakes then before we arrive to join in.

changingallthetime Thu 16-Aug-12 12:58:55

I did all ours except the food - I'd have had a nervous breakdown!!!!!!! I had a lOt of help - had six friends stay over night before who did balloons and were just generally great.

nutellaontoast Thu 16-Aug-12 12:57:54

Sounds fine! The only thing is you must, must, must think carefully about logistics. Where will you store the decorations? Who will put them up, and take them down again? (don't be vague about this, organise it! You may well be far, far too busy to do it yourself). Who will wash up after your afternoon tea? Imho, you can certainly buy all your catering from M&S (yum!) but pay for clearing up and putting out, and see if you can decorate your venue the night before with the girls then have a drink.

Also, go for the pub, nothing sadder than a half-empty venue, and October isn't that cold.

Don't read too many blogs and magazines, that way lies madness and unneccesary budget inflation smile


funnypeculiar Thu 16-Aug-12 12:56:10

LOL - just read the bit about sitting cross legged - one of my fav photos is of me sitting on the floor, cross-legged in my wedding dress, having a very serious conversation with a mate's 18 month old smile

funnypeculiar Thu 16-Aug-12 12:54:50

Best wedding I have ever been to was the simplest & cheapest - it felt like the whole thing was about them rather than about The Wedding, iykwim.

We had a relatively simple wedding, but if I could go back in time, I'd go simpler & cheaper - do what feels right to you & sod 'em.

milkteef Thu 16-Aug-12 12:51:53

We have a wooden string sign saying Mr and Mrs that we plan to attach to the bandstand entrance in the park and pull faces behind. I want one or two posed shots to send to family with us all in but damn if I'm not going to look like myself and have our photos feel like us!

KickTheGuru Thu 16-Aug-12 12:48:38

We did that too. Did a recce to see where we wanted to have our photos done. We drove about 20mins to get there after the ceremony and had about 2 hours on our own with the photographer who was a mate and his wife and lots of champagne smile

Yay for the bridge photo op!

milkteef Thu 16-Aug-12 12:45:13

Ooh!! We have a little pond with a bridge in our photo park. I want to stand by water on a damn ass bridge! Photo op grin

KickTheGuru Thu 16-Aug-12 12:40:16

If we were the same size and in the same city and you liked my dress, I would lend it to you

I had a photo taken in a lake though because I thought it would look cool resting on top of the water so it has some water marks on the bottom grin

milkteef Thu 16-Aug-12 12:36:04

That's bloody impressive greenwichgroove. I'm trying to keep the cost down as much as possible but my dress alone is £100 which, by all standards is cheap but I'd much prefer it if it was free grin

KickTheGuru Thu 16-Aug-12 12:35:04

Ah that brunged tears to my eyes. smile

It's what you make of it that counts. I am really so happy for you and only marginally jealous grin

greenwichgroove Thu 16-Aug-12 12:32:09

I got married on £100. I used my grans wedding dress, registry office, somene made a cake, mum made a buffet. Did all my own hair/ makeup and went in dads car, he took photos.

milkteef Thu 16-Aug-12 12:29:39

I agree, it's the relaxed weddings I have most fun at. The very formal elegant weddings make me feel like an imposter. I'm not sure what to wear or do or say and feel very out of place. I want a wedding where I can kick my shoes off and sit cross legged on my chair if I want to grin

milkteef Thu 16-Aug-12 12:26:55

I see it being a simple affair. I start off the morning with a fry up and champagne, do the bridesmaids hair and make-up where I will be fretting about getting tongue tied at the ceremony, sort myself out, get to the ceremony in a black cab for 3pm with lots of deoderant on and probably end up in tears (happy tears). Make the photographer take some shots of my good side (our photographer is a friend of ours who takes reportage off guard shots a lot - if he gets my bad side I might hit him with my bouquet), go to the venue and end up drinking, laughing and eating lots of sandwiches. I'll probably end up saying "I can't believe this" over and over again, getting my ivory dress muddy and changing into flat shoes while carrying two children. We'll dance like crazy people, I'll swoosh about a bit, I'll try not to burn myself on sparklers and we'll have lots of laughs at our pathetic attempt at a slow dance. I'll be calling it a night at around 11pm being bundled into a taxi with then DH laughing and being a bit tipsy with bunting wrapped around myself and cocktail sausages in my handbag for the dog.

That is seriously what will probably happen.

JennerOSity Thu 16-Aug-12 12:24:06

Could your bridesmaids all have different styles to suit their different body shapes but the same colour so they go together? smile

cocolepew Thu 16-Aug-12 12:22:59

My dress was so short when I bent over to sign the register I flashed my knickers to everyone blush.

We were staying in the hotel overnight, after the meal we went up to the room so DH could see the football results shock

I was at a wedding where the minute the dancing started (after the first dance) the bride and bridesmaids took off their shoes, and tucked their very long dresses in their knickers, so that they could relax and dance properly.

I think that, along with those above, is a great wedding memory, not string quartets and bagpipes!

KickTheGuru Thu 16-Aug-12 12:20:09

So go on - how do you see it all happening???

KickTheGuru Thu 16-Aug-12 12:18:00

I was dead set against a poofy wedding dress. I didn't see the point in spending tons of money.

I didn't want a petticoat either (didn't even KNOW about them) but then I tried it on and fell in love with it.

I am a tomboy of note and I'd never dreamed I'd get married, I'd not planned a wedding day. I knew I wouldn't wear a white, Barbie doll dress though.

My DH allocated a bit more money to the dress and I got a poofy one with a petticoat. If you have a bit of splay on your dress, look at a petticoat. They do make a difference (and I wouldn't have a clue, really!)

milkteef Thu 16-Aug-12 12:11:47

That is so gorgeous KickTheGuru. We don't have the budget for a hotel so we're going to come home too. Our marital home ;). Knowing DP and I we'll order a kebab and cook a fry up for breakfast as our DC's will be staying with my sister.

Do I need a petticoat? I want to take mine off on the dancefloor!

KickTheGuru Thu 16-Aug-12 12:06:39

Hahaha fizzy

We also stayed at home that night. My DB and SIL had a bunch of decorations for the bedroom so they did up all nicely and they arranged the presents at the foot of the bed. They had champagne and strawberries and engraved glasses. They had petals on the bed and candles around.

Naturally, I sat on the floor and started crying grin

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