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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?

Ketuk Thu 16-Aug-12 11:18:24

Not at. All.

But why have a hen night?

Thumbwitch Thu 16-Aug-12 11:19:00

No you're not insane and anyone who tries to tell you that you're doing it "wrong" should possibly be excluded from the guest list!

I would suggest that your only "mistake" is telling judgeypants people how you're planning to do it - keep it all under your hat until the wedding.

I had a low-ish budget wedding - did my own makeup, didn't have any bridesmaids or groomsmen (or best man), had 2 friends driving the cars, had 4 friends doing the photos (got lots of lovely ones, thanks), DID hire an actual DJ for the evening (very good), didn't have a cake (did 5 different little cakes in boxes as the favours, killed 2 birds with one stone) - but mostly didn't tell anyone about it beforehand and just did it My Way.

Oh and I didn't have a hen night as such either, as we organised the whole thing in 7w flat, and it was hard enough getting a wedding date everyone could manage, let alone a hen night as well!

Your hen experience sounds fine! People will either come because they want to or not bother - and you'll know which ones are the real friends then.

anairofhopeFORGOLD Thu 16-Aug-12 11:19:17

Sounds ok to me. Its your wedding it sounds hard work but do able.


FizzyFishAddict Thu 16-Aug-12 11:22:47

Sounds like you have got your priorites right speaking as someone who had to veto monogrammed toilet paper from their own affair, among other horrors

Your do sounds very nice to me!

As for the hen party, i went for a posh afternoon tea with my three chums, it was lovely, got to wear a pretty dress and chat to them, cost £22 each!

milkteef Thu 16-Aug-12 11:26:56

I'm having a hen because I don't get to go out a lot normally and it would be nice just to have a night out and do something different than go to the local pub. Plus, I love cocktails. Not really a last night of freedom as opposed to an excuse to have a few cocktails with friends.

It's been a nightmare this past week. I have three bridesmaids ranging from a size 6/8 to a size 24. Finding a dress has been almost impossible and when I did find one someone always had a problem with it. I've finally managed to veto a simple mocha jersey maxi dress for £10 and I'm going to tie a chiffon chocolate sash around it to make it look a bit more dressy. I've only told the bridesmaids what's going on and there's just so much 'Well you should do this' sort of thing I wish I hadn't bothered. From now on I think I'll keep the planning to myself. They're very much the big white wedding in a castle/fancy hotel kind of women so maybe our ideals differ a little.

I like the DIY idea as it means it's more personal to us. The food is picnic style and will be on shabby chic inspired tablecloths and everyone will use paper plates. No doubt it will be hard work but with 13 months I'm sure I can pull it all together in some form. I'm not saying things will be perfect but does it really need to be?

cocolepew Thu 16-Aug-12 11:27:19

Sounds ok to me, I did my own hair etc. Though personally I wouldn't fancy the cocktail masterclass thingy. I just went to the disco with my mates and got drunk.

But its your hen night and you can do whatever you bloody well want!

cocolepew Thu 16-Aug-12 11:29:26

Actually getting to drink the cocktails sounds ok grin

KickTheGuru Thu 16-Aug-12 11:32:39

We got married in our garden. We had a lovely oak tree and we had people stand about. We dragged a table outside for the signing and had chinese balls hanging from the tree and bubbles instead of confetti.

We had the reception at a restaurant who gave us their whole second floor.

We spent MONTH glueing and sticking and creating the decorations. I've kept them all. We created everything.

And we combined our hen and stag do and had a BBQ at home with a bunch of mates. Neither of us drink very much and we wanted to celebrate the last night of "not being married" with each other.

You're not insane. I would only have had a more formal arrangement for the music... smile

KickTheGuru Thu 16-Aug-12 11:34:24

And due to various time constraints, we had 5 months to do it all in. So 13 months is plenty grin

I wouldn't change a thing about it. It was fun and relaxed - exactly how me and my DH are.

Everyone said that our wedding was a reflection of what we are like together and that the photos were happy. Nothing was posed.

KickTheGuru Thu 16-Aug-12 11:34:59

OH sorry and we had two ice cream cakes because we both actually hate normal cake

cocolepew Thu 16-Aug-12 11:35:18

I got married in a registary office in a ordinary dress but did have a sit down meal and disco, I bought plain cake tiers from M&S and put fresh flowers on it and just put carnation buds in vases on the table. If I was doing it now I would have a buffet. My brother had a cold buffet, cooked hams etc and it was really nice.

Hope it goes well smile

cocolepew Thu 16-Aug-12 11:37:48

We made our own invitations. This was before everyone had computers and we did it on the printing machines you used to get in shopping centers grin

KickTheGuru Thu 16-Aug-12 11:39:10

We made our own invitations as well but only because we were cheap skates.

I just do NOT see the point in blowing thousands of pounds on one day. I really don't.

And we didn't have a shotgun wedding (in case anyone was wondering)

NotGeoffVader Thu 16-Aug-12 11:40:43

It sounds fantastic! smile

I did all the stationery for my friend's wedding last year - that was my gift to her and her husband as they'd been together for many years and already have DC's and a house, etc.
Theirs was fairly hands-on and the atmosphere was wonderful.

Oh, and by the way, congratulations!

FizzyFishAddict Thu 16-Aug-12 11:42:05

I second the thing about M&S cakes- i had a big posh wedding parental pressure and the quote for the wedding cake was £1,300 shock.

I refused to have it during the same row when i banned the fireworks!!!

The same amount of cake from M&S cost £120, I asked the florist to shove some flowers on it when they did the table decorations on the day (£80, i think!), it looked really spectacular and i felt very smug with the amount of 'this is the best cake i've ever eaten' remarks

So much wedding stuff is just an absolute and total rip off, and it is such an emotive day it is very easy to get sucked in to things.

Stick to your guns and do what works for you.

milkteef Thu 16-Aug-12 11:42:06

I wanted my DP's friend's band to play but he said they've done a few weddings and none of the other band members like them so it's a no. I can't abide by dodgy music from a DJ and the weird muffled microphone talking between songs etc. I just thought Spotify on the laptop would be simple and fun for everyone to kind of get behind and be involved in.

We're doing the chinese paper balls too. I want to make them myself though as it costs so much to buy them. I love the bubble idea. I thought to make things a bit more entertaining in the evening we could have some sparklers instead of the big fireworks some people have or sky lanterns. Simple and fun and probably cheap if I pick them up in the sale this year after bonfire night and new year.

The decorations will be simple. Glass jars for tea light candles, some artificial flower arrangements that I'll do myself, bunting around the bar and paper balls. DP is making a chest with a ribbon and corsage for cards to put on a table and we're having a little table of photos for our family and friends who have passed away and couldn't be there. Apart from a few strings of LED or outdoor white fairy lights I don't think I would want much more. I'm certainly not bothering with tablecloths on all the tables and chair covers.

So far we're deciding between a pub that can fit 60 people (it has a lovely decking patio and is very cheap to rent the lounge and bar) or a church hall which has a bar. Both allow us to provide our own catering as long as we buy alcohol and soft drinks from the bar but the church hall doesn't have an outdoor area. Not that I think we'll use it as our wedding is in October. The only difference is the hall can hold up to 200 people so it may look a bit sparse with only 60 in.

FizzyFishAddict Thu 16-Aug-12 11:43:12

Another wedding i went to recently had an evening buffet and they had a cheese wedding cake made with five different tiers of cheese that was also part of the buffet, everyone loved that!

KickTheGuru Thu 16-Aug-12 11:44:52

It really takes me back to ours. We did our table decorations based on earth, wind, water and fire - we had rocks with flowers stuck on, a goldfish bowl with fish inside and an orange tape around the top, then the flowers were lillies.

We also designed the table names around well known road names in England smile

milkteef Thu 16-Aug-12 11:45:57

I was looking at the M&S cakes. They look lovely and I could add my own floral arrangement because I'm cheap. I'd only need a large and medium tier to feed 60 people and have extra. Could I just put one on top of the other or would it not hold?

KickTheGuru Thu 16-Aug-12 11:46:22

You're going to have such a blast. It's totally how a wedding should be, in my opinion.

Something that you guys create together for your lives and your future.

My DH and I agreed that we would rather have a marriage than a "wedding" so we did what you guys are doing.

I loved it. And the imperfections came out really nicely in the photos :D

milkteef Thu 16-Aug-12 11:52:52

I can't wait. If I could afford to I would move it up in an instant but it's going to take me the year to pay things off in installments grin

Thumbwitch Thu 16-Aug-12 11:53:31

Depending on whether or not you are expecting any children at the wedding, you might need to check with the pub whether or not they'll allow them inside.

FizzyFishAddict Thu 16-Aug-12 11:55:54

or the M&S cake I think you would need to use the columns between layers to make sure one doesn't sink into the other- m&s sell them along with the cake- you don't have to have those greek column affairs that leave a gap between layers- they have stick ones (i think called dowels?) where you shove them into the bigger cake to provide support for the next cake on top so it doesn't all sink in together (you can't see them once the second layers is on the top)

KickTheGuru Thu 16-Aug-12 11:57:16

Naw we did ours and we could have a had bit more time. I had all my mates and family around me for the week before and we pretty much spent that week stressing and running around.

Then my family and mates had to sort some things out the night before (we were all up until about 1am sorting things on the Friday night) and then early on Saturday morning.

The one thing I would advise if if you can get help for the day. Someone you can trust to do exactly what is in your head. When you arrange everything like this, you don't realise how much time and effort you will put into it.

When we left the restaurant, we gathered up all the lilies and the fish and my DH walked home. It was about 1am, the streets were quiet, lit up by the street lights, I had the goldfish and my DH had the flowers and his jacket top slung over his shoulder. I am actually going to get someone to paint what I think it looked like. It's the best memory of the night. The simplicity of it still makes me smile smile

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