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DP Finally making an honest woman of me!!!!

44 replies

mum2toby · 15/04/2003 07:50

Well folks, I thought I'd add a wee bit happier news (well, happy for me anyway!). After a 3 year engagement DP and I have finally set a date to get married!!!!!!! HURRAH!

Only got 6 months to organise it so we'd better get a move on and no doubt I'll be on Mumsnet asking advice on flowers.... who to NOT invite.... trying not to offend friends and family etc etc and all the other traumas that come with weddings!

We're trying to keep it very low key and, therefore low cost, but already it seems to be spiralling. HELP!

Has anyone got any really good tips for keeping the cost of weddings down. We're not having a sit down meal, just an evening buffet, so that helps.

Anything else, oh wise mumsnetters????

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JayTree · 15/04/2003 08:16

Congratulations - wonderful news. We did ours on the cheap and called in favours instead of wedding presents. We already had a house and all the stuff we needed so asked close friends and family to contribute to the day instead - they were only too happy. Eg. - a friend hired a car for us as a present, we had another couple of friends sang for us in the church rather than pay a proffesional. My uncle bought us the champagne for our toast and my gran bought fireworks for us. Obviously some still wanted to get us towels and stuff but that was ok - we only suggested it if people asked us for specific ideas (don?t believe in gtft lists). The day before the wedding my mum and I went to the early garden market and got loads of beautiful flowers and we spent the early evening before the wedding with all the female relatives of both families decorating the church - surprisingly relaxing and it looked lovely. I could go on and on about how we kept the price down but will leave it here. Best thing we did was hire a small venue - forces you to keep numbers down regardless of who says what! Good Luck - it is going to be fantastic.

GeorginaA · 15/04/2003 08:39

Best way to keep the cost of a wedding down: don't ask any advice from any members of your family That, in my experience is the quickest way for costs to spiral "oh, well you can't not invite Auntie Flo.... and you know the Smiths had X Florist do all their table decorations and they were so lovely...."

GillW · 15/04/2003 09:03

Agree with Jaytree's suggestion of getting flowers from the garden market - and it might be worth checking out whether your local college runs floristry courses - you might be able to find someone to arrange them for you for less than the cost of getting it done by a shop.

I'd look at venues which don't particularly make a point of doing "wedding packages" - we hired the (huge) conservatory at a local stately home for our reception. As it was full of plants - grape vines growing across the ceiling anyone? - we didn't have to worry about much in the way of decoration anyway and since it was (strangely) closed to the public on Saturdays we got fantastic grounds outside for the photos as a bonus.

Also by using a local catering firm, rather than a hotel it worked out a lot cheaper (and the guy who ran it turned out to have a sideline as a toastmaster, which he did for us free - we knew nothing about it until he stood up and started making announcements!) Wines from the local wine merchant - in bulk and most will do free glass hire - also works out a lot less than hotel prices so you can be seen to be a bit more generous.

For cars etc, don't assume that everyone has to go in a hired one - invest in some wide ribbon for family cars to take the inlaws etc instead. Or if you know anyone with a classic/vintage car ask them if they could take you to the church - they'd probably be pleased to oblige. Failing that if there's a local vintage car rally soon, try asking some of the local car owners (even if you don't know them) - it'd probably be cheapoer than a professional car hire company, and a vintage car looks much more distinctive on the photos than a modern limo.

mum2toby · 15/04/2003 09:10

WOW!! Thanks folks, keep them coming! The flowers from the college idea is brilliant! I've decided against asking friends to be Bridesmaids coz I would end up with 5!!! So I was thinking about asking 2 of my friends daughters (4 and 3 yrs) to be flower girls..... d'you think that'll be cheaper??

It's a registry office wedding so I don't need to decorate the church THANK GOODNESS!!!!

Jaytree - I hadn't thought of asking for contributions to the wedding.... another brilliant suggestion! We have lived together for 2 and half years so don't need many house things.
Thanks loads!

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breeze · 15/04/2003 09:21


I didn't have any bridesmaids for the same reason.

For our wedding list we asked for argos vouchers, so we bought our dyson and microwave.

Have a later reception so people would have eaten before they came and then only do a little food. I didn't do this, but I know someone who did.

Lindy · 15/04/2003 09:27

Can you give us some more ideas of how 'formal' you want the wedding to be? I've been married twice (!!) both times I did it really 'cheaply' - one of the reasons being I really don't like 'big' weddings. First time we had a marquee (actually borrowed from the scouts so not expensive - but obviously not a big posh one!!) and prepared our own 'tea time' buffet; second time DH & I just took 5 people out for lunch. Great idea to get everyone to bring a contribution. I wouldn't have dreamt of having hire cars, professional photographers, florists etc. You could try your local flower club, they may have a very good 'amateur'florists who would like to do the flowers.

What are you wearing? Are you aware that some specialist branches of Oxfam hire out wedding dresses, bridesmaid stuff etc - very good quality, excellent value & all money raised goes to Oxfam. Alternatively BHS do lovely bridesmaid dresses for children.

Take a trip to France (if poss) to stock up on wine & champagne.

(Or you could just be like my parents who worked together & just sneaked out one lunch time, in their office clothes, got married with a couple of friends as witnesses & went back to work!!). Only cost would be the registry licence!

doormat · 15/04/2003 09:32

Congratulations. Dp and I are getting married in June after living together for 8 years. Remember you can choose your own CD music and vows for the ceremony now. They have some lovely vows on
If you haven't already visited it just give them a quick look.Hope everything turns out great for you.

doormat · 15/04/2003 09:34

P.S You can make your own vows now. Oh how times have changed.

SoupDragon · 15/04/2003 09:38

Congratulations!! Will this me a "live on mumsnet" event? Best take a laptop with you

You could probably get a photographer from a local photography course/group if you wanted someone other than a relative doing it. Our photographer included the negatives in his price so no costly reprints for relatives etc afterwards and complete control over what/how much went in our album.

I made my own bouquet out of silk roses and artificial ivy. Inexpensive and I could spend ages working on it as obviously the flowers weren't going to die or snap when I bent the stems!

I also printed out all the invites/orders of service on my (work) PC, designed the outside of the invites and order of service and had them printed by a local printer. Obviously I then had to stick the inside of the invites iinto the covers and I also hand bound about 150 orders of service! It was actually good fun and they looked nicer than shop bought ones at a fraction of the cost.

Bugsy · 15/04/2003 10:35

Mum2Toby, fantastic news - very many congratulations.

elliott · 15/04/2003 10:44

congratulations! Re saving money - I think it is a good idea to think through quite carefully about what is most important to you about your wedding, and spend money on that - then just forget the rest. Undoubtedly the easiest way to save is to invite fewer people, but if you want a really big bash to celerate wiht your family and friends then that would miss the point really. For ourselves, areas we spent less than average were: cars (didn't hire any, asked my brother to drive us to the venue); clothes -I hate wedding dresses so wore something much more 'normal' ; flowers - no bouquets or buttonholes, just some simple arrangements on the tables; honeymoon - I couldn't bear the thought of trying to arrange a holiday as well as a wedding, so we just went to a nice hotel for a few days; bridesmaids - just had witnesses, they wore their own clothes.
the main thing to remember is that you don't have to do anything just because someone thinks you 'ought' to!
Have fun planning!

edgarcat · 15/04/2003 10:50

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edgarcat · 15/04/2003 10:51

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Meanmum · 15/04/2003 11:07

Fantastic news. Congrats, congrats, congrats.

We did ours super cheaply by gate crashing my parents Millenium New Years Eve Party. Mum was organising a party anyway so I suggested we get married in their back yard at the same time and not tell any of the guests. All the guests they had coming to the party would have been invited to the wedding anyway.

Mum did everything which was really special. Especially special when I didn't live in the same state as her (in Australia). I'm not a white person so I got married in a red dress which is more a ball gown than anything and I've already worn it again. I hated the thought of not being able to get more wear out of it. I had my mum's best friend make the dress for me as she does that for a living but you could always head down to your local college that does dressmaking, pattern cutting etc as a course and ask if anyone in their final year would like to have a go at making yours. It's a special day but I'm sure most a pretty good and you could always look at what they have made in the past before you chose them. It would probably be able to count towards their final score in their course to so would help them out.

My sister-in-law went down to the local cemetery and picked the rose petals off the roses there. That sounds terrible doesn't it? Sorry, don't want you to get caught theiving.

Definitely go to France and stock up on the alcohol. I did this for our Christmas party and saved loads of money.

Bobbins · 15/04/2003 11:32

BIG congratulations.

Now this isn't for everyone but whenever we have any big gatherings recently we have asked everyone to bring a dish of someting special. My friend did their wedding likethis and it worked out incredibley well as everyone made a massive effort and there was a really excellent 'spread. The great thing about this is everyone feels they are involved and can make a contribution. It is a bit too DIY for some though.

Bobbins · 15/04/2003 11:32

BIG congratulations.

Now this isn't for everyone but whenever we have any big gatherings recently we have asked everyone to bring a dish of someting special. My friend did their wedding likethis and it worked out incredibley well as everyone made a massive effort and there was a really excellent 'spread. The great thing about this is everyone feels they are involved and can make a contribution. It is a bit too DIY for some though.

edgarcat · 15/04/2003 11:35

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sb34 · 15/04/2003 11:52

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mum2toby · 15/04/2003 11:52

Thanks everyone! These are great ideas! France might be a bit ambitious for me as I live in Scotland, but it's a brilliant idea.

Lindy - I want my wedding to be classy and not too formal. The ceremonial nature of most weddings just bores me to tears!!!! It will just be an evening reception so huge savings there.

My friends Mum has offered me a fantastic discount off my dress at Debenhams (she works in the bridal dept - BONUS!).

Dp and bestman and ds will hire kilts.

No bridesmaids, but decided on one flower girl (she's 4 and gorgeous!).

I was going to have my Mum as the other witness, is that ok or do I need someone else to do it???

A lot depends on whether we get any help from my parents. His parents can't afford to help and I've a funny feeling mine just won't! If they don't, it'll be a credit card wedding.

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mum2toby · 15/04/2003 11:54

Edgarcat - think it was the fear of the pelvic cones that clouded his judgement!!

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Meanmum · 15/04/2003 12:08

I think it is a great idea to have your mum as a witness. I didn't have any bridesmaids and he didn't have bridegrooms. We just had our witnesses with my niece and nephew (and young cousin) strewing flowers around and handing out the services. Ours wasn't formal at all and when asked whether I would take him for richer or poorer I piped up with "I'll take him for richer and hopefully not poorer". My grandmother was very upset (apparently) but she'll get over it.

I like the idea of people bringing something in terms of food as opposed to presents. I would like it is someone asked me to do that and gave me a choice of what I could bring/make. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea.

I've had a few friends ask for money or vouchers to a store instead of presents. It seems to be the way things are going now a days.

Sounds like you've got it planned pretty much already. You'll have to increase your use of the cones in preparations for the big day!!!!!

breeze · 15/04/2003 12:56

I had our wedding cake made at a bakery, it was one tier, big square thing and it cost about £40.

mum2toby · 15/04/2003 13:12

Hey meanmum - do you think they do a bridal range of cones???

Good idea breeze.

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susanmt · 15/04/2003 13:42

Congratulations mum2toby!!!!
My Dad baked our wedding cake (he's nice that way) and we got it iced at the local catering college.
Make your own invitations, you can buy blank cards and matching envelopes cheaply at (I think!) and do computer printouts inside. Designs for the front are dead easy - for example draw a couple of hearts in a gold pen on cream paper and mount it up on a contrasting colour. You might also find a local craftsperson would do it cheap for you if it was a chance to do an unusual or different design (I do invitations and give a discount for the chance to do something interesting I can put in my portfolio for example) (thats not spam I'm not looking for business I'm FAR too busy!), or again, students at a local college might do it. But cheapest to do it yourself!
A friend made my dress and the bridesmaid's dress (I only had one) and everyone else paid for their own clothes (ushers etc).
Ask friends who are good photographers to take lots of photos and then choose the best from them all. Get some people to use black and white for a different look.
Hope this is of some help! Have fun!

mum2toby · 15/04/2003 13:45

Thanks Susanmt - I just worked out that if I got the invites printed it was going to cost £200!!! That's more than I'm going to spend on a dress!!!! I'll have a look at that website.

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