Planning a Cheap(!) Wedding

When J and I decided to get married, one of the first things we agreed on was that we don't want to spend a fortune on it. We want to have an amazing day, surrounded by friends and family, with nice food and a cute venue - but we don't want to have years of our lives where we can't do anything just because of one day. In the end, we worked out a little preliminary budget and it came in at just under £4,000. You might blanch at that figure with all those zeroes in any other situation, but we felt very lucky to even get a venue under that price! Here's my ideas so far for keeping your wedding costs down without sacrificing your day;

ONE. Keep track of your budget
I'm running our budget through Google Drive, meaning I have access to it through my phone at all times and can check what we've budgeted, and what we've spent. Having a definite budget in the first place is a great idea anyway, it gives you an idea of how much you have as a limit and if you manage to get money off from somewhere like myvouchercodes then all the better - you can either save that money or add a bit more to the honeymoon fund.

TWO. Plan what you need and then what you want
Eesh, this is one I need to follow a bit more - I'd bought a big paperchase haul of decorations before we'd even managed to find a venue! thankfully J is there to rein me in a bit, and we've now got the essentials sorted meaning we can focus on the bits and pieces that aren't essential but are lovely to have.

THREE. Charity Shops and Etsy Bargains
My secret weapon in wedding hunting is sites like eBay and Etsy, or even just a trip to the high street Charity Shops; the wedding industry is insanely expensive and if you're having a more alternative theme - something vintage or 70s - you can pick up some amazing bits for cheap online or second-hand, and hiring is also a fantastic idea that it seems loads of brides are getting in on! Also, it makes me feel great to know that I've got something different or unique for my own day.

FOUR. Enlist Friends and Family
This is a great idea for people whose family and friends want to get involved. My MoH Sophie is constantly finding me cute bits and pieces for the wedding, and my Mum and sister are forever posting things to my Pinterest board of cheap DIYs and cute ideas for cheap. Not to mention, I'm definitely nabbing some vases and decorations from my Parent's house for the ceremony; it's personal, and even better it's free!

I'd love to know any more ideas or wisdom you have for having a cheap wedding, it'd be really helpful!

Lucky Dip Club - Travel

It only feels like yesterday I received last month's Lucky Dip Club box, but apparently it's been a month already! I was eagerly anticipating this month's theme as since I've started my marketing assistant role I've never travelled so much. This month's box is in collaboration with And Smile Studio, who I've not heard of before, but their illustrations are very cute. I absolutely love all the blues this month - and the splash of yellow is very welcome too.

My 100% favourite item in this month's box is the 'Bon Voyage' pencil/makeup case, I adore the font and I'm going to use it to house my makeup brushes when I go travelling. My second favourite piece is this month's charm, I love it even more than last month's shell one and that's saying something! The notecards are also very cute, though I'm not sure what they're going to be used for quite yet the illustrations on them are very sweet and the sunny yellow envelopes are really nice.

Unlike the last box, there were a couple of bits I wasn't really keen on thhis time around; the seek adventure patch is not something I can image using, so will end up in a drawer somewhere going to waste as I don't know anyone else that would use it either outside the blog world. The stickers, with the same illustration, aren't really my cup of tea either as they feel a little cheap, vinyl stickers would have been better for more versatility but again that's just me! Overall though, another success and I'm glad I got a chance to subscribe.

Take a look at my other Lucky Dip Club reviews; Under the Sea

Wedding Wednesday; Save the Dates

I was so excited to blog about our Save the Dates back last month when we got them through, but of course I had to wait until we'd sent them out in the post. This was one of the first things I wanted to organise after we'd got our date; even though we're having a small wedding it made sense to let everyone know the date as soon as possible, even though we're not getting married in the summer so it isn't a typical holiday month not to mention we're really excited! 1st October 2016 feels like a long way away, but as everyone has been telling us it's going to go very, very quickly.

I made these Save the Dates myself (and I'm working on the invites to match), using Etsy store The Little Cloud for my graphics as I'm very rusty with my own graphic design and I wanted them to be perfect. I put everything together and did the typography using Adobe Photoshop CC, and then I used Moo to create the finished product. These are actually postcards, and as such we wrote people's address on the back, stamped them and posted them without envelopes - a lot cheaper, and pretty cute we thought. In all, for 40 cards it only cost us around £15 with postage, though I imagine the invites might be a little more costly.

Pet Portraits

I'm on a bit of a photography kick lately, can you tell? I've been loving toting my camera around with my everywhere, accompanied by my trust and much-loved fixed focal lens. My parent's house is always a great place to brush up my skills - there's a mini petting zoo's worth of very spoilt animals to use as reluctant subjects, and my Mum and Sister both like having some 'proper camera' photos to use on their own blogs! Here's my favourite selection from a few weeks ago, I can't wait to snap some more outside next time it's sunny;

Charity Shop Find: Le Creuset Heart Minis

It's no secret that I love bakeware, and homeware, and all the better if it comes in cute or novelty shapes - and the one thing that makes buying new homeware even better is picking it up for ultra cheap. I spied these Le Creuset Stoneware Heart Minis in my local charity shop and picked up all 3 for under £5 - not bad considering the RRP is £35! These make fantastic decorative pieces for the kitchen, and are pretty much miniature 0.1 litre ramekins - ideal for tiny deserts or cute little pies. The three colours they come in - Cerise, Cassis and Rose - make me want even more Le Creuset pieces, I have my eye on the large heart dish to add to my collection and I will of course keep an eye out in charity shops from now on.