It’s now only 16 months until we get married! Eeek! So it’s time to start thinking seriously about our big day and turn those plans into reality!
Here’s where we’ve got to so far:
Setting the date
This was actually quite easy! Neither of us had a special date in mind but we decided it should be in 2018 so we have time to save and plan, and we picked a Saturday where the date was easy to remember!
Choosing the venue
Initially we had planned to get married in our garden, but the logistics and costs involved turned out to be too much. We hadn’t really thought about bad weather planning and portable bathrooms so, after looking at a few venues, many of which were too grand or expensive, we settled on our local village hall.
The hall is small but has all the facilities we need and it’s a blank canvas as far as decoration is concerned. We can use any outside companies we like and really make the day ours. The best part is the price, all it costs is £120!
We will have our ceremony and reception in the same venue, and we’re happy to set up the hall ourselves and tidy up the next day!
Planning and organising
I bought a notebook and created a checklist based on a couple I’d seen in wedding magazines and have sections for each aspect of the wedding eg guest list, caterers, flowers. That way we can note down our ideas and record details and costs.
I’ve written a budget in there (also created from the checklist) which lists each cost, our budget, and the actual cost. It’s all in pencil because it’s so hard to estimate the costs of these things until you start to speak to companies but once you do you can move the numbers around!
I also have a folder where I put any invoices, receipts etc in order so I can quickly find them.
Booking the officiant
Neither of us belong to any church or religion so our choice was really between a registrar and a humanist celebrant. We decided to go with the registrar because it cost less and we didn’t really want to become a member of the Humanist Society. A humanist ceremony can be personalised in lots of different ways, but we’re happy with a straightforward one!
Choosing bridesmaids and best men
This was quite an easy one because I have one sister, who is also one of my best friends, and two little daughters who will look adorable as flowergirls! Allan is having two best men which are his two best friends. Simple! Nothing fancy here, we just asked and they said yes!
We didn’t take out wedding insurance and I’ll be honest, we didn’t even look into it. We’re pretty relaxed about the whole thing and as long as an officiant and us two turn up, then we’ll be getting married no matter what else the day holds. We’re pretty resourceful and we have a back up plan for everything, and the costs are relatively small so we won’t ever be significantly out of pocket. Disclaimer/touch wood: I’m not recommending this route, we might totally regret it because we didn’t actually bother to look into it!
Buying the rings
We got our rings for free by using Tesco Clubcard points at Goldsmiths. I blogged about it if you fancy a read.
We’ve been to a few wedding fairs to get ideas, information on local suppliers and to try all the cake! We found them really helpful and you can get good discounts on the day and they often have raffles, prize draws, free wedding magazines, goody bags etc.
I also totally recommend following anyone and everyone on Facebook to get deals and enter competitions. We won a package from a local company for our venue decor, tickets to a local wedding show, free sashes on a local wedding selling group, and got 50% off our favours.
So that’s not too bad, we’re getting there! Our next steps are to revisit the hall and get measurements, play with layouts etc, to keep researching local vendors and going to wedding fairs, and for me to lose that last bit of weight so I can try on dresses (although I already have one, but you never know)!
Are you planning a wedding? Share your progress or money saving ideas with me, I need all the help I can get!