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Monday 6 February 2012

Diary of a Budget Bride: The Beginning

I thought I had it all planned out. When I was a little girl, I thought all Brides got married to their Prince Charming, who whisks them off their feet, takes them to their castle, where they marry in front of their 300 guests, party all night long with drinks and food galore. Naturally. It all seems so much easier when you’re a little girl with all these ridiculous expectations to look forward to.

 Groom, "If she jumps, this is going to be a problem...."

What I didn’t realise was just how much weddings cost. We’ve all heard the average wedding in the UK costs £20,000. I couldn’t quite believe it myself, until I actually became a Bride-to-be and started the unforgettable journey of planning my wedding.


Chair covers, favours, save-the-date cards. Does this sound alien to you? Me too! I had no idea that drinks packages included three versions of “drinks”. First there is the arrival drinks, then drinks during the meal, followed by the “toasting” drinks for the speeches. Not to mention having to make the decision of having pay bar or no pay bar?

 Decisions, decisions!

Even the term “wedding breakfast” threw me. A fry up for the main wedding meal? Never! It wasn’t until I visited a wedding forum that I was kindly given the run down by sympathetic B2B (Brides-to-be duh!) of these foreign wedding terms. It’s more difficult than trying to learn another language, this is an entire different world!

 Barbie Bride..Ken not included

So £20,000 is a lot of money - especially for only one day. Even though that one day is meant to be one of the most important days of your life. The pressure to have the perfect wedding is everywhere. The expectation that young girls should even know what a “wedding” is, happens in shape of the wonderful Barbie wedding “dolls”, although weirdly, Ken comes separately.  

 Follow Will & Kate with a low-key wedding. Less hassle.

But even last year you couldn’t get away from the media frenzy of the “Royal Wedding”. If it’s not Kate and Will shoving their perfect wedding fairytale down our throats then it’s celebrities flaunting their fabulous wedding deals in OK! and Hello magazines or reality stars like Kim Kardashian marrying their other halves in lavish weddings. Even reality shows have seen there is interest in budget weddings. Take, BBC3’s Don’t Tell the Bride. A show that gives a couple £12,000 to plan the wedding of their dreams. The catch? The groom plans everything and the bride has no say in the wedding. Ok, the couple is hardly on a budget, with £12,000. It might not be the wedding you’ve planned, nethertheless, you could still have a great wedding.   Still, there is so much pressure these days that brides are forfeiting the chance to plan this special one-in-a-life-time ceremony and leaving it in the (unsafe) hands of their husbands-to-be. Now that IS desperate!

 A couple from BBC3's "Don't Tell The Bride"

So once you have established a budget, and actually begin planning your wedding that’s when it hits you. That everything is so.unbelievably.expensive. Especially venues. So unbelievable, that you actually start contemplating running off to Las Vegas and getting married in the little white chapel made famous by the likes of Britney Spears etc. No stress of having to please all your guests because unlike normal weddings, the Little White Chapel you only need the bride, groom and two witnesses. So gone are the worries of catering costs, or bridesmaids dramas, or embarrassing speeches or having to deal with an annoying wedding co-ordinator. You even get the choice of having your priest dressed up as Elvis. Tempting. Not.

 If it's good enough for Britney...

Of course, this is not an option for me or my husband-to-be. Fortunately or unfortunately, however you look at it, we will have to accommodate our larger than life families. Although it is yet to be decided how we do it.  I will keep you posted.

So join me on my adventure as a Budget Bride as I attend wedding fairs, cake fairs, visit venues (the good, bad and ugly) and blog about my wedding dress (yes I have bought already!). It’s going to be one heck of a ride! 

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