Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Real Wedding: Ellie & Mark

Planning your wedding on a budget? Worried that it won't be as good as an all-singing, all-dancing, mega-budget affair? Well stop your worrying, because this wedding is cheap and chic. Ellie and Mark didn't want to blow the budget on their wedding, so they chose a wedding package from a hotel. It's often the best way to go about planning your big day, because there are no hidden costs, and they throw in a few extras for free. Ellie also had help from her stepmother, who designed the stationery, and she kept the cost of flowers down by picking in-season gladioli for her blooms. She also flew to New York to buy her dress for half-price, and shop-bought the cakes for the desert buffet. For more tips on being a budget bride, check out her answers to the questionaire below - I've been taking notes for my own wedding. Many thanks to the lovely team at Modern Photographic for these gorgeous pictures, stunning as ever!

The Before the Big Day Bridal Q&A - Ellie was kind enough to fill in our questionnaire, aimed at helping other brides with their planning process. Feast your eyes on her answers for helpful hints and tips from someone on the other side of her big day!

Where and when did you get married?
At the Harte and Garter Hotel in Windsor on 4th September 2010.

What was your thinking behind choosing the venue and the decoration of the reception?
We wanted somewhere close to where we live in London and near to an airport for guests flying in from abroad, and so we settled on Windsor. The venue was the first one we visited and we knew straight away it would be perfect. We were also on a strict budget and the hotel did a great all-inclusive package. As the hotel was so striking it needed very little decoration, which suited us, as we wanted a simple decorations, nothing too over powering.

Did you have a theme, colour or motif in mind?
We went for white gladioli as the reception was in the ballroom that had very high ceilings and needed something tall on the tables. Anything short would have been lost. The table decorations (tea lights / menus / table numbers etc) were white with hints of light pink and green so as to not make it look too washed out. My stepmother is a graphic designer and she created a series of heart motifs that were featured on the stationary.

Who made your wedding outfit (dress, veil, shoes and accessories), and how did you come to that decision?
My wedding dress was bought from a shop in New York called RK Bridal. As I am a personal trainer I found that all the traditional dresses in the UK were very restrictive compared to what I wear day to day for work and I really wanted something to feel comfortable. Plus I wasn't enjoying the process of booking appointments and having an asisstant follow you around picking out dresses! I had heard about a store in NY that stocked hundreds of dresses and you could turn up, wander around on your own, pick out ones you wanted then try them one. By chance I was going there with two of my bridesmaids for a holiday so dropped in and found the perfect Venus dress at half the price it would have been in the UK (£450 incuding veil).

What about your husband’s outfit? Where was it from?
My husbands suit was from TM Lewin as we wanted to get something that he could use after for work and that wouldn't break the bank! We also go the best man a matching suit and they both had pale pink ties.

And how about your bridesmaids' outfits?
Bridesmaid dresses were again from the USA this time from an online store called Go Jane and only £40 each! They were plain prom style dresses with multiway straps that we had as halternecks. Again we got pale green to match in with the ties.

What type of cake did you go for, and how did you come to that decision?
My husband and I are not a fan of wedding cake or the traditional wedding cake cutting photos so we opted for a selection of cakes on tea stands that were bought out during the evening reception. There were cupcakes, whoopie pies and slices of lemon, chocolate and sponge cake all bought from Marks & Spencers the day before.

Who was your florist, what flowers did you choose, and how did you come to that decision?
As part of the hotel package we got £25 worth of flowers per table from their florist so we used that to get the vases of gladioli. To keep the budget down, my bouquet and the bridesmaids' bunches were made by my stepmother from roses that we had bought from New Covent Garden Fower Market the day before. This meant I could have a huge bouquet of pale pink and cream and the bridesmaid had plain cream ones.

What entertainment did you choose?
The hotel package came with a DJ who was amazing and kept everyone dancing the whole night. We had given them some songs that we like and they used that list, plus others suggested by our guests. There was also a magician called James Pritchard during the photos and drinks reception to keep everyone entertained.

Who was your photographer and how did you choose them?
Our photographer were the wonderful Julia and Ian West of Modern Photographic. I have known Julia for a while and she has taken some amazing shots of friends weddings and christenings, plus as neither me or my husband are particularly comfortable in front of the camera it was great to have someone that made us feel more relaxed. We also got a pre-wedding shoot done which helped us get more used to having our photos taken!

Did you enjoy planning your wedding? What advice do you have for brides planning their big day?
I loved planning the wedding! My advice is don't let it take over your life, try and remain stress free, as it is just one day. Also you can have a wedding on a budget without it looking cheap or feeling that you haven't had a special day. No one could believe how much we had saved by shopping around and doing somethings ourselves as you couldn't tell on the day.

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1 comment :

  1. This looks stunning as always! Thank you Georgia x


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