Thursday 7 July 2011

Real DIY Budget Wedding: Katie & Josh

Budget brides and DIY brides are going to love this fabulous wedding, submitted by a Before the Big Day reader! Katie got loads of her wedding inspiration from this wedding blog, and I'm thrilled to be featuring her gorgeous big day. If you're worrying about your wedding budget, take heart in the fact Katie and Josh only had £7k to spend, and every detail was gorgeous. From the butterfly theme to the moustache and tiara favours, and hugely realist fake flowers {eco- and budget friendly}, it's a fabulous flurry of wedding perfection. Don't miss Katie's top tips in the brides questionnaire below - you'll be making notes! Stunning pictures published with thanks to Sarah Janes Photography.

The Before the Big Day Bridal Q&A - Katie was kind enough to fill in our bridal 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?
We got married on May 7th in a beautiful small town in North Wales called Llangollen. We married in the Llangollen Methodist Church and then moved to the White Waters Hotel down the river for the reception – but not before playing a round of crazy golf!

What was your thinking behind choosing the venue and the decoration of the reception?
Llangollen was the obvious choice of location, it’s just so beautiful. We looked around three venues before calling in to the White Waters on the off-chance for a wedding brochure and they offered to show us around the whole hotel. The staff were so friendly, we decided to book, although we checked four more times before putting a deposit down!

Did you have a theme, colour or motif in mind?
We had a strict budget in mind of £7,000 for the day and we managed to stick to it more or less ({that amount definitely didn’t include the honeymoon!}. Josh and I met at Leeds Met University and the University colours are aubergine and grass green, which just happen to be my favourite colours too. Purple was my underlying colour, but I was careful not to surrender myself to purple overload…I also love butterflies, I found in the lead up to the day that I seemed to be collecting more butterfly items. So the butterfly theme just kind of emerged over time…

Who made your wedding outfit, and how did you come to that decision?
My dress was from a great shop called Confetti & Lace in Harrogate, and was made by Ellis Bridals.  My dress was around number 11 that I'd tried on and when I first tried this one on I loved it, but I kept looking just in case something else was out there. I couldn’t choose between two pairs of shoes from Schuh, so I ended up buying both! My necklace, bracelet and butterfly ring were from Debenhams. Sparkly, reasonably priced chic!

What about your husband’s outfit? Where was it from?
We hired suits from Cameron Ross via Yorkshire Menswear. My dress hunt took a fair few months, his suit hunt took thirty minutes…where’s the justice?!

And how about your bridesmaids’ outfits?
We lucked out here! My three beautiful sisters were my bridesmaids and we all got together in January to go shopping for dresses. All I had in mind was that I didn’t want them to look exactly the same; they are all totally different people and I wanted them to be able to express themselves. We walked in to Monsoon and I saw it! A strapless purple and grey cocktail dress reduced from £130 to £60. I left the bridesmaids to choose their own shoes and accessories, and they customised their own dresses, adding straps or a ribbon waist. My little niece wore a flower girl dress from BHS.

What type of cake did you go for, and how did you come to that decision?
We kept it simple and went to Marks and Spencers! I’d seen the butterfly cake on Before the Big Day, and ordered the butterflies from Etsy and assembled them myself. I also ordered two cupcake towers from M&S and bought some edible butterfly wafers from Ebay to decorate them.

Did you have any favours? What were they? Was there any particular reason why you picked them?
I didn't want to spend money on items that would be left on tables - so we gave each man a moustache on a stick (idea taken from Before the Big Day too!) and each girl/lady/Nan got a tiara – 89p for four from Wilkinsons. I loved looking back over the photos and seeing everyone use these – we’ve got some excellent poses going on in them!

Who was your florist, what flowers did you choose, and how did you come to that decision?
As our wedding was in a small town, we didn’t have a wide choice of florists and I was left unimpressed by the town's main florist who wanted to charge for a second appointment to make her time worthwhile! So I decided to go fake! Sarah's Flowers have a huge range of flowers and they were around the same price as real flowers. My bouquet is going to be placed on my Nan's grave, and my sisters are keeping theirs, so I like the fact they were artificial.

Who was your photographer and how did you choose them?
I found Sarah Janes Photography through a picture in the brochure of our wedding venue. They had used one of her sepia images of a bride and groom in the rain and I thought 'if she can take a picture like that on a rainy day, imagine how beautiful the pictures could be if the sun is shining!' so I'm only slightly ashamed to say that I gazumped another bride who had put in an enquiry for our date and booked her after meeting with her over coffee! I just loved her natural approach to wedding photography.
I must also mention the fabulous Mandy Rigby who did my make up on the day. Mandy and Sarah are my dream team as they’ve worked together before and really know what looks good on camera. I’d recommend them both to anyone!

Did you enjoy planning your wedding?
Absolutely! I'd be lying if I said it wasn't stressful at times, but seeing everything come together on the day was the best feeling ever! I've was so proud of everyone involved. My husband was great - if I ever started stressing about things not matching or my massive to do list, he'd point out that it didn’t actually matter if the napkins didn't match the petals on the tables…I still know he’s wrong about that but it did help to put it all in to perspective!

We had an afterparty the next day at my Dad's cottage, so that was a great chance to catch up again before we headed off to Mexico for our honeymoon and everyone headed back home – if anyone has the chance to do this, I'd totally recommend an afterparty!

Did you have any DIY projects?
I loved the DIY projects and my bridesmaids threw themselves into the DIY as well. We had homemade pew ends for the church pews, charms with our initials around the champagne glasses, handmade place cards and I wrote a memory I had of each guest inside to get the nostalgia flowing – cheap and cheerful! We also made moustaches on sticks, and we asked our guests to make a ten minute iPod playlist to be played during dinner. I also made a sign saying 'Thank you' so we could use that photo of us with it for our thank you cards. I put together photo board collages of every single guest at the wedding for all to laugh at and I also fashioned our table seating plan out of sticks from the garden, fairy lights and table cards to hang from the sticks – DIY-a-rama!

Who designed your stationery? What did it look like and how did you come to that decision?
My Dad, my maid of honour and I worked on it together! I’d seen plenty of ideas, but my Dad does this for a living so there's no one else I trusted more to design our stationery.

What advice do you have for brides planning their big day?
My main piece of advice is - don’t forget about the actual wedding ceremony! We had a church service and once I started choosing hymns and readings, I realised that I was really excited about the service. I'd also say, don't be afraid to both defy tradition, and embrace it, all on the same day! We couldn't figure out a way to incorporate both sets of divorced parents and new spouses, so we just had a sweetheart table for just the two of us and put our parents on an unofficial top table; it was a great way to make sure we actually talked to each other during the day and the speeches were carried out around us on different tables. I loved the whole day and want to relive it all over again!

To finish, my top tips based on my day would be:
1. If possible, give your Dad (or whoever gives you away) a kiss when you reach the top of the aisle.
2. Brides – do a speech! You'll always wonder if you should have afterwards! I did, and I loved it.
3. Have someone, anyone, video the speeches. They don't have to be a pro, but it's something I really wish I'd arranged.

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  1. Wow I knew Katie a few years ago from where we lived & through a few friends fancy the next time I see her is on my favourite wedding blog! What a fantastic wedding & inspiration! Love it! xx

  2. Amazing! It's a small world!


    Editor, Before the Big Day


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