The surprise proposal came on my 50th birthday in July which meant planning for a wedding in the same year before the weather turned cold was no small feat.
We were both mindful that energy, petrol, food, cost of living etc was still on the increase which meant spending too much money on a wedding during these unpredictable times was not feasible and we really didn't want to wait.
For us marriage is all about celebrating the love we have for each other and the commitment we were making... not anything else.
Did you know that the UK's average wedding cost is around £30,000....ouch!
We knew that by getting married by the end of September meant we had a good chance of being able to celebrate in our garden, the perfect setting for any outside party. We did have a friend's marquee on stand by if need be.
I focused on the weather being fine and I somehow just knew that the sun would shine that day...
Anyway, long story short...we are second timers but still determined to make the day as special as we could. We might have skipped on the frills but not the essence and true meaning of what getting married really means to us.
Here's how we did it:
- No fancy invitations. I sent out a text invite with all the details via Facebook and WhatsApp to friends and family = Free
- I did my own hair and makeup = Free
- We all have great camera phones these days and my friend Nic, a photographer offered to take some for me too = Free
- Who do I know with a nice white car? Yes my good friend's David and Carolyn = Free
- Decorations - Kept it simple... just bunting = £20
- My shoes - I stumbled upon the perfect shoes in a charity shop - £15
- Registry Office = £395 ekkkkkkk!
- The Reception venue - My garden overlooking lots of trees ( definitely my relaxing place in nature) = Free
- Wedding dress - Not planned but whilst steaming it the day before I noticed it had stains on it (Only I would have noticed though) so I made a short video and sent in my complaint. They are now sending me a refund = Free
- Groom's suit - Well he is 6ft 5 which means there was limited choice out there = £250 ( he got lucky in the sales)
- My daughter and bonus daughter were my bridesmaids and they chose the colour which I absolutely love. Dresses = £22 each from Quiz. My son walked me down the Aisle wearing a jacket and tie he sourced himself.
- Flowers for the entire bridal party = £160 (I sure did shop around). I kept it simple and chose a eucalyptus theme.
- Wedding singers/music - My daughter has a friend who loves to sing and my son also sings and DJ's = Free
- Wedding Cake - Got to love a £15 Costco cake! We had a lot of fun making it our own with white chocolate smarties (confetti)
- Food - Costco party platters = £98
- Champagne - I received plenty of champagne/prosecco as gifts for my 50th birthday so we all enjoyed those = Free
- Honeymoon - We are simply going to call our next holiday our honeymoon whenever that comes around.
I do have to admit however that the wedding rings are not included here because my husband ( I can say that now!) really wanted his to be made out of meteorite (yes space rock!) as it is something he has always wanted.
My ring was also custom made and I recycled the diamonds from a ring I already had.
I am sharing with you today because times are tough for many people right now and sacrificing something as important as wanting to get married should not come down to affordability.
We discussed our reasons for getting married in depth and worked together to come up with what was important to us. We wrote and read out aloud our own vows, I walked down the aisle to Xanadu, had our 4 kids in the bridal party and then partied the night away at home. What a lovely surprise it was to see baby Evelyn matching the bridal party too!
The goal was never to have an expensive wedding, the goal was always to have a wedding on our terms.
Our wedding came in at just under £1000 (Total £997.00) and it could not have been any more perfect. In the words of The Wise Hippo... it was totally The Right Wedding On The Day!