Budget Beautiful #14 A Pretty English Wedding

Welcome to this weeks Budget Beautiful.

A place to admire and inspire beautiful weddings on a budget of less than £12,000!

Budget Beautiful

So, how does Budget Beautiful work?

I have interviewed several gorgeous ladies (and men) who’s weddings have been beautiful but have been pulled off with some incredibly low budgets. And let me tell you now, the weddings I have seen so far…STUNNING!

Each interviewee has then supplied me with a selection of their photographs to include for your viewing pleasure!

We are sharing some of the tips and tricks each bride/groom have used to keep their weddings to an affordable budget.

Each interview will be posted on the blog on a Monday morning!

But it doesn’t end there…

Later in the week I will then provide you lovely lot with a second post that includes inspiration/mood boards and ideas to inspire those looking to achieve a similar look for a similar budget!

This week I bring you the gorgeous Sarah and her Pretty English Wedding. This one is stunning folks! Sarah writes the blog Arthur Wears. A brilliant blog that follows Sarah and her family, including the gorgeous little Arthur on their adventures. Sarah is an EYFS teacher so she writes tonnes of posts about easy activities great for your little ones developmental needs. Go and take a look!

So welcome Sarah

Pretty English Wedding


Tell us about the proposal?

I met my husband in 2005 whilst at university – we moved in together after university and he finally proposed on Xmas Eve 2011. We were in Holland at the time for Christmas  – where he was born and raised.

He asked me to go on a bike ride with him to the sand dunes…unbeknown to me this was his proposal plan! Unfortunately i told him i was going shopping with his mum and that if he wanted a bike ride there was an exercise bike in the basement!!

Off i went shopping, when hubby turned up and dragged me away on a special mission to pick up a secret Christmas present for his mum…we took a detour through an old ruined church where he got down on one knee and pulled out a ring…just before the start of sunset as he had planned!

Pretty English Wedding


Did you have a set budget? If so, what made you choose that budget?

We didn’t really want to go over £10k – we had both recently started new jobs and also really wanted to buy a house so spending a fortune on a wedding was never an option when we had a deposit to save for too.

Pretty English Wedding


How long between proposal and wedding day? Was this due to saving the money?

Just over a year and a half – yes we needed to save money, but as a teacher i could only get married in the school holidays and we needed to book everything so far in advance there was no way we could have done it sooner in any case.

Pretty English Wedding


What was your theme/colour scheme? And what made you choose it?

Pale pink and pale grey. I thought this would look classy and the colours would be wearable by both of us. I also had a bit of a thing about cherry blossom trees – even though summer wasn’t the season, i really wanted to take the pink hues and incorporate that into my wedding. We wanted a classy, pretty English wedding.

Pretty English Wedding


Many magazines advise you to pick a couple of items which you do not want to compromise on, did you have any?

I am obsessed with beauty products and had decided early on to do my own makeup – i had individual lashes glues onto my own and bought lots of new Chanel and Bare Minerals makeup products to use on the day after having a free trial. For me there was no compromise here.

We also agreed that the most important thing was actually our guests and making sure they had a good time and enjoyed themselves. We chose the best food, wine, port and champagne we could afford and any spare money we had left over at the end went into ‘details’ for the guests such as:

1) drinks tokens for free drinks (i made miniature pink card tokens inside a miniature pink envelope which was left on the table for every guest and behind the bar for evening guests)

2) as well as bacon sandwiches for the evening do, we also had a separate ‘cheese’ wedding cake, an Iberian ham leg and a bowl of pink and white love heart marshmallows as extra for the guests

3) Slippers available for ladies whose feet were hurting! I customised them by adding a pink heart to every one so that they matched our theme.

4) giant garden toys such as giant Jenga and croquet and also activity packs on the table for the children.

Pretty English Wedding

What was the item you spent the most amount of money on?  

Apart from the usual main expense which was the venue and the food for which we arranged a package deal (which included venue, food, drink with meal, evening food, and flowers for the table) The photographer was the single biggest expense at ( i think!) £1750. We chose a guy called Leigh Mcara who had photographed my sister’s wedding and just had the best personality for the job – we knew we needed someone who could get the best out of the guests and make everyone feel at ease and he was brilliant.

Pretty English Wedding


What was the item you spent the least amount of money on?

This is really hard to answer as it is all relative to how much it COULD have cost, so i will tell you where we managed to save money:

1) My dress – I bought an ex display strapless silk Iain Stuart dress which should have been a couple of thousand for £400. I then had it altered to fit and designed my own detachable lace tops ( one long sleeve off the shoulder and another sleeveless for dancing in the evening) – I had the lady who altered my dress make the lace tops ( i sourced the lace cheaply online too) so that in the end i had my dream dress.

2) bridesmaid dresses – i bought two pink strapless summer dresses and them had them altered so that they had a grey trim and halterneck strap to match my colour scheme.

3) Wedding stationery – I made the save the dates, invites, table numbers, door hangers, orders of service, name cards, seating plan, sweepstake kit and drinks tokens myself. I made sure they looked professional by adding certain touches such as using a sewing machine to stitch pink thread down the save the dates, emboss the ink on the invites and use cutters down the edge to give a different effect. The seating plan included lace appliques to match my dress and  I hand stitched the orders of service together (and genuinely never ever want to see another one of those again in my life – it was a step too far!…but looked great!)

 4) cake – we bought a 3 tier plain ivory cake from marks and spencer and decorated it with fresh roses which were brought over from Holland (much cheaper than the UK!)

5) the wedding rings – I had my ring custom made to fit my engagement ring in Holland (cheaper) and my husband melted down some old gold jewellery to have his ring made

Pretty English Wedding

Where did you pull in favours from friends and family? Were they offered or requested?

My Mum and my parents in law offered a small amount of money each to help with our budget. My bridesmaids (sisters) and my mum made the confetti cones and my garter. My parents in law brought over pink and white mint hearts for the favours and also the flowers for the cake.

Pretty English Wedding


Was there any moment you had to really remind yourself you had a budget to stick to?

When writing the guest list – we couldn’t afford to have every single person that we may have wanted at our wedding due to the cost per head and also the venue wouldn’t have allowed for it. We wanted a venue which we could use exclusively and it was the only one in our price range that we also thought looked nice and worked well. In the end it worked out as our wedding was full of really close friends and family – not just ‘acquaintances’ which made the atmosphere very relaxed and very fun.

Pretty English Wedding


If you had one piece of advice for others trying to pull off a beautiful wedding on a budget, what would it be?

If you buy an ex display or second hand dress, or something in the sale – don’t even think twice about it – no one will be able to tell and it leaves you more money for things that people will be more judgemental about – such as the food and wine! And if you have a crafty bone in your body have a go at making things yourself, it makes it more personal, looks unique and saves you a lot! It is such a special day, but it is the people there to celebrate it with you that make it a success – make sure they have a great time and everything else will fall into place.

Pretty English Wedding

So there we have Sarah’s insanely Pretty English Wedding. And oh my how pretty it was!

Thank you Sarah for letting me share your stunning wedding!

Did you use this colour scheme? It is incredibly popular and it is easy to see why!

Keep an eye out later this week for my inspiration post, taking the theme or an element of this beautiful wedding and exploring it further!

Please check out my Pinterest Boards for lots more inspiration on how you can achieve these kind of looks on a budget as low as theirs!

Coming Next Week: Barbara’s Gorgeous Autumn Wedding

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