B is for Big Budget Brides

 

 The AOW A-Z of Getting Married is a resource for brides (and grooms) to be.  It’s a welcome piece of sanity in an industry-saturated world where people are bombarded with what weddings they should have, what they should act like, and how a bride should feel.  Created by the team behind Any Other Woman, this A-Z is the first collaboration of its kind, bringing together posts from readers across the AOW community filled with advice, wisdom and experience from sane, smart, real women, many of whom have been there.  From wedding planning to family trials to breaking taboos, no topic is out of bounds.  We are honoured and excited to run each and every post, and we learn from each and every one of our readers.

 

To help the A-Z become an even better resource, please leave your tips, advice and comments below. 

 

B is for Big Budget Brides by Merida

I knew I was in trouble at my Mother-in-laws funeral 2 years ago when I overheard a family friend on her mobile; “Oh yes, beautiful service…..the flowers were out of this world, yes, yes, you must go and see them. Yes, I’m at the wake now…..Mmmmmm yes, beautiful. In fact, this is better than all the weddings I’ve been to…..Yes, even Steven’s.”

Steven is her Son.

But the lady did have a point, I’m not sure anyone was expecting the day to be as it was. The send off had been lavish, extravagant and one that you wished you’d been too (Jumping up and down to “Your sex is on fire” at your MIL’s send off anyone?). It definitely wasn’t the norm but it pulled us all through, gave us focus and something to talk about and for those reasons we bought our wedding forward.

So rightly or wrongly the bar had been set.

I never intended to have such a big wedding, Mr T did. Everything he does is big, extravagant, lavish and really expensive (there is a pattern!). He is so unlike anyone I’ve ever known – he works like a trojan and can spend money like the world is going to end tomorrow; but the utter brilliance of my husband-to-be is that if he doesn’t have it, he doesn’t spend it. If he does use a credit card, it will be paid off at the end of the month and any money that hasn’t been earmarked for something is given to me with a wink and a “treat yourself.” (Well, before the bottomless pit otherwise known as “THE wedding” opened up and swallowed every penny)

My future In-Laws have been beyond generous, gifting half the wedding bill; my poor Father in Law gets an email every week from me asking him to transfer monies and each time he replies, “All done with pleasure”. He is now known as Bank of Father-in-Law. My Parents have been amazing, paying for everything to do with me and my bridal party; which was so unexpected. My Dad literally cries if my Mum tells him he needs clothes for their holiday…I mean, he literally weeps as he is marched up to M&S so when the costs started coming in for my dress and alterations (and the sodding veil that cost the same again to have more lace shipped in from Barcelona and then be hand stitched on…..) I yelped I’d pay but they wouldn’t hear of it. My Dad just kissed my head and told me he just wants me to be happy (and besides Mum has told him it was “essential”…..).

And I am, the whole lead up has made me so happy and I can’t quite believe that we’ll get this day we’ve been planning for almost 2 years. From Mr T’s bespoke suit from Italy to a midnight feast with fireworks and everything else you can possibly cram into a day, I have. I’ve tried to think (steal ideas) of little tokens that are unusual (to the average person, not obsessed wedding blog readers!) and hopefully things that will make our guests feel welcomed and pleased they’ve made the trek from outer Mongolia. Or Essex.

Only a couple of friends have got married and both were done beautifully, one was in the region of £15K and the other £40K. I danced, ate, drank, laughed till my belly hurt and loved every second of both so I know what you spend doesn’t have any bearing on the day, so why have I spent so much?

Whilst putting together the guest list we realised that we had about 120 day guests, and a further 60 for the evening so my idea of going to one of our favourite pubs for food and a knees up wasn’t going to mesh very well and it didn’t matter which way we looked at it (he has a huge extended family and I have a huge list of extended friends, wish they were family, types), it was either going to be all or nothing. We went with all and I am so glad we did as the excitement leading up to the 1st of September is almost tangible. But, going for all meant going for broke!

Our wedding has cost in the region of £55,000. There I said it. Oh God, is that big budget enough? Do you think that actually sounds about right? Or are you spitting out your tea shrieking “I could buy a ruddy house for that???” I know your right, our children could be private educated for life with that money (luckily we have an amazing state school on our doorstep so i’ve sidelined that guilt trip) or we could of paid a huge bulk off our mortgage or invested it in something fabulous. Well in a way we have invested it in something fabulous, us.

I really tried not to buy the wedding magazines but I could not leave the darn things alone; even now with less than a week to go I have two left to read as maybe (just maybe) I’ve forgotten something that I must have. A huge chunk of this fluffy literature were budget and DIY features and admittingly I came across some great tips but on the whole I did not want to know how to make my own soap (it was bad enough wrapping the favours let alone making the bloody things). Do not get me wrong I wish I was crafty with a glue gun whilst being able to bake 200 cupcakes and that Mr T could rustle up a photo booth with a bit of plywood or have friends that were handy with a video camera and had a vintage coach in a lock up but that’s so not the case. Mr T has to call a handyman to put up a picture. This should give you some indication of how unhandy we are. And so, such is life, it went to the other extreme; Mr T and I loved the Designer Wedding Show but even he wouldn’t spend 2 grand on a wedding cake. I got some great ideas but went off and researched and got most of them cheaper but still the same service standard; I may of had a big budget but I’m not stupid….photo booth, invites, videographer, styling, all cheaper when I shopped about.

Another thing I came across, mainly from blogs and forums, was that our ceremony and reception won’t be as heartfelt or meaningful because we haven’t spent the time making jam or roping Granny in to get the sewing machine out and run up miles of bunting (FYI, although I wish I had someone to do bunting!!!). The weddings that I have seen online that have been done on a shoestring have been jaw droppingly amazing, I am in actual awe but if our guests turned up in a middle of a field with straw bales and a mass picnic I think they would of thought they had turned up to the wrong place. Its just not us, damn it. I may not be on the DIY trail but my heart has gone into our wedding, especially the order of service, and I hope we do our families proud and that it all lives up to everyone’s expectations. I think this is why I felt ever so slightly sick, people do have expectations of your day and although I know I shouldn’t of cared, I did. I was worried about people thinking we’re flash, that we’re showing off or that they would be gossiping about who paid for what, or how much it came to and that dreadful comment, ” How much? Yes it was lovely, but not worth that…..”

After my lovely MIL’s funeral we did get the mutterings of “A bit much….” and yes I suppose it was to anyone outside our family, we are a “bit much” and we do like to put on a show but in the past month things have happened and I’ve reached a point where I’ve realised you can’t please everyone. Mr T is happy, our children are happy, our parents are happy and I am head over heels happy and really what else could I wish for?

All the money in the world couldn’t buy me the smile I’m going to have plastered all over my face in just a few days and there is a little part of me that hopes someone will mutter those 3 words, then I’ll know I got everything utterly perfect. And it was indeed, “Us.”

 

Categories: A-Z of Getting Married
42 interesting thoughts on this

41 Comments

  1. Posted August 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I found this a fascinating read. I was aiming for our wedding to cost around £7k – now looking like it’ll be around 10 (not including honeymoon) and I think that’s pretty eyewatering, but then I do have very cheap tastes (it’s a long running joke that I can’t resist a bargain). I don’t think that anyone should get into serious debt for their wedding. But if you’ve got Big Budget money and you’re happy to spend it, then good for you! Hope the 1st September goes with a bang Becci (and not just those midnight fireworks!) and I really can’t wait to see your AOP!!!

  2. Posted August 29, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Also, I’m the total opposite to you re mags! And your DIY bit made me laugh.
    x

  3. Posted August 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I loved this post from the second I received it because I love how Becci knows that her wedding is expensive yet doesn’t lord it and has such a sensible head with it – “I may have had a big budget but I’m not stupid” – favourite A-Z quote so far! I think we all fantasise about having lavish partners now and again. Mr K is generous with money but I think he’d have drawn the line at having lace shipped in from Barcelona – and when I say “draw the line” I mean foaming at the mouth. Good for you Becci! x

  4. Katy
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I hope you don’t feel guilty, I kind of get the impression you do? The fact is that you(one) could do it cheaply, but if you don’t have to then why should you? I am in a similar-ish position to you regarding my skill and desire to DIY things, and with the whole trend of ‘thrown together in a field’ is just not us. But it is hard to get away from.
    And if any of your guests actually ask you how much it cost you don’t have to answer :)
    Ah money. Such a sensitive topic. Thanks for writing this, it’s very interesting and useful, and possibly relevant to my entry!

  5. Anon
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    We spent £34k on our wedding but we only had 68 guests so it would also fall under the big budget category. I think there was the odd guest that was a little judgmental and I have no doubt there were one or two ‘How much?’ comments behind our backs but I know that most people loved the day because a lot of that money was spent on making sure our guests had a fabulous day.

    I think there is so much coverage now on budget/DIY weddings that those that are spending a little more money are almost left feeling guilty about it!

  6. Steff
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t tell you how much our wedding cost to be truthful… all I know is that we came out the other side without any debt and that was all I was interested in.

    Your wedding should be all about you two; should be exactly the day that you want and it sounds like you’ve done exactly that. If you’re not into DIY stuff then having DIY bunting would mean nothing to you on the day but fireworks and a midnight feast do so good for you.

    Ignore the naysayers, if you enjoy your day then screw them all.

    Good luck for the first – I second Amy’s calls for your AOP!! xx

  7. Posted August 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    What an honest post on a sensitive subject. It’s hard to get a view on how much weddings really cost when so many blogs and websites choose not to disclose couples’ budgets. I was a fully signed up DIY bride but our wedding still came in around £24k – marquee (tipis!), food and drink being the biggest costs. It’s also worth noting that sometimes buying fabric, fruit, jam jars, buttons and lace can cost as much as hiring or buying everything new! As long as no one goes into debt or a panic getting you there, I say plan the day you want and leave private school worries for a few more years…!

  8. Sarah
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Providing you’re not getting into debt for your wedding, and it’s not preventing you from doing something financially important (you’d struggle to privately educate one child for more than a few years on £55K), then why shouldn’t you spend what you want on a wedding? People prioritise their cash in all sorts of ways, and I don’t see that a wedding is any less valid receptacle for cash than an expensive car, or a few nice holidays. Hope you enjoy the day!

  9. Emily Harrison
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this article!!!! Written with such honesty, wit, charm and heart. I would love to know how the big day turned out and if you will be featured again????!!!!! I so want to read more from you!!! Don’t you dare feel guilty for one penny of your budget spent. Every girl has big dreams for her wedding day and the fact that your can live that dream is magical and AMAZING. And my opinion on every girl’s big day… if you can GO BIG OR GO HOME. Wishing you the most perfect wedding day and may you live happily ever after with your prince charming, Mr T.

    x x x x

  10. Becca
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Is this written by Becci or BeccA? You’ve read my mind.

    HOW MANY TIMES (Anna….back me up here) have I ranted and raved about whether my wedding will be considered “too extravagant” because its not personal enough or because I’ve not spent the last 100 years making bunting and distilling jam into sterilised jars? I do not have TIME to make things. I have time to google things and buy them and have them delivered. And the lack of my time is made up for in financial benefits which means we can afford to order and not make cupcake flags or whatever else is the object de tour (note I am not having cupcake flags….was an example).

    Like you, we’ve been sensible where we can but, and its a big but, we have 175 guests to the day and then another 40 or so in the evening. Its important that we have our friends and family there. And that is the end of that. Yes, my dress is made to measure but my shoes cost £39 (they look so much more expensive….can my AOP be my bargain shoes?). We’re having the most amazing amazing photographer who I had to practically beg to do it because we wanted her so much but we aren’t having a video.

    We are keeping things simple and are saving costs on things like photobooths (because we aren’t having one). Budget wise, we fall between your budget and what wedding magazines say are “average”. I don’t know because we’ve been paying for things as we go along and I don’t notice a few hundred pounds in deposits. From a quick sweep around at work it appears to be the norm for our numbers and tastes. And so what? Nice things cost money and we earn a reasonable amount each, are managing to save enough for a house deposit as well as paying for the wedding at the same time, are having fantabulous holidays and won’t have any debt at the end of it.

    DO NOT FEEL GUILTY**

    ** assuming you are not a drug lord that has earnt immoral money

    • Posted August 29, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      AOP bargain shoes gets my vote!

    • Frances
      Posted August 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Heh at “assuming you are not a drug lord…” :D

    • Lara Blue
      Posted August 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      To both of you: your day will be special because you are marrying the man you love with the people that you love surrounding you.
      I think the problem with some blogs (not AOW!) is that we’re led to believe that details=love and handmade details=more love. That your day won’t be “personal” if you haven’t included these details or made anything yourself. But saying “I do” (or “I will” or whatever) is about as “personal” as it gets right?
      As for budget, as long as you’re happy spending the amount you are and can afford to do so, then no-one has the right to tell you not to or to judge you for it. As a relatively “small budget” bride worrying about not being able to afford things, or if it’s cheap to only give people 2 drinks, or if people will think my wedding isn’t as beautiful or well-decorated as they’d expect from someone artistic, I’ve had to sternly tell myself that if on my special day, they are judging/critiquing me rather than basking in my happiness, then they clearly don’t deserve for me to care what they think!!!

      PS: lol at the drug lord comment

      • Lara Blue
        Posted August 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        PPS: Am I the only one that “doesn’t get” bunting?

        • Becca
          Posted August 29, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

          No. I don’t do bunting either

          • Posted August 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

            FABRIC TRIANGLES OF JOY THAT FLUTTER IN THE WIND

            I’m gonig to AOP dressed in bunting, just to freak you out.

            • Katy
              Posted August 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

              Are triangles particularly full of joy-ness? I’d never noticed.

              • Katielase
                Posted August 29, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

                That really depends on how into geometry you are!

                K x

                • Lara Blue
                  Posted August 29, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

                  Ha ha, can they be chevrons? Or hexagons? I don’t hate bunting (or triangles to be clear) but I don’t understand why everyone loves it so much. Is it a British phenomenon? I can blame my childhood in South Africa for my bunting-apathy then…

                  • Katielase
                    Posted August 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

                    Oh help, I struggled to cut triangles out of material, hexagons would have been catastrophic!

                    For me, bunting seems to equal relaxed garden part atmosphere, which was what I was vaguely aiming for. That’s the only time in my life I’ve ever used it though!

                    K x

                    • Lara Blue
                      Posted August 29, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

                      :) mental note- bunting = wind fluttering joy and relaxed garden party :)

      • Frances
        Posted August 30, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        Never fear, I went to a wedding with bunting last week! Very pretty but whoever made it is clearly much better at sewing than me…

    • Abi Cowley
      Posted August 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      I thought it was you! Got confused with the names. ;-)

      We spent £14k (far more than was planned, and I wouldn’t consider anything we did as extravagant AT ALL, its just we payed professionals to do stuff like cook us food…that costs a lot) , we got in a teeny bit of debt (we saved for 18 months and got most of it but few unexpected costs cropped up) and yes we don’t even own our own home yet (shocker!) so in practical wedding terms, we suck ass really! But you live once, you marry once (hopefully) so own your decisions, enjoy every second! :-)

      Oh and my favourite ‘detail’ from our wedding was when my husband was asked his full name (he doesn’t have a middle name) and he quickly replied yep”"cowley, everyone laughed. Oh and the food, that was another ‘detail’ that was loved ;-)

      • Peridot
        Posted August 29, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        Okay, I read this as £500 for PAVLOVAS. And nodded furiously in approval!

  11. Frances
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    In the world of “I and my mother-in-law made everything for nothing more than a peanut and a round of drinks at the pub” I think this is a pretty honest and brave post. I think as long as people aren’t getting into debt or spending loads because they think that’s what needs to be done, weddings are like the rest of your daily life and you alone as a family know how much you can reasonably spend on them – it’s really nobody else’s business.

    I do like the idea of doing bits of DIY (mainly stationery and cake, although I don’t really have the time to do both) but I suspect that in some cases, buying materials and having practise runs (it is a VERY long time since I used a sewing machine, and even then we were never really friends) would be just as costly as getting someone to do it for us and make it look better. As Becca says above, there are benefits of having a job with no free time…

  12. Posted August 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this. there seems to be such a trend for budget weddings that those with a bigger budget are left to feel guilty or somehow feel it as a reflection on their marriage. I admit I was guilty of saying “you could put a deposit down on your house for that” before getting into wedding planning but now I am in the midst of it with 110 day guests I really don’t know how to keep costs down and I feel guilty for spending more than I ever though possible on “just one day”. I stupidly let on to some more thrifty friends the cost of our catering and could feel the judgement.

    This article and comments has helped me see that it’s ok to have that bigger budget. Like others have said we won’t get into debt over it, we have very generous parents that can afford the wedding we want. So screw it! I am going to have my fancy pants wedding and I am going to love it!! xoxox

  13. Peridot
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Wow! I did choke a little but I REALLY want to see your pics because I’m sure it will be a wowzer. Sure not because of the budget – anyone can throw money at anything (in theory at least!) but because you’ve thoughtfully made each decision to suit you and co-incidentally you had the dosh to do it. I think a fabulous wedding is all about attitude not money and you clearly have a large deposit account with the bank of attitude. I kind of want your parents to adopt me though, is there room for another?!

    PS Down with the tyranny of jam-making! If you want to make jam, lovely but it’s not a basic human right requirement for weddings. (I don’t even like jam much – unless it’s dabbed on a scone groaning in clotted cream of course)

  14. Katielase
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    I love this. No-one should ever feel that how much they want to spend on their wedding day is wrong. We had a much lower budget wedding BUT we spent what we wanted. And I HATE the wedding blog trend that makes you feel like you need a gajillion hand-made details for a wedding to be personal. Last time I checked, weddings were pretty much automatically about the couple getting married, without the necessity of hand-making 500 favours to prove it. Not that there’s anything wrong with DIY weddings, so long as that’s what you actually WANT.

    No-one but the people involved in paying for your wedding have any right to comment on how much you spend.

    K x

    • Lara Blue
      Posted August 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      This is exactly what I wanted to say. Thanks for articulating it. I wasn’t trying to be anti-DIY or anti-detail in my comment, just saying that it’s not compulsory or right for everyone…

    • Katielase
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Our photographer has blogged a selection of them here http://andrewdobell.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/lensbury-club-wedding-photographer.html

      Please bear in mind, I did not do ANY of the DIY, except vaguely supervise the pompom making. My Mum and cousin made the bunting, my Mum made the cake and my sister and cousin decorated the cake. I mostly just grinned my silly face off in a big-ass dress :-D

      K x

      • Katielase
        Posted August 30, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        PS: I want to see photos of yours ASAP! Demanding? Me? NEVER!

        Kx

  15. Posted August 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Ok bear with me as I’m on my phone and it does insane things to my spelling! Have to be honest and say that there’s tea all over the place over here but that’s only because our wedding cost just under £3000 and that was every penny we could afford to spend on it.

    I’ve been a guest at a big budget wedding and I have to say it really was beautiful, there were little
    Moments in the day when husband and I quietly said to one another woah! Look at that (at the flowers/harp player/team of photographers etc etc) and guessed at how
    Much they might have spent- I know that sounds a bit crude really but we were a bit awestruck I guess. Everything at that wedding was absolutely beautiful and we know they have the money so we were just so happy for them to have the wedding they wanted. I personally feel that it’s the weddings that are big budget but also out of budget that I feel uncomfortable even being at – when you know the couple well and they’re struggling because of the expense but still have a £1000 cake for example. It’s such a huge stress to add to the start of a life together, no?

    Also, there are so many things we would have loved to have at our wedding but we just couldn’t afford them so some big compromises were made. If you can afford it and want it then go for it!!

  16. Posted August 29, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    A house for £55k?! You’re not a London dweller, then!

    Big, small, who cares – spend what you feel comfortable spending, the key is to enjoy it. We spent more than either of us have been brave enough to voice out loud, (I suspect at least 3 of our 4 parents would have a heart attack on the spot if they knew) and do you know what? I don’t begrudge a penny. It was the best party I’ve ever thrown and money well spent in my eyes. I’m not sure if I’d have felt as confident if it wasn’t my money I was spending so my hat’s off to you for that. Enjoyable post, thank you! x

  17. Kate
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Love this post, highlights how what’s right is just what’s right or you.

    I don’t know how much our wedding cost, but I married an investment banker (yep he’s one of Them, but he is lovely and pays every penny of his taxes). I’m not sure if the guests knew as it wasn’t a very extravagant wedding, but even if they did and thought it was over the top I don’t care. We make our choices how we spend our money, everyone thinks different things are value for money and I still think our wedding was so not really big budget at all.

  18. Posted August 29, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Just a quick one – all power to you. I’m all over spend whatever the hell you like, on what you like! (Preferably with no debt obv) I found that the few people who know what we spent (I say SPENT, because the wedding is next week and the budget has gone up a little) have done nothing but make barbed comments, criticised and generally made us feel ashamed of spending our money on what we want…. not ideal.

    Have a fabulous wedding lovely, can’t wait to read all about it!! xxx

  19. Lexie
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    A midnight feast with fireworks sounds utterly fab!! It’s funny isn’t it because £55,000 or £5,000 for that matter, to one person might seem a lot, to another it’s about right and to someone else a mere drop in the ocean. It just depends on who you are, what you’ve got and what you want to spend it on. Sure I’ve seen incredible flower arrangements at weddings and wondered how much they cost, not because I think they might have spent too much or something but because I’m in awe of how stunning they are and I’ve never seen such beaitiful flowers. That’s cool though, how boring would it be if all weddings were the same! Becci, have an amazing wedding on Saturday

  20. Lexie
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    It sounds like it’s going to be awesome!!!!

  21. Posted August 30, 2012 at 3:46 am | Permalink

    I LOVE THIS POST! Totally, utterly, 100% love it. As a budget bride (£2k including feeding and watering 80 guests) I love that while I did what was best for me and my husband, other couples will do what’s best for them. I’m gutted that I’m unable to go to the wedding of one of my husband’s groomsmen this Autumn – they’re a big budget couple (and able to do so without debt), and the wedding will be phenomenal – but at the end of the day, I’m sorry I can’t go because they’re a wonderful pair and I want to share their day with them. But it’s THEIR day, and they should (and are) celebrating it just as they want to (but I’m really sad I can’t go party in a castle with them!).

    For couples who are able to make wedding decisions themselves (i.e. no overbearing family/friends who make demands), how much you spend, how much time you put into it, and how much embroidered bunting you painstakingly produce is ALL UP TO YOU. Judgey people can go sit in a corner and be spurned.

  22. Celestine
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Oh fortunate you…
    Our wedding cost around £3K. It was all we could afford. Do I wish we had a bigger budget? Of course, because for me more money equals more choice. Limited finances mean limited choice in everything. I would have loved the whole “posh shop” experience, but it wasn’t to be.

    But, oh, I love the sound of your wedding and am, of course, very envious!!

    (And I’m in two minds about bunting. Pretty but maybe overused?)

  23. Posted March 31, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Love this post. Love the replies. As someone said the other day ‘if you end the day married to the man of your dreams, the day went well’. Everything else is just merriment and whether it cost £500 or £50,000 you should plan the day your way without guilt at either end of the budget scale.

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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