8 How to make your wedding budget go further – Sam’s Wedding Diary

Last week, a year after my fiancé James handed in his notice to the Royal Marines, we celebrated his freedom in style with Champagne and a night on the town. Unfortunately the following day, the first day of his new life (and unemployed status) coincided with the arrival of the estimated bill for the wedding flowers…around £1000! After a few puffs on my asthma inhaler, I managed to call the florist and negotiate a cheaper rate, using less expensive flowers. Stupidly I’d presumed a rose was a rose and picked the one which was to prove a thorn in my side… ie one of the most expensive on the market.

Flick through the various wedding magazines and you’ll find some excellent wedding fairs to attend and discover helpful hints. I went to a lunch arranged by Brides Magazine the other week and picked up some extremely useful ideas over a fabulous three‐course meal with my mum. Guest speakers gave advice on flowers, invites and make up. And whilst we tucked into our delicious three‐course meal, (which included a very yummy chocolate wedding cake to finish) waif‐like models glided around the room wearing some stunning dresses.


Useful tips

1. If you’ve decided on a date but aren’t ready to send out official invitations yet, why not send everyone a ”Save The Date’ card so that friends don’t book a holiday at the same time.

2. When arranging flowers for the reception, try alternating the height of the table arrangements; a mixture of tall and short vases or centrepieces can have a dramatic effect.

3. For a simple yet stunning DIY flower arrangement, try buying an orchid and putting it in a glass pot (with moss and slate on top) but make sure you take the unsightly stick out and replace with a twig for support.

4. When putting on your make up, put foundation on your eyelids and use pressed powder to keep the shine away.

5. Candle lights go well with glass vases as they reflect the light, and petals are an inexpensive way of decorating tables.

Lastly ‐ remember to enjoy the build up to your big day and take a break from preparations if you feel yourself getting stressed to put it all in perspective.

For me this happened recently when my elder sister Joanna went into labour rather quickly and ended up giving birth to a bouncing baby boy…on the lounge floor! Luckily she wasn’t alone ‐ my other sister Vanessa (a doctor) happened to be with her at the time and mother and baby are extremely well and happy.

“Great,” I hear you say, but the reason for my tale? Weddings may be stressful but there are clearly more stressful things to deal with after marriage!

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