WEDDINGS ON A BUDGET – THE DRESS! (BLOGMAS – DAY TWENTY-EIGHT)

Weddings can an expensive affair and with the general rise in the cost of living, the fact we already have a home to run and children to feed, a smaller scale day was always on the cards for us.

So I’ve made it my mission to create the wedding of our dreams on the small budget available to us. Less money does not mean it has to be less special!

With our venue booked, (a ridiculously good deal at a local hotel right on the harbour, I’ll go into more detail about that at a later date) we’re now starting to get down to specifics and I’m pretty sure any woman would be lying if they said ‘the dress’ wasn’t right up there at the top of their to do list!

As much as I crave the traditional day out with my loved ones, trying on dresses and sharing tears over the perfect gown I know it’s just not financially practical so I’m going to share my journey so far, my search for ‘the dress’ on a budget.

ASOS

ASOS has got to be everyone’s go to for everything, right? With such a wide variety of brands available it’s honestly hard not to be impressed.

ASOS EDITION Francesca plunge wedding dress with tonal embroidery £350

I’ve fallen for several dresses (and a jumpsuit or two!) in the time I’ve been browsing. There are so many styles to choose from with prices starting at less than £100.

Hope & Ivy Bridal sheer plunge embroidered backless dress in ivory £150

I know for a fact that if it really came down to the wire and I had 24 hours to choose a dress, ASOS would be the one!

Chi Chi London

Similar to ASOS in that there are a variety of styles to choose from however I would say that everything feels much more traditional!

Cowl Neck with Lace Insert Maxi Wedding Dress in White £155

From sleek and modern to fairytale princess, Chi Chi has it all and I can totally see why it would be a favourite.

Bridal Long Sleeved Maxi Dress in White £140

I also love their dresses in general, wedding guests eat your heart out!

Coast

A hidden gem of ever there was one! I was first introduced to the Coast bridal range back when I attended The Bridal Beauty Festival and I’ve been obsessed ever since.

V Neck Tiered Tulle Dress £279

Everything feels so extra and I am here for it! Styles I never imagined myself going for have now made my dream day list and I’m so excited to see them up close and personal.

Bandeau Dress And Embroidered Maxi Dress Set £448

They also have a fab line of bridal separates for a truly unique take on the most iconic part of your day. The mix and match system really adds something special.

WED2BE

WED2BE is my wildcard for today. The concept is great, wedding dresses on a budget whilst still being able to experience that all important day out I mentioned earlier.

ELTON
a modern strapless ball gown in luxurious mikado
£599.00

Round up your best girls and get to your nearest store. There are sooo many dresses to choose from of all shapes, sizes and budgets (pricier than the other retailers on my list but still a steal compared to the traditional bridal showroom).

LUCA
an illusion back crepe gown with statement train
£599.00

One of the things I like about WED2BE is that you can browse the website before hand and suss out your favourites whilst also noting the price so there are no nasty surprises on the day.

Happy shopping loves!

THE PROS AND CONS OF A MICRO WEDDING VS A BIG WEDDING (BLOGMAS – DAY ELEVEN)

At the age of just 32 I have not only been married and divorced, I’m also engaged and planning a second wedding!

Whilst it’s not something I usually talk about it, I wouldn’t say I am in the slightest bit ashamed of it either.

People and circumstances change. That’s just a fact of life.

My first wedding went through many stages before the ‘big day’. So many ideas, hopes and dreams for what I thought was going to be full of happy memories.

It was expensive for starters. Something we swore it wouldn’t be. I come from a big family on both my mum and dads side and we’re all pretty close. I was very aware that the lack of an invite to even the most distant of my cousins would cause huge offence and it was something that really played on my mind, causing great anxiety. Couple that with the fact we opted for a very DIY day, which in theory was supposed to make things cheaper (which in my experience just isn’t true) and it was just a mess of financial troubles and broken promises of a debt free aftermath.

I would also say that such a big wedding invites a lot of opinions into the mix, something that really grew with each passing day throwing my dream into chaos.

The day itself was nice enough and I know that many of my guests have fond memories of time spent together as a family but it just wasn’t what I really wanted and I should have been strong enough at the time to voice that.

Actually I shouldn’t have gone through with it at all to be honest and I genuinely feel like the size and cost of my wedding had a lot to do with why I didn’t walk away. I couldn’t back out when so much planning and preparation had gone into it, could I? When so many people had spent their hard earned money on travel and accommodation to be there and support me.

Long story short, a big wedding isn’t for everyone. It certainly wasn’t for me.

Thankfully my future husband is on the same page and this time we have opted for a small and intimate affair full of personal touches. I’ve come to realise that I don’t need hundreds of people around me to make the day special. Lockdown has actually shown me the opposite.

I must stress that there really is no right or wrong way of doing things, these are my own experiences and I know that there will be plenty of people out there who will disagree.

If you have the funds then I know it’s possible to have the best of both worlds so I’ve put together a list of pros and cons to give you a better idea of the wedding you think might appeal to you more.

Big Wedding

Pros

You will (hopefully) only do it once so why not go all out. If you can’t be all kinds of extra when you’re a bride then when can you?

You’ll get to spend time with all of your friends and family under one roof (which if you have a huge family like me can be a difficult thing to organise usually!).

Better choice of location. In my experience there are loads of gorgeous venues that cater to large weddings that would look silly with a smaller group.

Cons

The expense. Surely that money could be put to better use?

Outside input. The more people who are involved the more likely you are to receive unwelcome and unwanted opinions.

Time and effort spent organising. Between work and everything else most people have to deal with right these days do you have the energy for such a huge task?

Microwedding

Pros

Everything can be organised and paid for fairly quickly.

You can rock up in your jeans if that’s what you want. It’s your day after all!

More money to spend on the honeymoon.

Cons

Family politics. Will you be able to deal the fall out because great aunt Mildred or your neighbours cat hasn’t made the cut?

Sometimes a party isn’t a party without a crowd.

Possibly regretting not having that once in a lifetime chance of the ‘fairytale wedding’.

Like I said, there really is no right or wrong answer and it will all come down to your feelings as a couple.

The most important part of any wedding is the love and respect you have for each other.

THE BRIDAL BEAUTY BUYS YOU NEED FOR YOUR BIG DAY

I could very well have descended into lunacy but hear me out…I think I’m going to do my own wedding makeup.

I know, I know.

Do I really need to extra stress? Definitely not.

Am I worried that things will go wrong on the day? Absolutely.

Do I think I’m even capable of it? Actually, yes I do!

I know my own face. I know what I like and what I don’t. I’m no MUA but I like to think I know my way around a good base by now and of course let’s not forget the money I’ll save!

So now I have just over 10 months to collect and test the perfect selection of wedding day essentials (and by the way, any recommendations would be greatly appreciated).

For now I’ve set my sights on some pretty gorgeous bridal beauty buys and I think you’re going to love them too!

Spectrum Collections Something Blue Bridal Brush Set

£24.99

The perfect set for any bride to be.

This 3 piece brush set, presented in a beautiful “something blue” gift box contains a powder, brow and double-ended eyeshadow brush to add the finishing touches to bridal makeup looks.

Finished with a white pearlescent handle, rose gold detailing and pastel blue bristles these brushes will look picture-perfect for those all important bridal preparation shots.

spectrumcollections.com

P.Louise Love Tapes Eyeshadow Palette – Wedding Wish

£17

Our final chapter was a Wedding Wish. I pressed play on our last love tape and all of my dreams came true, the perfect Proposal started a new journey of Endless Love. I laced myself in the softest of sparkles and all eyes were on me. I never expected you to put a Ring On It but babe that was our destiny… I’m Forever Yours. Our Mini Wedding Wish palette portrays those soft subtle shades, perfect for anybodys big day. Contains 8 Shades, 6 mattes and 2 shimmers of soft, true nude tones for a subtle glam.

plouise.co.uk

The Bridal Beauty Co The Ultimate Bridal Beauty Box

£50

The Ultimate Beauty Box is finally here featuring a whopping £250 worth of products! This edit is your chance to try out all sorts of fabulous skincare, makeup and hair styling products by the best beauty brands.

thebridalbeautyfestival.com

Huda Beauty Power Bullet Matte Lipstick – Wedding Day

£22

Every new Huda Beauty arrival is more spell-binding than the last and this dreamy matte bullet lipstick is certainly no exception The intensely pigmented and long-lasting matte comes in a versatile range of nudes, pinks and reds that are bound to suit any and every skin tone while also boasting an ultra-comfortable formula.

cultbeauty.co.uk

Spectrum Collections Bridesmaid Clutch Bag and Brush

£19.99

Bride Mail incoming…

The perfect gift to ask your Bridesmaids to be part of your special day.

These envelope style clutch bags finished in a white pearl vegan leather include a miniature size A04 Tapered Finishing Brush for those all important powder touch ups on the big day.

With a wrist strap, magnetic closure and rose gold detailing the opening of the bag is printed with the message “I couldn’t say I do without you“. Each bag also includes a blank note card for you to personalise with your own message for each receiver.

spectrumcollections.com

The Bridal Beauty Co The Honeymoon Edit

£35

This one-off limited edition is worth over £150 and is jam-packed with travel-size AND full-size products by award-winning and best-selling brands to take you straight from the big day, direct to your honeymoon adventures.

thebridalbeautyfestival.com

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Bridal Makeup Kit

£88

Darlings, whether you’re the bride-to-be, a beautiful bridesmaid or a gorgeous guest, my Magic Bridal Makeup Kit has everything you need for makeup magic touch ups on the day, for a flawless look that’s guaranteed to mesmerise the room!

charlottetilbury.com

Revolution x Corpse Bride Collection

INDIVIDUALLY PRICED

You are cordially invited to the union of the year, it’s the enchanting Revolution x Corpse Bride collection! It’s time to party like the skeletons downstairs and find your perfect match with these haunting products. Are you ready to say ‘I do’ to the dark-haired temptress?

revolutionbeauty.com

Charlotte Tilbury Build Your Own Wedding Beauty Kit

PRICES VARY

Darling, build your own wedding makeup and skincare kit to save a magical 15%* off!

Choose your skincare and makeup for a dreamy wedding look.

charlottetilbury.com

L’Oréal Paris x Ellie Saab Bridal Collection Eyeshadow Palette

£15.99

L’Oréal Paris and Ellie Saab have teamed up to create the luxurious, limited edition Bridal Collection with blushing brides in mind. The wedding-inspired collection features this eyeshadow palette, which emcompasses an unexpected variety of shades, from soft lilac and deep forest-green to super-wearable nudes in matte and shimmer finishes.

lookfantastic.com

Honestly I’m kind of dying over all of these but being realistic I know I need to keep things simple and not overwhelm myself with products.

My god what have I let myself in for…

THE BRIDAL BEAUTY CO ‘THE HONEYMOON EDIT’ REVIEW (BLOGTOBER – DAY NINETEEN)

Where are my future brides at?

I came across The Bridal Beauty Co via Spectrum Collections and I’m so glad I did. They put together the most beautiful collections of goodies and I’m utterly obsessed.

This one-off limited edition is worth over £150 and is jam-packed with travel-size and full-size products by award-winning and best-selling brands to take you straight from the big day, direct to your honeymoon adventures.

From Huda’s refining facial exfoliator, the must-have mineral SPF30 to protect, IPO’s mask to prep and nourish your skin after a day in the sun.

Plus, Charlotte Tilbury’s iconic Magic Day Cream and Huda’s famous Power Bullet Matte Lipstick will add glam to day and night. Not only this but you will receive beauty shots, beautiful makeup brushes and more…

thebridalbeautycompany.com

The Bridal Beauty Festival is also this month in London and I’m so happy to say I’ll be attending and documenting it all!

I picked up ‘The Honeymoon Edit’ which costs just £35 and is worth over a whopping £150!

Inside you’ll find brands such as…

  • Huda Beauty
  • Spectrum Collections
  • Hawaiian Tropic
  • Beauty Works
  • Crabtree and Evelyn
  • Wishful
  • Charlotte Tilbury

…and more! the whole lot is presented in a staple clutch bag and would make the perfect gift to a newly engaged friend or family member (or yourself because you know, treats).

Whilst of course being extremely good value for money ‘The Honeymoon Edit’ is also a great way to try new brands or test out some higher end products that you might have been wary of investing in initially.

I already know The Bridal Beauty Co have collated a handful of other themed collections (that I obviously have my eye on because I clearly have no self control) and I have high hopes for them after being so impressed this time round!

As I mentioned previously I’ll be at The Bridal Beauty Festival this coming Sunday (and the VIP tickets come with a goodie bag worth £150!) so I’m sure I’ll have lots more to say next week!