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!

5 STYLE OBSESSED SWEETHEARTS THAT WILL HAVE YOU WANTING TO GET DRESSED (BLOGMAS – DAY TWENTY-TWO)

I don’t know about you but since the pandemic began I’ve been in one hell of a style funk. Living in old pyjamas whilst at home and lucky to make the effort with a sweatshirt and leggings when on the school run. I really don’t feel any desire to get up and ready. It just seems unnecessary and I miss the fire I used to have to look my best.

There 5 social media babes have all given me the kick up the arse I needed to get back on the horse and glam up in the new year. Here’s hoping it lasts!

Laura Byrnes

Instagram: laura.byrnes

TikTok: laura.byrnes0

Wardrobe staples to die for and the perfect place to start if you want ideas for your capsule wardrobe, Laura is the be all and end all of naturals in fashion.

Lauren Sarah

Instagram: its_laurensarah

TikTok: its_laurensarah

Sarah is adorably relatable and pulls together outsiders that are easily achievable but fun and could be adapted to suit anyone. I have a pair of faux leather flares on the way and if that isn’t the power of an influencer I don’t know what is.

Lily Melrose

Instagram: llymlrs

TikTok: lilymelrose

Everyday fun fashion with a dark, grungy edge is what Lily has to offer and I’m so here for it. She’s full of little tips and tricks for really transforming your wardrobe.

Sammi Jefcoate

Instagram: sammijefcoate

TikTok: sammijefcoate_

Luxury brands and harnesses, could there be a more perfect mix? Sammi has an eye for throwing together the most stunning and sometimes surprising outfit combinations.

Joanne Lewis

Instagram: petitesideofstyle

TikTok: petitesideofstyle

I feel just a little bit more stylish knowing this beauty is local to me, as if her influence might waft through the sea air and encourage me out of my dressing gown. Well, a girl can dream can’t she?

Have you found any new favourites?

THE NEXT BIG THING? BY BEAUTY BAY OF COURSE!

Beauty Bay launched their own in house cosmetics brand ‘By Beauty Bay’ in 2018 and if I’m honest, I didn’t know the beauty industry was missing something until that moment.

BEAUTY BAY’s mantra is to share our beauty obsessions with the world. Founded by two of life’s rebels who had no formal training, just a tonne of passion, we started out as a fragrance retailer and quickly discovered a whole universe of beauty just waiting to be unleashed.

beautybay.com

The Colour Theory collection perfectly combines excellent quality with affordability which is something few brands have managed to achieve or sustain. From there the brand has grown it’s line of makeup and even skincare considerably with products that push the boundaries of what beauty really means to us.

By Beauty Bay x MMMMMitchell Me, Myself & MMMMitchell Palette.

I mentioned affordability earlier and I want to come back to that now because it’s something I’m really passionate about. Do I think you need to invest in expensive products to look and feel good? Absolutely fucking not, nothing could be further from the truth.

Cost does not equal quality and Beauty Bay has proved that to be true without a shadow of a doubt. Their pigmented AF palettes pack an almighty punch and are likely to steal your heart away from your current favourite given half the chance.

By Beauty Bay Youtopia Pressed Pigment Palette.

The online retailer has always been unique in how they operate. Stocking big name brands whilst also supporting indie businesses and small creators, giving us all a boost and acknowledging our worth. That kind of recognition is priceless within the beauty community.

I haven’t even mentioned their famous influencer collaborations yet! The queen that is Nikkie Tutorials released her x Beauty Bay Pressed Pigment Palette back in September and it’s still a huge fan favourite now. The unique design and versatile colour story makes it a collection staple.

That together with a similarly intriguing offer from MMMMitchell and something altogether different created with Ayo Coralie I have no doubt that the Beauty Bay creative team are some of the best in the business. Those minds be working overtime I’m telling you!

By Beauty Bay Wilderness Palette & Laoxa Flames Earrings.

I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this underrated gem. Being the hoarder that I am I imagine my collection will grow with ease but from a practical angle (because yes, I actually can be sensible!) I’m possibly even more desperate for a bigger line of skin saviours (the Butter Cup Cleansing Balm and Super Jelly Cleansing Gel are the best possibly combination for that fresh as a daisy or buttercup?! face if you’re oily AF like me and honestly I need more of that in my life).

Do you already have any By Beauty Bay favourites and if not have I tempted you enough to see for yourself?

Featured pic: By Beauty Bay Sunset Horizons Palette.

CARRIE ELIZABETH JEWELLERY – THE FANCIEST I’LL EVER FEEL (EVEN IN LOCKDOWN!)

Looking fab has never been easier than it is with Carrie Elizabeth Jewellery on your side.

I received this gorgeous Sterling Silver Exotic Topaz Ring (which seems to be out of stock right now but you can still grab this stunning Sterling Silver Green Mystic Topaz Ring which is equally special) as a gift for Valentine’s Day and to say my eyes lit up when I first saw it in the flesh is an understatement!

Sterling Silver Exotic Topaz Ring

Whilst this was my first piece from the London based brand it almost certainly will not be the last. They somehow manage to capture a striking, statement feel whilst also being delicate (yet sturdy!). I’ve come to realise there really is nothing like a ring by Carrie Elizabeth.

Sterling Silver Exotic Topaz Ring

WHY THE CAMEL COAT HAS MADE ME RETHINK MY FAST-FASHION WAYS

I will admit that I am absolutely awful when it comes to investing in fast fashion.

I feel like my style is still changing and evolving (although I’m much more sure of myself now than I was a couple of years ago) so I often find myself buying things I might like at the time but probably wouldn’t wear six months later.

I know this is a problem and have been trying really hard to change my ways. My turning point?

The camel coat.

I received a revere collar camel coat for my 30th birthday and it’s honestly changed the game for me. At first I felt like a five year old dressing up in her mums clothes (because it’s a proper grown up coat guys!) before very quickly realising it goes with absolutely everything!

I’ve put together some of favourite ways to style the camel coat (all from Pinterest under the search ‘Camel Coat Outfit’, I’m not capable of any more than your bog standard selfie).

Keeping it casual with trainers…

Sleek AF when worn over dresses or skirts.

Cosy and cool with a monochrome hooded tracksuit?

Feeling like a style icon every day with black skinny jeans and your favourite pair of boots!

I also like to throw on a pair of knee highs boots during the colder weather. I feel comfortable yet dressy enough to go and grab some dinner with a friend if the mood takes me (pre covid obviously!).

You also can’t go wrong with leather look leggings or paper bag trousers. Easy to dress up with pumps or down with your favourite trainers and are both comfy yet functional and stylish.

The camel coat is just one example of ways I’m trying to reduce the size of my wardrobe. It’s all about finding ways to style the things your already own by adding staple pieces to your wardrobe and I am so here for it!

Feature photo credit – Shannen Lythgoe