Planning and budgeting for your big day can be stressful, we all know that, so when this book landed on my desk it was like my birthday and Christmas had come at once! ‘The High-Street Bride’s Guide’ written by Samantha Birch is packed full of ideas and inspiration to get the day of your dreams, without stretching the purse.
As you know from my recent Buzzfeed post – 10 top high street dresses for under £500, I am an avid supporter of saving the pennies but not compromising the style! The book is available both in paperback and on Kindle and is definitely worth grabbing a copy!
We are very lucky today as Samantha took some time out from her busy schedule to answer some common wedding dilemmas for UWM. We hope you enjoy!
Problem We visited the venue of our dreams, but it’s way out of our price range. We can’t stop thinking about it—help!
Solved There are plenty of ways to cut costs at amazing venues—their Saturday-in-summer prices might be impossible, but suggest a Wednesday wedding in winter and watch that quote plummet. Also, consider revising your menu—a three-course sit-down meal will usually set you back the most, so ask about options like an afternoon tea or hog roast.
Problem I’ve seen a ring with a big diamond and one with a smaller one—they’re about the same price. Which one should I get?
Solved Make sure you get the lowdown on your diamond before you hand over your debit card. If you ask me, the most important factors are colour, clarity and cut (which isn’t the same as shape), because they all affect how much your diamond glitters—so how much gold you’ll want to shell out. It’s your call: do you want a brilliant-cut chip off the old block, or a less light-catching whopper?
Problem I’ve only got £50 per head for my bridesmaids and I want them to wear something really special.
Solved Two ways to go here: first up, ask your ’maids whether they can chip in to top up your fund, or even pay for their gowns. The days of the bride’s dad shelling out for the whole shebang are long gone, and bridesmaids are often happy to help—mine did! Just make sure you ask them individually, and don’t pressure people who aren’t any more flush than you are. Rather flash your own cash? Hit hire sites such as WishWantWear, where I’ve seen dresses by the likes of ALICE by Temperley go for less than £50.
Problem We’ve got a lot of tables so our centrepieces could really set us back. How can we keep the costs down?
Solved If you haven’t got your heart set on particular flowers, ask your florist what’s in season and in your price range, pick some of the blousier options—carnations, peonies and ranunculus are personal faves—and fill out with smaller blossoms or greenery such as eucalyptus. Only got eyes for big-ticket blooms such as roses or orchids? Opt for one or two stems per table, presented in inventive ways—in vases stacked on top of books, wrapped around the insides of fishbowls, slipped into decorative French lemonade bottles, floating on water or tucked into vintage teacups.
Problem I’m a serious fashion fan and I can’t imagine walking down the aisle in anything less than a big-name dress. How do I afford one?
Solved Oh, so many ways! I get into this in more detail in The High-Street Bride’s Guide, but here’s a starting point: try hitting some sample sales. Most bridal boutiques have them a couple of times a year to make room for new-season stock, and you can often save as much as 70%.
Want more? The High-Street Bride’s Guide: How to Tie The Knot in Style—Without Blowing the Budget is out now. Click here to grab a copy from Amazon in paperback or Kindle edition.