So we totally got married!
And it was just the most brilliant day ever. I’m awaiting the official photographs from our photographer Stewart McPherson (who was an utter trooper and worked phenomenally hard all day long), but a few friends and family also snapped a bit on the day so I can share some of those with you, along with the hints and tips of how we did stuff. I’ll do a fuller summary when the photos come through, as I know they’ll be epic.
1. Time is definitely of the essence
We were really lucky that our venue was not being used the day before our wedding, so we could go in and set up in advance. Since we were doing all the decor ourselves this was a life-saver.
We spent very little on decor, and some of my favourite bits were also the cheapest. Number one being the ivy staircase.
Mike’s dad brought with him a load of, ahem, harvested wild ivy which he delicately threaded through the stairs. I then added a few of the paper flowers which my maid of honour had made (she was 100% the best at making these, although mine weren’t too shabby either!). And voila! One statement staircase for the entrance of the venue, absolutely no cost. And the venue liked it so much they kept it for the next bride!
2. Everything looks chic when it’s wrapped in hessian
We re-potted lots of plants into little terra cotta pots which belonged to my grandad, but for the bigger ones we just decided to wrap their existing plastic in hessian. Saved time and looked cute.
Also, the major plus in decorating with potted plants is that there’s no arranging required, you just shove them wherever you need colour and they look great. Here’s one of our fireplaces to demonstrate:
Image: My own
3. Cut flowers from your garden can look fabulous
This may be slightly controversial, and I’m sure I’ll get struck down by florists who deservedly find lots of employment in supplying flowers for weddings, BUT it is possible to provide your own flowers for a fraction of the cost.
But here’s the dea:l It’s money-cheap, but time-expensive. So you have to really want to do it. You also definitely need a back-up plan, just in case it doesn’t come off. And finally, prepare to have a house full of earwigs. Just saying, that’s totally a thing. Luckily they never made an appearance at the venue!
Michael grew a mixture of flowers to be potted and others to be cut, and we weren’t particularly picky about colours or types of flower — just whatever was likely to be in bloom in October. That gave us an incredible amount of variety on the day, and so much colour in every room. So it is doable, if you have the time and inclination.
Image credit: Harriet de Winton
4. Embrace the crafting
There were a few other things we made ourselves, either in the run up to the wedding or on the day, and I am so glad we did. They were:
- Paper bouquets.
I had my ‘maids over for an evening where we sacrificed awful rom-com books to the greater good and made a bunch (sorry) of paper roses. Afterwards I arranged these into bouquets and added the pearl spray. Simples. And I loved them — they were so personal (I am a huge bookworm), so free, and so indestructible!
My maid of honour and all-round medal-winning crafty person, also made the button holes for the men using the same flowers. In about five minutes. She is a witch, but luckily a good one.
- Statement pieces using more paper flowers.
On our prep day we shoved eucalyptus leaves into florists oasis blocks and then attached spare paper roses to the spray to make it look nice. Again, super inexpensive — top tip, if you need loads of foliage to beef up your arrangements, eucalyptus is your best friend. Really cheap and really pretty. You’re welcome.
- I “made” my belt for the day myself by hastily stitching an embellished piece of fabric to some more fabric. The jewelled bit cost me £7 on eBay, and the other material was a few quid in a crafting store. Was it brilliantly sewn? No, of course not, I am terrible at that sort of thing. But no one notices details like that, they just see the shiny stuff. You can totes get away with it too — don’t be afraid to have things not be absolutely perfect.
And that’s it for now. As I said, a fuller roundup of the day to come with a bit more bridal advice, but hopefully that’ll keep ya going for now! And if not, here’s a pic of my adorable flower girl and page boy … one, two, three … awwwww …
Am Dram Wife – out!