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Less Cash, More Class. A Real Wedding (On A Budget!) In York- Stef & Rich

June 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

When Brides Up North reader Stef first contacted me asking if I’d like to share her Real Wedding memories, she made it clear that she was extremely proud to have planned her big day whilst sticking to quite a narrow budget (in comparison to the “average” spend), and very much wanted to show other Brides Up North that you can have the day of your dreams without getting yourself into debt. 

It might mean that there aren’t any “getting ready” shots or images of Stef and Rich’s wedding breakfast to share today (they had mates ready with a camera for those bits instead) but it did mean that they start their lives together money-worry free.  An excellent trade off, in my opinion. They don’t seem particularly put out by the lack of all those “details” that we are conditioned to think should make up a good wedding either.

C’mon, I’m a wedding blogger – it goes without saying that I love a huge blowout bash – but I like a refreshing (and savvy) approach too.  Don’t be afraid to work out a budget for your big day and then – here’s the clever part – stick to it.  If there’s money in the pot and you want to, go large (and send me the photos!), but if you’d rather save a few pennies for rainier days, that’s fine too.

Kudos to you Stef, your wedding looks like it was awesome.

With images by Emilia Smith.

 

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

Stef says: We got engaged on holiday in Bulgaria. We went on holiday with a group of friends, their children and my step daughter. Rich said he wanted to take me out for a meal on our own.

Next thing I know a horse and carriage pulls up. I knew instantly what he was up to. I was so nervous… but very happy. He asked me on the carriage. We didn’t go for dinner as we decided to go back to the hotel, buy champagne and celebrate with our friends and later we all went for a wonderful meal on the beach.

The ring was perfect! So different and so perfectly me.

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

Our wedding date was 29th March 2014. I ran York marathon in October 2013 and after the marathon we walked round York and saw York Registry Office. We went in and had a look. We both instantly knew that was where we wanted our small ceremony to be. We paid the deposit without a second thought.

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

We picked vintage blues and pinks and went for a tea party style. I love pink and we like to coordinate outfits a lot (yawn!) so we naturally went for pink and blue. 

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

I wanted a tea length 50’s style dress. I found it at Deborah Moore Bridal and it was by Pronovias. I was originally going to get a high street dress or a bridesmaid dress as our budget was so small but I went with my best friend to try on dresses and saw “my dress”.  It was in the sale at more than half price but it was a full length gown. We played around with some pins and I decided to buy it and alter it.  I was so delighted with it and it is still hanging over my bed! It fits with my style perfectly… it’s different but still elegant and very “weddingy”. 

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

My husband got his suit from the internet. It was extremely cheap but we ordered it and had it altered. He wore all blue with a blue dickie bow and his favourite blue suede brogues.

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

As we were on a strict budget we asked all our guests to wear what they wanted and informed them of the colour scheme and theme of the wedding. Our friends and family know us well and all followed our wishes.

I had my beautiful step daughter as my flower girl. We got her (unworn) dress from a second hand bridal shop called Bridal Reloved in Beverley.  She wanted a dress similar to mine and we wore matching shoes that we won on an auction site and I bought pink near shoe clips to jazz them up.

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

My photographer was a friend of a friend. Her name is Emilia smith (freelance). She was brilliant and we had such a wonderful experience with her

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

I wanted silk flowers mainly to keep them forever but also as they cost much much less.  I found a lady who makes bouquets on Etsy and I emailed asking for a custom order. I sent her pictures of our shoes and general theme and ordered two bouquets, a hair clip, and a button hole for my husband.

I made button holes for the guests from wool and pipe cleaners. I was super pleased with how it all turned out. The registry office had flowers of their own and we didn’t feel the need to have any more.

My mum made wooden spoons with bells and ribbons on… this was for the guests to shake and wave when we came out of the ceremony room. They were a fun and quirky idea and the kids loved them.

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

We opted for a champagne afternoon tea at the Grange Hotel, York.

I was very informal, with no seating plan.  We arranged sofas and comfy chairs so people could sit with who they wished and it was very relaxed.

For our evening shindig we served curry and cake. We had such a wonderful peaceful day – we wanted our night party to be a good knees up and it was!

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

The best part of the day for me was having the photographs in the city with just me and my husband.

We got a lot of attention and it was so much fun. We wanted the photos to be fun and capture our personalities and we wanted them to be natural. The weather was fantastic and it was such a wonderful buzz. We were on cloud nine!

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

We went to Tunisia for our honeymoon. Again we were on a budget and we shopped around. We did lots of activities like wine tasting, camel riding and had a spa day. It was a lovely hotel and as it was “out of season” the value for money was unbelievable… ultimately all that mattered to us was a bit of sun and seven days to be together.  Everything else was a bonus.

York Wedding by Emilia Smith

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to do what you want and don’t do things because they are expected. We feel that people spend a lot of money on things that are forgotten. We had a budget of £3000 and that had to include the honeymoon. We had a wonderful experience and we are now married and we don’t have any debts to pay. Don’t be afraid to ask friends for favours… we did and it was the best move we made, and also included them in our day.

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Congratulations Stef & Rich!

Fancy sharing your Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Get in touch.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Emilia Smith

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The Age of Austerity: A Styled Wedding Inspiration Shoot In Yorkshire

June 18th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Wait a minute?!  Is that the sun I see?  I’m definitely looking on the bright side this Monday morning as we begin a brand new week!

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Given the current economic climate, that it’s the middle of the month and the fact that the average British couple spends approximately £21,000 of their hard earned cash on their big day, I thought it might be worth looking at a more austere approach to wedding planning this morning.  Even if you’ve saved for years to have the wedding that you have always dreamed of (and there is nothing, I repeat, absolutely nothing wrong with that: your day must be done your way and I always love a properly posh do) if you are starting from scratch it’s always worth looking at ways to tighten the purse strings a little. 

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Whichever way you chose to do it: big budget blow out or otherwise, I hope that you enjoy today’s pretty styled shoot by Rebecca of preloved online wedding store Sell My Wedding and her team.  I just love those cows! 

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Simon Kench Photography for Sell My Wedding

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Rebecca says: I’m so excited that Brides Up North is featuring a little shoot that we did up on Beverley Westwood – the town’s ancient pasture land and home to lots of roaming cows!

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Simon Kench Photography for Sell My Wedding

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I got together with a three lovely local people that I met on Twitter and we thought it would be great to do a shoot that not only showcases the beautiful town that we live in but local wedding talents and the continued move away from extravagance to more austerity-led weddings. So we styled a shoot using preloved and secondhand items from Sell My Wedding.

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Simon Kench Photography for Sell My Wedding

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Rebecca’s top tips to having an austerity wedding

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Whilst us Yorkshire-folk are renowned for our frugality, Brides all over the country are increasingly cutting back on the cost of their wedding day.

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Simon Kench Photography for Sell My Wedding

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Simon Kench Photography for Sell My Wedding

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Simon Kench Photography for Sell My Wedding

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In an age where people are more cost conscious and ethically aware, brides and grooms are looking for ways to keep the cost of their wedding down. There is no longer a stigma to buying secondhand or preloved especially if it means that you can afford the dress of your dreams. With the vintage trend showing no real sign of waning brides-to-be continue to source charity shops and online marketplaces for crockery and old fashioned props.

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Simon Kench Photography for Sell My Wedding

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Simon Kench Photography for Sell My Wedding

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Simon Kench Photography for Sell My Wedding

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There has been a move away from bigger receptions with more couples choosing to have a small party in their garden, village hall or even open farmland like Beverley Westwood.

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Simon Kench Photography for Sell My Wedding

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Simon Kench Photography for Sell My Wedding

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Simon Kench Photography for Sell My Wedding

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Simon Kench Photography for Sell My Wedding

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Serving afternoon tea rather than a full wedding breakfast has also become a popular way to keep costs down – often with friends and family called in to help bake and make.

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This leads onto DIY and the make do and mend ethos with most brides adding at least a sprinkling of ‘do it yourself’ with homemade bunting and decoupage letters – the perfect accompaniment to a blank canvas such as a marquee or village hall.  Whilst design and stamping your individuality remain important, stationers offering printable press options enable brides-to-be to create unique creations which they can print at home.

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Simon Kench Photography for Sell My Wedding

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Simon Kench Photography for Sell My Wedding

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Simon Kench Photography for Sell My Wedding

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Flowers are still very much a key part of a wedding however with austerity brides selecting much simpler gowns and less elaborate reception locations this is reflected in their flower selection.  Budget led couples are choosing very simple designs using beautiful seasonal flowers more fitting with their overall style, making the most of locally-sourced and seasonal flowers and foliage.

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Simon Kench Photography for Sell My Wedding

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The Austerity Team

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Rebecca Aspin – Sell My Wedding 

Karen Holgate – Glenholme Florists Beverley

Becky Barnes – Miss Poppy’s Tea Party

Sarah Hathway – Love My Wedding Invites

Simon Kench – Simon Kench Photography

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  – Images © 2012 Simon Kench Photography 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Up For Discussion: Money Can’t Buy You Love – Bringing It In On Budget

December 9th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Love Is Greater Than Money

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Times are hard.  But you still want to have your dream day.  What to do?

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As a I often receive emails from Brides to Be asking for advice on budgeting.

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The first thing to note is that absolutely every couple is different.  A must have for you might be a must not for the girl next door, but the biggest advice that I could give you is make a list of your personal absolute non negotiables, whether those be an amazing live band, a designer frock, individually crafted favours to say thank you to your nearest and dearest, Jimmy Choos, a great photographer, a castle venue, a massive chocolate cake, letterpress stationery, a bouncy castle, whatever. 

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Then work out how the things that don’t feel quite so important can be done without, sourced more cheaply or home made.  That way, you only compromise on the compromisable.

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Be realistic.  Keep some money in the kitty for contingency.  Pray for a lottery win.

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Today our fabulous guest blogger Alison Staples tells us how she balanced her own books to afford the wedding day that she had always dreamed of – Jenny Packham frock included.

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“Why do we have to do all this wedding stuff so far in advance?” asked Tris (my husband to be). I took a deep breath – it was after all 10 months to our big day.

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“So that we can get exactly what we want, at the best possible price,” I replied.

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Hells bells, weddings can be expensive. Especially at this time of year when you’re juggling finances to accommodate Christmas.

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This year the average cost of a wedding is £18,605, with the majority somewhere between £15,000 and £25,000.

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Last week, a TV programme, The Ultimate Guide to Penny Pinching featured bride to be Rebekah organising her £1,500 wedding. While she didn’t quite go to co-star Jonathan’s extremes and feed her guests on ‘usable roadkill’ (honestly, who keeps a heron in their freezer?), she was very creative when it came to saving pennies.

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While I can’t lay claim to Rebekah’s crown, I did manage to bring our wedding in June at Chester Zoo, in on budget and well below the national average.

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I know from experience just how easy it is to get carried away with your credit card when planning a wedding.  I had to be really tough with myself. The ‘biggest day of your life’ can justify anything when it comes to splashing out.

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So Tris and I agreed a total amount and prioritised what was important. This will be different for every couple, but for us it was to have as many guests as possible at a really unusual child friendly venue for a thoroughly fun day. At its height we had 170 guests at Chester Zoo, including 50 children.

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Once we’d agreed priorities, I itemised everything I could think of, set an amount and then tried to beat it. It became a competition – no saving too small. I called in favours, scoured the sales and ebay and embraced my inner craft goddess.

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These are some ideas from my own experience for bringing it in on budget. No one wants to start married life with an overdraft!

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We gave our guests afternoon tea immediately after the ceremony with scones, jam and clotted cream. We saved £54.00 by buying packets of animal biscuits (very zoo wedding appropriate) from the supermarket for the under 7’s – which they all loved.

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I never realised how low maintenance I was until I had to be high maintenance! To cover the costs of manicures, pedicures, facials and body glows, I asked for vouchers from my favourite beauty spa for Christmas and birthday presents, saving £180.00

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We wanted to add a personal touch to the men’s outfits, so instead of hiring the ‘suit package’ for Tris, best man and two dads, we skipped the cravat and hanky and bought our own designs on e-bay, saving £38.00.

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I bought my four bridesmaids dresses, accessories and page boys outfit in end of season sale (Dec 2010), saving £49.50.

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We were very lucky that our wedding venue was already dripping with hanging baskets and surrounded by ornamental gardens. Plus, flowers for the registrars table and big containers of foliage were included in the hire cost. Although I otherwise would have spent on gorgeous flowers, in our case additional flowers would have been lost.

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When it came to choosing a cake, we chose a sacher torte, a full on chocolate extravaganza which we served with cream, meaning that other deserts would have been overkill after our massive BBQ.  This saved £683.00 on desserts.

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Tris and I had already been living together for a couple of years, so didn’t need anything for our house. Instead we asked guests for contributions towards our honeymoon. Our ‘Bliss List’ included everything from whale watching to hotel accommodation and contributions towards flights. Our super generous guests not only sent us to New England for 2 ½ weeks, but on a four day mini-moon to Paris, an incredible saving of £3,500.

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As a result, I saved enough money to pay for 40 extra guests, a wedding bus and a couple of child minders, which made a massive difference to our day. It also paid for an (essential) overspend of on my beautiful Jenny Packham dress and Flo & Percy accessories. Well, it was the most important day of my life after all!

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Are you worried about budgeting for your big day?  What would be your on personal tips? What saves and splurges are you planning?  Would you be having a different wedding if money was no object? 

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Alison writes her own personal blog at http://alison-staples.blogspot.com

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Alison’s latest posts for Brides Up North:

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Up For Discussion- Don’t Tell The Groom! Man Management

Up For Discussion- How To Do “I Do”- Writing Your Own Vows

Up For Discussion- Empty Chairs

Up For Discussion- Achieving The Perfect Level Of Wedding Morning Zen

Up For Discussion- The Name Game (and meet Alison!)

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Would you like to guest blog for Brides Up North? Email julia@bridesupnorth.co.uk

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Love Is Greater Than Money Image © 2011 deskofbrian.com

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Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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In The News

October 19th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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As well as a double daily blog post, I also write freelance and contribute regularly to features for the bridal press both online and in print.  Here is a little bit of what Brides Up North has been up to in recent weeks.

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First up, some commentary for The Times on the topic of vintage weddings, and whether this genre has a sell by date. 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: The Times - Will We Ever Get Sick Of A Vintage Wedding?

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I predict a return to true pre-loved elegance in the content of the article, written by Fiona Wilson at The Times:

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Mismatched china, bunting, 1920s lace – we’ve been going crazy for vintage wedding themes, but aren’t we sick of this trend yet?

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Just a glance through the high-profile wedding dresses of 2011 will show you that one factor unites many of them: the vintage look. From Kate Middleton’s classic Alexander McQueen gown that echoed Grace Kelly to Kate Moss’s 1920s-style cream veil, it would seem that we are borne back ceaselessly into the past.

For the uninitiated, vintage encompasses decades from the 1920s to the 1970s. This appeal to nostalgia, which extends from bridal fashion to decoration, draws on a broader retro trend. No longer he remit of those with time and elbows enough to nudge through second-hand stores, brides-to-be can visit specialist vintage wedding fairs (one such event visits Chester on October 16, 2011) as well as bridal shops, such as the Vintage Wedding Dress Company. The vintage influence is clear in today’s design, bridal couture and ready-to-wear garments and shows no sign of stopping next season. But what is its appeal and why, in the 21st century, are couples so keen to hark back to bygone times?

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Tiffany Grant-Riley, a UK-based wedding planner who offers vintage wedding styling, suggests the trend is illustrative of a more resourceful mind-set. In the midst of recession-hit times “thrifty is cool again,” she says. Since she launched her business in 2007, the vintage trend has “completely overtaken” the bridal industry: “Couples are hankering for the romance and glamour of a bygone era,” she says. “A time when you could buy something that was well made and lasted for life, when things were passed down in the family-including wedding dresses and rings.”

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Such was the case with Mary Richards from London, who works in press and marketing for Harvey Nichols. She married her partner Liam last year in a wedding that drew inspiration from 1950s tea parties. The dress, which she made with her mother, took inspiration from old Vogue patterns. The chairs were hired from the local village hall, and up to six months beforehand, Mary could be found scouring rural car boot sales for five pence cutlery pieces, mismatched crockery, candelabras and bird figurines that she used as wedding favours.

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Resourceful, yes. But according to Roland de Villiers of S8 Films, couples want their wedding design to tell a story. Roland, who has produces 8mm films of weddings including that of Lord Freddie Windsor and Sophie Winkleman, suggests that the popularity of vintage weddings illustrates a wider trend: “It’s no longer just about choosing ‘the right dress’,” he says. Planning a wedding “is about linking the whole day together with a theme”.

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For Mary, the appeal was that she could make her wedding feel personal. Her wedding design was a labour of love. “I’ve been to some really beautiful weddings where people have spent an absolute fortune on the day,” she says. “But I think people like that homemade feel. It’s less ostentatious and a lot more personal.” The decorations cost her between £2,000 and £3,000 in total. Many of the items, however, are still used in their home and their much-admired, mismatched set has been borrowed by other couples.

But will this trend age well? Yes, says Julia Braime of the website Brides up North, which offers wedding planning advice. But she advises brides to draw inspiration from key vintage pieces to create an updated take on the theme. “This is [your] wedding day, not a fancy dress party,” she warns. “In 20 years’ time ‘vintage style’ wedding photographs festooned with mismatched tea cups and colourful bunting may carry the same stigma as those dreaded 80s images with the fluffed out perms and ivory shoulder pads.”

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Cohesion is key: “Some of the most gorgeous weddings have drawn inspiration from the past,” she says, rather than sticking to it religiously. “The key is creating an elegant theme and reflecting your own style.”

Despite the image of shabby chic on a budget, vintage weddings aren’t always cheap. “Given the huge trend, you will find vintage shops charging a fortune for something that really isn’t worth a lot,” says Tiffany, who recommends charity shops, eBay and Etsy as money-savers. The devil’s in the detail when it comes to decorating, and if you’re going to plan the wedding yourself, experts advise you to plan carefully to ensure you have a cohesive theme.

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Are we likely to see the back of this trend anytime soon? Unlikely, says Tiffany. “We can expect a real shift towards DIY-style in 2012, something that holds a real attraction for creative couples, especially those on a budget.” Julia suggest that as vintage gowns, jewels and furnishings become more accessible, there will be “a move towards true vintage styling, resulting in a more glamorous look, rather than cookie-cutter copycat imitations.” Meanwhile August’s Ideal Bride Magazine suggested that we can expect Victorian indulgence in next year’s weddings. So it would seem that the classic vintage look is here to stay. As Yves Saint Laurent said, while fashion fades, style is eternal.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Wedding Ideas Magazine

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Next up, an Expert Advice column as part of a feature by Alice Rimes on Real Life Wow Factors For Less in the current issue of Wedding Ideas Magazine, out now:

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Wedding Ideas Magazine

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And to finish a couple of busy weeks, I also recently styled a bridal fashion shoot that was featured in The Sunday Sun.  For my pick of the images, click here

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Stan Seaton Photography

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Watch out for features coming up soon from Brides Up North in Pure Weddings, Wedding Ideas Magazine, Hitched Magazine and Bridal Buyer.  

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  – Images © 2011 as tagged

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Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Slam Dunk a DIY Do: Brides Up North in Wedding Ideas Magazine

June 16th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Wedding Ideas MagazineBrides Up North is thrilled to announce that the Brides Up North Summer Tweet Ups will now be in association with the fabulous Wedding Ideas Magazine. 

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This little wedding blogger is super duper excited and I hope that you lot are too.  I can’t wait to meet all you wonderful Northern wedding industry suppliers and Brides Up North!

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Click here now for more information about how to register your interest in the Brides Up North Tweet Ups in the North East, North West and Yorkshire. 

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In the meantime… Brides up North is proud to have contributed to Wedding Idea’s Magazine’s brilliant four page cover story in their July issue (out now) all about how to save the pennies by calling in some people power on your wedding day. 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Wedding Ideas Magazine

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If you need to make your wedding budget stretch that bit further this article is one to cut out and keep, with tips from real brides, wedding blogs (like the lovely Lou from Whimsical Wonderland Weddings) and industry professionals.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Wedding Ideas Magazine Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Wedding Ideas Magazine

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Wedding Ideas Magazine Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Wedding Ideas Magazine

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Fancy a closer look at my column?

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Wedding Ideas Magazine

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Pick up your July issue of Wedding Ideas Magazine today!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © Wedding Ideas Magazine

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog

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Marry Like A Princess; Pay For It Like A Pauper: Brides Up North in The Daily Mirror

June 2nd, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North recently contributed to an article for The Daily Mirror by friend of the blog freelance journalist Charlotte Ward about planning an amazing wedding without splashing the cash.

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Princess Kate

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Despite the obvious Royal Wedding spin, I think that there are some great tips here for any bride to be on a budget, so I have reproduced the article below.

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I get lots of emails from brides asking for advice of this kind and my discount features, high street fashion style edits and giveaways are some of the most popular posts on the wedding blog.  Let’s get real – these are tough times for a lot of people – but I believe that you can still have a dream wedding day with a little imagination.

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DAILY MIRROR

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Marry like a princess… pay for it like a pauper; Kate and Wills may not need to worry about their wedding budget, but the rest of us do. Here’s how to save on your big day…

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Byline: Charlotte Ward

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With royal wedding excitement building by the week and glossy magazines crammed full of showy displays and adverts, many couples find it hard to stick to the average budget of £15,000, leading to stress and debt – but it is possible to cut the spending.

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"The biggest budget doesn’t always mean the best," says Julia Braime, editor of bridal blog and directory bridesupnorth.co.uk. "Often, the most successful weddings are smaller affairs with lots of DIY elements, heaps of personality and a whole lot of love."

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Tamryn Kirby, author of “Confessions Of A Wedding Planner”, agrees. She says: "If you’ve got a bit of time you can save money and include some lovely personal touches."

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Here are our tips to hosting a wedding fit for a princess – on a pauper’s budget.

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Go local

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"The best deals and great talent can often be found right on your doorstep," says Julia. "Use smaller, regional suppliers who are keen to impress for a fraction of the big city prices. You will be also able to meet vendors easily, cutting back on wasted time and travel expenses."

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Stay seasonal

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"A good way to get the most of your flower budget is to use seasonal flowers," says Tamryn. "Not only are they cheaper, but also much more environmentally friendly than blooms air-freighted halfway across the world."

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Dress for less

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"Britain’s great high street just gets better and better," says Julia. "An understated gown from Coast, Monsoon or Debenhams can sometimes end up looking classier than a designer meringue."

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Go vintage

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If you have your heart set on a designer dress, try something pre-loved. Tamryn suggests: "A designer dress agency might be the ideal way to snap up something fabulous and some charities have departments dedicated to selling donated gowns."

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Mismatch your maids

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Borrow a trick from Carrie Bradshaw and mix it up, Sex and the City style.  "Ask your bridesmaids to pay for their gowns, but on the compromise that they can choose their own complimentary colours and styles," says Julia.

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Get crafty

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Call in some favours. Does your auntie bake? Or can your mate lend you his car? Julia says: "Your nearest and dearest will be flattered if you enlist their talents. You could also make your own stationery, favours and decorations. Source raw materials from haberdasheries or websites like www.etsy.com. Choose big colourful blooms like a single sunflower or orchid to create striking centrepieces for less cash."

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Tealight delight

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You might not have a dreamy castle venue but tealights make anywhere look whimsical.  Tamryn says: "Line hallways and windowsills for instant romance."

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Hit the sales

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If you’ve got plenty of time, don’t forget to check the seasonal sales for things you can snap up. "Fairy lights are often on offer after Christmas and dress and shoe shops have sales before the new ranges come in, so stock up," says Tamryn.

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Cut the numbers

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It can be tempting to invite the world and his wife to your big day, but if pennies are tight, keep your guest list to the people that count. "A small yet perfectly formed celebration can feel more special than a corner-cutting larger do," says Julia.

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Beg, blag and borrow

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Before you buy anything, see if you can borrow it, suggests Tamryn. "Venues often have tealight holders and florists have vases, stands, fabrics and accessories that can be borrowed or hired for a small charge.
"Try asking for something free – venues can often offer the bride and groom a complimentary room."

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Sell, sell, sell!

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"It is possible to recoup some money by selling anything you’re not going to use again," says Tamryn. "Other brides are always looking for a bargain!"

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CONFESSIONS OF A WEDDING PLANNER BY TAMRYN KIRBY (HEADLINE) IS OUT NOW.  FOR WEDDING INSPIRATION, VISIT WWW.BRIDESUPNORTH.CO.UK

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog © 2011

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