Regular readers may dissent, but my blog was originally wedding-themed – mine specifically – and started last year ahead of the big event which is now in, ooh, today.*
Wedding planning is a little bit fun and a little bit bonkers. There is a fluffy pink rollercoaster of a ride waiting to sweep up the unprepared and gullible bride to be as she sets out in her preparations. “Ooh,” you find yourself nodding along sagely to a saleswoman/man, “y’know that horse-drawn carriage complete with plumed horses and footmen does sound pretty unique and romantic, now you come to mention it.”
Reader dear, I resisted most of it. I batted off people trying to flog me table decorations, I ignored the pleas of wedding stationery retailers and I decided against an on site make-up artist. I also felt an engagement photo shoot was not necessary (can you imagine, you walk into our house to be greeted by a huge portrait of me and my beloved grinning at each other cheesily – it would put you right off your dinner) and we certainly would not need a wedding video.
I had a budget in mind and I stuck to it** so I’ll share with you the wisdom of moi a la the home-made bride:
Red Velvet wedding cake
Make your own cake! No, really decorating it the day before is so soothing, so relaxing so guaranteed to bond you and your beloved together as you saw through half-frozen cakes and argue (gently) over the smoothness of your sugar paste.
On the plus side, the ingredients cost £30, plus I had to splash out on £17 for two cake tins. A quick Google search reveals your average three tier wedding cake costs upwards of £250.
Create your own favours. Now this I write without mockery – this particular endeavour was a great deal of fun. In October last year, we stockpiled local brambles, steeped them in sugar and vodka and left the mix in kilner jars under the stairs for several months. Following a quick pre-wedding quality control check (hic!), the liqueur was pronounced fit for consumption and we ordered bottles and labels online.
Two for tea – and bramble vodka for one
Favour 2 (for the ladies) was little bits of millionaire’s shortbread cut up into tiny pieces and individually wrapped, then presented in a china tea cup and saucer, obtained from several trips to charity shops. (The ones in the posher parts of Edinburgh yielded the best results).
I even went so far as to make my own chocolates too as prizes for a game. Tempering chocolate isn’t difficult, though it is rather tedious but you get much better-looking results as you can see from this picture. Instructions for tempering chocolate in the microwave (and other ways) are available here.
The difference between tempered and untempered chocs…
My brother-in-law is a talented graphic designer so he designed the invites and I emailed these out to save on postal costs.
For the beauty stuff I booked in to a beauty counter in John Lewis for a long-lasting make-up lesson. (Bobbi Brown – it’s really informative, but make yourself be firm about just how many products you are going to buy at the end).
And finally the flowers, we bought vases from Ikea (ten of, £1.75 each) and the day before, we went to the local supermarket, bought five cheap bouquets and divided them up amongst the vases for the table.
As you read this, I will be about to say ‘I do’. I will bid a fond farewell to the single/unmarried years (hey, they were fun…) and hello to Mr and Mrs Life. Another chapter of life begins.
*Marvellous modern invention – scheduling so I’m cheating by writing this a day ahead.
**More or less, A few more items of skincare and make-up than were strictly necessary crept into my shopping bag.