Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


How I saved money on my wedding by Laura from Devine Bride

As you may remember, I’ve been asking some of my favourite bloggers to help me out with some guest posts this summer so that I can take a little time off. Luckily my pals didn’t let me down and emailed over a huge variety of inspirational blog posts for me to share during August. Here’s another guest posts by the lovely Laura from Devine Bride, who has already shared snaps of her thrifty wedding idea for a homemade dessert buffet on my blog at the end of July. Today she’s telling us about all budgeting tips and wedding day hacks she used to save £££s on her own wedding – read on to find out how she did it..!L&A-LowRes-375The blogs and magazine articles I like the most are real weddings and honest accounts of what other people did for their wedding. Trials, tribulations, likes, dislikes, what went right, what went wrong – I just can’t help having a nosey. All of which I found most helpful, so I wanted to share the story of how I saved money on my wedding with the hope to inspire and help others. It needn’t cost the earth, and it can still be amazing!L&A-LowRes-271Dress

I found my dream dress on the American website BHDN, but I was wary to buy it online without any idea of sizing or fit, so I sourced the designer back to her roots – and it just so happened she has a studio in East London. After the success of the jewellery sample sale, I signed up to their mailing list. I had lots of time, but within a month I got an email to say they were having a sample sale! The designer doesn’t do much bridal wear, and there was no guarantee of what was going to be in the sale, but I kept an open mind thinking there might be something similar from a past season. At the very least, I wanted to go along to see how the sizes fitted. As it turned out, one of two dresses I had my eye on was in the sample sale, the only one of that style and size, and fitted like a glove, so I knew it was meant to be! I ended up getting my dress for £720 – half the normal retail price.L&A-LowRes-11 L&A-LowRes-95

Dress, Catherine Deane sample sale; £720 (approx. saving = £680)

Alterations and Dry Cleaning

Although my dress fitted like a glove, it needed taken up slightly and dry cleaned as it had been tried on a few times. I looked at specialist bridal boutiques and I got a quote for the hem for £160, and dry cleaning for £100… which I wasn’t really prepared to pay since I had *only* paid £700 for the actual dress. I was nervous to leave my one-of-a-kind-bargain-sample-sale-dress with anyone other than a specialist, but I simply could not justify those prices. After much googling and deliberation, I trusted my dress with a tiny Polish alterations place recommended to me by my sister. It was a bit of a trek away in North London, where allegedly all the rich women of Hampstead get their design togs altered. I was suspicious of their non-descript tiny shop, but they did an amazing job! The term, ‘never judge a book by its cover’ sprang to mind afterwards. After that, I felt a bit more relaxed to leave my dress with my local dry cleaners where my hubby gets his suits done. Upon leaving my dress, I asked if they had insurance, but they just laughed and said, ‘what do you think is going to happen to it?!’. This didn’t quite fill me with confidence but my dress came back sparkling and I couldn’t have been more pleased!L&A-LowRes-385

Alterations: Mihaela’s Fashion Shop, Cricklewood; £20 (approx. saving = £140)

Dry Cleaning: City of London Dry Cleaning Co, Canary Wharf, £25 (approx. saving = £75) Continue reading “How I saved money on my wedding by Laura from Devine Bride” »


Hen party series ~ Dressing up the bride

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been running a series of articles on hen parties – and today is actually the hen party of one of my fab fairy-friends! Obviously, I’ve made her a bridal tutu for her big night out, which I’m sharing with you below and I’m also discussing the tradition of dressing up the bride and sharing some of my favourite outfits. 

We all know that the purpose of dressing up on a stag do is to humiliate the groom; putting him in a tacky nickname t-shirt, a hotpants/tutu combo and handcuff him to an inflatable sheep (or worse!). However, with hen parties, the purpose of the fancy dress element is not to make the bride look at her worst, but to make her stand out as the ‘queen’ of the party – mainly so that male strippers can target her and amorous men can buy her drinks all night. All you hens might choose to dress the same for the party, but the bride will definitely stand out.

One of the easiest ways to make your bride the centre of attention is to dress her in white, but if you don’t want to go for the cheesy L-plate accessories, a good option is a mini-version of a bridal outfit – a classy veil, cheeky garter and pretty petticoat are all you need to make her into a bride-in-training. Here are some of the bridal tutus that I’ve made recently at Tutus,Wings & Pretty Things, all of which can be customised with ribbons or colours to coordinate with the hens or party theme:

cassiefairy wedding bridal tutu white sparkly outfit

cassiefairy wedding bridal tutu white sparkly outfit neon ribbon

Over the past few weeks I’ve been happy to be able to bring you some top-tips from lots of my fellow bloggers. Ellen previously shared her article on personalising a hen party and Claire from LaceyinPlaces blog has been sharing her tips for creating the perfect vintage hen do. I’ve discussed glamourous 50s and his ‘n’ hers party themes and over the coming weeks there’ll be craft tutorials, ideas for games, budget planning and costume sewing tips from Kat. 

Hen party series articles


Hen party series ~ ideas for personalising your party

With the summer wedding season fast approaching, I have decided to start a series of blog posts on the subject of that most important bridal tradition – the Hen Party. I will be writing a few posts of my own hen party experiences and I am also inviting other lovely bloggers to share their ideas for creating the perfect hen do. Over the coming weeks we’ll have craft tutorials, ideas for games and budget planning from Lacey in Places and this week writer Ellen Avants has shared the following article about personalising a hen party to make it extra special for the bride, bridesmaids and guests. Enjoy!

Whether you choose to take your party out of the henhouse, or keeping within the coop, a hen party is a time in which friends come together to give a bride a fun sendoff as she leaves one chapter of her life to enter the next. The possible settings are endless and, take note, themed hen parties are increasingly popular as ladies look for a way to make the night memorable. When going out for a night on the town, you can set the night apart by wearing hen tank tops, tutus or, for those who are daring, playboy bunny outfits. For a look that is both elegant and sassy, why not have partygoers pull out their favorite little black dresses? Just make sure that everyone can easily move about and is comfortable in their outfits, or else they’re in for a very long night! Of course, the bride-to-be should receive special treatment, perhaps with a telltale necklace, tiara, or a different coloured outfit that will stand out. It would be a thoughtful gift to provide some flip-flops for everyone to change into after many hours in high heels. Other common accessories for hen parties include boas, party badges, fun hats, candy rings and more. You can make the party favors practical for both the special night and everyday life – one idea is to gift your bridesmaids and favorite friends a cute little clutch with portable tissues, a stick of lip balm, a snack bar and mini hand sanitizer. Or how about a cute flask or shot glass that they can drink from? When choosing your favours, have them personalized to make your bridesmaids feel extra special.

hen party ideas for personalised event pampering spa

A more relaxing idea would be a spa party, where you can order all your ladies a monogrammed robe and engraved champagne flute; add on a pair of slippers if you’re feeling generous, and voila! A spa-themed party can be held within a luxurious establishment or even within the comfort of your own home – place a few strategically lit candles, whip up some natural face masks, have healthy snacks available and play some soothing tunes, and your home can be transformed into a relaxing haven in which a bride-to-be can unwind and laugh with her bridesmaids as she receives a manicure.

Throughout the planning process, always keep in mind the bride’s personal preferences. While you may think that crude toys are hilarious, don’t travel down that path if they’re likely to make her uncomfortable. If you’re weary of crossing the line, there are plenty of ways in which you can be subtly mischievous. Consider serving cheeky cookies or giving the bride the option of playing naughty games like “Never Have I Ever,” a game in which a person takes a drink every time they have experienced something that another player has never done. Have fun with photographs to create memories that will last for a lifetime!  Perhaps you and the partygoers can stage the “morning-after mug shots” in which each woman, presumably looking a little disheveled, poses in front of a blank wall with a name card—Bridesmaid, Bride-to-Be, “Maid of Dishonor”—and each photo labeled with the date of the night before. It’s playful, fun, and certainly a happy medium between the usual posed group pictures and those not permitted on the World Wide Web!

So, when planning a hen party, don’t neglect the details. After all, it is the creative touches that can elevate the night and make your bride feel like a princess. With a little bit of thought and creativity, as well as a lot of love, you can give your friend a wonderful party; and brides, return the favour with tokens of appreciation for your bridesmaids for making your big day a little more special.

PS: I’ve been shortlisted in the Company Magazine Style Blogger Awards and I would be eternally grateful if you would stop by their page and cast your vote – I’m in the Thrifty Blog category and I’d love it if you voted for me! Thanks so much 😀

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Wedding ideas – Choosing your bridesmaid outfits…

Choosing your outfits for your younger bridesmaids can be tricky & it’s hard to get outfits to match the dresses of your adult bridesmaids. So how about these gorgeous bridesmaid and flower-girl outfits featuring lovely puffy tutu-skirts – your child bridesmaids will feel like proper little princesses and will look super-cute in your wedding photos! Plus it’ll be a contrasting shape to the adult bridesmaids but can be colour coordinated to continue your wedding’s theme.

Check out Tutus, Wings & Pretty Things website for cute child size tutus for your bridesmaids both little and large – matching ruffle tutu skirts available in child and adult sizes!

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