Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

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


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Stop complaining! How to avoid guest gripes

Weddings are beautiful, special, romantic and joyous occasions that publicly celebrate a couple’s love. However, while everything is about the two of you, you’re also the lead hosts of a lavish event. All your loved ones have been invited and this leads to certain expectations. I’ve already blogged about which wedding traditions you could do without, but this post is different. It’s about avoiding guest gripes before they arise to make sure that everyone is happy on your big day. Well, you don’t want a whingeing sister ruining your special day, do you? Nope! Here’s how to keep the grumbles to a minimum and it starts with choosing the ideal date…Save The Date

It’s a rare occasion where everyone invited to a wedding can attend, but it does happen so be prepared to accommodate every RSVP. However, there are some dates that picky guests will moan and groan over including anything near Christmas, New Year or even the summer holidays! It’s also best to keep your wedding away from anything too commercial like Valentine’s Day because lots of couples like to book mini-breaks and getaways at that time of year too. It’s not only cheaper to get married out of season; you’re more likely to have the number of guests you wanted as people tend to see the autumn and winter months as downtime and their social calendars are less busy.

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Which wedding traditions can you do without??

Weddings are traditionally quite formal affairs in which strict protocols need to be followed. People wear certain things, it happens in a particular place, and there are traditions that must be upheld. Of course, some of parts of wedding must happen, otherwise the marriage wouldn’t be legal, but we have recently seen a move towards more customisation with engagements and weddings. Doing away with some of the more stuffy traditions leaves a little more room to make these events work best you as a couple, so read on to find out which traditions you can personalise…

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Engagement

Of course, before you can get married you need to get engaged. Traditionally this is the time when the groom asked the bride’s father for her hand in marriage and then surprises her with an engagement ring to seal the deal. Now you may want to keep some or all of these elements when you get engaged but don’t forget that this is not the only way it can happen. For example, the proposal does not have to be a surprise. Indeed, many couples discuss this event beforehand to ensure that marriage is what they both want. Also, you don’t have to be surprised – there’s no problem in choosing a ring for yourself. And you can stick to your own personal style in this area too – you don’t have to choose a diamond if you prefer rubies! Of course diamond engagement rings are still the most popular choice, because of the symbolism of lasting commitment associated with them.

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Getting married locally

Another popular tradition that isn’t happening as much as it used to be is getting married in the local church. While it is still a popular choice for many folks, a lot more people are deciding on a destination wedding instead. Get married abroad, or even just a special place in the UK that provides the perfect backdrop to their day (on the beach or in woodlands, for example), can help to make the wedding a little more special and personal to them. For many couples it can help them get away from the stresses and strains of the expectations of a traditional wedding.

Continue reading “Which wedding traditions can you do without??” »


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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” »


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Thrifty Wedding Inspiration – Homemade cake buffet

Wedding food can take up a hefty chunk of any wedding budget, so it’s important to consider plenty of different options when you decide how to cater for your guests. After lots of research (on Pinterest, naturally) I began to think that dessert + after-dinner truffles + wedding cake + tuckshop + ice cream cart might be a little bit overkill for the average wedding. Sure, these are all really lovely parts of the wedding reception and if you’re known for your undying love of ice-cream then go for it! But if you’re on a budget, it’s not a problem to play around with the wedding breakfast format a little and same some money at the same time.L&A-LowRes-539After checking out these images of fabulous dessert buffet tables I learned that IS possible to cut back on some of the food at your wedding without disappointing anyone. To be honest, a slice of cake at the end of the night won’t really be missed, and serving up your wedding cake instead of a dessert is a perfectly acceptable money-saving option too. Why not ask guests to compete in a ‘bake off’ and bring a cake that they have baked at home. This would fit in perfectly with a village fete themed wedding and allows guests to be a part of the event. All you’d need is some serving plates and a big rosette for the ‘winner’ of the bake off. And I’m sure all the guests would all enjoy tucking into the huge variety of cakes that end up on the bake off table.L&A-LowRes-538 L&A-LowRes-540Laura from no-nonsense wedding blog Devine Bride says; “We tried to be creative with our wedding to make it more unique to us, but also to try to save some pennies along the way. My sister is a bit of a foodie and ended up having two wedding cakes at her wedding, however everyone had such a good time that that they forgot all about the cakes and we were still eating them for 3 weeks afterwards! We decided to reabsorb our wedding cake budget, removed our dessert course from our menu, and asked all of our local friends to bake us a cake instead of bringing us a present. We ended up with a massive Pudding Garden dessert buffet! It was a massive hit with our guests and it meant so much to us that our friends had contributed to our day.”L&A-LowRes-254 L&A-LowRes-543I think that these buffet tables all look so inviting, and the variety of cakes that guests could bring to your wedding is unlimited. I would personally love to be asked to bake a dessert, and would hand over my cupcakes with pride! I also think that guests would be more happy to tuck in when there’s a cake buffet on offer, as nothing is too precious to slice up (unlike a traditional wedding cake). Of course, if you want to ‘cut the cake’ you could always stack up a number of Victoria sponge cakes to create one large tiered cake, or could ‘cut the ribbon’ instead to declare the dessert buffet open!L&A-LowRes-285 L&A-LowRes-541 L&A-LowRes-271Let me know if you’ve decided to do something a little different for your own wedding by leaving me a comment below and I’d love to see your own wedding ideas or cake photos so please tag me on Instagram @Cassiefairy. And be sure to stop by Laura’s blog Devine Bride for plenty more wedding inspiration, advice and fantastic ‘real life’ wedding photos.

 


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Weddings & diamonds – How to choose a ring for life

Having just returned from my bestie’s hen party, my thoughts have turned to weddings, rings and the big day itself. While, as a bridesmaid, I’ve been privy to a little information about the big day, there are still a lot of exciting things that the bride and groom are planning that I have no clue about. It’s going to be fun finding out what surprises they have in store for us on the wedding day and I’m eager to see how they’ve personalised their big day.wedding day choosing rings inspirationOne of the things I’m most excited about is seeing my best friend’s wedding ring. My own wedding ring is one of my most cherished possessions, and it hasn’t been taken off since the day my husband put it there, nearly 13 years ago. So I know how special this one piece of jewellery is and how important it is to get the wedding ring right. After thinking about this for a couple of days – all the while begging my friend to give me a sneaky peek of her choice! – I’ve come up with some tips for brides who are about to choose their wedding ring, to help you pick a style that suits your lifestyle now and in the future.i said yes engagement photo inspiration1. Make it future-proof

A style of ring that you absolutely LOVE now, might not be the right design for you in the future. Trends come and go, colour inspirations vary from year to year, and fashions change with the seasons. Whereas you’re going to be wearing your wedding ring for decades to come! So it makes sense to go for something classic and not be swayed by “this-years-must-have” design. I’d recommend simplicity over extravagance, and would pick traditional gold or platinum over a rose gold band or coloured jewels. bride and groom Continue reading “Weddings & diamonds – How to choose a ring for life” »


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Quirky & unique wedding venues: what are the options?

When it comes to planning your wedding day, you’ll undoubtedly want a spectacular day that’s filled with beautiful memories to last a lifetime. The location plays an integral role in creating this ‘wow factor’, and if you’re searching for something extra special then check out these quirkily romantic venues:natural history museum wedding

Natural History Museum

Museums and Art Galleries If you or your partner is interested in art, history or imposing architecture, then the ideal location may just be your local museum or art gallery. The options are virtually endless when it comes to indulging your niche hobby or interest, and you could get married in front of anything from a Spitfire to a woolly mammoth. Whatever your historic or artistic whimsy, the photos would definitely be sensational, and your guests would remember the day forever.wedding barn venue inspiration Countryside Barns A novel option for outdoorsy types and couples besotted with earthy themes, the barn wedding is sure to melt hearts. To pull this one off, find an amazing venue in Cheshire and think soft lighting, exposed pine, pastel colours and earthy tones; all set under the stars and against a backdrop of beautiful timber and inviting open space.Ox Pasture Hall wedding gardenThe Great Outdoors A step further than a barn wedding is to choose a park, forest or general area of outstanding beauty for your big day. It could be that somewhere special where you and your loved one first met, or simply somewhere beautiful that you find breathtakingly romantic. Consider spots like national parks, moors, pinewoods, mountains or the beach. This type of venue is probably best for summer, and make sure to research local laws and venue restrictions.ox pasture hall hotel wedding venueGardens or Conservatory Perhaps you are keen gardeners or enjoy flowers, and if so an ideal wedding venue could be a large conservatory or picturesque botanical garden. In choosing such a venue, think tree-lined paths, scents to inspire, manicured lawns and colours that pop. Many large conservatories are also historical feats of architecture, and the opportunities to utilise such a unique space can create a stunning impact. Historical Libraries Books, en-masse, create a wonderful ambience, and what could form a better backdrop for iconic photographs? The romantic notion motivating a marriage among bookcases might be lost on some, but for literature lovers the appeal is obvious. The opportunities to theme the wedding are also numerous, whilst the grandeur and intellectual aura of the building will bring a touch of refined class not afforded with many other venues.cruise boat wedding venue ideas

Boat wedding inspiration

On a Boat If you love the water and find its energy inspiring, then consider a water-based venue. This could be a sailboat, rowboat, barge, yacht, a speedboat or even a ferry! If you don’t fancy open water, then the boat can remain anchored and the sparkling infinity of the lake, river or ocean will still create beautiful ambience and make for unforgettable sunset photographs.

When it comes to picking your wedding venue, the more creative you are with it, the better! Aim for locations that reflect your personal interests and love story, whilst adding that unique dash of romance and a stunning backdrop for spectacular photographs. If you need a helping hand while working out your budget for venues, catering and everything else wedding-related, check out this easy Wedding Calculator App:

Let me know if you are planning a wedding anytime soon and whether you hope to include anything quirky or personal – I’d love to hear from you so please leave me a comment below!

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