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September Village Hall Wedding (with hiccups)

After lurking for quite a while, I thought I'd come out of the shadows, say hello and start a planning thread myself... 

Our Story

I met his best friend, Mr M, online and we got on fine - although whenever he mentioned his best mate, Mr N, I got the feeling that this mysterious man and I would get along even better. At some point, Mr M made the mistake and revealed Mr N's identity, so I sent him a friend request on facebook. Big mistake indeed... Long story short, I went to see Mr N in London, then he came to see me in Germany and a few months later I moved to the UK. 

Four years on and we bought a house together, adopted a rescue bunny and are now planning our wedding. And Mr M wishes us well (phew). 

Now, the British wedding industry continues to baffle me and while I do like some aspects of it, I can't get my head around others. I don't see the point in spending loads of money on a single day, although I want the day to be special, of course. 

Thanks for reading, and I'm always keen on advice, tips and tricks, especially the money-saving kind. I'm very much on a budget!



  • The Proposal was super cute. We went backpacking through Costa Rica for three weeks and on the night before the last, sitting on the beach with the monkeys being a nuisance in the jungle behind us, he dug the ring out and popped the question. I didn't even know what to say, especially as he was always very anti-marriage. But, he had changed his mind and I'm glad!

    Back home, I had a look at different venues and got some quotes and nearly fainted. I really didn't want to spend thousands of pounds on a venue, however gorgeous it may be. Pretty quickly I got the idea to separate ceremony and reception, so we could have a cheaper registry office ceremony and then a party somewhere else, also cheaper than both bundled up in a package. 

    I found a lovely registry office in Essex, not too far from where we live, in an old Georgian Manor building. So I do get a manor house, but without the price tag that other venues have. Granted, it's still "just" a registry office, but hey. I very quickly learnt that being a budget bride is not that easy... 


  • And then the first hiccup... Reception venue. 

    When we first started planning, I was hoping for a smaller party, something quiet and cosy. However, the groom indicated that he would like all of his friends and family there, and he has lots of both... So we had to find a bigger, affordable venue. Not an easy task, when we both were working full time and didn't really have time to look around. Also, for the date we set, many venues were already booked. Apparently, 6 months of planning is not much!

    In the end, we agreed to let his parents help with our search and after a couple of weeks we had two choices, or so we thought: A school hall that would be completely DIY, very cheap and with staff that was keen to help. Or a standard wedding venue that we'd get for free (only paying for food and drinks) because of his father's connections. I loved the school hall idea, although I could see that it would be a LOT of work. Decorating, hiding all the sports equipment, etc. The standard venue, on the other hand, would be very pain free. But also very bland. Very standard. Very much not me. 

    He wasn't thrilled with either, but then we were tired of searching... The parents really liked the standard venue and we learnt that it's really hard to say no to the offer they made: we'd get the venue for free and the parents would pay for food. Basically, that would be our wedding sorted. So we agreed.

    And then had regrets.

    I wanted to put my own stamp on it, but the staff was less than cooperative, coming up with extra charges for ridiculous things and generally being not that bothered. 

    At some point, I had enough. I started looking again and came across a village hall not far away. It looked quite cute on the website, so on a whim we contacted them and then went to have a look. It was everything I actually wanted: A blank canvas, but already in a state that wouldn't require quite as much DIY as a school hall. Nothing ugly that needed to be hidden, and they have very laid back rules, we can do whatever we like as long as we leave it all tidy. 

    So we booked that instead.

    I learnt that it's never too late to change your mind.... And that was just the first hiccup. Don't get me started on the dress... (That's for another day). 


  • Mrsseebe2beMrsseebe2be Posts: 709 New bride

    Hi Chocolatey!

    Congratulations on your engagement, looking forward to hearing your wedding plans.

    Are you getting married this September then? What's your date?


  • Thank you!

    Yep, this September on the 16th. Very excited! I wasn't actually aware that people plan for years... I have only a few months left now and there's so much to do...

  • Mrsseebe2beMrsseebe2be Posts: 709 New bride
    Chocolatey wrote (see post):

    Thank you!

    Yep, this September on the 16th. Very excited! I wasn't actually aware that people plan for years... I have only a few months left now and there's so much to do...

    Aww, we're date buddies! I know, we've been planning since last June so it'll be 15 months from engagement to wedding which by a lot of people's standards is pretty short. I've got a lot of respect for you for planning in 6 months, it's not easy!

  • Mrsseebe2be wrote (see post):
    I've got a lot of respect for you for planning in 6 months, it's not easy!


    To be fair, I'm cutting out a lot of what others do. I only have a Maid of Honour, but no bridesmaids, and won't have a florist, hair person or make up person. I only need to organise a DJ and maybe a photographer for an hour or two. And all of the food, of course. And the decorations. So, it's not as bad as it could be... 

  • Mrsseebe2beMrsseebe2be Posts: 709 New bride

    True, we have a maid of honour but no bridesmaids too. We are however doing hair and make up and we've got a photographer and a DJ. Not doing any more "entertainment" like a photo booth or anything like that.

    I look forward to hearing the rest of your story!



  • We doing a photo booth, though I'm not sure how yet... It will certainly be DIY, but I don't know whether the groom will fiddle about with electronics himself or listen to me and just buy an instant camera. We'll see!

    Great to meet a date buddy on here, by the way! 

  • Sara110Sara110 Posts: 1

    I'm the same date too! and also having my reception in a village hall in Essex I didn't realise just how much DIY needs to be done though!


  • VegasLouVegasLou Posts: 820 New bride

    Congratulations on your engagement. Sounds like a beautiful proposal. Look forward to hearing more of your planning and dress hunt.

  • Mrsseebe2beMrsseebe2be Posts: 709 New bride

    Hi Chocolatey

    Just wondered how you were getting on? We're past the two month mark now!


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