What Am I Doing?! - April 2020

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  • LittleBlondeBride wrote (see post):

     

     Just binge read your whole thread and love it! You've totally got this and are going to look SO GOOD!

    I do looove the Galatea (the titanium dress). We have it in the shop I work in and it's never not looked good on someone. Have you thought about some kind of detachable skirt for your own dress?

     

    Aw thank you!! That's really sweet of you and its nice to know people are enjoying my thread 

    It is so gorgeous, but i had a bit of a realisation this morning that while they're all bloody lovely dresses they're about double my original budget, and M has said it doesn't matter i can have any dress i want but lets be real, we cant pull this money off a tree so realistically i think i need to accept that it isn't meant to be, and maybe after like 5 years ill just nag for a vow renewal and can wear one that style then :p 

    I have been having a little look at overskirts, but i think my general thoughts are that i like the idea of the more traditional style for the ceremony, so the one i have with the train, and i think they're gorgeous for photos too, but i love the flowy tulle style for the more relaxed evening part (and dancing!) so i might do down the route of an evening dress? If i can find something similar under £150 id be tempted. I just think adding an overskirt for the evening will logistically be awkward, as the train would be all tucked under it and would probably give me duck-butt.

    I think im still going to go to Wed2b just to put my mind at ease, but im taking the time to just try and chill out about it all. Its so conflicting, its your "one day" to wear anything you want and be a bit extra, but also its only one day, so i just dont want to spend over a year obsessing and getting stressed about it. 

    With my low end budget there will ALWAYS be a dress more gorgeous than mine, so i just gotta accept that as long as i feel good and im not broke then its all good! I know if i did spend £2,000 on a dress, afterwards id feel so guilty and be a bit pissed at myself really. 

  • Ashley72Ashley72 Posts: 1,137 New bride
    CoffeeDogAddict wrote (see post):
    LittleBlondeBride wrote (see post):

     

     Just binge read your whole thread and love it! You've totally got this and are going to look SO GOOD!

    I do looove the Galatea (the titanium dress). We have it in the shop I work in and it's never not looked good on someone. Have you thought about some kind of detachable skirt for your own dress?

     

    Aw thank you!! That's really sweet of you and its nice to know people are enjoying my thread 

    It is so gorgeous, but i had a bit of a realisation this morning that while they're all bloody lovely dresses they're about double my original budget, and M has said it doesn't matter i can have any dress i want but lets be real, we cant pull this money off a tree so realistically i think i need to accept that it isn't meant to be, and maybe after like 5 years ill just nag for a vow renewal and can wear one that style then :p 

    I have been having a little look at overskirts, but i think my general thoughts are that i like the idea of the more traditional style for the ceremony, so the one i have with the train, and i think they're gorgeous for photos too, but i love the flowy tulle style for the more relaxed evening part (and dancing!) so i might do down the route of an evening dress? If i can find something similar under £150 id be tempted. I just think adding an overskirt for the evening will logistically be awkward, as the train would be all tucked under it and would probably give me duck-butt.

    I think im still going to go to Wed2b just to put my mind at ease, but im taking the time to just try and chill out about it all. Its so conflicting, its your "one day" to wear anything you want and be a bit extra, but also its only one day, so i just dont want to spend over a year obsessing and getting stressed about it. 

    With my low end budget there will ALWAYS be a dress more gorgeous than mine, so i just gotta accept that as long as i feel good and im not broke then its all good! I know if i did spend £2,000 on a dress, afterwards id feel so guilty and be a bit pissed at myself really. 

     

    Definitely keep an eye on BHLDN - their dresses are really unusual and look great value compared to some I've seen in bridal shops. You'd need to order online but if you can get a wow dress closer to your budget then it might be worth the anxiety that comes with it! They can all be altered and I think are quite helpful in terms of helping you with measurements and sizes etc. 

  • Ashley72 wrote (see post):

     

    Definitely keep an eye on BHLDN - their dresses are really unusual and look great value compared to some I've seen in bridal shops. You'd need to order online but if you can get a wow dress closer to your budget then it might be worth the anxiety that comes with it! They can all be altered and I think are quite helpful in terms of helping you with measurements and sizes etc. 

     

    Amazing thank you! Ill have a little nosey now and sign up for any deals 

  • 19 Month to Go

    It's bloody ages away! Although it's nice that we are not well out of the territory of our wedding being further away than the amount of time we had been together. when we got engaged we had only been together about 19 months, and the wedding was about 22 months away, which made it all feel a little odd!

    There's nothing to report or to do here really. All very dull and quiet. I'm off for a mini break to the Isle of Wight this weekend for my sisters birthday, so that should be great, even if it means a 4:30am drive down half the country. 

    I'm sort of just willing time away at the moment. After this trip i'll probably start trying to get things in line for Christmas, as we need to spread the cost as much as we can really. 

    Hope everyone else's planning is going well! 

  • I Jynxed It

    I said there was nothing going on and then of course i get an email from the caterers (who i emailed 2 weeks ago..)

    So, they aren't down with us having the evening BBQ option in the day as previously suggested. They do have a very similar day option, that is £46 a head instead of the £15. Fine, whatever, it looks like we are just going to have to lump it but honestly other than them serving it to the table (which we didn't want) i really don't see how they justify that mark up - its the same foods (and even only a mini burger, not a full size one). 

    I think we are going to have to go through and compare with a fine tooth comb, but for the sake of not pissing the venue off 19 months before the big day and making it all super awkward i think we will just have to go with it. 

    I also asked if we were able to have our own "family bake off" for the desserts, and advised we wouldn't want any included as we would like to only have these, and they just didn't respond to that bit at all. They advised the £46 package would come with a trio of desserts, and it looks like were just going to have to accept that too. 

    I felt like laughing when i saw at the end of the email "I'm sure I've answered all of your questions but please get in touch if not"..... erm well you've missed about 3 points i raised, but no biggie. 

    I'm genuinely wondering seeing as they only have 4 other bookings for the whole of 2020 if were better of asking if we can cancel, as they will definitely be able to re-sell that date, and starting again. We picked them because they said they were so flexible but i'm failing to see any of that now.  

    I know it really isn't the end of the world, it just feels a bit galling as we really had our heart set on the informal BBQ vibe, and we were reassured this wouldn't be an issue. It also REALLY puts pressure on the budget, and from my (basic) calculations it looks like for the ceremony we are going to have to go from 78 guests to 50 MAX. 

    I'm sure we can make it work, and we dont really have much choice, but ill try not to dwell on it. 

  • Ashley72Ashley72 Posts: 1,137 New bride

    They sound....frustrating. I can understand not allowing the £15pp menu as I'm guessing they have to make a certain amount, and I'd assume the evening food was just the meat and bread but that the main food would be served with salads and sides etc. I would also want full sized food for a main meal. They sound difficult to work with and like they'll cause you anxiety and stress over the long period between now and the wedding. 

    Will your venue let you use other options? Have you spoken to any of them to see if they can do what you want? I'd find out your plan B before you speak to them about cancelling. Have you looked in your contract about what their cancellation policy is?

     

  • Honestly, you have so much time that I would look into other caterers. Don't cancel with your other one until you've confirmed with anyone new (and have it in writing) that they can definitely do what you want within the budget that you have.

    Also figure out if it will cost you anything substantial to cancel with your current caterers. If you can cancel with minimum fuss and expense I would definitely consider it. It doesn't sound like they're being flexible at all, and they're not actually answering your questions, which is annoying to say the least.

  • Thanks for your feedback 

    Sorry i should've definitely said earlier, the venue and the caterers are one and the same. When you book that venue they only have that one caterer you can use, and they dont allow anything else, even like ice cream trucks and stuff they just wont have it, so it means cancelling everything venue wise and starting again. We originally liked that it was all a package, as it took away a lot of the pressure and hassle of finding individual suppliers (we can still pick all the rest but the caterer is set) and we did check loads of reviews and i spoke to a friend whos actually getting married there next year and they only had good things to say. I worry maybe we're just being really awkward. 

    I've had a look at the evening BBQ and what they're suggesting for the day "bbq" and both offer basically the same :

    Day "bbq" 

    image

     

    Evening BBQ

    image

     

    So really in terms of whats available, I don't see a huge difference, although there are obviously a few things. I'm totally chill with it not being £15pp, we said we'd pay the total cost for the minimum numbers though, so it'd probably be more like £20pp but it would still be the same total cost (£15 X 100 = £1500) and throughout the day we would hit to total minimum spend of the venue regardless (£5,500 - which went up from £5,150 since booking )

    We liked the idea of people being able to get up and help themselves, just keeping that low key atmosphere. 

    I've had a look at the contract with the venue and they basically say if you cancel at any point after booking, but before 9 months to the event, you lose the deposit. The deposit is conveniently approx 90% of the total venue cost (£2,000 out of the £2250 venue hire). 

    Personally i think seeing as they're hardly taking 2020 bookings i have a fair argument to get it all refunded as they have so much time to sell it on, but also i know that isn't how business works, and we would be unlikely to get anything. 

    We don't have the kind of cash to spare, so unless we got it all back we probably don't have any other option but to carry on with it 

  • Sian91Sian91 Posts: 829 New bride

    Ah that’s a tough one! Have you considered other venues and thought about if it’s a hit you can take and offset against other parts to save money? 

  • Sian91 wrote (see post):

    Ah that’s a tough one! Have you considered other venues and thought about if it’s a hit you can take and offset against other parts to save money? 

     

    We really cant, its such a big chunk of our budget and we wouldn't even be able to find another venue similar at a similar price point, so would effectively mean paying twice for the same thing. 

    We could do it if we decided to have a registry office wedding and then a reception at a "non wedding" venue, like a town hall, but it just really isn't what we were hoping for for the day. 

    I'll see what he says. M's more likely to be willing to go along with it all and then just make it very clear to everyone after how they have behaved. 

  • Catering Conundrum 

    So after a bit of back and forth its all been officially confirmed - we can have a daytime BBQ, but for £57 per person. Not entirely sure how its such a high mark up from even their basic menu at £47pp - but hey ho. 

    Oh and we also cant have our family bring in cake for our wedding cake like we were originally told - so that's another winner 

    I'm feeling pretty disappointed, and i know it isn't the end of the world but it sucks, cause we chose them for their flexibility, which we are yet to see any of. 

    Not entirely sure where we will go from here, i suppose we could go ahead with that at £57 pp, cut our guest list right down, but i feel like we might as well go for the option £10 cheaper for the day and then just have an evening BBQ. 

    I'm actually mostly gutted that we cant have family all bake something, as we were told they could and everyone was really excited for it. 

    Oh well, at least now we know the rough price we can go back to working on getting that guest list much smaller...

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,547 New bride

    If all your guests will be fed and watered, is it so important to have a daytime BBQ rather than just one in the evening? As long as they will still be well fed, I'd rather have my initial guest list, rather than cut it dramatically just to have one type of meal over another. 

    I'm a little confused about why you aren't pushing back harder - if these things were initially agreed, then argue it with them - you don't have anything to lose.

  • MrsCToBee wrote (see post):

    If all your guests will be fed and watered, is it so important to have a daytime BBQ rather than just one in the evening? As long as they will still be well fed, I'd rather have my initial guest list, rather than cut it dramatically just to have one type of meal over another. 

    I'm a little confused about why you aren't pushing back harder - if these things were initially agreed, then argue it with them - you don't have anything to lose.

     

    The day time meal doesn't matter, but the issue is it now means all our day time meal options are a little over double what we had anticipated, and as we wont be able to provide our own desserts either that's an extra cost. so it isn't what they eat, but more the fact we cant afford to feed 75 people at £47-57 + desserts per person. 

    The ceremony is 1:30 - so we cant not feed them until the evening and the caterers said the evening options are only cheap as thy expect a full meal to have been purchased for earlier in the day if that makes sense? 

    We probably will, but i cant talk to M until lunch and i'm not going to just go for them without his input, i can have a habit of being quite highly strung and don't want to cause tensions when there's still 19 months to go and they could easily just make the process such hard work for us. I'd like to think they wont, but getting frosty with them might mean things they'd do to help usually that aren't quite by the book, they wont extend to us. I just don't have the patience or capacity to fight about it with them, there isn't much we can do so we can only try and make the best out of it. 

  • Ashley72Ashley72 Posts: 1,137 New bride
    MrsCToBee wrote (see post):

    If all your guests will be fed and watered, is it so important to have a daytime BBQ rather than just one in the evening? As long as they will still be well fed, I'd rather have my initial guest list, rather than cut it dramatically just to have one type of meal over another. 

    I'm a little confused about why you aren't pushing back harder - if these things were initially agreed, then argue it with them - you don't have anything to lose.

    Totally agree with this. You were sold on the place due to their flexibility (to some extent), so definitely don't take it lying down. Argue your case and don't back down just yet. I'd ask to go in and meet with a manager and the person who told you in the first place how flexible it was and hammer out these points. I don't see why a BBQ would be £10 more than their sit down 3 courses when they offer nearly the same bulk meat options for a lot less as evening food? I understand they need to make a certain amount but if you have to pay these costs you at least want to make sure you're getting the very best value. I'd have them break down their costs for you so you can see what you're getting and where the value is before you start chipping away at your guestlist.

    Are you hosting anything the night before? A little tea and cake swap might be a nice way to mingle!

    Otherwise how about asking friends and family to donate their favourite baking recipe in lieu of / in addition to a guest book?

  • Ashley72 wrote (see post):

    Totally agree with this. You were sold on the place due to their flexibility (to some extent), so definitely don't take it lying down. Argue your case and don't back down just yet. I'd ask to go in and meet with a manager and the person who told you in the first place how flexible it was and hammer out these points. I don't see why a BBQ would be £10 more than their sit down 3 courses when they offer nearly the same bulk meat options for a lot less as evening food? I understand they need to make a certain amount but if you have to pay these costs you at least want to make sure you're getting the very best value. I'd have them break down their costs for you so you can see what you're getting and where the value is before you start chipping away at your guestlist.
    Are you hosting anything the night before? A little tea and cake swap might be a nice way to mingle!
    Otherwise how about asking friends and family to donate their favourite baking recipe in lieu of / in addition to a guest book?

    Thank you, yeah that isn't a bad shout! Its just really hard to understand how they've managed to slap it with such a mark up - i don't get it. 

    Love the idea of the day before! We hadn't really thought that far ahead but had thought something the day before or after might be nice so ill definitely pitch it to them all! My little cousin that's 13 loves to bake and he was so excited to make us something.

    Tbh i might still ask him to do the top tier or something, we weren't planning on having a cake anyway so i'm not precious about what it looks like! 

    The recipe idea is also very cool!! I might just try and do that as a family thing :) 

     

     

  • Signs from the Universe

    I've had a week of not wanting to have a wedding. 

    I spent Tuesday on my commute from work crying down the phone to M about how with the catering issues we cant afford it, how i don't know about my dress anymore, how all my friends are shitty and my family don't care about any of this, and i almost convinced him to elope. 

    Almost. 

    But alas we are back to working out guests - we have decided if we haven't both met them they aren't coming, unless its an elderly relative who we haven't made the effort to go see, as they of course shouldn't be expected to travel for all events we might have gone to.  This does mean some cousins wont get a +1, even though they've been together longer than M and I, but unfortunately we have to draw the line somewhere. none of them are married or engaged so i don't think its as much of an issue. I'm also using the logic that if i wouldn't pay for this person to have dinner with us of an evening, i'm not paying for it on our wedding day. We will see how understanding everyone is when the invites go out in 14 months! 

    After all my careful planning of budgets and money over the next 2 years, last night i got hit with a few unexpected and crippling costs. In the space of an hour, i found out i need £600 worth of dental work (my teeth are buggered) and i managed to curb my (lease agreement) car and took a chunk out the tyre. As its lease agreement i HAVE to fix it before i return the car early next year or they'll charge me anyway! 

    So that basically wipes out all the savings i have currently for the wedding, and has made me realise that no matter what you plan, life happens! So from here out, fuck it. We will do what we can, however we can, and sod the rest. Its all a sign from the universe to stop trying to control every inch of my life and just go with the flow. 

    I've actually been hating this whole process lately and the thought of having a wedding has given me sleepless nights, made me cry and totally withdraw from everything, but i need to let things go a bit. 

    I know my family will cause drama (its what they do) and i know we will potentially have some debt at the end of it, but we will be happy, and married, and sod anything else. 

    So now i'm going to go and day dream about getting a dress to change into for the reception (can i trust a Chinese ebay site?) and scouring everywhere for a cheap polaroid camera!

     

    Happy Friday everyone! 

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,547 New bride

    Oh I so totally relate to how you are feeling and have just written a very similar post on my own thread. I'm terrified about the financial side of the wedding, and just plain stressed about the rest, and wondering who I'm doing it for. I originally wanted to elope, just us and our son, but my fiancé is insistent we must throw this big wedding, while not actually lifting a finger to help. I really sympathise with you x

  • Oh MrsCToBee im so sorry you're going through it too! Its so hard isn't it, it just feels like there's no point sometimes, but on the day im sure you will be so grateful for what you've done now, and if your future husband is slacking tell him he owes you big time afterwards!

    Maybe look into booking a spa day, just for you after the wedding is over? I've been thinking i might do something like that, so that i have something to get me excited for afterwards.

  • LET THEM EAT BBQ

    Pleased to say the catering saga is over! It's still more expensive than we had hoped, but we understand why now, and it does all make sense. 

    We now have a few options, a set price point, and we can get back to the fun stuff! 

    WooHoo

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,547 New bride

    Thanks CDA! I'm so glad your BBQ is sorted, that must be a weight off your shoulders. 

  • MrsCTB Its a huge relief, and im thankful i can just now get onto some other bits, although i feel silly doing things at the moment. 

    Its just so early, i guess i should just enjoy the quiet time while its here!

  • Canapes & Guest List Etiquette 

    One of the ways we've found a bit of wiggle room in the catering budget it canapes. Now i always thought they were sort of mandatory, but M has put forward a convincing argument. 

    They cost £7pp for 6 canapes each (if anyone can even police that!) so would work out about £525 if we didn't change the guest list at all. 

    Seems like a huge saving, but i'm someone who really hates being hungry, and i don't want it to set a bad tone for the day with guests. 

    We do have people that will be travelling a few hours to get to us, but they're all family or involved in our respective parties, so they will be with us from the morning anyway. We have said for these people and those helping to set up we will get some nibbles and bits together so everyone eats before it all kicks off (but this we can do via Costco on the cheap- would be for Max 20 people)

    Here's the vague timings we have so far:

    1:30pm - Ceremony

    2pm- Cocktail hour (drinks are being provided) 

    2-3:30pm Photos - but the guests can take a seat from about 3 i imagine, we will get family ones first and the last bit will be photos of just us 2. 

    3:45pm - speeches

    4pm - BBQ - i imagine by the time everyone's got up to get a serving itll be near 5pm for some tables. 

    Do you think we can get away with this, or should we really just bite the bullet and get canapes for everyone? 

    Also

    In terms of the guest list, i have a group of friends from school who i feel i should invite. We all catch up maybe once a year, we have a group whatsapp (although no one seems to use it much) and we are all friends, but i'm aware the 4 girls in the group do things regularly without me, and im not hugely included in things. Problem is, there's 5 of them, and each of them has a long term partner. That alone would add £570 to the cost, and it seems a huge deal. 

    Would it be uncouth to invite only my actual friends to the day, and then invite their partners for the evening? Its just, while we aren't close, they're the only friends i have from my school years and although we don't do much, they are good people and i would like to share the day with them, i just don't know i can justify such a huge cost, when in all honesty i'm not a fan of 2 of the partners of theirs... (one of them bullied me at school, but they will actually be married by the time our wedding comes around). 

     

    ANY help or advice is hugely appreciated. I know i have tonnes of time but i might as well get my head around some bits now. 

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,547 New bride

    Canapes, I've been to weddings with and weddings without...I would maybe just make it clear on the invites somehow that people should eat lunch before coming, since your wedding is pretty much at lunchtime. Friends of ours did this and we met up with other guests we are friends with at a pub near the venue and had lunch together beforehand.

    We are personally having canapes, but that decision was made because about 60% of our guests aren't local and are travelling down the morning of the wedding, so may not find it easy to grab lunch if traffic is bad etc. Also our venue has no grounds so we may nip off site for some couples photos and they will keep people occupied!

    In terms of your old school friends - I would just demote them all to evening only. If you only meet up once a year I wouldn't class them as close. If they were all coming as a group you could get away without inviting their partners to the day, as it's not like they'll be alone - but it really doesn't seem like you are that close.

  • Sian91Sian91 Posts: 829 New bride

    6 canapés is quite alot- we've gone for 4, but a lot of the caterers we spoke to suggested 3/4. 

    I would hold off inviting your old gang and their partners, as MrsC says maybe they should all be evening anyway :)

  • Thanks MrsCTB & Sian, I think you're right re the friends! 

    Our caterer only offers 6 per person, so i think we will just spread the world that people should eat beforehand. Most people who wont already be with us will only be travelling 25 mins really. 

  • Zara29Zara29 Posts: 105

    I agree that you need to make it clear there wont be food until later in the afternoon. Personally I wouldn't eat anything other than breakfast if I was invited for a 1.30pm ceremony and would be staaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarving by the time the food was available.

    As long as people are aware, it's totally fine!

  • I think I'm going for a 2pm service, and will be telling my guests to eat lunch beforehand. One of the things we've got frustrated with at other weddings is food coming at weird times, either too often or not often enough, so we're making sure to put info about food in with the invites!

    Particularly if you can recommend a few pubs or something near your venue where people can eat first, I don't see it being a problem.

    (I just binge read most of your thread and am currently in the awkward bit of date v venue. About to tear my hair out!)

  • Thanks Zara, i think because im so obsessed with eating at every opportunity i forget that most people will be doing other things just beforehand. Do you think word of mouth and putting it on the wedding website will be enough? 

    Ohh thanks cs2tc, recommending pubs i can definitely do! I hope you can get it resolved as stress free as possible! I honestly think its one of the worst bits. At least afterwards with suppliers they're either free or aren't and that sort of makes your mind up, but with something like the venue it just isn't as easy as starting the search again! 

  • I agree with a few points above, just invite the friends and their partners to the evening do. 

    I also agree you need to make it clear about eating-i would likely have breakfast and nothing else, if the ceremony starts at 1.30 people we be getting there from 1ish so they'd have to have a super early lunch-just make sure people know to have a sarnie beforehand, then you'll be grand.

  • My First Wedding Dream

    I officially had my first wedding related dream.

    I feel like its almost a write of passage in the wedding planning timeline. 

    It started with me spending the morning getting enough sausage rolls for everyone (accurate) then realising i had no time to get ready and i had no dress, so i went in my jeans and a tshirt.

    When i got to the venue (which isnt our actual venue, but i knew it was in the dream ) there were hundreds of other couples there all dressed up waiting to get married, sat where the guests would be. I was then ushered into another room, where i was told to start walking down the aisle. 

    As i did so..and heres the best bit  ... i had the Backstreet Boys signing "i want it that way" to me from an ice cream van as they served out sweets....

    I had a lot of cheese before bed, thats all i can say! 

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