Category Archives: Budget

DIY satisfaction.

OMG we are getting married in 2 days...

Remember my moment of DIY-fail-fear last week? The only thing I should have been concerned about is how long DIY actually takes! I definitely underestimated how long it would take to cut out 101 squares of calico and then wrap 101 bonfavs!

This project was the biggest thing on the To Do List this week, one that I should have started earlier than this Monday. It stressed me out because the time was passing too quickly. We’re lucky we both took this whole week off work.

It took around 6 hours in total, not the 2 hours I thought it might. I had one of my bridesmaids helping me with the twine and squares, and then the Groom and I wrapped them all up together. It was a fun, budget-friendly project, with each bonfav being around $1.70 – they also double as place cards (alas, we didn’t go for the birds after all). I really enjoyed doing it, it was so worth it.

It feels nice to have made something, frayed edges and all.


Filed under Budget, Reception

the transporter.

There is one wedding tradition I have no interest in (along with the garter and bouquet tosses that is). In fact I’ve always found it a little odd…

Wedding cars.

Maybe it’s because I don’t drive, I don’t have my licence at all, and I’ve driven a car twice, for about 5 minutes (when I had my learner licence). So since I have no interest in cars, or taking photos with a car (that’s the part I find a little odd… pimp my ride), ‘wedding cars’ were at the very bottom of the budget prioritising list. Our wedding as a whole is not budget; though we have definitely done certain aspects on the cheap to allow for the reception costs. There was no way I wanted to spent hundreds or more on a couple of cars, especially since our venue is a one minute drive from our accommodation (I timed it). But we still needed a way to travel to the venue…

Our wedding is on the same day as one of the Hunter Valley’s big music festivals – Jazz in the Vines. I was warned that taxis are rare up there, especially with such a big music event on. It would be a nightmare trying to get taxis for our 100 guests at midnight in the country. There is no public transport option. Most guests will be drinking so they wouldn’t be able to drive.

As a courtesy to our guests, and to ensure the beautiful wines are made the most of, we have arranged two 50-seat coaches to transport everyone to and from their various accommodations and our wedding. That’s when I had my brilliant, possibly obvious, idea of getting the coach to the wedding ourselves! We were already paying for them! Huge Budget Win!

So the Groom and his groomsmen are going to catch Coach 1 with our other guests, then after everyone has arrived at the venue it’s going to come back and pick up myself and my bridesmaids. I’ve only had one comment of “the six of you are going to arrive in a 50-seat coach!?” when I’ve been asked about our car arrangements. Damn straight we are! I’m extremely pleased with making double use of the coach! It’s not pretty, but it doesn’t have to be. I suppose my point is, if you’re not into vintage cars, pink stretch hummers, or a horse and carriage, there are other (cheaper) options – such as hiring a nice rental car and having a family member drive it there, which is budget friendly.

We’re not having a getaway car towards the end of the reception (the cans tied to the car, a just married sign… do people do that? Or is that a movie-land thing?). Instead, we’ll all hop back on the now-party bus together, and continue the festivities at the hotel bar (well, our guests probably will… we’ve got a spa suite to make use of!).


Filed under Budget, Ceremony, Reception

pearly whites.

I had my teeth whitened on Monday. It is something I have wanted to do for years. It is also something I wanted to do before our wedding. Why? I always wish my teeth were whiter when I see photos of myself, and I didn’t want to feel that way with the wedding photos. I am comfortable admitting this level of vanity ūüėČ

SO! I got Zoom3 whitening at The Smile Shop. I am SO happy I did it. It’s definitely not a budget item, but it was worth it for me.

The process itself was painless, just tedious. First they took a mould of my teeth to make the mouth trays (for the extra whitening gel), then I settled in for 4 x 12-minute sessions of the Zoom gel & light.

I looked like this - minus the red jumpsuit

The results? As I said I’m very happy I did it, and they look natural – not freakishly white. I’m going to use the trays and gel at home for the next week to whiten them a bit¬†more. Here is my “before and after” (my before shot looks a lot yellower than I remember – yuck, must have been the lighting…).

before and after


Filed under Beauty, Budget

tell ‘im he’s dreaming.

I’ve been having wedding dreams for a little while now. Dreams where things go wrong. They might even be classed as mild nightmares. They have all been ridiculous things, like guests not showing up, or leaving before the reception. Maybe my brain is simply overloaded with the constant thinking of wedding-related things (I am enjoying it though!).

My latest dream last night was that it was 30 minutes before the wedding and we realised none of us had our hair done, my veil and hair flowers hadn’t been made, and all I had was a piece of brown veil fabric which we had to try and work with! Ridiculous, I know.

To prevent the future my dream showed me, I just went and bought my ivory veil fabric ($5.99 per metre from Lincraft Рanother budget win!). My alterations lady is making me a birdcage veil, and some organza flowers for my hair to match my dress shoulder strap.

These are some of my favourite birdcage-veil inspirations…

We’ve got our menu tasting tomorrow – it’s going to be a fantastic weekend in the Hunter Valley, I can’t wait!


Filed under Attire, Budget, Musings

my preciousss.

I’ve found it! The one ring!

I have just ordered my wedding ring from a small jeweller near my office¬†–¬†2mm 18 carat yellow¬†gold, and¬†for $500 less than the Tiffany band. Woohoo! Budget win. It will be mine in 2 weeks.

The Groom has also decided on his ring!

Etsy: MinterandRichterDes

It is a ‘black and white striated resin inlay and titanium’ band from Etsy seller MinterandRichterDes. It’s quite different, but he assures me he’ll be happy to wear it until he’s old ūüėČ

Have you, or will you, engrave your wedding band?


Filed under Budget, Etsy, Groom, Rings


The bonbonerie / favours come under the budget area for us. We don’t want to spend a lot on potentially useless gifts that tend to get left behind!

I do love bonfavs. From stubby coolers, coasters, cocktail glasses, to photo frames and candles. I just love trinkets. I’m very easily pleased.

I especially love edible bonfavs. Almonds, chocolates, mints, mini bottles of alcohol, cookies, cupcakes, macarons, chocolate coated strawberries… There are so many options! It’s also extremely likely that guests will enjoy them, and they’ll be used (i.e. consumed).

How cute are these cookies that double as place cards?

At around $5 each, cookies were out of our budget. Making them yourself could be a fun project. I briefly considered it, but cookies are my kitchen nemesis so I didn’t want to DIY them.

I was newly inspired by gorgeous little jars of jams…

One of our favourite short-break spots is Berry on NSW’s South Coast. The Berry Treat Factory makes delicious jams, which are only topped by the best. mustard. ever.

As a ‘nod’ to our trips down there, we ordered 55 mini ‘three-berry’ jams and 60 mini honey mustards. They are VERY budget-friendly – their mini jams are $1.00 each, and the mini mustards are $1.20 each. Including the $10 courier, the total for 115 bonfavs was $137. Plus we get to enjoy the leftover jars (which is why I ordered extra mustard – I am ridiculously excited by how good it is) ūüėČ

It’s such a relief how everything is coming together. I just need to add the fabric over the lids, tied with twine. I was going to tie a little ‘thank you’ note to each jar, but is it necessary?


Filed under Budget, Reception

that little blue box.

I knew I shouldn’t have touched it. I’m not the kind of girl who normally¬†has any interest in Tiffany’s. Anything in that store is definitely not in my sensible price range.¬†

I just went to Tiffany & Co to buy a farewell present for a colleague,¬†and I thought I’d see if any of their wedding bands sat nicely against my engagement ring. For fun, right?¬†

As luck would have it, there was one that was pretty much perfect. It is the best fit of all the many, many rings I’ve tried at other stores. It’s not overly expensive, but it’s just a plain gold band. I don’t know if it’s worth it. I could get one similar for less. It felt so dainty though. I felt sucked in to the blue.¬†


I need some frivolity now…¬†

I want loads of bubbles after the ceremony – I want to walk through a wall of bubbles! ūüėȬ†

¬†And after the reception, I want loads of sparklers (even though I’m a little scared to hold them myself)!¬†


Filed under Budget, Ceremony, Musings, Rings


Invitations – done!

Along with flowers, stationary wasn’t something high on our budget priority list. We just wanted simple invitations, A5 flat white paper stock, no embellishments, bells or whistles. The Groom designed them (and a friend printed them) – too easy! We went with a simple vine design, and decided not to have the extra bits like RSVP cards (guests will RSVP via our website, I hope). I bought a simple return address ink stamp from Vistaprint (free, postage was around $10).

I dithered over the envelope choice for a while, ‘should I spend $80+ on fancy, shimmery envelopes, or $8 on plain white envelopes that might look cheap but are just going to be thrown in the bin after they’re opened??’. We went with the plain envelopes.

My MOH and I addressed the envelopes yesterday, over bubbly & cheese – it only took an hour for us to hand-write the 60 addresses (110 guests in total). So much quicker and easier than spending hours putting together layered DIY invitations (not that these don’t look beautiful, they’re just not our style).

I’ll be sending the invitations this week. I wonder if our friends will officially RSVP, or if they’ll assume we know they’re coming. I wonder if we’ll have to field awkward questions like “Can I please bring my new girlfriend?”. And I wonder if our ‘no kids under 12’ rule is going to cause issues.


Filed under Budget, Stationary

flower alternatives.

I admit it. I wasn’t particularly diligent when setting or sticking to a budget. I didn’t really think about how all the little things add up.

Flowers were one area I didn’t want to spend much on. An area I definitely wanted to save money on.

I’m not a massive fan of flowers personally, and wasn’t happy with the thought of spending hundreds on bouquets – I have 5 (fantastic) bridesmaids so we need 6 bouquets and 6 buttonholes!

I was looking for an alternative. Here is some non-floral inspiration, which I love:







Feather Bouquets




Unfortunately, I felt parasols were too daytime for our 5pm ceremony. Handfans didn’t really suit our theming. Feathers went out the window with the original peacock theme. Balloons won’t work if it’s a windy day since it’s an outdoor ceremony on a grassy lawn – I think they’re gorgeous though.

After thinking about so many other options, I have eventually decided on real flowers for the bouquets (I will have glass vases on our reception table for us to put them in). Done!


Filed under Budget, Flowers