Credit Crunch Bride

Archive for the ‘Themes’ Category

Mismatched: the most recession-friendly wedding theme

In Themes, Uncategorized on May 17, 2009 at 10:32 pm
Love the mismatch. Reject the matchy matchy.

Love the mismatch. Reject the matchy matchy.

It’s one of life’s great answered questions. How come most women before getting engaged are fans of many contrasting and clashing colours in their lives, and then moments after The Proposal go all matchy-matchy? Before The Proposal they were happy with wearing co-ordinating separates, painting accent colours on their walls and not owning a single twin set, and then suddenly After The Proposal everything must must match. Weird, but unquestionably true.

Matchy-matchy weddings, where the chair bows must match the favours, the save the date cards and the mother-of-the-bride’s corsage are both stressful and expensive. Luckily, with a mismatched theme to your wedding, all these problems seem to melt away. Here’s how to do it:

1. Mismatch the bridal party. This means they can just wear an outfit of their own with zero cost to you.

Bridesmaids wearing their own dresse

2. Mix up your outfit. Having a white dress doesn’t mean you also have to have all your accessories in white. Avoid forking out for accessories you’ll only ever wear once by jazzing up your outfit with bright accessories.

This bride has take mismatching to a whole new level

This bride has taken mismatching to a whole new level

3. Mismatch your flowers. Who said every table has to have the same flowers? OK, some people do, but you don’t have to. And if you’re DIYing it, it means you have much more freedom with the flowers you get.

4. Mismatch your table settings. A different table cloth for every table. Yay.

tea-party-table-country-living mismatched wedding

5. Mismatch your husband. Not really. However, you could post-rationalise your mismatched theme by claiming that you already have the perfect match. Aah.

If you liked this post you may also like:

Rainbow: the cunning new theme for the cash-strapped

Another theme for the flat broke: country vintage

Make it ethical

April is the cruellest month, if you’re a bride.

In Bridesmaids, flowergirls & pageboys, Themes on April 15, 2009 at 8:19 pm
Parasols instead of bouquets? Practical and pretty? It cannot be.

Parasols instead of bouquets? Practical and pretty? It cannot be.

To misquote T. S. Eliot, April is the cruellest month, if you’re getting married and banking on good weather. It could be baking, freezing, rainy or snowing.

However, you can turn the truculent weather to your advantage if you like…

Opt for pretty umbrellas instead of bouquets. They’re cute, far cheaper, can double as a gift for your bridesmaids and will protect delicate dresses from all the elements. Plus, you and your bridesmaids can spend the day twirling them in a coy and demure fashion. Signature Bella do some beautiful pagoda umbrellas.

by Bella Signature

by Bella Signature

Wedding brolly from Brollies Galore £11.70

Wedding brolly from Brollies Galore £11.7

Don’t forget your wellies if you’re going anywhere near lawns. Damp toes just aren’t very in keeping with a perfect wedding.

A bride with wet feet is a miserable bride.

A bride with wet feet is a miserable bride.

Invest in a cover-up. It’s a royal waste when brides spend a fortune on a dress, only to spend half the day covered up in a cheap cover-up.

Invest in a cover-up

Invest in a cover-up

Go for ranunculus or anemones. They are not only in season, but they’re the sort of flowers that can turn dried up goats into wobbly-lipped slushpiles of romance.

Courtesy of Design Sponge

Courtesy of Design Sponge

Rainbow: the cunning new wedding theme for the cash-strapped

In Bridesmaids, flowergirls & pageboys, Themes on April 13, 2009 at 10:32 pm
Bring on the rainbow wedding

Bring on the rainbow wedding - Courtsey of http://inthedetailsblog.com/

Here comes the bride. All in ivory, with ivory shoes, ivory veil and a bouquet in a co-ordinating colour, followed by bridesmaids in the coordinating colour and ivory bouquet. And here comes The Wedding Industrial Complex, ripping you off left right and centre, with plaintive cries of “and surely you’ll be wanting ivory napkins with that?” and “I assume you’ll be wanting the table runners in the co-ordinating colour?”

Say no to The Wedding Industrial Complex. Reject their colour scheme. Give their colour-coordinated price tags the karate chops they deserve.

Instead, choose the only colour scheme they could not in one million years approve of… The Anti Colour Scheme: rainbow. The only rule is, no colour must be the same.

Here’s how to bring rainbows your wedding:

Who could be down on rainbow bridesmaids? Not I.

Who could be down on rainbow bridesmaids? Not I.

1. Rainbow bridesmaids – if Sex in the City‘s finest can have non-matching bridesmaids, so can you. Plus, your bridesmaids can choose to wear colours that suit them. They could even wear dresses they already have.

Buttonholes and socks in all sorts of merry colours

Buttonholes and socks in all sorts of merry colours

2. Ushers each with a differently coloured socks.

3. Different types and colours of flowers at every table. The beauty of this is that you could pick up a dozen different bouquets from your local supermarket, whatever they have in stock, and suddenly it all seems planned.

No one can feel sad at a rainbow wedding.

No one can feel sad at a rainbow wedding.

4. A multi-coloured bouquet. Gerberas, ranunculus or carnations work perfectly here.

5. Rainbow wedding cake. (see earlier post on the joys of the rainbow cake).

Why stick to one colour when you can have five?

Why stick to one colour when you can have five?

6. A non-white dress. Shocking, to some, but more wearable and you’ll probably get something far cheaper that’s far better designed.

6. Any colour stationery. Here’s a secret. No one will remember if your invites match with the rest of your wedding. They just won’t. Is it something you’ve ever double-checked when you’ve arrived at a wedding? No, you were probably too busy worrying about laddering your tights or being late to give it a second thought. Just go with whatever.

The lollipop favour no other wedding could have

The lollipop favour no other wedding could have

Another recession-defying wedding theme: Alice in Wonderland

In cake, Decoration, Dresses, Readings, Themes on March 24, 2009 at 11:51 pm
Alice in Wonderland: the perfect Credit Crunch wedding theme

Alice in Wonderland: the perfect Credit Crunch wedding theme

So, here’s the secret. If your wedding isn’t being planned by The World’s Leading Wedding Planner with a diploma in Co-ordinating Colours, and is rather more of the budget variety, the Alice in Wonderland theme could be for you. It excuses all sorts of ridiculous randomness, wonky home-made cakes, mismatching decorations and strange behaviour. In fact, it encourages it.

Courtesy of Bridalcheek

Courtesy of Bridalcheek

Here’s a few requirements to keep the Cheshire cat grinning and the Mad Hatter sipping:

1. Croquet.

Croquet with flamingoes as mallets and hedgehogs as balls

Croquet with flamingoes as mallets and hedgehogs as balls

2. Wonky wedding cake. Get a friend to make one and encourage her to wonk it up.

3. Top hats. The more ridiculous and ill-fitting the better.

4. Eat me, drink me signs. These can be adapted for any situation throughout your venue. Drive me, follow me, avoid me, wee inside me etc.

5. Ornate tea cups for your very own Mad Hatter’s tea party. Indeed, add a tea party flavour to your canapes with tiny sandwiches and mini scones.

6. Whimsical nonsense such as stopped clocks.

Ushers with stripey socks: a must for all serious Lewis Carroll fans.

Ushers with stripey socks: a must for all serious Lewis Carroll fans.

7. Nonsensical readings such as:

The Bat
Lewis Carroll

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat
How I wonder what you’re at!
Up above the world you fly
Like a tea-tray in the sky.

By Style Me Pretty

By Style Me Pretty

8. Hallucinogenic drugs. Then you can have all the experiences dear Alice had.

Anne Hathaway as the Alice in Wonderland brides muse

Anne Hathaway as the Alice in Wonderland bride's muse

9. Roses. No need to paint them red. That’s officially When A Theme Goes Too Far.

10. Playing Cards as favours. If you do favours, which I don’t. Though if you do, that’s fine too.

Real life recessionista brides

In Themes, Uncategorized on March 3, 2009 at 11:54 am

Here’s some real life recessionista brides and a few of their stories of stealing not splurging.

The back garden wedding: Nicola and Stuart.

Nicola and Stuarts back garden wedding

Nicola and Stuart's back garden wedding

This pair tied the knot for under £5,000. Here is their cunning plan:

They had a service at their local church then walked to a marquee reception in their garden. There they served cava (at £3.50 a bottle thanks to a French booze cruise)and a sit-down home-made buffet of poached salmon, salads and strawberries and cream. They got everyone to help out in some way, from giving patio heaters to doing the photography to making the wedding cake for them.

The eBay wedding: Chris and Odette

The eBay wedding

The eBay wedding

This marital union was constructed for the princely sum of £600. It was thanks to eBay that Odette bought her dress for £52, her stiletto black boots for £21 and the bridesmaid’s earrings and necklace for £5.99. They have purchased second hand rings for £19 each and asked guests to bring their own food and wine. The local radio station provided the wedding car and the local paper did the photography.

The 5p dress wedding: Heather and Mark

The 5p dress wedding

The 5p dress wedding

This clever young lady bought this antique dress on eBay for 5p. at £40 the postage cost 800 times the price of the dress.

The Friday wedding: Steve and Zoe

The Friday wedding

The Friday wedding

This frugal pair paid £460 for the hire of a Bentley and a Daimler, which would have cost an extra £100 on a Saturday. A further £50 was saved on catering, and the wedding photographs, which could have cost up to £700 on a Saturday, came in at half that. It cost £4500 in all about 25% cheaper than it might have been on a Saturday.

Please do write in with your stories and photos of being a real life bride of the recession.

Another theme for the flat broke: country vintage

In Decoration, Themes on February 11, 2009 at 10:07 am

Here’s all the ingredients you’ll need:

1. Mis-matched bone china. Scour car boot sales or hire it from The Utterley Sexy Cafe.

The Utterley Sexy Cafe

The Utterley Sexy Cafe

I found this lady on a forum – you could try emailing her to borrow her collection: popiz01@hotmail.co.uk

Mis-matched vintage teacups with La Duree style macaroons

Mis-matched vintage teacups with La Duree style macaroo

2. A tin bath to cool champagne (ok, cava).

Vintage cooling methods

Vintage cooling methods

3. Vintage brooches. Use on cakes, to tie together ribbons etc.

4. Luggage labels for placenames.

5. Cakestands. Glass ones, natch.

6. Parasols, and probably a copy of Jane Eyre.

7. Afternoon tea. How terribly English.

8. Pearls, draped over flowers.

Other themes you might like:
Another theme for the penniless: English village
The ultimate credit crunch theme – 1930s, the Great Depression

The ultimate credit crunch theme: 1930s depression

In Themes on February 8, 2009 at 11:56 am

I love the morbidity of this theme. Post-flapper, post Wall St. crash, this is surely the most appropriate theme for 2009. It was when the rich just partied, because there was no money to be made.

Guests can dress as 1930s stars – Fred Astaire, Charlie Chaplin, Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Laurel & Hardy, Ginger Rogers or even Mrs. Wallis. And Shirley Temple for little girls.

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

You even have a Ginger Rogers style wedding dress:

Ginger Rogers dress from Swing Time

Ginger Rogers' dress from 'Swing Time'

Ginger Rogers in her wedding dress

Ginger Rogers in her wedding dress

The first dance could be ‘Brother wont you spare a dime’ by Rudy Vallee. Too bleak? Perhaps. More cheery is ‘Two sleepy people’ by Hoagy Carmichael, written in 1938, or ‘Coffee in the Morning (and kisses in the night)’ by the Boswell Sisters.

Other wedding themes you might like:

Make it ethical

Another theme for the penniless: English village fete

Something old, something older

In Dresses, Themes on February 6, 2009 at 12:08 am

Vintage can be the cheapest of all themes. Followed closely by ‘shabby chic’. Here’s how to win at Vintage in a few easy steps:

1. Get a repro dress made - Find a fabulous vintage dress, then get it copied. The one below is from a museum, but would probably look far better on you.

1930s antique dress with bugle beads

1930s antique dress with bugle beads

2. Raid your grandparents’ attics – everything shabby can be used.Old jars, old fabric, even old suitcases.

Battered old suitcase becomes box for programs

Battered old suitcase becomes box for programs

3. Get guests to go vintage. A 1920s theme is easy for example. A pencilled on moustache for the chaps, a couple of tassels and headbands for the ladies, and suddenly the ice is broken. It’s one of the peculiarities of the English that their incredible stuffiness can be dispelled with the aid of a few items of fancy dress.

4. Roll out a vintage crooner – not necessarily any more expensive than Dave’s Disc, and altogether more classy.

Other wedding themes:

Make it ethical

Another theme for the penniless: English village fete

In Decoration, Themes on February 3, 2009 at 11:46 am

An old-fashioned English village fete is an inspired option for those wishing to ward off the bailiffs. You can be quite loose about the period, and it’s ideal for all things hand-made. The perfect ingredients for this theme are:

1. Its all about Outdoors games. Boules, croquet, badminton are your classics. Giant games like jenga and dominoes can be bought cheaply here.

Giant garden chess game

Giant garden chess game - only £29

2. English garden party food and drink. Old-fashioned pink lemonade in glass jugs and Pimms in the garden is perfect on a summer’s day in England. Canapes could be tiny Yorkshire puddings, mini cucumber sandwiches, miniscule quiches. Then a picnic lunch followed by cupcakes.

3. Penny sweets, such as you find in an old-fashioned English sweet store make even the most miserable aunt nostalgic. Put gobstoppers, rhubarb & custard, humbugs and any other penny sweets in old-fashioned glass jars, and come 10.30 everyone will be dipping in. You could even have these instead of flowers on tables. Find them here for £12.95 a jar.

Penny sweets

Penny sweets

4. Jam jars for flowers. You and your family need to acquire a sensational love of jam and marmalade over the coming months to make this happen. That, or jam bulimia.

5. Picnic blankets will create that air of festivity. You can use throws and bedspreads, though they’re likely to get ruined.

6. Deck chairs. Even a couple will help set the scene.

Deckchairs

Deckchairs

7. Bunting and endless ribbon is totally compulsory.

Bunting made from Cath Kidston fabric from Scrummy Things

Bunting made from Cath Kidston fabric from Scrummy Things

8. A gramophone for your pre-dinner drinks is hard to find but just too memorable not to mention. Splash out by hiring a giant one here. Alternatively, scour antiques shops. If that fails, beg, borrow or steal from friends’ granddad’s. Or finally, hire a venue just because it comes with gramophone and gramophone records, like Middleton Lodge in Yorkshire. You may have to arm-twist a small cousin to wind it up at intervals, but that’s probably part of the charm of it.

Other themes you might like:

Another theme for the flat broke: country vintage

The ultimate credit crunch theme – 1930s, the Great Depression

Make it ethical

In Themes on January 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm

The beauty of the environmentally-friendly wedding is that it’s secret theme is cheapness. Suddenly you’re not a cheapskate but an eco-warrior. Here’s some tips for your perfect eco-wedding:

The child labour that makes your engagement diamond shine so brightly

The child labour that makes your engagement diamond shine so brightly

1. Avoid blood diamonds, as in any new diamonds, they’re bound to have been mined by Congolese slave types. Plus, vintage diamonds, or a non-diamond ring is way cheaper. To get extra eco points, go for a wood ring, like Touch Wood Rings.

2. Go big on something borrowed. If your friends have got married recently ask them for table runners, left over ribbons, cake tops etc, all under the cunning ruse of saving the planet.

3. Plump for potted plants. No one wants to see flowers being cut to death, so love the planet, love your wallet and have a potted flower as your centrepiece.

4. Arrive on foot. Dont use up the world’s valuable oil resources.

5. Love the charity shop. Insist that not only your dress but all the bridesmaids’ dresses are ethically sourced from charity shops.

6. Donate your gift list to charity. This may hurt, but to keep up the ethical pretence, it really is necessary. Ask guests to donate the price of a goat at Oxfam Unwrapped, rather than buying you John Lewis crockery.

7. Email your invites.

8. Make the cake yourself. Or get your mother-in-law-to-be to do it. That’ll keep her out of trouble for a while. FairTrade carrot wedding cake recipe here.

DIY carrot cake

DIY carrot cake

9. Talk the ethical talk. Stuff like ‘being true to our values’ and ‘neutralising our carbon footprint’ goes down a storm.

Other posts you may like:

The ultmiate crerdit crunch theme: The 1930s Depression

Another theme for the penniless: English village fete

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