Credit Crunch Bride

Posts Tagged ‘credit crunch’

The pain of over-priced bridal shoes

In Dresses, Shoes on April 27, 2009 at 6:31 pm
put your feet up and shoe shop online with Zappos.com

Put your feet up and shoe shop online with Zappos.com

Price Tag Shock Syndrome is frequently reported in regard to bridal shoes. The cost-per-wear is incredibly high and generally they’re icky, tasteless items. Here’s the Credit Crunch Bride’s guide to avoiding wasting vast amounts of cash on shoes you’ll never wear again:

1. Fashion first, wedding second. A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t dream of wearing that style normally, don’t let your fashion suffer for your wedding.

2. Don’t do white. Pewter, red, gold, taupe or silver are infinitely more re-wearable.

3. No one will see them. If you’re wearing a full length dress, get something cheap, comfy and not too high. It’s not as if anyone will ever know if you even wear trainers. Pick up cheapos from Monsoon and save your Jimmy Choo budget for another time.

From Monsoon's bridal collection - Marlena £55

From Monsoon's bridal collection - Marlena £55

4. Highstreet can work. Coast and Dune have lots of bridalish options.

Coast shoes in beige and silver now on sale for £29 - a bargainista's wet dream

Coast shoes in beige and silver now on sale for £29 - a bargainista's wet dream

Here’s Marie Claire’s Top 10 bridal shoes.

5. Wear flip flops and bring some hippyish charm to your nuptials.

The all-in £3000 wedding at Wetherspoons

In Venues on March 10, 2009 at 5:47 pm

The £3,000 wedding at Knights Templar Wetherspoons

The £3,000 wedding at Knights Templar Wetherspoons

Wetherspoons is not a destination synonymous with weddings. Some would say it is, ahem, more known for lager louts and beer swilling. However, in the midst of a recession that has Mervyn King shaking in his boots, it suddenly seems a glorious idea.

For £3000 you can have an all-inclusive wedding for one hundred guests at the surprisingly picturesque Knights Templar, London.

The ultimate pub wedding venue

The ultimate pub wedding venue


For your money you get:

• exclusive use of the venue – Sat until 1am; Sun until midnight.

• three-course sit-down meal or buffet for 100 people.

• sparkling wine for the toast (up to 100 guests).

• wine on the table – Coldwater Creek wine to accompany the meal.

• table decorations.

• post-meal capacity for 300 people.

• live DJ (or you can arrange your own or a live band, at your cost).

• a wedding host.

• assistance with booking discounted rates at top local hotels.

Surprisingly atmospheric inside

Surprisingly atmospheric inside

Not bad for three grand

Not bad for three grand

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

Success at Oxfam Brides

In Dresses on February 10, 2009 at 8:44 pm
One Oxfam bridal gown

One Oxfam bridal gown

So, I’ve blogged about Oxfam Brides before, on Credit Crunch Weddings Dresses. However, now I can blog with the benefit of experience. Yes indeed, I am now endowed with the experience of one Leatherhead Oxfam Bridal department, just round the M25.

After a particularly filling afternoon tea on Leatherhead’s High St, my friend and I (both soon to be wed), headed off to our appointment upstairs at Oxfam. Admittedly, upstairs at a charity shop is not where most little girls imagine finding their dream dress. However, the assistant was very nice and didn’t seem to have any Cruella De Ville tendencies at all. There was a good 80 dresses, 79 of them unworn and direct from designers, and hardly any were nasty polyester.

More to the point, my friend found her dress, an raw silk, ivory, high halter neck, mermaid creation for £300. I’m sure it was by some outrageously expensive designer, but the labels had been cut off.

Leatherhead bridal shop

Leatherhead bridal shop

It’s probably time you made all your white wedding dreams come true at Oxfam Bridal.

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

Hanging decorations for the poverty-stricken

In Decoration, DIY on February 5, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Hanging decorations certainly aren’t compulsory in The Official Book of What Must Be Done At Weddings. However, they do add an air of jaunty celebration to proceedings. Here are some which wont have you spiraling into financial depression:

1. Coffee filter garlands. Hats off to Pam Garrison.

2. Bunting wears the happiness crown, and can be home-sown with mismatching fabric.

Bunting

Bunting

3. The hanging jar lantern – works wonders with any theme, and makes even the most hard-nosed bride go a little wobbly-lipped.

Hanging lanterns

Hanging jar lanterns by Martha Stewart

4. Fairy lights. Courtesy of Muji, Habitat,our your local pound store.

5. Ribbons. Gazillions of them. Draped luxuriantly from every tree and vertical item in sight.

Ribbon

Ribbon extravaganza

6. Or… Paper bags? Find out how to make them here.

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Invitations without the invoice

In DIY, Stationery on February 4, 2009 at 9:50 am

1. Create a Facebook event. Yay.

2. Email a pdf of your invite. Then you can fill your invites with as many colours and flourishes as your heart desires.

2. Illustrate it yourself, if you’re half decent with a pencil.

Illustration by Liam Stevens

Illustration by Liam Stevens

3. Send a postcard with a handwritten personalised note to each guest.

4. Use online stationery companies, like MyGatsby (a tasteful US company), Friends Invited (a less tasteful but cheap UK company), VistaPrint or Printed4U (UK based).

You need to trawl through some dodgy designs to find anything decent

You need to trawl through some dodgy designs to find anything decent. This quick example is from Printed4U at £50 for 60.

5. Steal inspiration from everywhere then design your own. Look high, then spend low. Try Bumblebee Press, Smock Paper, Sweetbeets and Twig & Fig.

Smock Paper

Smock Paper

6. Embrace arts and crafts. Make your own from lots of templates following instructions here. Warning: some are quite dodgy.

Make your own Calla Lily invite

Make your own Calla Lily invite

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

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