Credit Crunch Bride

Posts Tagged ‘cheap’

A wedding cake made of cheese?

In cake on July 3, 2009 at 9:31 pm
A wedding cake with a difference

A wedding cake with a difference

Say no to the  white icing hegemony. Reject the conservativism of the sponge. Turn your back on marzipan.  Have a cake cutting ceremony without cake…

Bring on The Cake of Cheeses.

With a cake of cheeses you can have the drama of tiers without the associated overload of sugar.

The Haldon cake of cheese from The Cheese Shed - £199

The Haldon cake of cheese from The Cheese Shed - £199

Decorate your cake of cheese with flowers, ivy, fresh figs, cake toppers or even cherry tomatoes. You can go to town on decoration, because a cake of cheese could never be seen as twee.

Go  for black and white cheese reels for ultimate drama.

Go for black and white cheese reels for ultimate drama.

Plan on needing about a kilogram of cheese per 10 guests. It seems to work out at £20 for 10 guests, from looking at cakes from The House of Cheese, Fine Cheese and The Cheese Shed.

Decorate in olives and other cheese-friendly edibles.

Decorate in olives, grapes and other cheese-friendly edibles.

Five rounds of cheese looks pretty impressive. Start with something harder and less expensive for the base – like a nice Cheddar. Stick mainly to harder cheeses if you want to avoid a squished, stinky cheese mound. Then have soft goat’s cheese at the top.

Mix up your Wensleydales with your camemberts for lots of texture

Mix up your Wensleydales with your Camemberts for interesting textures

Then all you need are some crackers and a selection of chutneys and you’re ready to go.

You could even source local cheeses if you want to lower your carbon wedding footprint, like this lady.

And the best bit of all – you get to use the gag

“You may now cut the cheese…”

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Supersize your wedding flowers

In Flowers on June 6, 2009 at 8:10 pm
Supersize your wedding flowers

Supersize your wedding flowers

Your budget may be sorrowfully paltry, but you flowers don’t have to be. Avoid your centre pieces looking sparse and your bouquets looking sad by choosing the right flowers.

Use Hydrangeas for bulk. They can be a little tricky in bouquets as the stems need to be kept short to stop them wilting, but for centre pieces they really work. A single stem is the size of about four roses, so despite being about £4 a stem they can work out fairly cheaply. They come in pink, blue, green, purple, aqua and white mainly, are in season from spring to autumn, and can even be dried if you really need them in your bouquet. Plus, there’s half a chance you’ll know someone who has an enormous bush of them, so you might even be able to snip them for free.

Add hydrangeas for bulk.

Use hydrangeas for bulk.

Fill with baby’s breath. Florists everywhere use baby’s breath (gypsophilia) to bulk up bouquets.

Forget the other flowers and just go with Baby's Breath

Forget the other flowers and just go with Baby's Breath

Shrink your vases. It’s the same principle as dieters use when they eat off smaller plates – the smaller the vase, the bigger the flowers look. Go Lilliputian if you so wish.

Apothecary bottles make ranunculus look giant

Apothecary bottles make ranunculus look giant

Big up the foliage. Bear grass, pittosporum, eucalyptus or even ivy can help supersize your flowers.

Weddings Save Or Splurge

Ivy only displays in wine bottles

How to honeymoon on a shoestring

In Honeymoon on May 20, 2009 at 5:24 am
The classic Caribbean honeymoon with the classic honeymoon pricetag.

The classic Caribbean honeymoon with the classic honeymoon pricetag.

Ah the honeymoon – a chance to relax post-wedding, and drink in your new-found coupledom in total peace and solitude. Oh no, what’s that knocking? Oh yes, it’s the Back Of Your Mind reminding you how much the honeymoon is costing you per minute.

There’s nothing fun about a holiday so ludicrously lavish that you spend it worrying about how you’ll ever clear your overdraft. So here’s how to honeymoon on a shoestring:

1. Keep it short. You don’t need to be a Nobel Prize winner to work out that a 3 day mini-break will be cheaper than 3 weeks away. A mini-break is long enough to breath out slowly, gossip about the wedding with your beloved and write your thank-yous.

2. Don’t be a lemming. If you choose popular honeymoon destinations and stay in honeymoon suites in honeymoon type hotels you’ll pay honeymoon prices. Try the Finnish Lakes rather than the Bahamas, Java rather than Barbados or Damascus rather than Marrakech. Anything that makes the Top Ten Honeymoon Destinations is likely to cost you.

3. Go out of season. If you insist on going to Hawaii, go May – June and September – December (before Christmas). Otherwise the Caribbean is off season (and hotter) from Spring – July.

White sand beaches can only truly be idyllic when they're as empty as this.

White sand beaches can only truly be idyllic when they're as empty as this.

Look for low season discounts:

Asha Cottages is a tiny family-run boutique eco-hotel in Kenya with just five guest rooms During low season (now) B&B goes down to 50 euros per night per person. You can really easily just spend a week chilling there, getting massages, eating great food and lolling on the beach without it costing and arm and a leg. Yippee!

Asha Cottages, on Diani Beach on the South Coast of Kenya near Mombasa.

Asha Cottages, on Diani Beach on the South Coast of Kenya near Mombasa

5. Play the ethical card. Volunteering could be your way of affording a tropical destination. Oh, and yes, it might help you both be better people. Help out at orphanages, painting, cleaning, washing and preparing meals in Thailand, South Africa, Kenya and Fiji through Hands Up Holidays.

at least 10% of profits made are given back to community partners that you are involved with on your honeymoon.

At least 10% of profits made are given back to community partners that you are involved with on your honeymoon. Sweet.

6. Lie. Pretend to your friends you’re going on honeymoon and then switch off the phones and create a holiday from life in your very own backyard. Bring on the take aways, roll out the DVDs.

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.

With this outrageously over-priced ring, I thee wed

In Rings on April 24, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Ladies, a ring is a symbol of your love and commitment. It’s not an exact replica. A big rock does not mean he loves you more, neither is it physical proof of how valuable you are in this world. If you’ve chosen to marry the man you love rather than a balding billionaire, you may have to compromise a little in the one carat diamond stakes.

Hand made ring made by manipulating the silver while molten

Hand made ring made by manipulating the silver while molten

Best starting point is to dare to be different. If you insist on a platinum ring with a single solitaire diamond (brilliant cut, natch) and then a matching platinum wedding band, the Wedding Industrial Complex will make you pay big time. Diamonds are not the only stone; platinum is not the only metal.

Concrete rings surely must symbolise permanence. From 22designstudio

Concrete rings surely must symbolise permanence. From 22designstudio

Here’s some less eye-wateringly expensive, alternative ring choices:

1. Don’t wear one. My mother never wore one, and has managed being married for 34 years and counting. Indeed when I was a child, she once told me rings were symbols of slavery (she’s since denied this).

2. Yellow gold is very fashion forward. For some it’s the metal of grannies and gypsies, but it’s half the price of platinum, hardwearing and is making a come-back in the fashion world.

3. White gold. This is basically gold with a coating. You may need to get it re-coated at points, but it’s still cheaper than platinum.

4. Titanium. If you’re an active woman, or star frequently as one of the rollerblading, sports-loving extras in tampax adverts, you may want an unbreakable, unscratchable, lightweight, titanium ring. It also happens to be easy on the credit card.

Titanium. If it works in hip replacements, you know its forever.

Titanium. If it works in hip replacements, you know it's forever.

5. Go vintage. Portobello Market in London has a series of antique jewellery stalls which have hand-cut Victorian diamonds bigger than your iris for much less than a new diamond.

5. Use your engagement ring as a wedding ring as well. The ground will not open up and swallow you up if you have just one wedding band not two.

6. Try semi-precious stones. See my earlier post on this.

7. Choose an unusual cut or design. What your ring lacks in expense, it makes up for in imagination.Make it round, marquise, emerald, princess, radiant or pear.

8. Embrace flaws. A slightly yellow diamond or one with a tiny flaw goes down in the gemology ratings. If you want a big rock, just get a flawed one. No one will know, unless you’re in a habit of whipping out your gemology certificate and pointing at the clarity rating your stone has. Anyway, slightly coloured diamonds have more character.

Lighting your way to a chic wedding venue

In Decoration on April 23, 2009 at 6:00 am

It’s the interior designer’s most famous secret – you can turn any interior into a haven of chic with some decent mood lighting. Turn even the most grim of village halls into welcoming place with some clever lighting. Here’s how:

1. Sack off overhead lighting. It makes everyone look ugly and no one wants to feel like they’re in a Topshop changing room.

2. Fairy lights work wonders. Make your own DIY flower fairy lights here.

Cherry blossom fairy lights could replace flowers at tables for evening weddings

Cherry blossom fairy lights could replace flowers at tables for evening weddings

3. Tea lights are cheap as chips and far less calorific. Hang them in jam jars outside for a higgedly piggedly country knees-up effect.

Cute AND wind-proof? Whatever next.

Cute AND wind-proof? Whatever next.

If wind is an issue, you could even go for LED fairy lights and make pretty covers for them, like this.

Make your own tea light covers (involves putting glued thread in the microwave)

Make your own tea light covers (involves putting glued thread in the microwave)

4. Church candles at every table create a feeling of opulence. Find them at online bulk discount stores like Candles on the web, Covent Garden Candles or for the Americans, Barn Loft Candles, though watch out you get decent ones not spluttery ones with wicks which burn too fast. Read the Independent article on church candles here.

Pillar candles at different heights. And a birdcage. It's lighting nirvana.

Pillar candles at different heights. And a birdcage. It's lighting nirvana.

5. Paper lanterns create soft, warm lighting, and are financially-friendly, easy to put up and even easier to take down afterwards.

Pack the ceiling with paper lanterns for a many mooned feel.

Pack the ceiling with paper lanterns for a many mooned feel.

6. Sparklers are a perfect end-of-the-night treat and create cutelicious photos.

One, two, three, aaaaaaaaaaaah.

Wedding cake for the Nouveau Poor

In cake on April 1, 2009 at 3:21 pm

If you don’t fancy handing over a wild amount of crisp notes to a wedding baker, then a home made cake is the way to go. The secret is to avoid the traditional…

1. The Rainbow Cake – Cut through the white icing to reveal rainbow sponge. This is modern day genius.

OMG, simply the most awesome wedding cake on the planet.

OMG, simply the most awesome wedding cake on the planet.

Making rainbow cake

Making rainbow cake

Find out how to make it here.

2. Big balloons, tiny cake. The cutting of the cake isn’t really about cake. It’s about drama. Create an exciting cake environment, and no one will notice the frugality of your actual cake.

Big balloons, tiny cake

Big balloons, tiny cake

3. No cake. Really, you wont spontaneously combust if you don’t have cake.

4. Sweetie Bar. Or, as the Americans say, a candy bar. You could sack off the cake, and have your photo taken opening the Sweetie Bar by cutting a ribbon with an ornate pair of scissors. It could be called The Opening of The Sweetie Bar Ceremony.

The Sweetie Bar a.k.a The Candy Bar

The Sweetie Bar a.k.a The Candy Bar

Other posts you may like:

Credit crunch wedding cake

The green bridal bouquet

In Flowers on March 26, 2009 at 12:13 pm
All-green, textural bouquet with herbs, cockscomb, and mums

All-green, textural bouquet with herbs, cockscomb, and mums

If lavish expense is not going to be a feature of your bridal bouquet, then you need something else to draw the eye. What could this key feature be, that would stop everyone noticing how utterly inexpensive your bouquet is?
Well, how about a green bouquet…

1. Green as in eco – Seasonal, locally grown flowers are environmentally friendly and far cheaper than their hothouse cousins.

2. Green as in foliage – This is a marvellous double-fingered rejection of the classic wedding obsession with petals. And, sexy foliage is far cheaper than any sort of bud.
green-bridal-bouquet-foliage-only-leaves- bouquets-weddings

3. Green as in the colour – The colour, if not the quality of flowers, will encourage amazed gasps.

Green bridal bouquet - fern - weddings - flowers - foliage - no flowers

4. Green as in a herbs – Waft your way down the aisle with a bunch of rosemary, lavender, oregano and thyme. If you believe the old wives’ tales, rosemary is the herb of remembrance, sage indicates long life, good heath, and domestic sweetness and Sweet marjoram spells goodwill. Here‘s what all the herbs signify.

Herbal bridal bouquet

Herbal bridal bouquet with lavender, rosemary, mint, and basil

Herbs make smellicious boutonnieres for your ushers

Herbs make smellicious boutonnieres for your ushers

5. Green chrysanthemums to some are funereal. Poppycock. These bouncy pompoms of limey lusciousness are clearly harbingers of positivity and happiness.

 green chrysanthemums

green chrysanthemums

Page boy outfits your bank manager will die for

In Bridesmaids, flowergirls & pageboys on March 20, 2009 at 11:29 am
The lesser known fireman pageboy outfit

The lesser known fireman pageboy outfit

I’ve never known a pageboy to be disappointed in the quality of his shirt, or frown at the way the pleating falls on his chinos. Mainly they’ll be rolling in cake on the lawn. Best not to spend a fortune then… Here’s some ideas:

1. Fancy dress page boy. More people should do this. Really. It is better for the world. Small pageboy, dressed as a monkey or dinosaur, bish bash bosh, everyone’s happy. Do it, do it, do it.

2. High street pageboy. The high street is full of cute pageboy outfits which you can put together yourself. There’s absolutely no need to go to a bridal shop. Indeed it’s madness until you’ve checked out the likes of Next, Debenhams, BHS and Marks & Spencer.

Debenhams page boy shirt for £12

Debenhams page boy shirt for £12

3. Casual page boy. Little boys trussed up in grown up suits have a habit of looking uncomfortable. How about a more beachy look – with a short sleeved summer shirt and long shorts.

Copy this relaxed beachy pageboy look by Stephanie Staub

Copy this relaxed beachy pageboy look by Stephanie Staub at Little Eglantine

A simple sash cumberband turns shorts and a summer shirt into an outfit worthy of any wedding

A simple sash cumberband turns shorts and a summer shirt into an outfit worthy of any wedding

High street flower girls are go

In Bridesmaids, flowergirls & pageboys, Dresses on March 17, 2009 at 11:40 am
Flower girls have an alarming tendency of coming in not ones or twos, but threes or even fours. All that organza can stack up if you’re not careful. Luckily, if you avoid bridal shops and hit the high street you might just find something cute, fashionable, affordable and un-hated by its wearers. Who knows, they might (and this is of course a fabulous cliche), but they really might just wear them again.
1. Get flowergirl accessories from Monsoon. Their dresses are amazing too, and start from £55.

Flower coral hairband £5, satin ruffle ballerina shoes £20 both MonsoonFlower coral hairband, £5, Monsoon. Satin Ruffle Ballerina Shoes from Monsoon, £20

Monsoon dress wit ha vintage feel going for £62
Monsoon dress with a vintage feel going for £62

2. Go for the non-bridal girls dresses. Any long white girl’s dress with a sash ribbon at Marks & Spencer, especially in its Autograph range, is miraculously twice the price of its normal girls’ dresses.

Have more relaxed flowergirls with Marks & Spencer: white dress £25

Have more relaxed flowergirls with Marks & Spencer: pink dress £18, white dress £25

3. Try online kid’s clothingLa Redoute, Littlewoods or Boden do bright unpretensious summer dresses.

Pink floaty summer dress, £24, Boden.

Pink floaty summer dress, £24, Boden.

£16- £24 at La Redoute

£16- £24 at La Redoute

4. Have no fear of patterns. They can look remarkably chic.

Flowergirl

Tea dress, £16-21, Next

5. Co-ordinating colours can work too. And if the girls are sisters, they can re-wear them more easily.

Boden gypsy dress, £22

Boden gypsy dress, £22

6. Love the High Street. Next, BHS and Debenhams are big winners. Even Tesco can look cute on really little ones.

Flower Embroidered Bridesmaid Dress £30, Signature Vintage Bridesmaid Dress £36, both from Next

Flower Embroidered Bridesmaid Dress £30, Signature Vintage Bridesmaid Dress £36, both from Next