Friday, 19 July 2019

How We Saved On Our Wedding

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Weddings are expensive, like really expensive and so many people fall into the trap of getting loans or using credit cards to pay for their big day. We didn't do any of that and we still had an amazing day as with a bit of careful planning over the two-year engagement we managed to spend just under £10,000 on our wedding day, and other than borrowing a little money off my dad and my mother in law paying for our cake we paid for everything else ourselves. Although I am well aware that you can probably spend a lot less than that and still have a beautiful wedding day. 

newcastle family life blogger wedding day

 I feel really proud of myself for managing to pull the wedding off on our own as when I was younger I wracked up a lot of debt and ended up on a credit management plan to clear my debts. So my credit rating has not been the best and I think I would struggle to get a loan anyway but there are companies like Creditfix who can help in these situations and you can find out more via their website. 

As we paid for the wedding ourselves, here are some of the ways we managed to pay for everything and cut some costs on the big day. 

Tips to save on the cost of a wedding

  • Check venue small print, wedding venues are expensive and some of them have a minimum spend limit, especially for summer weddings on Saturday's like ours. We booked a venue that had no minimum spends or restrictions and it saved us so much money as we only paid per person with no hidden extra charges.
  • Shop around, there are some bargains to be had if you shop around. My teenage daughter's bridesmaid dress was only £10 in the sale last year reduced from £95, and she received so many compliments on it. My shoes were also only £3.50 reduced from £80 as Rainbow Club have an eBay shop selling off brand new wedding shoes at huge discounts. 
  • DIY, I am not at all creative and the thought of crafts fills me with dread but I actually made some things for the wedding myself. I made the table plan, place settings and kids activity packs  and my dad made our post box - it saved us so much money. 
  • Make your own sweet table, we were originally going to hire a sweet cart for the wedding but they can be expensive. Instead, we made our own sweet table and it went down a treat with our guests, we got cheap glass jars from Ikea and Home Bargains and filled them with sweets from Makro online (bargain). 
  • Sample Sales, My wedding dress was actually from a sample sale at a local bridal boutique and I saved so much money on it as it was £795 instead of £1500 and is in perfect condition, you wouldn't be able to tell it had been tried on in the shop before. 
  • Suits, we actually ended up buying all the groomsmen suits from Slaters as they were cheaper to buy than hire, so again it might be best to shop around and see what works out best. 
  • Cut some extras, it is easy to get carried away when planning a wedding and we actually ended up having to cancel some of the extras we booked as we simply ran out of budget. I felt gutted at the time but nobody apart from us realised they were missing on the day. 
  • Look out for offers, I was amazed to find that so many suppliers run offers we managed to book giant floral love letters and a floral arch when they were on offer for half price. 
white floral arch at bottom of staircase at wedding venue

How we saved for the day

As I mentioned we paid for the wedding ourselves and when we booked the wedding we had no savings at all. So we managed to save and pay for the wedding in a few ways. 

  •  At the start, we booked suppliers whenever I got paid off a blog job or the other half got paid from work as we found most suppliers needed around a £50-£100 deposit to book. 
  • We paid a balance off each month out of my partner's wages, for six months before the wedding we paid a supplier off each month so one month we paid the registrar, the next flowers and so on. 
  • I sold stuff on eBay, I actually made quite a lot of money selling stuff we no longer wanted or needed on eBay in the run up to the big day and it paid for all the extras like confetti, kids shoes, ties etc. 
  • We had lists, we had lists of what needed paying and when and how much and this kept us on track and helped us budget and manage our money better so we could pay things off on time. 
  • I bought small things each week in the months before the wedding. Every week I would buy something small for the wedding, personalised items, guest books, decorative things and it soon mounted up and was less daunting than buying everything in one go. 
So that's how we managed to save money on our wedding and to pay for it all. If you are married how did you manage to save for your big day? 


Tips For Getting Ready For Back To School

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Today is the last day of term and we are so ready for the long, lazy, summer break. I love the summer holidays as it is a break from the routine of school and after school clubs and we get to spend more time as a family making memories. We don't have any big plans for this summer but my youngest will be turning five, my teen will be getting her GCSE results and we have some local days out planned. 

As the kids are breaking up for school I have already started thinking about getting organised for September. I am not one of those super-organised parents who have all the uniform in before the kids break up nor am I one of the last-minute panic buying parents, I am kind of somewhere in the middle. I have ordered the branded school jumpers but I still need to get skirts/trousers, polo tops, coats, shoes, new p.e kit's etc. After 13 years of having children in school, I have kind of got the whole back-to-school essentials down to a tee. 

                                             Tips For Back To School


Thursday, 18 July 2019

Go Ape Matfen Review

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When an invite to try out Go Ape tree-top challenge landed in my inbox a few weeks ago my initial reaction was no-way am I trying that as I am terrified of heights. However, once I realised my teen was old enough to go around the course herself (16-17 years can tackle the course alone) then I signed her and her friend up straight away, as Go Ape sounded right up her street (she is a bit of an adrenaline junkie, unlike her mam).

Go Ape tree top challenge Northumberland, daughter climbing in trees

Go Ape is located in Matfen in the lovely Northumberland countryside, right near Matfen hall and golf course and it is only about a 20-minute drive from Newcastle. Luckily on the day we visited the sun was shining and it was a lovely day to be out in the countryside. Following the directions for the golf course, we soon arrived in the large free car park and instantly spotted the wooden Go Ape hut.


Thinking Of Booking A Last Minute Family Holiday This Summer?

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We haven't had a summer family holiday this year as all of our pennies went on our recent wedding, so I am currently craving a sunshine break. There is just something rather magical about family holiday's, I love the break from routine and being able to relax without the chores of everyday life getting in the way. As a family of five, it is also the only time that we get to spend quality time together without work, school, after-school clubs and life getting in the way. Most importantly of all holiday's are where memories are made, children seem to flourish on holiday learning new skills, trying new things and I think it is so special to be able to discover the world with them and see things through their eyes. 

So I have been searching for a last-minute holiday. 


Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Things I Loved June 2019

June was the best month ever as I got married! We had the most amazing day and I am still in a happy little newlywed bubble at the moment. I have written briefly about the wedding but I will be writting more about the day once we get the professional photos back in a few weeks as our guests hardly took any.  June was not all about the wedding though, we had a lot of other stuff happening too so here is a look at some of the things that I loved in June 2019. 


Money Advice For The Newly Wed

Guest Post.

The Last thing you think of when you're madly in love and about to marry is their bank balance, but once the honeymoon is over, reality sets in. How will you manage two incomes and two sets of expenses? Is your partner a saver or a spender? 

Are you saving for a home or putting money away to travel? This article will give a ton of money advice for the newlyweds that do not want to find out the full meaning of "for richer or for poorer". 


Home Renovation Plans

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A couple of years ago we moved into our forever family home, it is a 1950's semi that needed a lot of work done to it when we moved in as it still had a lot of original 50s features and was rather dated decor-wise. When we moved in we got to work replacing carpets, getting a new boiler and fitting a new kitchen, however, there is still so much to do. We had underestimated just how much work, time and money it would take to bring our home up to date.

Two weeks ago we got married and the wedding had taken over our lives for the past year, all of our spare money went on paying for the wedding and house renovations were firmly put on hold. Now that we are married and actually have money again we have decided to crack on with the house renovations as we still have so much to do.

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