What Kelly Did… Got A Whole Bunch Of Stuff Done.

Me again, whoop!

Things have been going well, maybe even a little too well since the last time I wrote. Ceremony and reception venues are booked (more on that in a bit), hen do is being planned (there is even a Facebook page and everything), and the invites are being ‘mocked up’ as I write. Although Andy may raise his eyebrows when the first thing I do after work is to reach for the laptop to get my daily RMW fix (monitored web access at work = tres annoying), with just under 10 months to go, I am feeling on track with everything and loving every planning second.

Back to the good stuff then, the venues. Rather clichédly, I have always dreamed of getting married in this gorgeous church where I grew up. Never in a zillion years did I think this would become a reality, but when I broached the subject with Andy about where we would get married and that I knew of a pretty little church, he said “of course we can get married there”. I die!

Although we are not particularly religious, to us it feels right to marry in a church; me as the romantic and Andy as the traditionalist. People have commented about whether or not this is, and I quote, “hypocritical” but I don’t think so, I definitely don’t feel like it is anyways. The Church in recent years has in fact relaxed its criteria for marrying couples. For us, we had to fulfill one criterion from a list of four, state that we were not related (!) and then it was agreed. With our date available, we provisionally booked our ceremony and paid a £50 deposit. In total, the ceremony will cost us around £500, which includes fees to ring the bells (ding dong).

The next obvious step was to organise the reception venue. With dates to be co-coordinated, our search began with gusto. We investigated barns, walled gardens and even a tall ship, but once we started totaling up exclusive use fees, caterers we had to use, hiring tables, chairs, crockery, cutlery, waiters, a bar, etc. etc. we knew this option was not within our budget. Hmmmmm, a rather deflated back to square one.

Although I wanted something a bit different to a hotel, we started looking at nearby potentials. Based on my Internet search, two were coming up trumps. Off we trotted to the first one, which totally won on sea/marina views, but I couldn’t help feeling that the on-line pictures of the place had been somewhat ‘photoshopped’. In reality, the reception room had this orangey red swirly carpet, the paint job was terrible, the furniture was old and shabby and to top it off a glass of wine cost over (and don’t judge me here) £5. That would be a no then.

The second venue put a massive smile on my face. It was a converted 18th Century farmhouse which had the character, charm and quirkiness that the other place lacked. Its recent refurb’ to a super high standard created a simple but stunning blank canvas for pretty (my brain whirred into overdrive) AND the ceiling twinkled, lush. However, there were some down sides; the outside space wasn’t that great and a limited number of bedrooms would mean that not everyone could stay ‘on-site’. We had already come to the realisation though, that unless you have an endless budget, some compromises would invariably need to be made.

So, let’s discuss the ‘B’ word. With a budget of around £10,000 (Andy is a lot more rigid about this amount, whereas I like to call it a ‘ball park figure’) we knew the reception would take the biggest chunk of this. After carefully totalling up everything to do with the reception including the meals, evening BBQ, wine and champagne, we realised that happily the venue came well within budget leaving 40% for all the other bits (Excel spreadsheets are the way forward). We then enquired if our date was available, and blimey it was! We booked it quicker do I dare say, than a stripper on a stag do and I am still dreaming about it now (the venue that is).

Hopefully by the next time I write, invites will be finished, a dress chosen (I am being somewhat blasé about that bit) and menus discussed.

With big until-next-time love,

Kelly (Reds) xxxxxxx

Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

27 thoughts on “What Kelly Did… Got A Whole Bunch Of Stuff Done.

  1. Kelly that church is just perfect, I always thought I would chose a church but instead i am going for a religious ceremony on the beach and am already getting comments “what if it rains”, “if it’s windy people can’t wear hats” etc etc i think whatever you chose you get mean comments!

    As RMW has taught us, YDYW.

    I am impressed you are managing on £10k, that is what we were aiming for but then we totted up estimated costs up and it came between “budget day” 13k, “all we want day” £18k……… eeeeeeeeeeeek! (all done on excel of course!)
    Look forward to the next update xx

  2. I have a ballpark figure too (ie not an actual figure – I am allowed to go over me thinks) I also saw lots of places that in the pictures looked great but in reality looked rubbish, lots of orange swirly carpet!!

  3. It’s really nice to read about other brides that don’t have a budget that could run a small business for 6 months! Great post Kelly, will be really interesting to follow your planning as our budget is the same (and I too am thinking of it more as a ball park figure!). x

  4. Kelly what a lovely post!

    I love the way you write…

    But I also am LOVING your photoshop handy work!!!! Very nice indeed! Especially the tape and staples etc…

    Also loveing your venues, can we see more pictures of your reception venue??? It looks lush!!! Does it have a website be can be noisy with???

    As for budget, ours has gone up from £5000, but only to £6000 which seems crazy to me, I don’t know how I’ve managed to save so fast. (Quite a lot has been given to us aswell!) I don’t quite know what I’d do with £10,000 but I’m sure I could spend it easierly!

  5. Love your writing Kelly – brings a smile to my face!!

    Gorgeous church, and a fabulous venue – you are going to have one beautiful wedding!


    PS the ceiling at our venue twinkled… that alone sold me 😉 and our guests loved it too!

  6. I have tried the excel spreadsheet thing time and time again but I just get confused and frustrated (or maybe that is because everything comes out to be more than what I have budgeted for?) Maybe mine is just too complicated 🙁

  7. I try not to think about the ‘budget’ …. we’re working off a list of must-haves, would really likes, and would be nice if there is money left over! So long as we get good value for the things we choose then we’re happy, but I’m too scared to add all the little bits up (like when I found £5 hurricane vases in Asda and justified it on the basis that it was cheaper to buy than hire!)

    Your venue looks stunning and with a neutral blank canvas inside, I’m certainly looking forward to your w-day pics to see what you do with it!

  8. I’m a total RMW addict but this is the first time i’ve posted. I’m just wondering how you’re all managing to do your wedidngs so cheaply? our figures are coming out crazy high (like buy a new car, deposit for a house, or dissapear for a few years travelling) high! i’m scared and am now thinking i’d rather not get married at all and just have the dream of what might be rather than the stress of the money!
    We have 135 people am i right in thinking this might be the tiping point?! Please dont tell me your doing it for the same amount of people, i can feel a mini meltdown coming and i dont think the boy can handle another!!! 🙂

  9. Love the way you have done your pics, looks fab!
    Love the farmhouse, would love even more to actually live in said farm house and have my own twinkly ceiling for whenever I jolly well please!

    You are way on track then and don’t worry about the blase dress feelings, I had those too.

    Love your post, xx

  10. @DeeDee …. We’re having 40ish to the day and an extra 80 to the eve (so 120 in total) and our budget roughly is around £15k. I’d love to do it cheaper but I don’t have many friends/family who are talented/creative etc and who could help me put it all together, plus somethings we *could* do ourselves we decided not to (like the cake and flowers) because by the time we’d bought the materials and spent the time, it was about the same cost to get someone else to do it and a LOT less stressful!

    I guess a lot depends on your venue and how much you want to spend on it. We’re having a village hall for £450 but we could have spent 10-12k just on the venue alone if we’d wanted a local country house hotel. We also prioritised what we wanted to spend money on, so a big chunk has gone on photography & videography but we’ve skimped on food, outfits, favours (not having them) etc. I’m also going to sell my dress afterwards to get some money back hopefully.

  11. Exciting – beautiful church and reception venue!
    Budgetwise I’m going for £5000. I find it very amusing that other brides are talking about this like it’s a ball park figure -I thought I was the only one! Haha. I think it’s completely possible to meet any budget, it’s just what do you want to compromise on.

    For example, we’ve found an oh-so-cute but as yet unlicenced village hall and common and we’re holding the ceremony and the reception there (£255 a day!) and just having the legal bit at a registry office on the quiet (£50). It’s going to be completely awesome and whilst I do have friends who are professionally talented (artists/creatives/hairdressers) once I started saying that we were going to have a budget wedding all these friends and family are stepping forward – it’s amazing to see, and I think it’s great for them to share in your big day in this way.

    Much love and best of luck to everyone planning!


  12. oh and I forgot to say, Kelly, your church and venue look so beautiful and I’m totally jealous of the sound of everyone’s weddings.

  13. Hi Kelly… this all looks fab 🙂

    I love how you do your pictures… its great as it is immediately obvious that it is you! As for budget, ah its a bastard aint it. We had a ball park figure in our head but when our venue and food etc is going to be 80% off that, we realised we needed to increase the budget a teeny bit so that I can have some flowers and pay for bridesmaid dresses and hair etc… still saving desperately. But I am sure it will all come together 🙂 We’re just having to hold off on any details/decorations/bits&bobs till much nearer the time, and even then its ‘if we can afford it’ but I can imagine they creep up if you get them gradually.

  14. Oh and I would love to have a phone box outside our venue because Mike (pretends he) invented the telephone box game…2pts for old red ones, 1pt for newer ones… he went crazy when we went to cork and he saw 3 green ones next to each other!!) – anyone play that?? Oh just me then, maybe he did invent it!! 😉

  15. Well I think everyone agrees that the pictures look beautiful! It sounds like it’s all coming together nicely :-). Your posts always make me giggle!

    @DeeDee don’t worry I think we all go through that phase. Part of the reason we’re getting married in France is that it’s a lot if cheaper (eg our venue will cost £800 for the entire weekend!!). That said, we’ve both lived abroad and have large families and varied friends so I really wanted quite a big wedding (150 for the whole day). But at the end of the day, it’s about what means a lot to you and what you can afford. That said I do have mini panic attacks every other week!!!!

    Oh and spreadsheets are amazing. We have ours linked to our guest list too so it varies according to the numbers coming!

  16. Evening ladies. Thanks for the lovely comments. I put together my photos using good old powerpoint, no fancy photoshop here! Then have to transfer them to a picture viewer to save as a jpeg file (always been a bit of a geek!) As for the tape, pins and stitching, they are ‘digital scrapbooking’ vectors which you can get for free off the web.

    As for our budget, we will have about 100 guests for the day and another 20-30 for the evening. This is how our budget breaks down:

    £6000 – Reception, which includes meals, drinks & BBQ
    £1000 – Wedding photography
    £600 – Flowers
    £500 – Church fees
    £500 – Wedding dress
    £275 – Chair covers
    £225 – Transport
    £300 – Grooms outfit
    £240 – Bridesmaid dresses
    £150 – DJ

    Where we might go over is if we book a viedographer and the above doesn’t include wedding rings. We are making all our own stationery and sourcing our decorations cheaply so these won’t come to much but I guess it all adds up!

    Big Love xxxx

  17. Ding-dong indeed, Kelly! Great post sweets!
    Totally loving the farmhouse, and cannot wait to see pictures of the twinkly ceiling!

    The path at the back of the church is a MUST for photos (and you should defo use that phone box too, if only to send the pictures to Abi’s H2B 😉

    Fab photoshopping skills too lady! xx

  18. Blimey there’s some well controlled brides about. Our budget was 10k and has steadily gone past 16k already!

    My dress was twice as much as planned for as is my wedding ring by hey! I’ll be looking at pics of me in the dress forever as I will be wearing the ring forever….

    I’m making all stationery and decorations and I’m having the cake as a present so how- how girls have you come in so l

  19. Oops…
    How have you come in on budget so well?

    Very jealous as we’re paying for the wedding ourselves which is not easy when we have 2 young children and I only work part time!

  20. As a wedding photographer here are my “outsiders” tips for saving money on your big day.

    Dont bother with favours. At the end of the evening I see so many just lying around on the tables – whatever they are.

    A bride of mine gave every female guest a posy of flowers instead of having lots decorating the ceremony – this apparently saved loads and gave the girls a gift.
    Another bride went to Cambridge flower market to buy her flowers. Flowers at the pew ends go un-noticed by both the bride and usually the guests.

    Give bridesmaids the freedom to wear a dress they want – on the proviso they pay for it. This has happened a few times at weddings Ive been too and its totally worked as the bridesmaids are happy in a dress they love and the bride is too having saved some extra cash.

    Taxi rather than hire car – loads of my couples have done this recently and the taxi cab guys have all been chuffed to be the “driver” for a wedding.

    Hope some of this may help…x

  21. Thanks Tasha for the ideas, I particularly like the ‘Taxi’ one! Vicky, I am v.impressed you are managing to pay for it all when you have two kids as well!! Well done you!

  22. Hey Kelly, St Peter’s in a minute from my house, do you live in the village? We’re getting married there in April, very excited!!

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