The great things about the homemade wedding is that you (in theory) should be able to get it exactly how you want. There’s no misunderstanding between you and the florist or the cake makers of your ideas for you to turn up on the day to discover their idea of elegant white looks more like something from one of P.Diddy’s parties.

I have barely any budget for the services/items listed below for my wedding in March 2012:

Dress (minimal budget)




Hair & Make up



Instead, I will be making as much of the above as I can myself or roping in help from friends or family. Here are some of my ideas so far which I will hopefully be able to blog on fully over the next 18 months as progress through my mammoth project.

The Theme and decoration. English tea party with lace bunting, broderie anglaise and fine china.  Mainlywhite colour scheme with some wedgewood blue and green. Children to have their own table with Mad Hatter’s Tea Party theme.

The Dress. Will be made be my fantastic mother who also made her own wedding dress.  My inspiration is the wedding dress Meg Ryan’s character Annie tries on at the beginning of Sleepless in Seattle. I so hope there is a comeback in the ‘sleeved’ wedding dress over the next few years.  It would certainly make a refreshing change from the thousands of strapless dresses around which really only favour those with arms like Jennifer Aniston.

The Cake.  A three tier traditional homemade fruit cake which I will make.  My twist will be to attempt to make the icing look as fabric-like as possible.  I would love it to look like it was covered in white broderie anglaise.

The Flowers. White narcosis daffodils and spring foliage put together in vases, bottles and tea cups I am collecting.  Bridal bouquet will be replaced by a corsage of seasonal flowers.

The Favours. Possibly english teas in homemade bags. Possibly garden seeds for the men.  Not too sure yet.

The Hair & Make up.  Doing my own make up (after some lessons at the Chanel counter!) and a friend doing my hair.

The Stationary. Will make my own save the date cards and invitations.  I’m thinking something with doilies to go with all the broderie anglaise.


At Midnight on Saturday the 4th of September, Dean and I were sat on the floor of a bed & breakfast in Warwick in tears. He had just proposed and we were a little tipsy and emotional – hence the sobbing. Pathetic as it sounds, at 31 I was doubting I would manage to get married before the furrow lines on my brow really start to set in. Yet I am now a fully fledged Bride-to-Be and boy am I going to make the most of it!

3 weeks later we have set a date and have just booked our wedding at Nuthurst Grange Hotel in the West Midlands for March 2012. There is of course one outsized problem.  We have a wedding budget so small it would make even the most thrifty of brides weep.  Well OK it’s not that bad but £12,000 seems pretty small compared to the rumoured UK averages of £24k plus.

So, we prioritized.  The most important element of the wedding for us is that we can get married somewhere beautiful where as many of our friends and family can join in on the celebrations as humanly possible. We are spending a whopping £9,000 of our budget on the venue, ceremony and reception…..doesn’t leave much for everything else does it?

In my insanity I have decided to make the rest myself. My cake, my flowers, my favours, my decorations, my invitations, even my dress (with a little help from mother dearest!). It could be a long 18 months………….