Vintage real bride Nicole – with 10 weeks to go

Today we have our second real bride post on the blog! Nicole is a 33 year old bride from Surrey. She met her husband to be (Colin, 38) at a friend’s birthday back in May 2009. Nicole wants to re-invent the wedding wheel with her hand-made West Country weekend away!

She’ll be getting married at Kilminorth Cottages in Looe on 30th March. On planning her wedding, Nicole says: “We had a few rules when we first started planning, that I wouldn’t turn into a crazy wedding lady and to remember £100 is actually a lot of money. I hear of so many people that get carried away and money means nothing just because they feel they need the latest craze at their wedding. I’m not great about being centre of attention and talking about myself so these are things I’m having to get used to!”

Catch up on Nicole’s journey so far here - with ten weeks to go until her big day, here are her latest updates.

Before I start I have to say this has been an amazing week. I got a promotion at work and my sister got engaged which we are absolutely thrilled about! It’s been an exciting 2013 already and we are only a few weeks in.

I’ve been wanting 2013 to hurry up and get here and now it has I need it to slow down! It’s gradually starting to dawn on me that we are in the midst of organising a three-night break for 100 people… but I’m keeping calm so all is fine!

Soon we will have to decide on an agenda for the weekend so everyone knows where they need to be on each day. Optional activities for guests to take part in on the Friday need to be planned and on the morning after the wedding we are going to host breakfast, so have invited people back into the marquee for a BBQ brunch and Easter egg hunt for the children. We have a lot of children coming so wanted to ensure the weekend is just as tailored for them as it is for the adults!

We took both our dads suit shopping, as we are very fortunate that our parents get on extremely well. Despite the sales, we found it really hard to find a three-piece suit in a wool material. We found we couldn’t hire what we wanted as the only suits on offer were very traditional ‘wedding’ suits which was not the look we were after. We got lucky and found a light blue/grey three piece in the Duchamp sale which even had lapels on the waistcoat so would match the groom’s suit perfectly. Just the best man to sort out now!

We got news from the cottages that the ceremony area and gazebo were coming along and we are very much looking forward to seeing the finished result! As Kilminorth currently has no inside areas they needed to build a permanent structure outside before the registry office can issue the licence. It’s amazing what has been done to the land to get it ready. Diggers had been brought in, in November to level the fields a grass has been laid in the Duck Pond to make it into a useable area.

We hit another milestone this fortnight in that the balance of our honeymoon had to be paid off. So far all we’ve had to pay out for is deposits so from now onwards our suppliers will be getting paid the full amount. We have had to keep a very detailed spreadsheet of the costings, we have several suppliers to manage so had to keep track of what we had paid them and what was due and more importantly when. We knew it was going to be tough as the next three months will leave us with very little spare cash. We have had to be very strict with ourselves and turn down offers to meet up with friends and hope they understand!

It’s really important to talk about money, it can be one of the most stressful parts of organising a wedding, as the costs do mount up with items you wouldn’t have even thought of when you first made a rough budget in the early days of planning, but if you check in each week and both keep a close eye on what you may still need to save, it can be stress free!

I’ve found that eBay has been my savour! I have a mini mountain of jiffy bags in the spare room full of lovely things. I’ve also been buying things when they are in the sale & don’t be afraid ask for discounts if buying items in bulk, you need to make your money go a long way!

One of my favourite bargains to date is a job lot of knife and forks I found from eBay. I won the lot for £12 and have over 100 of each! I have looked into hiring all the cutlery and table clothes but it worked out about £350. I have decided to buy it all and sell afterwards. I know it’s a bit more effort on our part but it’s just another way of reclaiming some of the money back after the wedding. We want to spend the money on the things that people will remember and it’s not going to be the knife and forks!

Our largest expense was the tipis which will definitely be the focal point of the wedding. They will look amazing in the field and hopefully create a real wow factor!

My wedding shoes also arrived this week.  This was another area I decided not to spend a lot of money on. I would have loved a paid of Emmy Shoes for £600 but as I have spent a fair amount on my gorgeous dress I had to be clever with my accessories. I found a pair of gorgeous heels from Rachel Simpson Outlet for the bargain price of £35 and will customise them with some vintage rhinestone shoe clips.  I still need to find something for my hair & have been looking for an art deco hair comb, I’ve got a picture in my head of what I would like it to look like but have yet to find it!

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