The day we got married was the hottest of the year so far; 3rd July 2010, I remember the sweat trickling down my back (yum) as I walked up the aisle to the sound of the Wannadies. We’ve never had much money; we don’t earn a great deal, and we’re not great at saving either, so everything was done on a strict budget. My dress was £200 from eBay (never worn, it still had the tags attached – the previous owner had bought two as she couldn’t decide between them), the Husband’s wedding suit came from Paul Smith, where I worked at the time (skinny fit blue cord, I still love it now!), the flowers were from a local silk flower mill and we had a buffet at a country pub. The wedding cake consisted of three layers bought from Asda, stacked precariously by my Mum and I and then decorated with sugar hearts and flowers, and we did little bags of sweets as favours. It was a fuckload of work, but we managed to do everything for £2,000, then went home at the end of it all, watched Paranormal Activity and ate fish and chips. Then we went to Brighton for three days for our honeymoon.

Images: Left, right

I have some lovely memories from the day, but there’s a nagging thought in the back of my brain that it wasn’t quite what I wanted. I’d always dreamed of getting married in the church where I was christened, and we passed it up at the time because it was so much more money – but now we’re a bit more stable financially, we’ve decided to have a blessing and a little celebration afterwards. I’m not repeating the long, white dress thing – this time I’m going for something fifties style (oooh, in mint green maybe!), and we’re going to have our little celebration outdoors afterwards. I’m aiming to grow the flowers in the garden, make the cake myself and serve everything on my own vintage plates (packs of buffet food from Waitrose or M&S, fresh fruit and fairy cakes!) – and if we don’t manage it before, we might even get the kids christened at the same time. Three birds, one stone!

I’ve got pretty clear ideas about how I want everything to look; minimal fuss and minimal effort – basically, just a giant party. The only thing I’ve been stumped with so far is the invitations; for our wedding, I printed out the words and then inserted them into little cards with illustrations of teacups on. Simple, quick and effective. But this time, I’m not really sure what to do; it’s not a wedding, so what do you write inside? Do I need to send save-the-date cards? Do you even send invitations, or should I just create a Facebook event?! I’m a bit of a stationary geek, so I definitely want to send something – the lovely folks at printed.com have a great range which you can add your own artwork and lettering to really easily, and I’m quite tempted to have a go at that. To be honest, I can’t be bothered don’t have time to sit and faff about with layouts, so the thought of just uploading a file and then adding the text is like a dream come true. Plus, they have about a gazillion different cardstocks and finishes, and fantastical options like printing on both sides of the invite – something my knackered printer just can’t seem to get to grips with!

Lastly, now we’ve decided to actually get on with saving and planning, the first thing I did was make a Pinterest board (duh!) to keep track of everything. If you’re already a follower – sorry in advance for all the wedding spam coming your way!

Follow Victoria Haynes: The Owl and the Accordion’s board Weddings and Blessings on Pinterest.

This is a collaborative post. 


  1. KatGotTheCream
    March 19, 2015 / 2:14 pm

    You too look gorgeous! Greig had a blue suit too. In stark contrast our day was freezing!! I think we'd like to throw a party for our 10th anniversary. Xx

  2. Charlotte {theteapotexplodes}
    March 19, 2015 / 2:42 pm

    I think that's a gorgeous idea. We're not married as his family is in Wales and mine is in New Zealand. So we would HAVE to do it twice. We're trying to buy a flat at the moment so it's bit down on the list but it doesn't mean I don't have my fingers crossed that it'll happen one day (or two days). I agree with Kat. You looked gorgeous on your wedding day! x

  3. Dora
    March 19, 2015 / 4:09 pm

    Hello! I love printed.com I bring peoples invitation ideas to life and always suggest printed.com. If you're interested you can see some of my work on my FB page – facebook.com/honeybunnyandpumpkin , Dora x

  4. Alice Judge-Talbot
    March 19, 2015 / 5:03 pm

    I loved reading this! I adore weddings and when I got married it was also to around the same budget. I always felt like it wasn't quite what I wanted. Can't wait to read about your next wedding!

  5. Jess @ Along Came Cherry
    March 20, 2015 / 8:25 am

    Ah you looked gorgeous! We will definitely be doing it on a budget if Matt ever bloody proposes that is! I've been waiting for 12 years so far!! x

  6. Lizzie Woodman
    March 20, 2015 / 12:01 pm

    This is great post and really struck a chord with me. When I got married eight years ago, we both wanted to keep things really simple as we are both quite shy and didn't want a big fuss – plus we didn't have much money. The day was lovely, but I do really wish I'd done some things differently. I didn't wear a proper wedding dress, and I really, really regret that now. I think I'd do much better now if was planning it again! I keep thinking that maybe we'll have a big party for our tenth anniversary where we can get another chance to do some of things I wish we'd done – plus, I know my two sons would love this. Sadly though I think I've missed my one chance to wear a white wedding dress with a veil…

  7. Becca
    March 20, 2015 / 1:22 pm

    Ooh, excited to hear about your blessing! This definitely struck a chord with me. Me and my chap got hitched on a similar budget after we graduated. As much as I LOVED the day and will always cherish it, there is a wee part of me that keeps thinking of things I wish we'd had time to include, mainly to spoil our guests a bit, plan our photos a bit better and thank everyone who helped out. It's so hard before you do it to know all those little things! Look forward to seeing your planning. Your wedding looked like a glorious day, regardless 🙂 x

  8. fritha strickland
    March 26, 2015 / 2:28 pm

    mine cost £2k in total too! Your blessing sounds lovely! I'd love to renew our vows in say 5 years time, if only because I loved having that many of our friends with us to celebrate our togetherness at one time. I didn't want it to end! We got our table places printed at Printed.com they are great! x

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