Anyone ever wondered how weddings turned into such a complicated and costly experience?  I got married 16 years ago and even then brides were happily allowing their parents to stretch their budgets to cover an  ‘out of the pages of a magazine’ experience.  Of course, like so much in modern life, there is pressure from every direction to tick all the boxes so your day and subsequent life are perfect in every way.  So if you are going to add a good dose of common sense to this where should you be savvy and not be taken in by the slick marketing. The dresses and bridesmaids Virtually every wedding I come across now has multiple adult bridesmaids.  It would seem that no-one can choose between their best friends so they have to have all 5 of them.  Whilst this might well be wonderful it can damage the wedding funds significantly, even if they buy their own shoes.  Then there is the brides own dress where the budget when well and truly go out of the window.  I would suggest buying lots of wedding magazines (always good fun) finding the wedding dresses you like most and finding a dressmaker to make your dress.  This means that you love a dress but don’t like a small detail, you can have that bit changed.  This will cost significantly less than the brands, will fit perfectly and you won’t see any other bride in a dress quite like it.  If you live in Norfolk, then look no further than Camilla Brides and have a bespoke dress.  They also offer a dress hire service which may help with the bridesmaid dresses.  Also, just a note on the bridesmaid front, if you have an opportunity to have a little girl bridesmaid, take that option, you will make a little girl’s day.

Camilla Brides wedding dress

The Flowers There are some good deals online but what happens if the flowers aren’t delivered.  It is far more reassuring to buy local and receive a personal service.  Word of mouth is always the best recommendation, however, a location search for florist such as ‘Wedding Flowers Norwich’ enables you to localise your search and find the best Google recommends for a given area.  If you are looking for wedding flowers in Norfolk, you should contact Norwich florist Claire Carney who not only creates stunning flowers for weddings but also is a balloon decorator so can add striking balloon decorations to your Reception venue. The Cake The lovely lady that made my wedding cake told me that she would have worried brides call her a week before her wedding saying they had forgotten all about the cake!!  If you want to avoid the supermarket offering, the cake must figure in your wedding preparations .  OK, so I understand there is a trend away from traditional fruit cake and formally iced cakes.  If you want modern, then the most popular choice is the semi-naked cake with fresh fruit.  Sugar Buttons Creative has the perfect wedding cakes to give the sweet edge to proceedings.

Beautiful Wedding Cake from Sugar Buttons Creative

The Cars You can save a bit of money here if you or a friend owns a vintage car as almost anything luxury or quirky goes.  However, if you are stuck a luxury vintage Rolls Royce means you will arrive in style.  We used Vintage Occasions cars and they were absolutely perfect with brilliant service.

Rolls Royce from Occasions Cars

The Venue Whether you need a Reception only venue or a wedding ceremony and a Reception, my number 1 choice would be the Norfolk Mead.  It is such a beautiful setting and they only undertake one wedding on a day which means you won’t feel one of many but will have the consideration you deserve.  Another stunning venue is Kimberley Hall If your budget means that you are looking for a less expensive option, then give the newly refurbished Boudicca Hotel at Caistor St Edmund a go.  Very picturesque gardens and very well experienced at putting on a beautiful wedding.
Norfolk Mead Hotel

lNorfolk Mead Hotel, Coltishall

  Most importantly have a wonderful day that doesn’t break the bank.