Category Archives: Parties

Wedding stuff II: How I failed my budget bridal look

So unbelievably arrogant. If I would describe my thought process before I started planning this shindig, that would be the term. I was convinced I saw through all the ways everyone tried to weasel money out of my pockets (or, more realistically, from my credit card) once they heard I was going to get married. I knew exactly what I wanted: a small, low-key, relaxed affair. I was going to dress in a cheap but elegant dress and not not spend more than 500 euro on my looks (including wedding dress). And NOBODY was going to stop me. HA!

DRESS (cost: Too much. It physically hurts to write what this cloud of tule cost)

You know the easiest way to sell any girly accessory for $$$? Just put “bridal” or “wedding” in front of it. It triples the price, if not more.

That’s why my advice for the day is to NEVER set foot in a bridal shop!!!!!!!!! They will tell you you need all sorts of stuff (which you don’t) at a price you really can’t afford.

I was planning to buy my dress online (secondhand or tailor) but I had the (at that time considered cunning) idea to go into a bridal shop and just try on a couple of dresses. That way I could easily figure out what kind of dress would suit me the best. I didn’t even settle for any store, I took the only store in a four hour radius where they sell Vera Wang.

I went in… and fell in love with one dress (no Vera, thank god) that was about 10 times what I was planning to spend. TEN TIMES!!!!!!! Now, I did get a nice discount because I wanted the store model It was new so nobody tried it anyway. How that was possible? I made friends with the store girl, such a sweetheart. She whined and argued with the manager till he just let it go at the reduced price.

I twirled and floated for about half an hour before reality hit me. I bought a dress that I was going to wear once – for the price of a trip around the world (which would have been infinitely cooler) !!! Oh my, the regret, the calls, ….  (they don’t accept returns, even if you have just bought it and turned right back- I wonder why? The wedding industry thrives on crazy, irrational impulses- mine was my fantasy of dressing like Belle on my wedding day)



The tale of the budget wedding and the designer dress that snuk up on me.



EPIC FAIL. Anyway, I decided to make my peace with it. The bottom line was still that I completely loved the dress, I loved how it felt and everything, so I was just going to go with the flow and economize on everything else.DSC_0079 I accessorized the dress with a black silk tule scarf because otherwise it was just too dreamy.

So… the dress was a fail. (although I still loooooooove it)





Jewelry & hair accessories (cost: free)

That actually worked out well:  

  • DSC_0936
    I decorated my hair with borrowed jewelry (granny’s pearls came in handy).
  • I borrowed a bracelet from my mum (something borrowed),
  • DSC_0861DSC_0043Just wore my beloved Essentiel-shoes (no way was I going to go with new shoes for a wedding where you have to stand for an entire day!) and nobody gets to see those shoes anyway. (I did forget that I would occasionally have to pick up my dress so my pumps with sock were kind of a fail)







Hair & make up (cost: 25 euro)

  • Do your own hair even if you are not a super-skilled hair stylist. seriously. The guy/girl wants to marry you- not a puffed up version of spaced-out you. Just go with a style that takes a little more effort than what you would usually do but still is very much “you”! I just put in some  hot water hair rollers (I hate curling irons, they ruin your hair), put in a couple of fine braids, and put in the hair accessories of my choice.
  • ADSC_0011s most brides want light, unassuming make up, you can just hire a local make up lady – NOT someone that specializes in bridal make up (tjitsjiiiiiing). Otherwise, go to MAC. They do your make up and you get to pick make up for that price. Excellent choice and these girls really know their stuff.

Flowers (cost: free – for me otherwise 40 euro)

  • DSC_0572I really dislike most wedding bouquets, which comes in handy because they’re expensive. I have a great love for peonies, especially the ones that aren’t really open. Unfortunately, because of the cold my florist could only sell them to me at 4 bucks a flower. Are these people crazy? I immediately cancelled and decided to go for tulips (5 euro for a bouquet) but my sweet brother surprised me with my dream bouquet- simple, no fuss, no extra greenery, no foliage drooping on the floor, just the Sarah Bernhardt peonies tied together with a string. Plain and simple- and oh so beautiful.
  • Wedding rings (cost: free)
  • DSC_0210We didn’t have that much cash left. We had amazing engagement rings. It didn’t take us that long to just forgo the matching wedding ring tradition and make our engagement rings “wedding rings”. My sister in law is an amazing jewelry designer. The very first ring for men she made was the one I gave my husband. I spent hours with her, discussing the pros and cons of every possible ring. We finally decided on a rough textured sterling silver ring with a tiny sapphire on top – only he can see it. I engraved it with a quote. It’s a ring that signifies our connection. Hence, it’s his wedding ring.

He gave me mine when we were in Prague. We bought it there from a designer because I fell in love with the aquamarine. He proposed (for the 3d time) in one of those medieval alleys. I took it to New Zealand and noticed the ring had the exact color of the Tasman sea. I love it. Don’t let anyone tell you you need a big ring if you don’t think you do 🙂550795_10151175049017486_750467369_n


Why the epic fails at my wedding were funny- not a disaster (1)

First of all, and the most important thing I’ve learnt: YOU know what is best for your wedding. YOU. NOT the you that’s been freaked out by the wedding industry, and convinced she needs to book a hair stylist, make up stylist, expensive dress, expensive rings, a wedding planner, a ballroom, a fancy 5 course dinner served on a golden platter by Chippendales (digressing, sorry).

Well, that might be the real you. If that’s the case, you might as well stop reading, this article really isn’t for you. Thanks for stopping by though!

Now for the brides who happen to be budget-conscious, want to have a party, happy to be in love and not be too stressed but still want everything kind of really perfect, here’s some news. It can’t be perfect. It just can’t. I’m so sorry.

Because really, you don’t get to experience many of your own weddings -unless you want to do an Elizabeth Taylor. Which would mean you don’t need any advice from me because I only went through the motions once.

Bottom line? Most of us are complete first timers. What do we know? And many of us can’t afford to hire a professional to guide you through the process.

Information on how to do it and how to do it right and how to do it cheap and perfect is coming from all sides, aunties, mothers, forums, sites, shops, friends, tv, …  it’s EVERYWHERE. Google picks up a few of your search terms and voila, there you have the suggestions, all tailored to your needs. And your needs keep growing, while your budget stays the same…

People often ask me: “Why do normal girls turn into bridezillas when they’re getting married?” There’s always that one granny who chirps in: “In my day, brides didn’t make such a big deal about our wedding. You girls just make too much fuss. I wore a nice blue frock and went to the church and that was the end of it. You’re all drama queens.” (true quote, by the way. Still ❤ you, granny.)

They’re drama queens BECAUSE  they’re in the middle of a freaking snowstorm without realizing it. And btw, I would love to see how granny would have reacted to a wedding with internet access.. Methinks THAT’s when you would really see a drama queen arise :-D)

Think about this. Do you expect someone who’s never driven a car to just jump in and start parallel parking? (I’m still having trouble with that one but that’s a different issue)

Do you expect someone who never even set foot in a kitchen to whip up a croquembouche? (Yum)

Do you think a first grader should just skip the Jack and Jill went up the hill- thing and go straight for Tennyson?


So why do brides expect to be able to pull off a perfect wedding the first time they try? Stop wishing for a perfect wedding and opt for a real one instead. I guarantee you will have more fun on a real one. Because then, things that go wrong are FUNNY instead of CATASTROPHES HERE TO RUIN YOUR ONE SPECIAL DAY.

And people who make mistakes are just people who make mistakes instead of A-HOLES THAT I WILL HUNT DOWN AND POISON WITH CHANEL N5 AS SOON AS THE CAMERAS STOP FLASHING.

Next time: some useful tips on having a DIY-budget-super fun wedding! (and of course, some fails! I’ve got plenty of those to go around :-P)