Tuesday, 27 June 2017

5 Ways To Have Your Dream Wedding Without Breaking Your Budget

It seems like the thing about getting married is that weddings have to be huge and elaborate days, full of expensive little touches. I mean, if that is the kind of wedding that you want and you can afford or save to do that, then great. But for many people, it isn’t going to be realistic. But if you’re looking to get hitched to the one you love, then you can do just that without having to spend a fortune. There are many shortcuts to take, without having to cut corners and lose any style or substance. So here are a few things to think about to make your money go a little further and help you to get married sooner rather than later.


Set a Limit

One of the first things to do is to set yourself a limit on what you want to spend. From there, all other decisions are going to be much easier. It is better to do that and work backward, rather than add things up along the way. Once you know what your overall spend is allowed to be, then you can divide the spend up too. You might spend half of it on the venue and reception, and then the other half on things like dresses, flowers, and a photographer, for instance. That being said, the photographer shouldn’t be something that you skimp on. Everything else about your day will just be on the day. But your photos are what will last, and you want to be pleased with them. Even better if you’ve got a professional photographer as a friend that can give you a good rate!

Pick Cheaper Times To Get Married

There are some days that are cheaper to get married than others. So why not look into those instead? Do you have to get married on a Saturday just because that is what the majority of people do? Many weddings happen on Sundays or mid-week and are much cheaper. So why not pick an alternative day. It is important to remember that it is your day, and don’t worry too much about other people and their commitments. If they want to come to your wedding and it is mid-week, then they will find a way to be there and take time off work; that shouldn’t be something that you should be stressing about.

Summer is one of the most popular times of year to get married too. So why not think about getting married at a different time of year? You might not be guaranteed sunshine (but in the UK, it is never a guarantee, even in the summer). So pick a cheaper month, and it will be less likely to be booked up too.

Do It Yourself

There are many aspects of your wedding that you can do yourself (or ask talented friends to help with). Take, for example, your wedding invitations. You could order some online, or you could design and make them yourself. The latter will only work if you have all of the right equipment already in the house. Otherwise, it could cost you a fair bit to get it all sorted out. But ask around your friends and family; we all have that one friend that is a creative and Pinterest genius, right? Other things that can be made yourself are things like guestbooks, thank you cards, table place cards, menus, and even the cake. The great thing about having your wedding as you want it is that you don’t even have to have a cake. If you (or a friend) is better at making cupcakes, then how about having a cupcake tower instead? You don’t have to have a wedding cake just as tradition dictates. It could be anything that you want it to be.


Choose Your Venue Carefully

You have to think about choosing your wedding venue, as there are things that will be allowed and some that won’t be allowed. If you’re getting married in a place with a bar, then do they expect some kind of minimum spend? If they do, then this could be moved elsewhere. You could use a village hall for a reception and ask people to bring a bottle. Nowadays this is quite a common thing to keep costs down, and guests will be more than happy to oblige. You need to weigh that up versus the cost of food and caterers, though. So ask around for lots of quotes to help you choose the best place for your reception.

As far as the ceremony goes, you can have the ceremony in pretty much any place that you want. However, to make it legal, there are a few requirements. You will need a registrar there, as well as someone who is legally able to marry you. So look into the costs of this kind of thing to weigh up your options. You can always choose a park or a garden, as long as there is a building somewhere. In the UK, the law requires the legal part of the marriage to be in a building. So you could just do the talks and perhaps a ring exchange out in the garden or park.

Personalise It

As well as making some parts of your wedding yourself, you can source and decorate the wedding to be just as you would like it. This can save you several hundred pounds! If you were just going to leave it up to a venue, then they would charge you a large amount for the privilege. So look to do that kind of thing yourself. There are so many shops that do things like wedding favours and wedding decorations but quite cheaply. Cheap doesn’t have to mean tacky either. There are some really lovely things that you can get that are really pretty and classy.

You can achieve the wedding that you want, without having to compromise too much. You can limit the guest list if needed, and then just have a separate party for all those that couldn’t attend another time. Just remember that it's your wedding and you can have it how you want with whoever you want there.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Want A Dream Bathroom? Don't Throw In The Towel!

As a mother, the importance of a bathroom is clear. With mucky kids coming in from playing in the garden, to the little soccer stars dripping with mud - something needs to do the cleaning. That something is the bathroom - and whether it's a tacky or trashy bathroom - or something fit for a princess - the bathroom does its job and usually does it well. A bathroom is an important room, and that's reflected in the impact it has on the value of a home. A good, well-designed bathroom can boost a house price by quite a bit. Don't take it for granted. You know how good it is!

You probably do, at least. If that's you, your mind is probably full of visions of a dream bathroom. The bathroom that looks as good as it works. This isn't unachievable at, but as a parent, it feels like it is. We might not have the money or the time to improve the bathroom and that's a shame. It can reduce those dreams to ashes and leave us stuck with a boring bathroom. Who wants that? Not you - for sure. However, if you're in this place, it's because you've literally thought yourself out of having what you want from a bathroom. Be easy on yourself - your dream bathroom is something you have. It'll cost you and if that's off putting, at least take elements of your dream bathroom and use them in your current one!
What you can do is learn. Yes - a lot of the work and effort put into a dream bathroom requires skills. These can be picked up and learned. Tiling, fitting, sealing - these key skills can be utilized by anyone with a willingness to learn them. They are hard - for sure - what skill isn't? But look at you! If you're a parent, you are already full of skills - what's one more? If you can raise kids, you can tile - trust me. It just takes time, but you can save a lot of cash if you're willing to put in the hard work yourself. Just make sure you're in the know about what you're doing. Otherwise, you'll be forking out for the work to be repaired.

You can also get bathroom products from a wide range of places. Sites like Bathroom Takeaway are common, meaning that you can easily identify the products and facilities that will make up your dream bathroom and shop around for them to compare prices and get the best deals. Smart shopping is how you'll get your dream bathroom in place.

If your dreams are too big, you'll have to reel them in. You'll also have to pick function over style. If your bathroom looks good, but can't help you and your family get clean, that's not right. Bathrooms work well when spend is big in one area, and that spend is complimented well in others - for example, an ornate bathtub will be the centerpiece.  This approach can be worth the while.

Your dream bathroom isn’t far away - you just need to put the effort in.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

For The Twentysomethings That Feel Stuck And Lost


Being twenty-something isn’t what it used to be. It’s terrifying actually. The world is such an uncertain place and it has changed so much in just a generation that our parents can’t really help us find our own path anymore. The whole quarter-life crisis thing has cropped up out of nowhere and it’s not exactly showing any signs of slowing down.
But before you crumple up into another ball and start sobbing without really knowing what you are sobbing about because it is so hard to make sense of the world, we have come up with a list of things every twentysomething should do to help them find out who they are and get more out of life.

Drop The Tech
We have all seen every part of the world through our phones and tablets. We are virtual explorers and it sucks. We see the world through a screen, we talk to people through a keyboard, we put a filter on life and we overload our brain with information we are not sure is true. This is fun when you are a teenager but you need to stop it from taking over your life when you are in your twenties to have real experiences.

Think About Money
Thanks to Instagram and that sort of stuff, making money seems to be something we do so that we can splash it and show the world our lives are nothing but awesome. This is fun, but it is also foolish. You should start thinking about money differently. Start putting some of your earnings into a pensions pot or a savings account now, and reap the rewards later, while everyone is working beyond the retirement age.

Travel Alone
This is the greatest gift you can give yourself because, without wanting to dip into too many cliches, you get the chance to know who you are and what you want, without all that noise influencing you. If you’re anxious about this, which is fair, don’t worry too much. There are companies out there, like Just You, which cater for those wanting to travel alone without being lonely. So, pack your holiday outfit, book a holiday and go see a new place in the comfort of good company; it will help you prioritize your wants in life.

Look After Your Body
Our bodies take a whole lot of naive punishment during our teen years. It starts with sugary sweets and even more sugary drinks, and then quickly moves to excessive drinking, lack of sleep and a complete abhorrence for exercise. The amazing thing is, you’ll still bounce back from this lifestyle because you are young. Cue your twenties. That spring in your step starts to fade and, what’s worse, you notice it. So start treating your body right now and your future self will thank you.

Keep The Childlike Wonder
Maturity is inevitable, and it should definitely be welcomed. I mean, flying off into fits of rage because something did go your way isn’t going to help you navigate life in your 20s. However, don’t let life get to you too much. There are some aspects of being a child you need to cling onto with everything you can, such as your curiosity, your smile, your sense of adventure and your want to have fun. Life will try and dim these; don’t let it.