With the trend moving towards shorter engagements and cheaper weddings, careful planning becomes key!
Once you decide to get married, there are many different aspects to consider:
There are lots of different places to tie the knot:
If you choose to get married in a church and you are a member of that same church, you may be allowed to get married for free or for a small donation.
Hotels, Historic Buildings, Golf Clubs, Sports Clubs etc usually have their own wedding packages and they can be cheaper than you think. Always ask what is included in the price and make sure that it is within budget.
Civil Ceremonies also take place in a Registar Office – visit http://directgov.uk to search for your local Register Office.
Remember: A Civil Ceremony can have no religious content.
Getting Married Abroad
If you are adventurous, you may want to go abroad to get married. Sometimes the legal paperwork can be confusing so make sure that you have a Solicitor in the UK and that you contact the relevant authorities abroad – you need to make certain that your marriage will be recognised on your return to Britain.
Wedding Car Hire – Arrive in Style
Check out your local wedding car hire companies to help you decide on the best form of wedding transport. Limousines, Classic Cars, Executive Cars and Horse and Carriage are usually available.
We can recommend Geoff's Executive Chauffeur Service for personal service, a great Mercedes and reliability. Geoff also includes a free trial run to your venue to make sure you get the timing right on the day!
If you have more family and friends to transport, Geoff can also provide a chauffeured minibus, as can Darren from Dazbus Minibus Hire, who has over 60 great reviews!
When hiring a wedding photographer, word of mouth is again the best option and will give you peace of mind that you will get good photographs that you can treasure forever.
Good photographers tend to be booked months in advance, so book early.
We can recommend Jacqueline Cross Photography for professional, natural photos. Jackie was voted the Most Loved Business in Abingdon in 2013!
Additionally, why not put disposable cameras on the reception tables and ask friends and family to capture their own memories.
The best place to start looking for wedding gowns is Bridal Magazines and Bridal Fairs – both offer stunning designs and will give you the chance to discover new styles and colours.
Next visit as many bridal shops as you can. Try on gowns that you don’t like – you may be surprised.
If prices are too high, visit an experienced dressmaker and ask what they would charge to make your perfect bridal gown.
Bridal shops and Department Stores also offer a wide range of dresses and accessories for bridesmaids and the Mother of the Bride. You can often pick up a real bargain in the vintage section of charity shops.
Wedding Hair & Make Up
If you and your bridesmaids want to have your hair styled for the big day it's worth a practice run with your hairdresser first - make sure all dates are booked well in advance.
We can recommend Creations Hair & Beauty for a great salon and stylists.
If the stress is getting too much, book yourself a pre-wedding massage - we can recommend Utopia Beauty Salon (Abingdon's Most Loved Business 2012).
For the perfect nails we recommend The Nail & Beauty Lounge (Most Loved Nail Salon in the UK 2012)
Both of the above salons also offer bespoke wedding packages.
Invitations, Order of Service and Table Settings can be ordered from one of the many local Printers who offer this service.
Alternatively, why not design and print your own - not only will this will save you a considerable amount of money, but would also make it much more personal.
Ask friends and family to recommend a good bakery or cake maker. Often you will find that a family member might be dying to make one for you. Many bakeries and cake makers visit bridal fairs and have samples of wedding cake for you to try. Top Tip: When you place your order, ask if the price includes the hire of a cake stand and knife!
Whilst word of mouth is always the best recommendation, some wedding venues have a preferred list of florists that may be used to providing floral displays at your chosen venue. The best florist will show you examples of their work, will know the right flowers for your theme and colours and will be friendly and helpful.
By: Helen Irving
Member since: 10th July 2012
I love Abingdon and am passionate about promoting the businesses and events that are centred there. I want everyone to realise how great they are and how we should all be using them!