This is the next thing to be crossed off the wedding list. I suppose the most frugal thing to do would be to use a pair of shoes I already have, but since I have a pair of trainers (sneakers!) that I wear to work everyday, and my hiking boots, it's probably not the best thing to do. For our engagement we got some vouchers for a local shopping centre, so I used some of those to buy the shoes (not on sale, but the only things that were were those too-high, wooden or cork soled platforms I have mentioned before!) and fiance will use the rest to put towards his suit hire. At least we have sorted something else out without it costing us any actual cash!
Viewing the 'Wedding' Category
This weekend we went to buy our wedding cake this weekend. It is a traditional iced fruitcake and can be stored until the wedding - we have been keeping an eye out for the cakes that have end dates after our wedding to hit the shelves. We used vouchers to pay for it, that we received for signing my fiance up to my car rescue plan, so essentially it was free! This has saved us £250! Or a little less once the florist has dressed it with greenery. Now all we have to do is not eat it for 3 months. Hard, because we both love fruitcake. Especially with some good, strong cheddar... On second thoughts, maybe the cake had better stay at my mum's.
I was reading Baselle's entry about wedding gift lists and inspired to write about our dilemma. When we first started planning the wedding I was absolutely determined not to have a gift list, for so many reasons. For starters, I know that fiance's guests are spending a lot of money just to come to the wedding (a 3500 mile plane trip will do that) and it is more important to us that they come and spend time with us as we won't be seeing them too frequently in the future, than it is that they bring us stuff. Add to that the troubles of bringing/shipping gifts from the far side of the Atlantic, or buying them online in a foreign currency, and it just wasn't an ordeal we wanted to put our guests through. Then I read an article which suggested that the average cost to a guest to attend a wedding (between transport, outfit, gift etc) is £400! That's just sickening! I don't want to cost all our friends and family that much! (We're already doing as much as we can on the other fronts by having our wedding at a cheap-travel time of year and a "come as you are" dress code) Finally, we are not really "matching set" kind of people. I think picking out china would suck my life right out of me. This seemed to be going ok for the first few months, and we've had some really lovely alternative gifts from some people - some friends of my parents have offered us the use of their holiday home for our first night, someone else is making a quilt. But now my mum keeps passing on messages from people about the wedding list - they want to know where it is, why don't we want presents, we have to have them . Stuff like that. I don't seem to be getting my point across.
Yesterday we went to see the registrar who will marry us, and "give notice". This is where you give all your details (name, address, age, occupation), and declare that you're free to marry, so they can put the date of your wedding up for anyone to see in case there are objections. The registrar was really nice and really helpful, but he still relieved us of £60, and reminded us that there will be £300 more to pay on the day. It was nice to be able to go and do that together as until now, I have done a lot of the planning on my own. We had a fun time looking at all the other declarations on the notice board too - if I was going to write a novel I would definitely go to the registry office for inspiration! It's amazing how much of a backstory you can make up just based on those bits of information.
Edited to add - the registrar talked about readings too. I'd love to hear about all your ideas for wedding readings! We're not allowed to have anything religious because it's a civil ceremony, but we're open to ideas!
I have just checked my spreadsheet and realised that my total expenditure last onth was £475.81, not whatever I posted it as. I had forgotten that I would have to pay to park at the airport when I went to pick fiance up. In the first week of May I have spent £96 - over what it normally is, but that includes filling up my car after the trip to the airport.
I am almost over the stress about the wedding now, because we seem to have found a few places that have not increased their rates. They are closer to where my parents live than the city centre (where we are actually getting married) but that's ok. Fiance is now getting stressed out though because he feels personally resonsible for checking out the hotels our overseas guests plan to stay in.
On the bright side, it looks like we may be able to move into the new house this week, and my parents will be able to pak their car in their garage again because all my stuff will be out.
We were doing quite well at planning our wedding on a budget. The venue we found was a bargain, and I made all my own invitations, save-the-dates and favours. We bought the champagne for toasts from a warehouse store on a greeat deal. The dress, well I've got to admit that noone could call it frugal, but it's covered (maybe I'll write about this some other time). We know that all the people coming from abroad will have to spend money on flights and stuff, so we've said we don't want gifts because we'd rather just have them there. And yesterday, fiance phoned a hotel, researching somewhere for his family to stay, and they said "Sure, we have rooms but our rates have doubled that weekend, because there's a major political conference in town" Booo! I booked my wedding way before they booked their stupid conference! And now, hotel prices have rocketed, we'll struggle to find a place to hold a rehearsal dinner, and noone will be able to get a cab to the wedding venue, because they'll all be busy!
I suppose a way of looking at this would be - if people can't come because they can't get a hotel room, I won't have to pay for as much food! Somehow, that doesn't feel like a major consolation.
I haven't been writing much here over the past week, because I have had so much to do. On Saturday, my fiance finally arrives in the UK for good! I have been trying to make some room for him at my parents' house, and get my stuff ready for when we move to our own place next month. I've also been to look at the house we will probably be moving to (long story, but we'll be renting from a friend and saving a lot of money by doing this)
All of this has meant that I haven't had time to spend too much money. I did go out on Saturday to look for some shoes for myself and my bridesmaid, but I didn't see anything I liked. Apparently, cork wedge heels are going to be the big thing this summer - but they're not quite what I had in mind for the wedding!
So, according to my excel sheet my total expenditure this month has been £464.82, and as my last bill went out of my account first thing this morning, that should be it until May. If only I could keep it to less than 50% of my income every month!
In other news I've increased my voluntary pension contributions to 3%, which takes up the whole of my most recent cost of living raise. I thought the maximum I could contribute to this was 9%, but apparently tey have just removed that cap altogether, and I can put as much as I like in....
3 weeks on, and I still haven't had anything back from the bank I opened my savings account with. They promised to get back to me in 2 weeks, and I need to get my money in there by Wednesday. Long story short, spent another 20 minutes on the phone to them this morning to get the details for the account (which they assure me is open) and finally get the details and am told to call my regular bank and get them to transfer the money today. I told them I have internet banking, and ask if I can transfer the money that way, and the reply is yes, but I must do it at once. So, I've transferred £3000 to an account I don't have any paperwork for. This does worry me slightly, but the bank is a reputable high street operator that I already have a regular saver account with.
However, because I was only given about 5 minutes to decide how much I was going to put in, I decided to suck it up and put the maximum amount in, leaving me with £15 to last me the 10 days until I get paid. Probably a good thing - it'll be a challenge but a manageable one as long as I don't have to do any unforeseen work mileage.
This brings my current saving totals to:
2004/5 ISA £3000
2005/6 ISA £3000
Regular saver £120
Next week I should get my interest statement for my 2004/5 ISA too, so that probably has more in it.
On the wedding front, I've got an appointment to go for my final dress measurements next week before the dressmaker starts cutting it. I spoke to her last week, and she started to tell me about some new fabrics she has in. I thought I'd made this decision last time I was there, and I wouldn't be surprised if she was trying to direct me towards something considerably more expensive. I've already set my budget for the wedding though, and I'm not in a mood to be swayed!