This morning, I was going through the cards Peter and I were sent for our wedding. I was taking each card and “scrapbooking” them into our wedding photo album we had made. It has now been just a month and a day since we married. It’s crazy to think that’s how little time has passed when it feels like ages ago! I wanted to share what it was like getting prepared for a registry wedding here in the UK and what it was like surrounding the pandemic.
To get married in the UK, you have to “give notice”. This would happen at your local registry office wherever you are living. Since I am from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland area, it was a little more expensive for me to give notice compared to my partner. At your registry office, they do a short interview and check your address, just to confirm it isn’t a sham marriage. They had told us the Home Office would be notified and it might delay the wedding, but we never heard anything back from them.
Before even giving notice, you must know when and where your wedding will be held. For this, we booked our venue through the council site and paid online to save the date. Ours took place in a sporting club and was decorated very nicely for us.
Since we were both finishing up as students, we had a very limited budget. The pandemic came in handy for this matter because we couldn’t hold a reception and guests were limited to 15 people. We had a total of nine of us altogether.
For my dress, I was going back and forth between the idea of renting one. As I was browsing around, I found that ASOS had really pretty and affordable dresses. There was a good range of prices and I found some that had good reviews. There were also bridal heels I found on ASOS for a reasonable price. My total for my dress and shoes was £119. You wouldn’t know by looking at them! Peter already had his suit, but we purchased his tie, shirt, shoes, and hankie for around £60 from NEXT (they have great wedding accessories there too!).
At first, I wanted to put together my own bouquet, Peter’s boutonnière, and our mother’s corsages. Then I realised how much extra work that would be and praying that the flowers would arrive on time. I was browsing around Etsy when I found the most gorgeous dried flower shop. HBotanicsWeddings supplied all of the flowers I wanted, for a really affordable price! You can have them customized if you want. Pictures do not do it any justice for how much I love the flowers.
For my hair and makeup, I had a local hair and makeup artist come to our flat before the wedding to do both my mom and I. It was nice to support someone local and not have to worry about trying to get to a salon and then the venue. Si James does such an amazing job if you’re in the London area.
When the day finally came, everything went smoothly! Everyone had to wear their masks except for Peter and I. Both of the individuals from the registrar wore face shields. Everyone was distanced apart in chairs. There was plenty of hand sanitizer as well.
I thought our wedding was a perfect, small wedding. Peter had joked that it took a lot of pressure off of him because of less people. I personally thought it felt more special being there with so few people. It didn’t matter to me that it wasn’t somewhere fancy. It was sad we couldn’t stick around with our friends too much afterwards. I’m just so thankful we had people there.
Overall, we spent around £800 for our wedding. I just use this as an example of showing you don’t need to spend an extravagant amount of money on one day. You can be frugal and still have a lovely day. All that matters is you and your partner.