Our bargainista bride (and self-confessed eBay queen!) bidded and bagged herself most of those all-important wedding items, including her stunning dress, quirky shoes and favours from eBay, Preloved and charity shops, saving the wedding budget £100’s.
Over to Stacey to find out more:
James proposed at Durdle Door in Dorset with a Claire’s Accessories ring which I thought was real as I couldn’t see through the tears – the diamond looked huge! James says he wishes he hadn’t told me and just watched my reaction when my finger turned green!
Neither of us are originally from Sussex. James was brought up in Aberdeen and I grew up in Lincolnshire. But we have lived in Hove for several years and love the Downs and countryside, we wanted a grand venue close by for all our friends to get to. The outside space was important and Buxted Park made a beautiful back drop for our photographs.
We found Buxted Park Hotel in Uckfield by visiting open days. Our florists were recommended to us by the venue. We saw the 10 piece soul/funk band playing at one of the wedding venues we were considering. They also played for us all day as a jazz trio.
Love Sussex Weddings provided some great inspiration; it enabled me to understand the style of wedding we wanted. We initially thought we wanted a barn, bunting, DIY wedding, but I realised after seeing some of the more classic weddings that I wanted a grander affair with a glamorous vintage feel.
I went to several wedding fayres which also helped for inspiration. I used Pinterest for cake ideas and colour schemes. I also became an eBay queen, buying my tiara, bridesmaid’s dresses, favours and even vintage brooches (to make my brooch bouquet) on the auction site.
As James was brought up in Scotland and my mum’s family is Scottish we decided to have our two little page boys in full Bonny Prince Charlie kilt outfits. The scheme was gold, teal, lace and brooches/pearls. I chose gold for the vintage look and teal to compliment my red hair!
I went on a major diet and fitness regime to lose two stone for the wedding. I slightly over did it as I tore my ligaments in my ankle on a run two weeks before the wedding and had to cancel all my beauty appointments as I was on crutches. I was still on crutches right up until walking down the aisle on the day and was back on them again the next morning. Adrenalin, painkillers and champagne got me through the day! Just! But it meant I wasn’t able to fit my original wedding shoes on. I have since had surgery on the wedding ankle!
I had three hen nights, one with both mums and both bridesmaids in London making cocktails at Harvey Nichols, then another in Brighton with all those that couldn’t make the main one and finally a weekend in Bournemouth playing It’s A Knock Out (the original costumes and games from the TV show!) and painting the town red in the evening. James and his stags hired a huge country house in Dorset and went coasteering, golfing, fishing, drinking and more drinking!
Try and add as many personal touches as you can by making, designing or writing your own things. Also, don’t be worried about using eBay to bag a bargain. I saved £100’s by becoming eBay and Preloved savvy and actually it was many of these things that got most of the compliments (including my dress, veil, tiara and shoes which I got for less than half price!).
Finally, relax and stay calm on the day, take it all in and enjoy the moment. It flies by and I have many blank moments, the day becomes a bit of a blur! I was very excited and running on adrenalin, champagne and painkillers so the combination may not have helped!
Hands up who’s planning on hitting their charity shops and online auction sites for some bridal bargains?!
The oh-so-resourceful Stacey and James, no doubt saved themselves some cash by buying second-hand which reinforced and strengthened their sophisticated vintage theme. We loved that amazing dress, shoes and homemade vintage bouquet combo!
Poor Stacey, who had spent the week’s before (and days after) their big day on crutches after hurting her ankle during a pre-wedding fitness run, showed how important it is to take good care of yourself in the run-up (no pun intended!) to your wedding day!
A huge thank you to gorgeous eBay queen Stacey for sharing her top tips with us and, of course, their photographer Iain Campbell who has wow-ed us with these wonderful photos!