Diary of a Boho Bride – Kate and Andy, Entry 1: My ‘Dream Wedding’ vs. Reality

diary of a boho bride

This afternoon I am delighted to welcome Kate to the blog with her first diary entry. Last week we heard from Alison and her wedding dress story as we discussed Fake Vs Real wedding dresses (the real ones won by a long way!) Today it’s another ‘vs.’ as Kate talks us through her Dream wedding vs. Reality. I’m sure many of you have found yourselves in the same situation when getting engaged, big dreams of a certain sort of wedding but then as reality hits compromises have to be made! Kate talks us though her choices and the decisions she has had to make.
You can read Kate and Andy’s full introduction post HERE

Kate & Andy main photo

I’ll pass the Blog over to Kate……..

This is a topic which I think most brides struggle with – that fight between the idea that you are the bride and you should be able to have the wedding you have probably always dreamt of, and the fact that not everything you desire is actually attainable, in the cold light of day, when looking at that dreaded word – the ‘budget’!
I think it all depends on your expectations for your day, and of course, how much money you feel able to spend! I don’t think it really matters where the money is coming from, its more to do with whether you feel justified in spending that much money on what is, essentially, just one day. But is it just one day? It is YOUR wedding day, not just any day. It’s a day when memories are made, and let’s face it, a day when more photographs will be taken of you than any other. So it should be made special. But does special mean that more money has to be spent?

In this post, I wanted to talk about this because it is something which I have been constantly thinking about since Andy and I got engaged – what would I really like our wedding to be like, and how can I get as close to that as possible, without breaking the bank?

I think the answer lies in two parts: 1) Being creative, doing lots of DIY and enlisting the help of friends; and 2) Being realistic about costings and maybe, dare I say it, compromising. Decisions need to be taken about where compromises can be made, and where they can’t! For me, the look of the wedding is very important, and it would matter to me what the carpets were like and the chairs (oh, the chairs! I’ve realised I have a thing about chairs… the bows on the back of the typical wedding chair are just not for me, and this is something I really cannot bring myself to compromise on, no matter how hard I try!). Having worked as a stylist, and now a designer-maker, the styling of the whole day is very important to me, but also something that I really enjoy thinking about and planning. I know this seems crazy to some people, but your wedding should reflect you right?!

pinterest wedidng

I have also had to think about reducing the size of our wedding. ‘Why not have a small wedding and then just a party another night?’ For some this may be fine, preferable even, but I have always pictured all my friends and family being there at the whole wedding, and it wouldn’t seem right without them all (I’m talking about 60–70 people, so not ridiculous numbers!). May be this is just one thing I don’t feel I can ‘compromise’ on.
But I have had to change my view of our wedding several times, and by this I mean that not everything I would wish for is possible, but I can cope with that – I know it will be wonderful anyway, without the chandeliers in a beautiful barn, the large oak tables, the free-bar all day and night, the string quartet and the retro ice cream van!

Kate's dream wedding

Barn with hanging branches (Photo by Caroline Tran Photographer) / Barn with twinkly lights (Photo by  Marvelous Things Photography) / String Quartet / Vintage ice cream van  

I have actually realised whilst writing this post, that our wedding will have a lot of my ‘dream wedding’ ideas and yet still within budget because so much of it will be ‘DIY’ with the help of many friends: My neighbours are terrific cake-makers so I signed them up straight away for our wedding cake, I’m lucky enough to have a good friend who is a wedding photographer, and Andy’s brother is a lighting technician – perfect for the  dancing! We are getting the wine for the reception from France (where my bridesmaid’s parents live for half the year), we’ve made sure the caterers don’t charge a crazy corkage fee (don’t get me started on that one!), and we’re going to ask evening guests to ‘bring a bottle’ – we all do it for parties, so why not for a wedding? The caterers will be reasonably priced and the dessert will be home-made cakes made by any of the guests who fancy baking and bringing it along for the dessert table, yum yum.

All those jars I’ve been collecting will look lovely with flowers in (arranged by ourselves!) and lace tied round them, the favours we are making ourselves, and the invitations/place names/table plan too. My chief bridesmaid Jo is also my business partner and together we run Katey & Josephine making handmade gifts, including clutch bags (or bridesmaids bags which we are currently designing as a new range!). So our creativity will undoubtedly be put to good use in lots of areas of the wedding, thereby saving money yet still achieving the things I would really like.

If you are naturally a creative person, this can save you so much money, and also make your wedding day even more personal. But even if you’re not, creative friends will always be willing to help I’m sure. Creative inspiration, I have found, doesn’t come any better than Pinterest. It is brilliant for getting ideas, and for putting together a whole ‘look book’ for your wedding. However, a word of warning – as great as Pinterest is for providing inspiration, it also sets your ideas even higher, which means that you may then be more disappointed when your real wedding doesn’t match the wedding you have planned on Pinterest! Use it realistically – just take ideas and then make them your own, adapting them to your budget and what is possible for you.

pinterest wedding

For some of you, may be your dream wedding IS reality, and that is brilliant, but for those of you who are feeling a great divide between the two, I hope you manage to find a happy medium. From what I have read, your wedding day is always one of the best days of your life, and if that is true, it will surely be up there with the best dreams ever anyway.

Love Kate




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    Thank you for posting this. It’s come just at the right moment and it’s made a difference to how I feel today. When we got engaged I was soo excited to start planning the wedding ..then I realised it was just me; nobody else really shared my desire to get stuck into it. My mum, my best friends all seem to switch off a bit when I bring it up. Not helped by being at home thinking about it and looking through real wedding blogs – I’m the sort of person that if I want/visualise something I haave to move toward it, that can be a good thing in other areas but with this I’ve felt like people are puzzled by it. My fiance tries his best to give me time to talk about it and give input where I ask him for his opinion but I can tell he just wishes I would drop it for a year.

    I did the same; started off really big, then more personal to us and cheaper but the costs are scary and financially it’s probably a bit silly to plan a wedding and consider big venue/photographer deposits so I understand everyones reticence to join in with me.

    I was justifying to my fiance why it’s important to start looking for a venue/caterer/photographer now because they can book very far in advance – in wedding time Summer 2015 isn’t that far away – when he asked, exasperated “Are you sure you still want to get married in 2015 then?”. There we have it. I was hurt because obviously i realise the doubt he has that we can pull it off and that he’s probably just really sick of hearing about it if he thnks its too difficult at the moment; but most of all I was angry at myself because deep down I know he’s probably right and I’ve been in denial and everyone else has known this too and I’ve been making a fool of myself prattling on about venue and lighting and menus and photographers. So I’d decided to drop it completely last night, went to sleep all forlorn and disappointed and deleted all my wedding blog likes from facebook so I wouldn’t be tormented with wedding stuff appearing in my feed.

    I missed Boho though, hence how I caught this post…it’s made me feel better that it probably is possible but in any case the fact nobody else is terribly interested means i’ll still drop it.

    Thanks so much.


      Janet, I am so glad that my post has made you feel a bit better. I know exactly how you are feeling – I have also had the ‘no one is bothered about the wedding except me’ thoughts, but I think that for other people, your wedding is a far off, distant event (and of course they are not the bride!) so they haven’t even thought about it yet, let alone had the inclination to ask you about it!
      I also wanted to get married sooner rather than later, and was desperate to organise everything straight away, but in the end we decided to wait another year, which I am so glad about now – just think of all that extra time for ‘research’ and getting ideas! I certainly wouldn’t be writing on the Boho pages if we’d have got married this year, and I am now a firm believer that the planning of a wedding is so much a part of the whole experience. It should be enjoyable (a bit like the run-up to Christmas Day, albeit slightly longer!). Enjoy the planning, and when your wedding date gets nearer I’m sure everyone will be wanting to ask you about it all the time.
      I wish you all the very best for a great wedding. Whenever you get married, I’m sure it will be just as you hope. All good things are worth waiting for hey?! x


    I think once you actually start to plan your wedding you don’t realise just how much goes into it or just how expensive all of the ideas you’ve collected for years are! I found that too, but now I’ve started planning, all the more personal (and cheaper!) alternatives to decorations etc seem so much better to me. And the weddings we’re planning will definitely turn into a better version of our dream days for sure.
    Your fellow jar collecting Boho Bride :) xx


    Yes, Samantha you’re so right! And those (free) jars will look much better than expensive vases! Do you think every bride is now a ‘jar-collecting bride’? Haha xx


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