The Bride Diaries

THE BRIDE DIARIES: Money Matters. Contributing to The Wedding Fund

by:   on: 12th April 2018

The Bride Diaries: Money Matters. Contributing to the wedding

Although I said in my last post that the wedding plans are postponed, I still kind of want to work towards getting to a place where we can start to think about putting some money away for the wedding…

Recently there was death in the family, my Auntie died suddenly and unexpectedly and very sadly much before her time.  It made me think, maybe we should start planning? Maybe the family need something to bring us together for something that isn’t a funeral?  That in mind, my brain went into overdrive and I started thinking what could we do budget for a wedding that might possibly happen in the not so far off future.

At the moment I’m not earning much at all.  Financially for us, it didn’t make much sense for me to return to work as the cost of childcare is so expensive and I wouldn’t be earning huge amounts.  I help out at the cafe here and there but it’s just because I’m wonderful and helpful (no, I know. I’m neither of these things) and want to be a part of the business and help it grow.

The Garage, where the cafe is located, is such a fantastic, lovely and vibrant place and it owns a little bit of my heart.  It is literally our second home, we have an extended thespian family there and it truly warms the cockles of my heart when I see the staff picking Eli (my son) up and giving him a cuddle hello, or giving him a kiss when he falls over.  They have all known Eli since he was just a bump and they’ve watched him grow and helped me nurture him into the wonderful little boy he is today.  I wanted us to not only help our own familial finances but also help the cafe develop and grow and by doing so bring in new faces and create an enduring community within The Garage as a whole.

We put our thinking caps on.

Cookies… well duh’?

So I started making the cookies and sausage rolls for our cafe and Jason’s sister’s cafe, Aroma too. That brings in a couple of hundred pounds extra each month that we can put in the piggy bank… And even if I say so myself, they are rather tasty!  We decided to start making Vegan sausage rolls last month as well and they’ve been a massive hit in both cafes (come in and give them a try!)

Facebook marketing for beginners

I started to really put my energy into promoting Jason’s cafe, Locomotion, on social media.  I’ve always enjoyed trying my part at a bit of graphic design and I downloaded some new software and I now try to update Facebook and Instagram regularly to create a real online presence and personality for Locomotion.

Locomotion Cafe at The Garage, Norwich

The kids are alright

Locomotion is a cafe/bar in a Young People’s Performing Arts Venue, so it goes without saying that it’s always been child-friendly.  In the past year or so, Jason has expanded on that thought by approximately 90000%. It all started with a rather modest little toy box and a highchair and after lots of really kind donations from some amazing customers, the cafe built up an entire corner dedicated to toys and children’s books. So now mums and dads with small children will come to The Garage specifically to enjoy the cafe which is absolutely wonderful for us but also great because we are bringing in a new clientele to the venue too.

I started running events to increase awareness and try and gather some new faces in to see what we are about. It started with a Toddler and Baby clothes swap last year.  I was so nervous to host my own event (something I had never done before) but it was a total success and it was lovely to watch other mums meet and chat and get to know each other as well as being able to exchange their child’s clothes.  I carried the clothes swaps on and will continue to, for the time being, getting other local mums involved promoting their businesses too.  The next swap will have a pop-up Usborne book stall and a local Mum will be promoting her new Baby Led Weaning cookbook.

This Easter break was a bit of a conundrum for us and Jason admitted to me that he was worrying that he just wasn’t going to get the footfall with term classes stopping for two weeks.  How do we entice people in? Hmmm. Then it came to me! A playgroup! All the playgroups stop for the school holidays and I had been struggling to find something to take Eli to. Why not make Locomotion into even more of a haven for Toddlers and babies and let people drop in?!

So the past few days we have had absolute chaos, sand everywhere, Disney music blasting out, bubbles, dancing, crying, paint-eating babies, lots of toddler politics and it’s been amazing. We have received loads of really positive feedback and although at points I may have wanted to run for the hills, I did, on the whole, have a blast.


5 Tips on how you can contribute towards paying for a Wedding when you aren’t working

During a time that in previous years the business has really lulled, Jason has actually made a good amount of money and we can really, seriously start thinking about putting a fund together for our special day.

It’s the first time I’ve become really proactive in the business and it’s so wonderful to realise that my efforts reap results.  The more I put of myself into the business the more passionate I feel about it and the more change comes about.  Since not returning to work after my maternity leave ended over a year ago, I was beginning to feel a real sense of guilt for not contributing to the household but still wanting a big wedding and to be able to make our house look beautiful. Now I feel that I am really beginning to play a role in our family’s livelihood and also helping us build for a really great future.  They are small steps but they are in the right direction and it has made me feel like Jason and I are even more of a unit than we were before and what’s more important than that?!

Here are a few tips from me on how you could contribute to the wedding fund if you are not working (for whatever reason).

  1. Be inventive. Look around you and see if you can come up with a way of building something within the community you already have around you. Maybe you have a creative flair and you could try your hand at making something. Art? Macramé? Personalised cards? Or perhaps do something like me and put on some local events. Things like that can help you enter a world of likeminded people and opportunities will arrive.
  2. Think small. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to put aside big amounts of money when you don’t have that much available to save. Even £30 here and there will end up making a real difference in the long run. It will also help you feel like you’re getting somewhere…tiny steps in the right direction are still progress!
  3. Be resourceful. You know me, I love Pinterest and it’s a fab way of looking for wedding inspiration.  It’s also a great way of looking for ways to create things yourself for so much less money.  One thing I saw on Pinterest, which looked amazing, was using empty tin cans instead of vases. Such a simple and easy idea and they look amazing.
  4. Be realistic. If your household brings home a modest wage then it would be silly to want a super-duper fancy, expensive wedding. Let’s face it; it is just one day and there’s no point blowing thousands upon thousands on it if the money isn’t there. A lovely thing about budget weddings is that they end up being really individual and relaxed.  Formal, stuffy weddings are a thing of the past and your guests will be so much happier to be chilling out on a big lawn with home-made BBQ food and a pint!
  5. Look to your friends and family. I know some amazing musicians, some incredible cake makers, my best friend is a make-up artist and I have zillions of arty, creative friends and family around me.  Don’t be afraid to ask people for their input and help.  I’m not suggesting you should expect these things for free, but ultimately they are friends and you know they’ll do you deal at the very least.

Do let me know what you think about these and how you will be contributing to your wedding fund. Perhaps, you are funding the whole celebration yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts and any suggestions that may help other stay at home mums and brides to be, who are looking for some ways to contribute to their big day.

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about the author

Rosanna Dunn

Rosanna is a self-confessed coffee addict who is very fortunate in that she is engaged to a cafe-owner. A sleep deprived mother, she spends much of her time playing with choo choos and changing nappies. In her free time she sleeps and occasionally reads.

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