Apparently that's the phrase du jour (wedding admin) for what used to be called wedding planning. Anyway, I am chin deep in the ol' wedmin these days and, contrary to what I expected, it is not fun. 

I thought planning a wedding would be, frankly, amazeballs. I'd spend hours pouring over bridal magazines, bookmarking dresses I loved and noting down all the cool things I wanted to have at my wedding. My wedding, not our wedding. My groom wouldn't get to contribute anything to the planning, except cash. Of course, I knew my budget wouldn't be huge, but I was sure I could plan a nice wedding on a less than the average amount of dough. 

The reality is somewhat different. 

For a start, I don't have a whole lot of time for magazine reading. I have a baby (a pretty awesome one at that) and she's more than a little demanding in the time arena. I love her to bits, but she isn't the type to give me an hour to myself, unless you count the odd hour stretch between midnight and 6am, when I should mostly be sleeping, but I am, in fact...wedding planning. 

Yup, I do most of my research in the wee hours, and so far I reckon I've spent in excess of 30 hours trying to find a venue for this blasted wedding. 

We started with the venues is actually like to go to - manor houses, posh barns, nice hotels, then moved onto the less nice places in those categories, before moving onto the less traditional venues - galleries, museums and the like, and finally the village halls and restaurants I thought we might actually have a shot at affording. 

Nope, nope and nope. 

I've costed up pretty much every option and they all come to around the £10k mark. Yes, we could probably stretch to that, just, but I am so opposed to spending TEN GRAND on one day of my life. There are SO many better things we could spend that money on. 

I'm so totally over the venue hunt. I'm stuck between desperately not wanting to spend so much money on what is essentially a party, but also not wanting to have the world's worst wedding reception hosted at McDonald's. 

So I'm definitely in the market for some awesome wedding budgeting tips. We're not bothering with a lot of the wedding crap - favours, chair bows (I mean, WTAF?) and fancy cars and just doing the basic ceremony, food and drink, maybe some music via an iPad playlist. Small guest list. And still it's coming out at £10k. Not. Cool. 

So far I'm not set on what I want, but I know a lot about what I don't want. You get to about 30 and you've been to enough weddings to know what doesn't work, and what's just a bit...odd. 

Some particularly fond memories include: 
- a wedding in another country, split over three (yes, THREE) locations with no transport or directions provided for the many people who had never been to that part of the world. We all just silently formed a line and hoped the person at the front knew where they were going. It was a 30 minute walk, in the heat, in heels 
- cash bars that literally only take cash (who carries cash? Well, I do now when I'm going to a wedding, but I didn't then. Cue sending the menfolk on a mission to locate an ATM in the middle of the countryside) 
- buffets comprising carbs and only carbs 
- food so bad I had to leave the reception rapidly before the canapĂ©s made an even more rapid and violent exit from my body 
- a venue with acoustics so bad that us folk towards the back heard absolutely nothing of the speeches, and had to rely on the cue of the further-toward-the-front guests laughing to know when to do the same  

We don't even know when we're getting married. The only thing I've got even remotely locked down is the church, but we still need to meet with the vicar before we can book it, which seems impossible as our schedules and his don't match up until April, which I think rules out a 2016 wedding. 

Oh, and my dress. I bought a dress! Totally the first thing you should do, right? Wrong. But there was a wedding dress shop near our old flat that was having a sample sale. Long story short (in bullet points): 
- went along with my mum and sister, and  didn't love any of the sale dresses 
- loved the top of one and the skirt of another and jokingly said to the assistant "if you have that dress then I'll buy it" 
- "we have one just like that downstairs, let me get it for you" 
- full price, loved it, went home to sleep on it 
- came back the next day with my sis, tried it on and some other non-sale dresses, narrowed it down to three but still favoured the dress from the previous day 
- slept on it again, decided that once I'd added in alterations (these are NOT included in the price and come to approx. £200 - something I did not know) and a veil it was way outside what I could afford 
- did a mammoth Google sesh and found The Dress in another sample sale in Birmingham for HALF PRICE (whoop!), so called up, took a massive risk and bought it and had it sent to their London store 
- am now panicking that my sample sale, non-refundable dress might be trashed, or not be the one I wanted, and other horrors 

But, sample sales, guys. Totally the way forward. 

I really really really want to post a pic and tell you what it's like (it's so totally the opposite of what I thought I wanted) but there's a small chance Matt reads this once in a blue moon, and he can't know what it looks like. I've been telling him it's pink and blue striped, diamanté covered, with a Bucks Fizz-style detachable skirt to allow for evening partying. Maybe it is...

So, not much sorted on the wedding front. Hopefully that'll change soon or we'll be looking at a wedding in about 2020. 

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