(I) Do // Wedding Magazines

Closing the wedding magazine with a long sigh, she threw it on the floor: “I’m never going to get married,” she thought sadly, “I need to take out a mortgage to afford anything in this magazine.”

To those of you who may not know; we’re getting married next year. Woop! Now the whole “being-pregnant-thing” and newborn haze is over, we have finally reached the point where we can start looking for venues and planning our big day. 

*Cue excited, high-pitched squeal!* 

I’ve been reading wedding magazines for about four years now; my obsession with them began when I decided I wanted to be a Wedding Planner, that never happened, but I still continued to lust over the gorgeous gowns, the mouth-watering cakes, and dreamt of honeymooning in Mauritius. 

Then I got engaged. 

I started to look at wedding magazines from a realistic point of view. And I have an awful habit of comparing prices to our rent or monthly income… I’ve already covered the insanity of wedding prices in my post here, but seriously, who can afford to get married?! Is everyone (except for Nick and I) rich enough to spend £21,000 on a big party? That’s what I’ve gathered from the wedding magazine. Damn NHS wages. 

Now, when Nick finds me reading a magazine in bed, he tentatively approaches me, waiting for the next outraged outburst of disbelief: “£700 for a cake?! That’s almost a months rent! WHO can afford to spend £700 on a CAKE?! It better be the best bloody cake I’ve ever eaten for £700!”

The part that really got me ranting (yes, I know – we haven’t even got the bit that made me maddest!) was the Make & Do section. I was so excited when I saw this appear in the magazine: “Finally,” I thought “Something relevant, cheap, and crafty that I can get my teeth into.” Oh, how wrong I was. There is nothing low on budget about this section of the magazine. Unless the definition of low on budget is now “spend a ludicrous amount of money on craft supplies so you can be cool and arty”

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that the main point of the magazine is to sell you products, but it would be nice to see a real wedding with a budget of £6000, a thrifty craft section that is actually thrifty and not just “We spent £1000 on supplies for favours, and then had to make them all too; we’re so creative, awesome and RICH.” Oh, and you know what? I’d love to see a slightly chubbier bride or two (but don’t get me started on that issue… we’ll be here all weekend!) 

When I reach the end of a wedding magazine I feel poor, sad and fat. I’ve come to the conclusion that they are written as a tease; to make you feel bad about not having lots of money to waste spend on one day of your life. It may well be one of the happiest days of your life – but after giving birth and holding my baby in my arms for the first time, I can’t really think of anything that could possibly beat that on the happiness scale.

I can’t stop reading them though. 

It’s an addiction. 

Mummy Barrow’s Ranty Friday


  1. 7th June 2013 / 6:43 am

    It does seem a ridiculous amount of money to spend on one day! Not to mention the stress caused in the run up to what should be a happy occasion!

    Perhaps this is where you could become the wedding planner you dreamed of; beautiful weddings at an affordable price!

    I’m sure your wedding will be a beautifully perfect day x

    • 7th June 2013 / 6:56 am

      Maybe – or perhaps I should start my own affordable wedding magazine?

      Thank you – it will be heavily DIY! I’m very thankful for Pinterest (another addiction) as there are so many fab tutorials and ideas on there!
      Hannah xx

  2. 7th June 2013 / 11:44 am

    Gone are the days of pouring over wedding magazines but I do read food ones religiously – and for most of the recipes in those you have to be rich – time rich, money rich, gadget rich and well, generally rich. There seems to be a section lacking with “I’ve got a tin of beans, half a cucumber and some wraps and haven’t got time to go shopping” recipes in… Maybe it’s just magazines… (and we did our wedding mostly ourselves and well under the £6K budget, it can be done and was great fun doing so x)

    • 7th June 2013 / 9:14 pm

      I think I need your top bargain wedding tips!

      So true about recipes these days – you spend so much on ingredients etc xxx

  3. 7th June 2013 / 12:28 pm

    Oh my goodness it’s like you speaking for me (although I haven’t bought magazines just look at other peoples weddings and things on pinterest in envy)!
    It’s ridiculous isn’t it, I really just want to find out how to plan a low cost, fun, do it yourself wedding with some help from somewhere! Good luck, and let me know if you ever find somewhere to help with it all (been engaged nearly 4 days so need a kick up the bum) haha xx

    • 7th June 2013 / 9:19 pm

      Haha 🙂 Thank you love – I will keep you up to date! xx

  4. 7th June 2013 / 12:37 pm

    We spent about £2000 on our wedding. My father made the invitations. We had a friend to do the cake as a wedding present. Someone did the food for us. My dress was in the sale. And another friend took the pictures as a present. It’s doable on a budget, but I didn’t even look at wedding magazines because of how expensive everything looked!

    • 7th June 2013 / 9:20 pm

      £2K?? That’s amazing!!! xx

  5. 7th June 2013 / 3:10 pm

    Cracked me up. I got addicted when i got engaged…u can’t stop (they ain’t cheap either)but like u I used to get fed up with the unattainable images…much like women’s mags in general.
    HOWEVER i planned and got married post baby (15 weeks) and spent 3 grand including get dress. (which was bought before I fell unexpectedly pregnant)
    Take a breath and just enjoy the pretty

    • 7th June 2013 / 9:20 pm

      £3K is amazing! How? How??? xxx

  6. 7th June 2013 / 3:45 pm

    Ahhhhh I hate the whole wrteched thing.

    Cake. oh that is £20.

    Oh, wedding cake you say? Oh no… that will be £200

    Good rant

    • 7th June 2013 / 9:21 pm

      It’s seriously crazy and infuriating how the word “wedding” automatically adds 00s onto the end of a price…! xx

  7. 8th June 2013 / 6:44 pm

    I used to be totally addicted to Wedding magazines. In the 13 months between engagement and wedding, I must have read hundreds! There is something that makes you keep buying. I found some were better than others for being realistic. The little handbag sized ones (can’t remember names now) were always good and had lots of “Real Weddings” which were very real on real budgets. I used the expensive ones as inspiration though. See the £700 cake, cut the picture out (minus price) take it to a local cake maker without mentioning the word “wedding” and you’ll likely get your £700 for a fraction of the cost. And I made my own invites based on expensive ones I’d seen. Oooo…. I feel all nostalgic for planning my wedding now (anniversary is this week) and I know that wasn’t the point of your post!

    • 8th June 2013 / 7:31 pm

      I’m all over Pinterest for similar ideas!

      I do wonder what non-creative people do in this situation… perhaps they’re the ones spending thousands? xx

  8. 9th June 2013 / 6:31 am

    Our wedding was about £4000: reception in church hall, friend made the cake, I borrowed my dress, my Dad provided the wine, etc etc. We didn’t have £20k (erm, still don’t) and also both felt that what we wanted was to *be* married, more than *get* married. A wedding lasts one day but your marriage a life time!

    • 9th June 2013 / 2:27 pm

      So true Judith!

      I’m considering renting a dress at the moment… so much cheaper and you can get some amazing dresses. It’s a dress I’m going to wear for one day, that will be consigned to the loft post-wedding… is it really worth spending so much on it? Difficult decision xxx

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