To not want to spend £30+ on wedding? How much did you spend and where?

(232 Posts)
orangeclock Fri 26-Apr-13 16:56:26

My partner and I have 2 children and are approaching 10 years together. We haven't married yet because we just haven't got around to it. We feel married already but think it would be wise to make things legal. We'd like to get married next year with about 150-200 guests, and we want to do something fairly lovely in a beautiful venue with a sit down meal.

Can I ask where you got married, how many guests, and how much did you spend?

I have looked at a couple of lovely venues but they cost out at £30,000 plus with the catering! We just don't want to spend such a huge chunk of money.

£20,000 would probably be our limit and I still think that's a small fortune.

We can't escape the sit down meal - older family would expect it. I also would like a really lovely venue and a good photographer.

We're happy to skimp on cake, cars, honeymoon, simple decorations, getting married off season and maybe mid week. Also starting later in the day so it's not an all day celebration.

I would really appreciate hearing your wedding experiences and any tips for not spending an absolute fortune! Thank you.

Lolapink Fri 26-Apr-13 17:34:06

Mine was 5k 4 months ago, it was in a hotel on Windsor and we had 60 guests. We had on a week day so got 20 percent discount.

It's the guest numbers that make the difference - £100/head all in isn't extortionate.

That said, a local sports club like a rugby club or football club might have a big venue with kitchens.

Someone I know got the local college to cater her wedding and hired a hall - they were delighted because it was such good practice for the catering students. They did it at cost plus a small donation so it worked out at under £20/head. They then did a soft drinks / booze run to the cash & carry and everyone was steaming well provided for.

PiHigh Fri 26-Apr-13 17:34:10

We got married in a church in the Lakes, had traditional cars, photographer, groom/best man/ushers in top hat & tails, my dress was about £600 iirc, 3 course sit down meal in a hotel afterwards and then a buffet in the evening plus a disco. We saved money by having a friend of the family do the church flowers and my sister did the cake. We had 70 guests plus some more for the evening only and I think the total cost of the wedding was about 6k.

LaQueen Fri 26-Apr-13 17:34:19

Oh, and saved money on our wedding cake - just bought the plain, white iced fruit cakes from M&S, and positioned them on a fancy tiered cake-stand, and decorated it by putting my wedding posy on the top tier.

Neither of us like wedding cake, and thought they were a huge rip off - we were quoted £700+ [shocked]

ChocsAwayInMyGob Fri 26-Apr-13 17:34:49

We got married 8 years for 8k and had 150 guests. We got married at 3pm in a nice hotel and had the reception and evening do there.

I saved us money by ignoring the hotel menu. It was £30 a head for a very boring meal. I said "instead of your menu, we will pay £20 a head for a hot buffet". Rather than lose the business they agreed. We also brought in our own wine and Cava and just paid corkage. Instead of floral arrangements at the tables which would have cost £600 we had Helium balloons. It cost about £60.

We didn't bother with bridal favours, or a wedding car (since I got ready at the hotel). We didn't have bridesmaids, or champagne. We allowed kids, and put a Poundland gift at every place that child was sitting at.

You can definitely do it for under £30k and have quite a swanky wedding!

KittyAndTheFontanelles Fri 26-Apr-13 17:34:49

Mine was £6000 2 years ago. Live ska band flown over from Jamaica, party on a boat for 100, my dress, his bespoke suit, wedding breakfast for 40. grin

My dress was 1200 so the most expensive item grin

Binkybix Fri 26-Apr-13 17:34:51

I love Ian Stuart dresses - 2 of his were in my final 3. They are beautiful.

orangeclock Fri 26-Apr-13 17:35:07

sooperdooper, where did you travel to? Wedding in the sun does sound tempting. Did you pay for guests to fly or did they cover that themselves?

cheeseandchive Fri 26-Apr-13 17:37:45

We got married last year, had about 150 people and spent about £14k. Some of the things we did;

- fed everybody once rather than some people once and some twice.
- Had canapes, hog-roast and cupcakes for meal. We paid for an arrival drink and toast drink and everything else was cash bar. Had cakes in the evening for people to eat.
- Had cakes for guests after service then canapes at reception. That seemed to tide everyone over till mid-afternoon!
- Sparkling wine instead of champagne.
- Groomsmen all wore own shirts/ties.
- My dress was £150 - £60 for actual dress at vintage fair and then £90 for alterations
- Friends drove us to and from wedding/hotel etc
- Relatives did bouquets, button holes and vases of flowers. Friends then brought a vase each from ceremony to reception to double up!
- Used candles as centrepieces rather than flowers
- Went to MAC and spent money on make-up rather than make-up artist on the day. Spent a bit of time practicing at home and meant I had it for honeymoon too.
- Paid for a consultation at hairdresser (about £30) to show me how to do my own hair - a friend then practiced with me and did it on the day for free.

Sounds a bit miserly but it wasn't - we picked a beautiful venue but just made sure we didn't spend money unnecessarily. Recognise that you can't spend money on everything, choose the things you want to prioritise and enjoy it and then get creative with everything else.

I'm getting married in September, near where we live in Sussex. It's costing £15k.

I'm getting the vibe that the OP isn't actually interested in how you can get married without spending enough to feed and house a family for a year.....hmm

superbagpuss Fri 26-Apr-13 17:40:17

we got married in a golf course that didn't have a wedding package and only allowed members to use the facilities - thank you friend of a friend - hot food dinner but in buffet style meant everyone got dinner and pudding and the only difference was they had to get it themselves saved at least twenty pounds a head. full wedding in church, dinner for 96 people, lots more in evening and live band for less then eight thousand. it can be done

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 17:40:21

I'm with you NL. Madness. How do people find all this money?

Woofers Fri 26-Apr-13 17:40:46

We paid £16k.
Local church - I walked!
Marquee within walking distance from church.
Out door catering for meal and evening buffet
Live band
Face painter and magician
Pay bar - saved a lot there! Was 100 for that as they took their profits.
Bulk buy wine and champers - tescos crates on offer. 1 red 1 white1 sparkling for each table of 8.
We had180 to the day and total of 250 at night

We didn't have a honeymoon, but went away for two nights to a local hotel. £ 250

Photographer was the biggest expense and if I was to do it again is pay the same for the photographer. £1200

Best bargain was face painter £50 for 2 hours. All the guests young and old loved it.

We made our own invites and orders of service. And table plan was on a washing line. Cake was home made and the florist did a cheap cake topper. I used some lace from my dress to decorate the middle tear.

cheeseandchive Fri 26-Apr-13 17:41:08

Just seen your bit about getting married later in the day - we got married at 1pm, then had cake afterwards. Then there were lovely canapes at the reception and dinner was at about 5/6pm. That way we only needed to feed people once, and no-one complained of being hungry! Try and feed people one main meal and then supplement it with something either side that they can pick at.

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 17:42:18

But 14/15/16K is still crazy!

£1K would be our limit I reckon :-/

quoteunquote Fri 26-Apr-13 17:42:43

Hire a village hall (£50), hire a Ceilidh Band and caller(£300), tell everyone to bring a plate of food(potluck style) and a bottle rather than a present (£300 spend yourself), and what time to be at the registry office (£50)for your "dress down wedding" and then take your family on an unforgettable special holiday, if you want to spend that kind of budget.

African safari, whale watching, something amazing.

cathers Fri 26-Apr-13 17:43:17

It doesn't surprise me that estimates are 30k for 200 people.
We got married 12 years ago now and had only 80 people in a country house, canapés, course meal and drinks ( 5 glasses) , and in itself, that was about £6000. Without anything else. Our total cost was just shy of £20k.

LaQueen Fri 26-Apr-13 17:44:26

Binky I know they're ruinously expensive...but, I tried one on, and I was lost... smile

we did it for about 5k.

registry office.
members club.
hired the suits
only 2 bridesmaids

had the ceremony at 12.
everyone went back to the club for a sit down meal until about 3.
then back to my parents until 7.
back to the club for evening reception with a mates band, a dj and a buffet.

Ours was a wee bit cheaper because we got mates rates on the members club (dad was chairman for years)

But the most expensive things were my dress and the food!

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 26-Apr-13 17:45:27

It entirely depends on where u are in country, expectations of that area and requirements. I did 250 sit down for full day ie no night guests. My side of family totalled 85. Dh 30, plus friends, kids etc. my parents assisted. Our county is set up for sit down or was 10yrs ago only. It was nearly impossible to do marquee/BBQ type. I tried. We totalled 25k all inclusive of honeymoon etc too.

You can do what u want but alot of compromising is in order. U need to decide what u will and what u won't compromise on. Then shop around. Work instinctively and ask friends for recommendations. Fb can be v useful!

littlewhitebag Fri 26-Apr-13 17:45:35

We had a huge wedding - church, sit down meal, guests at night with buffet. The total spend was £1000.

It was in 1985 though!!

And i wore a massive meringue blush

orangeclock Fri 26-Apr-13 17:45:45

Thank you, some brilliant ideas and tips here. We'd be happy with a plain m&s cake decorated with fresh flowers too laqueen.

kitty how brilliant flying in a ska band! How did you find them?

LaQueen Fri 26-Apr-13 17:46:28

OP also we got married on a Friday - so got a 20% discount on the venue/food/drinks etc.

kilmuir Fri 26-Apr-13 17:47:10

20k????? no way. downsize, more intimate and have a great holiday/honeymoon

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