I think I'm in need of a MN reality check on the cost of a wedding..

(21 Posts)
SaidFlorence Thu 15-Nov-12 15:14:08

Keep an eye on Groupon and similar sites. They quite often offer packages for a wedding for up to 50 guests for less than £2000. Some of the venues are gorgeous too.

BackforGood Thu 15-Nov-12 15:11:39

It's a 'how long is a piece of string' question. the only thing you actually need to spend o is the licence, but you can go on and on spending ££ after ££ if you have that kind of money going spare.
When I got married in the last century, articles used to talk about the "average" wedding costing about £10000 - £15000, but plenty of people will spend a fraction of that and have a fantastic day.

As Cointreau says at the top of the thread.... put the word 'party' into the sentence instead of 'wedding' and then think if you could have a great time for whatever your budget is. I bet you can.

DontmindifIdo Thu 15-Nov-12 15:09:26

First things first, think about what yo'uve got skills wise in your extended circle of family and friends, what can you get for free/just pay for the equipment/ingredients?

Then think what matters to you? The quality of the food? Being able to provide the drinks? The DJ/Band? The flowers? Pick where you want to focus your budget and then 'skimp' elsewhere.

So if venue matters - where do you want to get married? Local registry office? hotel? Church? If you are having the wedding and the party in two different locations (so church then party or registray office then party), venue hire will be cheaper as most venues with a wedding licence charge more.

The food, how much are you thinking per head? If you go for say, £40 per head that comes out at £1,200 - that sounds a reasonable amount - what are you planning on doing about drinks? Are you only going to feed people once or also have a buffet in the evening? champange for toasts etc?

Are you planning on hiring a DJ? Outfits for the groomsmen and bridesmaids? flowers? Invites, table placecards, orders of service, cake etc can be done yourself, but are you arty enough and are you going to have the time?

how will you get to the venue/between venues? Photographer?

Are you planning on including your honeymoon in your budget? Are you planning on staying at the venue on the night before the wedding?

Catering will definitely be your biggest outlay. If you want to get married in a church, it can get quite expensive too.

Of course, you could have a simple civil ceremony, and then have a wedding blessing (secular or otherwise) afterwards, and then just have a picnic, or buffet. I'm a handfasting celebrant and we have done a lot of low cost weddings - we've also done some that have been the other end of the spectrum too. Handfastings don't have set rules so you can craft the day to your budget and your personal preference.

iseenodust Thu 15-Nov-12 15:01:12

We got married late afternoon too. It means you can have a lovely evening that goes on as long as you like without worrying about do we need to feed everyone again.

botandhothered Thu 15-Nov-12 14:52:36

I got married at the latest time possible which is 5pm, in a church. After photos etc back to hotel for champagne and canapes. This was for immediate family of 30ish people. Then at 8pm reception with buffet. Saved a fortune on a sit down meal! Whole wedding 3 grand.

tasmaniandevilchaser Thu 15-Nov-12 14:13:21

ah yes forgot to say a friend made our cake and I agree with iseenodust you definitely don't need special cars.

iseenodust Thu 15-Nov-12 11:47:14

Yes you can do it for that and it be gorgeous.
As emsys suggests it is reasonable to ask family/friends to do something, such as cake, as their gift. You don't need cars. My dress came from Monsoon. I went to the hairdresser rather than having someone come to me. We had a student jazz band. Someone in your guests is bound to be a good photographer ask them to do you a disc of photos, then you can create your own album.

tasmaniandevilchaser Thu 15-Nov-12 11:35:01

Def do-able. For us food was the most expensive, but everything else was cheap. Dress- £200, flowers under £100 (quite extravagant but DM paid), photographs -friend, DJ at party- friend, invites emailed, make up - did free trial with mac then did myself on the day, party in nice pub room. There's absolutely no reason to buy into all the consumerism, just don't buy any wedding mags! Saw a wedding prog where guests brought food instead of gifts, then all super cheap for you. It's about the marriage not the wedding.

Ribeno Thu 15-Nov-12 11:26:33

sorry, should have been clear, my dress was £219. not bad.

Thumbwitch Thu 15-Nov-12 11:18:19

Sounds all right to me. Mine was under £5k for 50 people to the meal and another 30 or so in the evening. We cut out a lot of extras and had friends do favours for much of it. The venue+meal etc. was about £3.5k, iirc.

Ribeno Thu 15-Nov-12 11:13:05

we are having 90 people at our wedding in turkey, £11,000!
Free bar, music, band and dance troupe as part of package, photos, 2 bridesmaids dresses and one groomsman!

My dress is an ivory satin bridesmaids dress - just ordered it so no idea what it will be like in satin! with shoes, accessories and alterations im spending £550. A lot but not as bad as a dress I was going to buy at £800 alone!

The 11k includes our stay for 2 weeks in an amazing and giant villa and our flights (this element was about (£1900!).

We were toying with the idea of doing it at home for about half the price but this way we get a once in a lifetime chance to go on hols with loved ones and have our honeymoon at the same time as there will be aunts and grandparents to look after our toddler.

You can defo have a great wedding for the price you want to pay.

We went to a wedding where it wasnt full on luxury but still absolutely beautiful - lovely decoration etc and we had a great time!

You can get some fab dresses for cheap, I could have gone cheaper but I thought some dresses were too lightweight and I felt naked in them when they were ivory!

Accessories can come from monsoon or etsy! They dont have to be bridal designer.

I adore straight forward food at weddings, buffet types: dips, pasta/ cous cous mini quiches, cones of chips, a hog roast etc!

As long as your guests are fed and watered, they will be happy.

I dont expect a free bar when I go to weddings, just a couple glasses of bubbly and a glass on wine with my meal to get me started.

D0G, your wedding looked like great fun!

emsyj Mon 05-Nov-12 22:19:16

We spent £18k, but we could have done a very similar wedding for less. We had a free bar, put on transport for guests, had a live band and an expensive photographer. We chose to have all the fripperies but the venue we used for the reception was really cheap, the caterer was cheap and we could've had the ceremony there for much less than the cost of the ceremony venue we actually used. Lots of room for savings. My dress wasn't very expensive. A friend made the cake as a gift. My sister paid for the flowers. We had bespoke invitations with special artwork kindly provided by an artist friend of my DMum, so we needn't have spent that money. I had a hair and makeup lady who did me, 2 bridesmaids and DMum - that was quite expensive and not compulsory.

Our food was £17.50 a head for the main dinner and (I think) £7.50 a head for the evening buffet. We took our own wine and corkage was cheap (£3 a bottle). Venue hire (local town hall) £500. Totally possible to have quite a fancy wedding for 20-30 people on £2k IMO. We had 86 guests and a lot of fripperies. The £3k photographer was totally not worth it, I hate all our pics!

AgnesBligg Sun 04-Nov-12 00:06:29

The best and most interesting weddings I have been to are where the hosts spent next to nothing. I remember a picnic in Town Hall for Reception with the groom as MC Karaoke as being about the best, and most hilarious ever.

TeamEdward Sun 04-Nov-12 00:06:18

30 guests at £30 a head for reception at a hotel or nice pub (with a cash bar) + wedding cake up to £100 (it can be done, especially with only 30 guests) + £80 dress + flowers + photographer (can you get a friend or floristry/photography student to do these?) + wedding fees = £2000 ish.

D0G Sun 04-Nov-12 00:01:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

D0G Sun 04-Nov-12 00:00:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CointreauVersial Sat 03-Nov-12 23:43:36

Could you throw a really great party for 30 people with £2000?

Of course you could.

There are a few "fixed" costs for a wedding (registrar etc) but the rest is entirely up to you. Venue/food/photographer/cake/booze/flowers/dress - all can be done as cheaply/expensively as you choose.

1Catherine1 Sat 03-Nov-12 23:42:02

Did you have many guests or similar numbers?

D0G Sat 03-Nov-12 23:39:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

1Catherine1 Sat 03-Nov-12 23:34:28

What is reasonable to spend on a wedding? Is £2500 a lot for "normal" people or is it the norm?

Am I living in a magical fantasy world when I think £6000 is stupid money?

Is it really unrealistic to thing we can get married for under £2000 all in but still have a loving memorable day? (Current guest list is between 20-30 people)

The wedding dress I want is £80, I don't think this is too crazy but food seems to be the most expensive thing.

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