DP and I would like to get married in the future but the costs are so prohibitive that it's virtually impossible. As a result, we've not made any commitments to it, but would both like to at some point.
I am just wondering about whether to do it abroad as his family live overseas, in a place that benefits from excellent weather. Alternatively we could wait and do it in the UK with more people, but I cannot see us being able to afford this - at least not any time soon.
If we went overseas, I would feel uncomfortable inviting as many people as I would in the UK, as it seems unreasonable to expect people to go abroad (plus we need to do this on the cheap). If we had both our families plus partners it'd be 16 people (including us). I would love to also invite friends but once it gets into that there's about 20 extra people and you have to decide on which friends get invited, and risk offending the others, so probably best not to go there. However we could possibly have a hen / stag celebrations, or party on our return, to include more people.
My main hesitations over this idea are as follows - I wondered if anyone can offer advice:
1) The place - we'd have limited choice of venues. The place for the actual ceremony is really beautiful - way nicer than the UK could ever offer (outdoors) but when it comes to somewhere for a meal / hotels options are a little on the 'dated' side.
2) By going to the place DP's family live, would they take over organising? (Obviously this is a difficult question to answer as you don't know them - but something for me to ponder).
3) 4 of the 16 people I have mentioned already live there - would we have to pay for flights and accommodation for everyone who doesn't?
4) Practicalities of all those people being able to get there - how could we organise this?
5) Would it feel not quite right or flat to not have friends / extended family there?
6) My and DP's families aren't exactly kindred spirits - no fall outs just not really anything in common. Would it exacerbate this to have a small gathering? Also the destination would not be a holiday destination of choice for my family.
The pluses however are:
1) We could afford it sooner than a UK wedding (by several years). 2) Good weather. 3) Overseas but somewhere we are both connected to - DP more than me but the outdoor venue is somewhere very special to us both. 4) No need for the stuff I consider unnecessary eg. first dances, cringey speeches, which usually comes with the 'proper' weddings.
I picked a venue that allowed me not to have a "package". Paid £100 for the ceremony room then no hire for the rest, just food per head. Its a pub/b&b with a civiil license. Evening foor was the priciest at £800 (beef baps and wedges). Daytime food was £600. We had a £200 bar tab for the daytime guests only. £100 disco. Free bedroom. So 1800.
Registrar - around £350.
My dress was reduced in Monsoon to £67.00. Dh bought a suit from River Island he could wear again for £100. Rings were £150 total (mine was £20!). Shoes £35 for mine and £50 for dh. I wore a satin band in my hair and jewellry from Accessorise (tot £25). So about 400.
Flowers - gift from MIL Hair and make up - done by ny beautician aunt Cake - wedding gift from family friends (home made - shes a professional) Photos - wedding gift from a famil friend (also a pro)
Car - £50 to hire the Merc my work use (they kitted it out free as a wedding car with flowers, ribbon etc)
No BMs. We each had a witness who wore whatever they wanted.
Cant think of where else....oh, invites! About £120
Thanks all... I have explored keeping it cheap in the UK but as soon as you have large numbers the cost goes up ridiculously. I would really love to hear from those who've got married abroad, in regard to the concerns I identified in my original post. I have just been looking online at the destination and am quite taken by it!
Can anyone advise on whether, if we are expecting 6 people to come from the UK, it would be rude not to pay for their flights and / or accommodation? This will make quite a big difference to the budget.
If you 'expect' them to be there then you should pay their flights and accommodation imo.
If you are happy to accept that they may not be able to attend due to cost / choosing to spend their money on going to a destination of their choice for a holiday / not being able to get time off work then you can invite them to join you.
Btw, my wedding cost about £3.5k in 2009 in UK including a £500 dress (my one extravagance). This was for ceremony and wedding breakfast for about 30, then evening party for about 150.
In all honesty, DH and I would have quite happily gone to registry office in jeans and got witnesses off the street because we wanted to be married. We had a 'wedding' for the benefit of MIL family and friends. No regrets and it was a brilliant day, but it was the 'garnish' iyswim.
If you ring up places ask for prices for a party rather than a wedding - costs always seem to go up if you mention weddings! Just say it's going to be a surprise party / reunion and you're trying to figure out if you can afford it.
Keep an eye on groupon (and similar) as there often seem to be venues with deals on wedding packages. See if you can see some of the old deals and ring up the venues to see if they will match the previous deals. Point out it's a win win situation as you get a good deal and they don't have to pay the groupon fee, plus you know that they have accepted that price to do a wedding before so it's not an outrageous ask.
Pick the collective brains of mumsnet by starting a thread - lots of MNetters like to help out with ideas and suggestions! Have a look through similar old threads for ideas too...