Help me halve wedding budget to £2k!

(12 Posts)
ThePartyArtist Thu 20-Mar-14 13:42:34

The plan is to get married abroad (not a glitzy resort but in the town that DP is from, and where his family still live). We'd be a party of 16 in total and it would be fairly informal - small ceremony, a few drinks then a restaurant.

I've totted up costs and it's around £4K which is double what we'd hoped, esp. for these small numbers!

The biggest costs are;
Flights for 8 - 10 people from the UK (c. £1800)
Self-catering accommodation for 6 people (c £760)
Meal for 16 people (c. £700 including a 10% tip).

I feel it's only reasonable for us to pay for people's flights and accommodation as they'd be coming from the UK.

Ideas I have come up with for saving money are;
A weekday ceremony.
5pm / 6pm ceremony therefore shorter drinks reception before meal.
Put people up for fewer nights.
£300 total budget for rings.
£300 total budget for bride and groom outfits.
£300 total for ceremony venue and registrar.
Spend NOTHING on wedding cars, printed programmes, favours, gifts for bridal party, bridesmaids / best man, or professional hair & make up.
Ask restaurant to do a group deal.
DIY drinks reception at our holiday accommodation.

I'd particularly like people's insight into:
How realistic a budget I have set aside for rings and clothing? (I am happy to go second hand / high street) - could I reduce this?

Drinks reception (how much time to allow for this before a meal - don't want everyone falling over! Having an idea of timescale would allow us to guess at amounts of drink to provide).

Ideas for saving on any other aspect of the day?

IslaValargeone Thu 20-Mar-14 13:45:28

Crikey, you are very generous, but a bit bonkers!
We have been invited to weddings abroad but have always been expected to pay flight/accommodation costs.
That would be the first thing to go.

ThePartyArtist Thu 20-Mar-14 13:53:30

Thanks for the reply. I thought general consensus was if you really want people to attend a wedding abroad you should pay accommodation and flights? (It is for 8 - 10 members of the immediate family only). They are people we would really, really want to all come, plus the destination isn't somewhere they'd choose for a holiday so I thought it doubly unfair to ask them to pay. Do you think it's reasonable to cover accommodation and not flights as a compromise? It'd be approx. £200 p.p. for flights.

Parietal Thu 20-Mar-14 13:53:32

your flights have used up the whole of your budget. if you want to save money, you will have to cut the flights.

ThePartyArtist Thu 20-Mar-14 13:53:49

and we wouldn't ask for presents.

Could you perhaps ask people to contribute towards the flights, maybe not the whole cost but part? Or they pay flights in lieu of gifts and you pay accommodation

TheNumberfaker Thu 20-Mar-14 13:57:32

Paying for flights is bonkers.

IslaValargeone Thu 20-Mar-14 13:58:56

I think it would be a lovely gesture if you wanted to cover accommodation costs.
"And we wouldn't ask for presents" how could anyone not want to come to your wedding, you sound so bloody lovely.

ThefutureMrsTatum Thu 20-Mar-14 14:02:00

I think your mad for paying for it all. If I was invited to a wedding abroad I would expect to pay for at least flights or accom, or both! Could you not put 100 quid towards each person? They are getting a holiday as well.

CrazyOldCatLady Thu 20-Mar-14 14:32:08

Don't cover flights. If you're that close to them they'll understand. It's not as if you're asking them to jet off to Vegas, it's your DH's home.

purpleroses Thu 20-Mar-14 21:36:15

I would ask people if they'd be willing to contribute towards the costs of flights, and you cover the accommodation for them when they're there. It's not as if you've chosen to get married abroad for the sake of it - you're saving DP's family from travelling presumably.

Your clothing budget is tight but probably do-able assuming you buy of the peg. My wedding dress (which is white-ish and very pretty but not technically a wedding dress) cost me £110 from Coast, plus £45 to get it altered to fit. A suit from ASDA won't set you back much and presume you can use shoes, jewellery you already have. Bridesmaids and best man could supply their own clothes as long as you don't expect your bridesmaids to match. If you do, then I think you need to budget a further £40 each at least to get them something matching.

Definitely go for a weekday ceremony if everyone's on holiday anyway, as what would it matter?

Not sure you can make much further savings though - unless you have grandparents or someone whose wedding rings have been passed down and you could use?

ThePartyArtist Fri 21-Mar-14 14:44:59

Thanks everyone. I have managed to get it down to about £2,200 by:

* Not paying for flights (still not sure this is ok for close family - but if in lieu of presents and we pay accommodation hopefully it is!)
* Weekday ceremony (IF people can get the time off work).
* Shorter drinks reception - i.e. just a few bottles, DIY style rather than hiring a venue, before we go for dinner.
* Party menu at a Cuban themed bar - £35 p.p. for buffet and open bar for 2 hours.

Any other ideas?
And how long should we have the drinks reception for (with 16 people) as this will affect amount of drink provided?

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