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Been together over 20 years have two dc2s,we are planning on setting a date at christmas but et married after christmas what would you do as

(25 Posts)
hearcomesthesummerrain Wed 10-Aug-11 21:47:44

We are saving for a house and money is tight and we have other things that mean more to us,I dont want to spend loads, but dp insists he wants a party with everyone that matters,im happy with that.

We agree our parents,siblings and few close friends matter the most as well as our love for each other ,without being corny.

The thing is my dad is in his late 70's so travelling abroad without him,is out of the question ,so my question is what would you do if you were us.?

katz Wed 10-Aug-11 21:52:11

i'd do a local registry office and then hire a pub function room, food and a disco. Unless you want a big white wedding.

I'd be tempted to go for a christmas wedding, take advantage as lots of places having christmas parties on and as such generally ok deals per head in grand rooms - often cheaper then they'd charge for a wedding. Bet if your party was big enough you could get exclusive hire too.

where abouts are you?

emsyj Wed 10-Aug-11 22:00:22

You can have a party with everyone who matters without spending a fortune. You just need to be a bit canny about the venue you choose.

We had our reception at a local civic building (former town hall - very beautiful Victorian building with stained glass windows, wood panelling, carved painted ceilings etc). Because it's owned by the council, you can hire it cheaply (cost us £500 to hire the main hall with tables and chairs, an adjoining room for the buffet, bar, kitchens and stage/backstage/lighting equipment) and you could do your own catering (hire someone or bring the food yourself). You had to use their bar, but it was £3 a bottle corkage so we took our own wine from M&S (and the lovely bar manager collected it from our house in his van the day before, chilled it all overnight and served it, provided glasses, jugs of iced water etc - then dropped off the unused wine the next day). Bar prices were cheap so we paid for the bar bill. We hired a ceilidh band and everyone joined in with the dancing.

If we'd wanted to, we could have had the ceremony there too for £90.

If you look on your local council website you can see all the local places that have a civil marriage licence (assuming you don't want a church wedding - which you may do of course!) And they normally have a list of venues to hire.

Catering can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. You can get a professional catering company in to do a buffet for cheap, or have a sit-down dinner if you prefer to spend more money.

We spent quite a lot on our wedding, but our venue and catering/bar were quite reasonable - we just added lots of other trimmings, which escalated the cost.

hearcomesthesummerrain Wed 10-Aug-11 22:05:26

We dont really want a church wedding,we live in Southampton.

We have a small amount for the wedding itself 40 at the most,us,dcs,parents, godparents,siblings and very close friends.

hearcomesthesummerrain Wed 10-Aug-11 22:21:07


AuntiePickleBottom Wed 10-Aug-11 22:25:05

get the last slot at a registery office, then hire pub a home made buffet.

hire suits and wear a nice evening dress

LolaRennt Wed 10-Aug-11 22:27:11

Do what makes you happy, what brought it all on after 20 years?

AuntiePickleBottom Wed 10-Aug-11 22:27:17

also get a taxi to and from the registery office for the suit hire £57

hearcomesthesummerrain Wed 10-Aug-11 22:45:15

A long story LolaRennt but it brought us closer than ever ,I count my blessings for all I have and my family now.

Originally I would of been a bridezilla ,but I have realised money and nice things doesn't make you a better person, its appreciating what I have that does,if I have that at the end, thats all that will matter to me.

LolaRennt Wed 10-Aug-11 22:46:31

I think its quite sweet after 20 years you've decided to make an honest man of him grin hope you have a fab day.

emsyj Wed 10-Aug-11 22:52:58

You could also look at Whirlwind Weddings - they do last-minute offers at some nice venues. Basically it's a way for them to fill unpopular dates, so a lot of the available dates are weekdays, but their prices are great if you look at the cost of a full-price wedding at those venues. Sometimes Saturdays do come up, but if you're willing to get married at short notice on a weekday and live near one of their venues it could be a bargain.

honeyandsalt Wed 10-Aug-11 23:04:25

Either DIY the flowers or ask the florist for simple hand-tied bouquets and tell them you are on a budget.

You can negotiate with vendors - smile sweetly, tell them you're on a tight budget and ask them for their best price

Mid-week is cheaper all round

Nothing wrong with a decent pub or village hall

Look in the sales and on ebay for dresses, and you can wear a colour if you want

Most photographers will offer a reduced price package if you just want a DVD of images to print.

M&S do ace cake. They also do lovely food to order - if you are going down that route, do hire people to help.

Don't read wedding magazines. The best wedding website is A Practical Wedding

Don't give yourself too much time - the longer you have to plan the longer you have to stress out about it all. If I were you I'd aim for October, it's completely do-able and you don't have to worry about the snow which let's face it could come anytime between November and March this year.

Congratulations and good luck!

bubblesincoffee Wed 10-Aug-11 23:30:01

If you did it around Christmas, everywhere would already be decorated so you would save on that cost!

I went to a wedding recently in a hall, and the food was just crusty bread with cold meats and houmous/other dippy type things, and a bit of salad. I thought it was really lovely, perfect for sorting out the alcohol consumption!

I think you need to decide between hall or proper venue, this is probably the biggest descision. If you did it in a hall the venue hire would be cheaper, but you would have to provide the alcohol and ask people to bring some, do a bit of decoration, either cater yourself or hire caterers, and then you have to clean up afterwards (or get family and friends to do it for you). You would also need some staff or very willing helpers, because people will leave plates and glasses around, and ime someone has to be responsible for keeping thing vaguely tidy and handing out cake.

If you had a pub function room, there would be staff there to do the cleaning up and other little things, alcohol would already be there and people could just use the bar so you wouldn't have to buy or hire glasses, and they will probably provide a buffet and be more flexible than a catering company about how much per head it will cost.

I think I'd rather do the registry office and pub myself.

snippywoo2 Thu 11-Aug-11 00:05:57

You've been together 20 years, you have kids, your saving for a house, money is tight and you have other things that are more important to you both. Just go and get married no one cares if you throw a party at a venue or in your own home, my thoughts if I was a relative of yours would be you've been as good as married for the last 20yrs anyway so let's just have a family get together and celebrate. Being married hasn't bothered you both for the last 20yrs so why make it a big thing now tbh

begonyabampot Thu 11-Aug-11 00:09:07

do something cheap and nice and save your money. Some of the best weddings I went to were tiny, very cheap and nothing flash at all. It's ALL about sharing it with those whom you love and you don't have to go OTT to do that. good luck!

BallerinaBetty Thu 11-Aug-11 00:13:51

We got married on January 4th 1999 - the first Monday of the new year. It was dirt cheap cos apparently not many people get married on Mondays. In January! It meant I could have a car to get me to the registry office, which I hadnt planned on. And we didnt have to do any decorating at the venue cos all the Christmas stuff was still up.

So I would definitely look into mid week near Christmas. And congratualtions!

marriedinwhite Thu 11-Aug-11 07:16:52

You set your budget and cut your cloth. The more people you invite the less lavish the reception becomes. Don't forget the most important part is the ceremony and the life long commitment you will make not the party afterwards. If you are thinking 20 people perhaps a nice lunch in a restaurant, if 40 perhaps a buffet in a pub with a nice space for it, if more than that perhaps a church hall with self catering and IMO there is nothing wrong with French Bread and cheese and pate and a couple of glasses of wine providing it is done nicely and given with love.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 11-Aug-11 07:25:36

Friends of mine got married on Boxing Day and the venue etc was way cheaper than usual because nothing's usually booked on that day. It was mid-week that year, too.

It also meant that absolutely everyone had the day free, although some of us were a tad hungover already.

iscream Thu 11-Aug-11 07:57:47

Could you have a home wedding and catered reception at home? Or registry office then a nice restaurant? It would be really nice to be married around Christmas, then have a cozy celebration somewhere with a roaring fire.
People will not want to travel or spend tons of money around Christmas, so having it close to home would be nice for them.

DilysPrice Thu 11-Aug-11 08:06:52

Agree with everybody else. Registry office, pub. Depending on where you live you can look at all the registry offices in your area and shop around for the one you like best, you don't have to go to your own council's if it's a bit manky, but they'll all be reasonably priced.

After that you should ban the word "wedding" from the planning. Go shopping for "a party", "a dress", a bunch of flowers", "a taxi". Once the W-word creeps in then prices shoot up.

marriedinwhite Thu 11-Aug-11 08:25:37

Fantastic advice from Dilys Price.

Gonzo33 Thu 11-Aug-11 08:36:24

I got married in Romsey Registry Office, had a sit down for 25 at Berties, and a marquee in my Dad's close for 40 with a BBQ and small buffet (we had no choice but to do tiered due to budget). The evening buffet/bbq was catered for by Sainsbury's which was collected in the morning by our friends arranging the evening do.

Bought my dress (bergundy) from Tiffany's, and Tiara. Shop is opposite Debenhams in Southampton - BHS also do wedding dress's in the shop in Southampton. Shoes were from ebay, wedding flowers were fake from the craft shop in West End. Dad made my wedding cake, and we bought some cup cakes from Sainsbury's in with the buffet. Also arranged for the Ice-cream man to come on the day.

Total cost: £2487.63

Took one week to arrange once we had the date. You must tell the registrar if you are wearing a colour other than white, ivory or cream though because otherwise she wears the same colour as the bride grin

Gonzo33 Thu 11-Aug-11 08:37:10

Hobby Craft is the name of the Craft Shop.

WannaBeMarryPoppins Thu 11-Aug-11 08:59:46

I like the idea of a barbecue if it is warm enough.

If you decide to organise the catering by yourself the hired help can be quite cheap. Do you have older teenagers in your circle of friends? (i.e. do you know parents of, don't think you will be friends with teenagers).

I have helped out a a huge wedding anniversary celebration ones, and my friend's mum's birthday party. For both I got a little bit of money and was allowed to eat the food etc. On one of them I was also responsible for keeping the kids entertained.
If you don't know anyone try to hire students? Much cheaper than professionals but I would say you could definitely find responsible people that way.


hearcomesthesummerrain Thu 11-Aug-11 12:30:09

Thanks for all the comments,there are some great ideas which we will consider so thank you.

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