Advanced search thinking the cost of weddings is becoming beyond todays young people

(313 Posts)
concernedrose Wed 16-Jan-13 00:26:45

DS is planning on getting married next year. He and fiance both have good jobs but are paying off student loans, and pay £850 a month in rent for a tiny one bedroomed flat. They also are trying to save for a mortgage. So imagine their (and our) horror at the price of weddings. It seems that to be able to do everything for under £10,000 is virtually impossible in the area we live in. And they have accepted they wont be able to have a honeymoon immediatly after the wedding. This seems a vast sum of money to me, but even calling in favours from friends and relatives, (ie cake making, invitation making, flower arranging) it looks like this is what it is going to cost. Oh well, anyone for beans on toast!!!

ilovechips Wed 16-Jan-13 05:39:30

Is it compulsory to have expensive weddings in Surrey then? ;)

I'm in Hampshire and got married last year for less than £1k - we hired a bus to take 25 guests plus us to the register office, then for a wonderful meal at a restaurant on the beach, non wedding food we allowed people to select pretty much what they liked - then back to our house for drinks and music and a buffet. Flowers we made ourselves using bouquets from the supermarket, and they looked wonderful - took our own photographs and I made the cake. My dress was second hand and so was my bridesmaid's, and we did our own hair and makeup. Everyone commented on what a fabulous day it was.

By contrast we went to a formal hotel wedding, approx £20k, a couple of months later with standard wedding food, hours getting photographs done, string quartet, all that kind of thing - and it was nowhere near as relaxed and fun...

JusticeCrab Wed 16-Jan-13 07:46:59

I think you can do a cheaper wedding than 10 grand. Saying that, the cost of most things is becoming beyond today's young people, a fact which precisely no-one in a position of any importance is doing anything about.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 16-Jan-13 07:51:10

£10k on what is essentially a party is simply madness, especially as they dont yet own their own house and are saving for one.

Marriage is about the vows, everything else is just an add on luxury. It can be done very cheaply if they just truly want to be married.

BeeBawBabbity Wed 16-Jan-13 07:56:29

My wedding cost £500 (12 years ago). Registry office, dress from coast, 7 people having dinner after in a local hotel restaurant. Flowers from my Mum' s garden and photos by by mil's neighbour.

But I' m really not a fan of big white weddings.

ubik Wed 16-Jan-13 07:59:13

Why get married?

We never did, could never afford it and are happily living under the brush!

Chopstheduck Wed 16-Jan-13 07:59:42

£10k and they can't afford a honeymoon! shock

yabu. I really don't understand how people want to blow such huge amounts on wedding. I think mine was £600ish (minus the rings) and I live in Ascot grin

I'd rather have the holiday of a lifetime, or the deposit for a house than a huge party. We got married in the local registry office, which was actually in a stately home type place set in gorgeous surroundings, then hit the west end to celebrate after. It was relaxed and fun. No flowers, no cake, and family took pics. It was about the commitment for us, not a big party and all the traditions.

I wanted a big posh cathedral wedding all my life. When I met DH I didnt care though.
We planned on Las Vegas, then I got pregnant so we did it here. Registry office followed by tidy restaurant for the meal, under £1000 (and my dad paid about £600 of that for the food, I paid for dress, DH suit, flowers, ceremony, favours) my sisters bought their own bridesmaid dresses as they were just normal dresses.
So many people think they need a big "venue" for a wedding, and you normally get substandard food at a hotel or county house type place, and temp staff doing the waiting!

Oo, i missed rings off the list!
And I missed a YABU too

Chopstheduck Wed 16-Jan-13 08:02:56

we did spend quite a lot on the rings, but that is a lifetime thing, not a one day party.

I think some people do want huge parties, that's their choice, but moaning about it like it is mandatory is being unreasonable.

marriedinwhite Wed 16-Jan-13 08:07:01

Agrees with Birdsgottafly.

People need to cut their cloth and stop being so aspirational. And well off people don't spend silly money on hotels, etc.. They have large gardens and put up a tent. They do that because it's cheaper. We had a fabulous country wedding in 1990 for about £7k I think - might have been less. We didn't go over the top but it was fitting for our family. The flowers were from the garden (bouquets made), no favours, family cars, local lady made cake, dresss was £750 (which was a lot). 100 guests, sit down meal, champagne and pimms, late wedding - 3.30pm - string quartet, beautiful evening and people stayed very late because the champagne kept flowing. Twas lovely but could have been twice the size and could have cost two or three times more even then. If we hadn't had the money we could have done it for 2k with fewer guests in a local hall and a buffet and that would have been fine and that was what people in did. And there was nothing wrong with it.

whiteflame Wed 16-Jan-13 08:08:33

I hear what you're saying OP. It's not so much that weddings are more expensive than they once were, rather that every penny is needed for other, now more unobtainable things.

Having got married myself and been to several friends weddings during the past couple of years, the ones I enjoyed most were definitely the less expensive, more informal ones.

Slightly off topic, but what on earth is with wedding favours? (I'm not from the Uk) I've seen them in films and always thought they were only for really posh people - why would anyone need a present for coming to a party?!

RubyGates Wed 16-Jan-13 08:09:52

Why spend £10,000 and spend the beginning of your married life in debt?
Spend what you can afford (which others have shown can be very little). You are demonstrating your love and comitment to one another, not your comitment to your credit card or bank manager.

I've know marriages that have started by costing the couple more than they could really afford and that have ended under financial strain before the weddings were finally paid off.

You have to ask whether the couple care more for each other or for what everyone thinks about the wedding. If they care more about the latter, then they probably shouldn't be getting married in hte first place.

HecateWhoopass Wed 16-Jan-13 08:10:34

It's as expensive as you want it to be!

We got married for around the £500 mark.

And that included outfits!

But then, I REALLY didn't want a Wedding. I just wanted to get married. I would have been happiest just getting 2 people off the street to be witnesses grin

registry office
meal in a pub afterwards (everyone paid for their own I think. I can't actually remember grin )
evening do - mates of ours let us take over their pub grin
catering students at the local college did the buffet.

married. party with our mates. job done.

So the cost of getting married is affordable to the vast majority of people, it depends entirely on the type and scale of the party they want as to whether that party is affordable.

WaitingForMe Wed 16-Jan-13 08:10:37

I had a very cheap second wedding but it was still amazing. My bouquet cost £4 - two bunches if mistletoe from a local garden centre. We got married in a registry office the day before and made up our own "real" ceremony to take place in front of a fireplace at our favourite restaurant. There are loads of options.

Badvoc Wed 16-Jan-13 08:11:09

Well you can do it for much less than that of course!

Mayanbob Wed 16-Jan-13 08:12:28

You don't need to spend that much on a wedding. I got married in March last year - we had wedding at hotel (with registrar coming out), wedding breakfast for 60 including 4 drinks. evening buffet for 90, hired dj, bought DHs suit and best mans suit (didn't like hire suits) and bought wedding dress, yes we had a friend doing photos, family car, did decorations ourselves (except chair backs) and 1 bought cake and one made. We spent just under 5k, and if we'd had to we could have spent less - but we were fortunate to have saved that before and defined our budget... That said, we already have a mortgage. (A priority over wedding for me)

SizzleSazz Wed 16-Jan-13 08:14:49

We had a meal at licenced hotel, but did fri as that was cheaper. Had large cheeses for our cake so that was the evening food. Taking our own fizz and paying corkage was cheaper.

Wedding dress £125 from bhs, one bm and flower girl dresses from bhs. 2 small flower sprays, no buttonholes. Bought matching ties for the main men and they all wore own dark suits with white shirts.
No photographer, cars, favours, table flowers, cake.
We did provide plenty of booze, had a harpist and a band but this is where I wanted to spend money rather than on 'fripperies'
Cost c.£5k and was a smart boutique hotel wedding.

TiggyD Wed 16-Jan-13 08:20:02

There's a difference between getting married and having a wedding.
There's also a difference between an expensive wedding and a cheap wedding. Mostly price. Spend what you want to spend and then don't complain about what you chose to pay.

Bonsoir Wed 16-Jan-13 08:21:11

Weddings have become outrageously vulgar and overdone, IMO. I mostly hate weddings - they go on for far too long and are ostentatious and commercial.

One of the best wedding parties I ever went to was in a field in deepest France. The wedding itself was in a rural church. Everything was ultra rustic except for the Dior wedding dress.

mam29 Wed 16-Jan-13 08:22:27

I got married in hometown wales in 2004.

we did it for 5grand.

that includes

dress-105 debenhams sale
giring grooms clothes
bridemaids dresses*2
presents for groom/bridemaids

flowers from valleys florist lovley ivory rose boquet for me, pink roses for bridemaids. button holes and very simple 3roses in tall glass vase table centrepeice on reception tables.


car -150
dj-for evening
cake-local lady
hairdressers and makeup lady for 4of us.

boquet of flowers for mil and mum

proper photographer-350-yes she was cheap but ok.

deceorations from confetti, did all planning and decs myself ie tea lights, love sparklers cofette.

3course meal for 52
buffet for 100
accomodayion for immeidaite guests
some alchol wine on every table and cava toast.

Im sure I forgot something.

was fab day

GirlOutNumbered Wed 16-Jan-13 08:24:11

Mine cost £4k last year... The wedding breakfast only for close family and friends. Then a big BBQ at our house the next day for everyone else.
My dress was Biba, although I did splash on shoes. No fancy car, we married in a hotel so were already there. Huge bouquets provided by sister in law.
Invites from Internet,
Fantastic, amazing time that stretched for three days!

Bunbaker Wed 16-Jan-13 08:28:26

"Agrees with Birdsgottafly"

So do I. I got married in Surrey nearly 32 years ago. Using an inflation calculator I have worked out that our wedding would have cost about £1,000 in today's money.

The best wedding I went to was my cousin's DIY wedding. The actual ceremony took place in a registry office with only very close family attending. The reception took place in my auntie's beautiful garden. We were lucky that the weather was beautiful. My cousin asked not for presents but to bring a plate of food to share. He paid for drinks which flowed all day and paid for a couple of helpers to help serve the food and wash up. He also hired crockery, wine glasses etc. The atmosphere was absolutely fantastic and so relaxed. My sister and I did some of the catering for the evening and the day just flew by. It was just wonderful.

I would say that a wedding is just one day of your life, a marriage is (hopefully) for life, so to spend more than you can afford on that one day is just senseless.

phlebas Wed 16-Jan-13 08:29:31

it's paying for a hotel that makes it stupid expensive - much better to hire a venue (hall, barn, marquee whatever - we went here) & hire your own caterers (or do the catering yourselves) - far nicer & a fraction of the hotel cost. We bought our own flowers & got a floral designer (!!!) to put them together for us, bought our own alcohol, dressmaker rather than wedding shop for dresses, found an independent cake maker etc. Also registry office rather than getting a registrar out to the reception venue.

We had a pretty posh, over the top, lots of guests, big white wedding, food & alcohol freely flowing all day etc - and it cost far far less than 10k, you won't get that 'off the peg' from a hotel though.

Ariel21 Wed 16-Jan-13 08:39:32

Weddings can be expensive - it just depends on your budget and what you want. I got married in September, we made savings in some places (wedding cake a gift from kind family member, home made invitations, favours and bunting, 2 grand dress second hand on EBay for £250) BUT even a hot evening buffet for 120 people cost about £2000 (3 choices and 2 sweets) and this was in lieu of a wedding breakfast. Out venue was my parents' field - but we did have to pay for a marquee so not always a cheaper option.

You just have to set a budget then try and stick to it - keep within your means. Not easy though, and takes lots and lots of careful planning! We went halves with my parents, so am pretty lucky in this respect.

CheungFun Wed 16-Jan-13 08:40:48

DH and I got married abroad in Italy for this very reason! It is much cheaper getting married abroad, we had all the trimmings and 23 guests in total, so it felt much more personal, everyone had a good holiday and felt part of the wedding.

I think it's worth looking at as an option.

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