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AIBU to think this wedding idea would work?

(60 Posts)
ItsMeImHere Fri 12-Jun-15 08:18:48

Basically, DP and I would love to get married but cannot afford anything 'special'.

As he has a stupidly large family and extended circles of friends and close colleagues, to make sure everyone is a part of not so much our big day, we will need a bash of some description.

Looking locally, there are a couple of venues that would be suitable for the 200 people he wants needs to invite. They mostly provide ceremony and meal, disco and buffet with various extras of cakes, seat covers etc. The packages they provide cost upward of £5000 for the most basic. I actually don't think that these are terrible prices, but not ones I am comfortable with paying.

So I have an idea that I think could work, but DP thinks I am being unreasonable to entertain such a silly notion.

Most of the venues, and one I like in particular, do room hire for conferences, day events etc at £250 for 8am-12am. Supposing we did the marriage registration as bog standard at the registry office for £46, just us and a couple of witnesses, then go and decorate the 'conference' room, invite guests to our 'wedding' at 2pm and have my DPs father conduct a ceremony. Photos by friends and family (on smartphones etc) around 3pm, external catering for a meal at 4pm and self cater music and an evening buffet. The private bar is available to be open on the day event price. This should all work out at less than £1000, everyone witnesses our marriage sort of , we actually get married and have a nice day.

The problem is DP thinks it is 'lying' to the venue about the hire, and that they won't allow external catering, all the while we are 'tricking' his friends and family.

Is it really so unreasonable to believe it could be pulled off?

ICanTuckMyBoobsInMyPockets Fri 12-Jun-15 08:21:30

It sounds lovely but your venue more than likely won't allow external caterers.
And when they figure it out (which they will) they won't be impressed.

Why not have a chat with them about stripping it back to basics?

No seat covers, no cake table, no 4 course meal. Just the very basics, and see what they can do?

PtolemysNeedle Fri 12-Jun-15 08:27:07

It's worth finding out whether the venue will allow external catering if you aren't sure about that yet, your whole dilemma might be pointless if they won't.

I'm with your DP though, I wouldn't want to lie to the venue and end up spending my wedding day paranoid that they were going to be pissed off. If they have another wedding there that day and have another couple expecting to be the only wedding at that venue, it could be a problem.

whois Fri 12-Jun-15 08:30:30

I like your plan except I doubt they will allow external caterers.

Are there any community halls or converted barn type things you can hire? Then can get in caterers. Bars can be tricky for that tho.

ChunkyPickle Fri 12-Jun-15 08:30:43

DP 'married' two of his friends - it was lovely (he was so nervous!) - obviously there was the official bit too, but having a friend do it was so nice.

My favourite wedding I have ever been too was held at the bride's father's church - everyone brought a plate and/or a bottle, and after the ceremony the food was all laid out, and we all swanned around picking at bits - it was absolutely lovely, and everyone had something to talk about with all the people they didn't know because the food (recipes, taste) gave you an instant in.

Oh, I just remembered another great one - where it was sit down, but instead of individual meals, it was a big pot of curry and trimmings in the middle of the table - super cheap, super tasty, and the food sharing again made it very friendly

Hardtoknow Fri 12-Jun-15 08:34:25

Whilst I appreciate your problem, I just don't think this is going to work. IME of organising conferences, whilst the room hire may be quite low, there will be a per person "delegate package" which will include teas, coffees & lunch (if you have an all day booking). I would be surprised if you could avoid paying this & even more surprised if they would let you avoid this & bring in outside caterers. Why don't you just find a large hall or community centre?

AlternativeTentacles Fri 12-Jun-15 08:34:56

Go get hitched at a registry office with a couple of close friends as witnesses; then hire the local village hall or community centre and pay them to provide a slap up buffet and a bar. Or get the family to provide the food/drink/trimmings as part of their wedding presents; my good friend constructed a fab wedding by doing this [I did all the home made jams for the cream teas and the jars all got stolen taken home as favours]

ThumbWitchesAbroad Fri 12-Jun-15 08:35:51

It won't work and they could end up billing you for the cost it would have been for the wedding.

Sucks I know - places really shouldn't bump the price so much for wedding-related stuff, but they do.

I had similar thoughts to you but gave in and did it "properly". Was quite pleased really though because the hotel gave a good discount on rooms for the night for any guests who wanted/needed to stay over.

Ladyofsuspense Fri 12-Jun-15 08:39:07

We've hired a huge sports venue which would easily fit 200 for our wedding. Sole use of the whole place, bar, toilets, car park, waiting staff etc for the princely cost of £200. Two Hundred.

Yes, we have to arrange all the catering, alcohol, decorating and clearing up ourselves but at a saving of £4800 from the cheapest wedding package at our local wedding hotel... I think it's worth it!

HellKitty Fri 12-Jun-15 08:42:06

There are a few pubs near us that hire out their function rooms with private bars, you do or organise your own catering and the pub supply the bar staff - after all they'll make money on drinks. Any DJs who are friends of friends?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Fri 12-Jun-15 08:44:32

Well will you still expect the venue to dress chairs, lay them out as a ceremony, then re jig the room to round tables and laid up for meal and then refresh the room for the disco?

They more than likely wont allow external caterers - certainly wont if they are a Hotel.

MsMcWoodle Fri 12-Jun-15 08:44:45

We got married in a registry office with parents and best mates only. Then we had a party in a pub in the evening. No food. Did not expect presents. Put some money behind the bar to get things going. Had a couple of bands play - friends so free.
It was brilliant. Never regretted not having a traditional wedding. In fact all of the best weddings I have been to were non-traditional.

gamerwidow Fri 12-Jun-15 08:46:00

I agree with the others you would be better off hiring a local community hall and doing your own catering. It will be cheaper and you won't have to worry about the venue getting annoyed and causing stress on your day.
Most of the big supermarkets do entertaining packages that can be delivered on the day for a reasonable price.

19lottie82 Fri 12-Jun-15 08:51:06

We had our wedding reception in the local bowling club, who charged us £150 for the use of the hall from 3pm - midnight - It was ace!

We decorated it with some home made bunting, balloons, banners ect and it looked really lovely.

Got in a caterer who did a sit down meal for 40 @ £14 a head then a buffet for £5.50 per head in the evening. There were another 25 in the evening, but we ordered a buffet for 30 as we knew it wouldn't get eaten, and half of it still went in the bin!

Bought champers for £10 a bottle, and £5 a bottle wine from Asda for the toasts / tables, and then the bar was cheap as chips. Got a DJ in for the evening bit which I think cost £160.

Everyone we spoke to said it was the best wedding they have ever been to!

AuntieStella Fri 12-Jun-15 08:51:14

I think this would work well if you used a church hall, or village hall, or some other community centre.

But not a 'venue' as they won't be up for providing catering space or permitting music for a conference booking.

19lottie82 Fri 12-Jun-15 08:54:02

I think we did everything inc cake, meal/buffet, DJ, a drink for everyone behind the bar and tips for the bar staff / caterers, decorations, wine/champers, for under £1500.

19lottie82 Fri 12-Jun-15 08:59:58

Obviously we had 60 instead of your 200, but it is doable.

But can I just say, there is no way you HAVE to invite 200 people. Although I do appreciate that the numbers can easily spiral out of control.
if you WANT to tho, you need to appreciate that this is going to be expensive.

PS Another tip I would give is, don't "self cater" the music, if you want a good party. You think it's easy to play music for 4-5 hours that will encourage everyone to get up for a dance. It isn't, quite the opposite. You can't just stick an ipod on random. It's actually quite a skill to get the music flowing from the first song until the end of the night. A DJ is DEFINTIELY worth the £150 - £200

Oliversmumsarmy Fri 12-Jun-15 09:06:47

Recently read an article about hotels, venues etc charging extra if it is about marriage as opposed to everyday stuff. I.e. Room in hotel was one price same room used by the bride and groom on their wedding night the price went up. So I don't think you are at all unreasonable providing of course you can get outside caterers in.

Wedding I went to years ago cost under £100. Including wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses. Because the couple had lived together for several years they said not to buy the usual house hold items as gifts as they already had a house full of them. Instead they made a list of alcohol and food, flowers and decorations and generally what they needed to get married and have a lovely party. People tore off which item they were getting. The wedding was in their local church followed by a party at their home, in a small cul de sac. All the neighbours were invited and they rigged up everything out on their front garden and in their house and out on the pavement.

emzii206 Fri 12-Jun-15 09:06:50

I hate it when people think you have to half-arse it in order to have a "proper" wedding...take mine for example....
DH was due to go back to Afghanistan (for what felt like the millionth time), so we wanted to get married before he left, therefore we didn't have much time! We did it in the church I was baptized in, had the reception at my local football club, a couple from my church did BBQ catering, a friend did the music, another friend's mum made the cake, me and DH sat for many a-nights before with a hot glue gun and endless reams of lace making all of our decorations for the room and the tables, we only had bouquets for myself and my bridesmaids, and buttonholes for DH, the best man and ushers (no flowers in the church), DH, the best man and ushers were all in uniform so didn't have to fork out for suits, I did my own makeup, cousin did my hair...all in all it cost around £2500 - and £1000 of that was spent on my dress!! You can have a beautiful "big wedding" without spending a ridiculous amount smile

SleepIsOverrated Fri 12-Jun-15 09:08:48

Friends did similar.
Private official wedding service (invited parents only). Then a few weeks later, hired out a lovely venue, invited everyone they wanted. His side were asked to bring salad, hers to bring puddings (absolutely no obligation, just tick a box online if you would, and it was asked for in lieu of gifts), then they got someone in to do a BBQ.

19lottie82 Fri 12-Jun-15 09:13:03

tbh £5000 for 200 people inc ceremony, meal, disco, buffet, cake and decorations is a pretty good deal! If you are really not comfortable paying this amount then you really need to cut the number of guests, or think outside the box.

Even with the latter, you'd need to cut out the sit down meal I think, as that would be the largest chunk of the cost.

Heffalumpalump Fri 12-Jun-15 09:14:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

19lottie82 Fri 12-Jun-15 09:14:54

I'm curious as to (room aside) how you think you could get a meal followed by evening buffet for 200 people for less than £1000? You could barely get a macdonalds for that!

waceystills Fri 12-Jun-15 09:16:31

I'm getting married tomorrow at a lovely registry office with the DC and two witnesses (DM & MIL). Having a night in a hotel with a special meal whilst the mum's have the DC

(this is the best bit as we have an 20 & 3 month old so a glorious break for us)

We're having a party at home the week after with family and close friends, 30 in total.

We are providing the BBQ and we have asked that guests bring a picnic blanket.

It will be fun, simple and cheap. Weddings do not need to be expensive and it was so easy to plan.

19lottie82 Fri 12-Jun-15 09:17:21

The main problem seems to be that the OP wants to invite 200 people.....

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