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Wedding budget

(38 Posts)
ThedementedPenguin Tue 21-May-13 15:06:53

Hello, so I've just got engaged and I've been thinking about wedding budgets. Currently I am not working as I was made redundant whilst pregnant. So it will just be on my df wages.

So we have been talking about getting married in 2016. I'm hoping it will give me time to get a job and start saving up as well.

So we are going to try and set a budget so that we are saving as much as we can but I have no idea how cheap weddings can be. Everything I read says a wedding is £20,000 which is way out of my price range.

So if you have gotten married within the past 3-4 years could you please give me a rough idea of how much you spent and what your wedding was like. Are even a rough estimate of how much you spent on each thing, eg. Flowers, dresses, etc.


Gwennan Tue 21-May-13 15:09:01

How many guests are you having?

ThedementedPenguin Tue 21-May-13 15:12:56

I'm not sure yet, we are hoping no more than 50.

Though to be honest we haven't talked about it yet. I'll do a rough estimate here and I'll post it.

ThedementedPenguin Tue 21-May-13 15:19:32

Roughly off the top of my head I have 30 adults and 9 kids. Although that's very rough as 2016 is a while away and you never know what will change

Gwennan Tue 21-May-13 15:25:52

Congratulations on your engagement! We're in the process of booking our wedding too.

Here are some quotes I've had in the South Wales/Bristol area for hotel weddings. As you can see, our numbers are greater than yours (some of the numbers are higher due to minimum no. of guest requirements at the venues I was considering) and we're interested in an afternoon tea rather than formal wedding breakfast. Quote #2 is for a traditional wedding breakfast. Most of our quotes are priced on a per person basis so you should be able to use the figures as a guideline. I'm not sure how South Wales/Bristol compares to other parts of the country when it comes to cost.

I should tell you that I've had quotes for the afternoon tea/hog roast (or pork and apple rolls) that ranged from around £4k to £11k... If we go down this route (which, as you can see from the thread I posted today, we're undecided!), we expect to pay £5k for the catering, around £1.5k for a photographer (!!!), and probably a further £1.5k for things like wedding outfits, bridesmaid dresses, invites, flowers, etc. I think the registrar's fees are around £450. I think we could easily spend £9k... It's frightening!

Quotes are all for Saturdays:

Hotel #1
- Ceremony Room Hire @ £350.00
- Pimms Arrival Drink @ 75 x £5.25 - £393.75
- Canapés @ 75 x £5.50 - £412.50
- Room Hire @ £500.00
- Afternoon Tea with Glass of Champagne @ 75 x £26.00 - £1950.00
- Glass of Champagne to Toast @ £75 x £6.00 - £450.00
- Hog Roast, Bread Rolls and Apple Sauce @ 100 x £7.00 - £700.00
Total - £4756.25


Hotel #2
- 80 day and 80 evening guests
- Arrival drink (bucks fizz)
- 3 course wedding breakfast
- Glass of wine with the meal
- Sparkling wine for the toast
- Finger buffet
- Room hire
- Chair covers with white bows
- Room for the night of the wedding
- Cake stand
Total: £6,300


Hotel #3
- Day guests: £58.00 per head (75 @ £58.00 = £4350)
- Evening catering (25 extra guests @ £6.50 = £162.50)

Price includes the following:
Ceremony, breakfast & evening room hire
Pimms and lemonade on arrival
A selection of 3 canapés on arrival
Traditional tea to include including salads, quiches/tartlets, macaroons, sausage rolls, and selection of local cheeses along side crackers, grapes & chutneys
Freshly brewed tea and coffee
Glass of champagne wine to toast
Personalized menu cards, table plan, menu and place cards
Silver cake knife & stand
Bacon, sausage or egg rolls with wedges for the evening
Room for the night of the wedding
Total: £4512.50


Hotel #4
Hire of the ceremony room £300.00
Hire of restaurant for reception £ 200.00
70 x Glass of Pimms following ceremony @ £4.95 per person £ 346.50
Canapés following ceremony x 70 @ £4.75 per person for 3 items £332.50
Full afternoon tea x 70 @ £15.50 per person £ 1085.50
70 x Glass of champagne with afternoon tea @ £6.50 per glass £ 455.00
Pork & apple rolls x 70 @ £5.00 per person £ 350.00
DJ and Disco until midnight £300.00
Ivory linen table cloths & napkins (complimentary)
Cake stand & knife (complimentary)
Total: £3369.50


Other information I've found out:
Hire of a local barn - £1800 plus £1500 for hire of 5 cottages for 2 nights for 20 guests (think they come as a package)
Hire of other venues (castles, manor houses etc.) - around £2500-£3500

Things that surprised me: aforementioned local barn and also one of the castles have no free dates between March and October 2014. I was shocked by the popularity - especially considering the price!


Look for late availability or winter wedding deals!

TakingTheStairs Tue 21-May-13 15:33:59

I didn't get married in the UK so I can't help with prices but what I can highly recommend is that when you get a quote make sure you ask whether it includes VAT or not.
It will throw your budget way off if suddenly your reception is 21% more expensive that you thought it was.

We had 10% of our budget set aside for unexpected costs, and we ended up using most of it. So try and leave some money aside for that too.

congratulations on your engagement and future marriage flowers

EuroShaggleton Tue 21-May-13 15:36:28


We got married 2.5 years ago with 50 guests and a small number of extra for the evening. We paid around 12k. From memory it was roughly:

1k my dress
1k his suit (he had one made)
1k photographer
600 quid flowers
100 quid cake
300 quid rings
Venue hire (manor house type thing), food and drink (champagne for after ceremony and toasts, all inclusive bar all night, three course dinner plus evening bacon sarnies) £7k ish

We and our families are foodies and some of us are quite into wine, so we splashed out on this. We didn't spend money on things that were meaningless to us (cars - my dad drove me, favours, bridesmaids and ushers, chair covers, etc)

Startail Tue 21-May-13 15:38:39

Pims £5.25 they are having a laugh, we charge £1.50 at school and clear a nice profit.

Hotels make killing on small things, if you get a caterer in your local village hall and buy your booze in the local supermarket you can save a fortune. Just depends how much you want to spend.

I was a student, so clearly buffet in the village hall and minimum extras was what we did. No less special just cheaper.

ifIsaynodontjustaskdad Tue 21-May-13 15:48:26

We got married in 2007 so these may be off, but our biggest expense was feeding people, 45 per head for the 120 during the day, we then had a further 25 per person at night. We had over 200 people. We both have massive families, before inviting our friends we had 87 people so it was never going to be small. However we spent less than 12k on the wedding, including ringas sand our honeymoon 2 weeks all in in Mauritius.

So if your budget isn't big then food is one area to focus on.

Our mums made the cake and did the flowers, a friend did the photos, an uncle did the video, my dress came off the end of line rack for 200, my shoes were 15 from faiths bargain bin but were so pretty. We didn't do cars as we got married where we had our reception. The hotel had candalabra, so we had candles, not flowers, on tables. We actually enjoyed it more because our friends and families were involved in delivering everything. It made it more personal and special as well as cheaper. Congratulations and I hope you have the wedding of your dreams

KneeDeepInDaisies Tue 21-May-13 15:51:27

We got married 2 years ago. Registers office and barn reception. It cost about £2500-2800 for 35 day guests and 80-100 evening.

A friend did the photography and we still haven't got the photos. My friend got married last year and a friend if a friend did her photos and they weren't great so don't scrimp on that.

You can do it cheaply if you don't go mad honestly and you have time to plan.


KneeDeepInDaisies Tue 21-May-13 15:56:16

Oh sorry didn't read the last paragraph

Dress(bought online) £180
Flowers about £200 I think
Bridesmaid dresses £80 for 3
DH suit £80
DC clothes £80
My shoes and accessories £60
Car hire £150
Venue hire about £500
BBQ per head £15
Wedding cake £100
Favours £40
Drinks £250
Entertainment £300
Evening food- £150
Table decs- 50
Other bits and bobs and gifts made up the rest

Asteria Tue 21-May-13 17:55:48

We are doing a wedding for 120 for less than £6k, but seem to have managed to organise a fairly decent party (I will tell you in 5 weeks time!!) spanning the entire weekend. Call in as many favours as you can as that is where we have made most of the saving.
We are getting married in a church in Devon, which is about £500ish with bells, organ, license, verger etc. We are decorating it with flowers pilfered from friends gardens, but keeping it very simple as the church is utterly gorgeous.
A friend is doing the photos for our wedding present, he is a seriously good photographer so we are very lucky.
My aunt is letting us use her barn as a wedding pressie, which is amazing of her, and the meat is all coming straight from their farm so is much cheaper than usual. The entire food bill comes in at about £950: wedding cake (massive chocolate cake that i am making myself and serving as pudding with strawberries and cream), Friday night BBQ for 50, Saturday lunch for about 50, canapes with the drinks followed by a massive moroccan banquet (various salads, stripped lamb, home-made bread etc) with cheese after. We are serving any leftovers bulked out with extra salad and an enormous lump of Venison on the sunday.
The booze is from a wine dealer who did us an amazing deal - for the toasting we have a Cremant made by Bollinger - a fraction of the price and better than most reasonable Champagnes. We have wine with the meal and I have made lemoncello and raspberry vodka to go with the pudding, but afterwards are running an honesty bar. Most people dont mind paying something towards their booze if they have been well oiled up to that point. Honesty bars seem a bit less grabby and can help with licensing too...
The table decorations are just pots of lavender, that I have ordered for just over £1 each from my local market and candles.
We are doing most of it ourselves but have staff for the evening so family can relax.
My dress is massively extravagant at £950, but it is being made by an amazing corsetier and I spent months trying to find something cheaper to no avail.
We managed to save money on things like printing the order of service and invitations. I got some lovely paper and took it to a local print shop - under £50 all in rather than the £270 we were quoted for it all! Send invitations second class too - no-one cares and you will save quite a few quid!
I risk of writing an essay so will stop - but it is possible to do a serious budget wedding.

KneeDeepInDaisies Tue 21-May-13 18:08:24

Wow Asteria! Can I come? It sounds great!

YoniBottsBumgina Tue 21-May-13 18:38:55

Our budget is probably about 4k and we have around 70 people we would like to invite (well, DP has a reserve list which I'm currently ignoring)

However have not really sorted out costs etc yet so this thread may be useful for me too. I think 20k is ridiculous, even 12k is a huge amount. I definitely agree with concentrating on one thing which is important to you - setting, food, music, cars or dress & making that the focus of the day bypassing the less important things and you'll end up with a great overall impression of the day.

Also rather than looking at budget vs luxury options for the things that are important to you, see if you can be creative with the budget you have and think outside the box. We're looking at hiring a field and marquee which will cost about the same as a cheap hotel wedding but IMO it's much nicer.

AKissIsNotAContract Tue 21-May-13 18:45:14

Ours is coming to about 15k for 60 guests.

Congratulations, planning a wedding is so much fun.

Pandemoniaa Wed 22-May-13 20:01:08

Our wedding (the day after tomorrow, eeek!) is so low budget that giving costs probably isn't a lot of help. However, the main cost (as others have said) is feeding people. The same goes for ds1's wedding this coming September. We're having a family ceremony with 17 for lunch. This will be about £500 with toasts and stuff. It really won't be a conventional event because I'm wearing a steampunk-inspired outfit and so far, the main costs have been a new corset (£72) a truly fantastic hat (£75) and a beautiful Victorian headdress thingy for the evening (also £75).

A friend of mine (and fellow photographer) is doing my photography and refuses to charge me. Another friend has designed a one-off steampunk bouquet and another friend secretly paid for us to stay in the lovely pub that we're having the evening do in. So even those things we assumed we'd pay for, we aren't having to.

Feeding and watering your guests will be your main expense but you can make even quite ordinary (and thus sensibly priced!) venues look lovely. For ds1's wedding we're doing a vintage tea party in a village hall. Me and some of my friends are making bunting, looking out for interesting cups and saucers in charity shops and doing lots of traditional baking. ds1's venue was hundreds of pounds cheaper than the cheapest option in town and, as a local resident, he gets a hugely discounted hire charge.

If you aren't getting married until 2016 you have plenty of time to budget/call in favours/work out what is actually important to you and for sure, you can have a lovely wedding for far less than £20K. But you do need to avoid getting dragged into the wedding industry's version of what's essential so be a little cautious about wedding magazines and forums. Otherwise you'll assume that no wedding is complete without favours/table crystals/postboxes/doves/magicians/an entire three ring circus with lions and tigers. Obviously you want a perfect day but equally, you want it to be affordable and the two aren't exclusive.

theri Wed 22-May-13 20:40:16

Congratulations on your engagement! Enjoy the ride of wedding planning. Not everything has to cost a fortune. I got married 2 years ago and in all i think it was around 3k for 75 during the day and 100 at night, and we only had 4 months of planning compared to what you have.

Ebay and amazon are your friends for lots of differnet things from table roll to favours to almost everything else. We also got our bridesmaid dress at the strathcarron shop, they have ones that sell lots of fancy things, tho i suppose we got lucky in only having one bridesmaid lol

For the cars instead of phoning a specific wedding car hire company we phoned the local taxi company's and asked if they did cars for weddings or could recommend a driver with a specific car. Which cut down cost alot. My car was the loveliest jaguar which i was desperate for quote from wedding hire company £200, cost from local taxi firm £40.

I suppose alot of the wedding is all about lists and searching for best prices. List everything YOU want and then search online and hopefully you find it at the right.

And making stuff is fun too and saves a bundle

ThedementedPenguin Wed 22-May-13 22:28:05

Thanks very much for answering everyone. You have all gave me a lot to think about.

I've been looking at venues today and I think it will all come around the £1500 mark. Although as we have plenty of time I'm just looking. I plan on spending the most on venue and food, and then making or looking for things on the cheap.

It's just so helpful hearing other people's opinions.

Oh and pande I hope you have a fantastic day.

YoniBottsBumgina Wed 22-May-13 23:09:34

Remember the venue and catering is probably only around 1/2 - 2/3 of your costs - you've got to account for everything and there are loads of costs you don't always think of initially (although some of these can be omitted, made yourselves, or free)

Think about:
- Room hire, registrar hire, music, decoration, transport, maybe drinks for a toast.
- Venue, including things like toilets and cover for rain if you're outdoors, chairs, tables, decorations (for the tables and the room), cutlery/glass hire.
- Catering, food, drinks (are you going to buy them or let people buy their own) staff if you need them, wedding cake.
- Clothes - wedding dress, bridesmaids' dresses, pageboys/flowergirls, ushers, best man, groom, buttonholes, bouquet, rings, bridal jewellery/accessories.
- Entertainment, you can really have anything you want!
- Extras - invitations + postage, clean up charges/service, hotel rooms for bride & groom and parents, childcare if you have DC. Wedding favours, thank you notes, presents for your bridesmaids/best man etc.

scared29 Thu 23-May-13 12:26:27

look at groupon for venue deals

AKissIsNotAContract Thu 23-May-13 12:33:19

No! Don't look at groupon, unless you want a shite wedding

momb Sun 26-May-13 23:01:42

to add to Yoni's list:
decorations: entirely optional but lots of peopel go for chair covers, table centres etc
flowers: for the ceremony, the tables etc as well as bouquets and buttonholes.

voscar Fri 31-May-13 20:12:00

If you are looking at saving money - why not do what we are and have an early evening ceremony (think candlelit, i formal and all uour guests around you) and a party straight after. Look at how the Americans do it. You don't need to have a big daytime part with an expensive meal! Good luck. X

HighInterestRat Sat 22-Jun-13 07:37:46

Our figures are going to be way out as we had over 100 people thanks to dh's enormous family but we are in South Wales and got married a few years ago.

Venue including three course meal, arrival drinks and toasts etc, wine for tables and buffet for evening guests around £12k but everyone was well fed and watered all day which is pretty important. You could probably hire a lovely place (barn or similar) yourselves and get outside caterers in for a lot less. Obviously more work but would be charming.

Rings around £800
Registrar around £400
Cake £500 (which seems a lot compared to some but all our quotes were around this figure as we had quite a few guests)
Flowers £500 (came to less actually as bridesmaids changed their minds over what they wanted)
Bridesmaids dresses £200 (bargain!)
My dress £900 (bargain at half the price as it had been discontinued and I bought the very last one off the peg and my mil altered it).
Suit hire approx £75 each.
Centrepieces £500 but we had something specific in mind from a local company which we loved.
Music around £300 for harpists (waste of money, although lovely, we could have played a cd tbh).
Mobile crèche for all the children there £250
Buses to take everybody home £300
Hair for me and the bridesmaids £260
I can't remember how much make up cost but I bought new make up and a friend did it.
DJ with dancefloor and lighting hire etc £1300 which was a lot but the venue looked great.
Invitations £50 (another bargain)
I made all my own favours and decorations with bits I bought on eBay. Spent more than I could have as didn't really know what I was doing so made mistakes but still cheaper than shop bought.

We didn't have a band or a car, I bought my veil, shoes and headpiece very cheaply as seconds and we weren't fussed on a foreign honeymoon as had very young children at the time. I probably spent on things other people would roll they eyes at mind you. It's all about your priorities. I would spend as much as you need to on food&drink and your venue and then do everything else very cheaply if I were you.

HighInterestRat Sat 22-Jun-13 07:39:19

Oh and our photographer was £1500. We got the best photographer we could and just had the most basic package.

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