How much did people spend on their weddings? And wedding dresses? How much is ridiculous?
Our wedding cost about £20,000
£375 of that was my dress and 14,500 was on food and drink as it was really important to us to give everyone a great meal.
Entertainment was about £2,000 and then there was the church, bells, organist, bridesmaids outfits, groom and groomsmen outfits, cars, cake etc.
We really could have cut the spend down by inviting fewer people or providing less/cheaper food and drink
About £20,000 on wedding and £10,000 on honeymoon. My dress was £1200 I think.
I got married 5yrs ago. I'm sure prices will have soared in that time, but DH and I spent £7.5k and my DM spent a bit under £2.5k. That was a church wedding with a reception of 70-odd during the day and 100 for the evening do, plus a live band. We saved a fortune by doing and organising a lot ourselves, picking an unusual reception venue, and calling in a few favours and work perks. My dress was £1k with alterations.
Any amount is reasonable for a wedding if you have the money to spend. I'm glad we didn't spend more as I struggled to justify what we did pay, however it was paid for with savings plus a bit from our wages each month so didn't push us into debt, and we'd already got our feet on the housing ladder (which was our main priority).
It was about the marriage and not the wedding for us.
@thebeerfear I hate that- it implies all people who spend money on weddings don't care about the marriage.
We spent £12k on our wedding, all of it except for the dress was about the comfort of our guests. We both come from large families: aunts and uncles were 35 people alone, add in our own siblings and nieces and nephews and the fact we wanted to have some friends there and we got to 120 pretty quickly.
We chose a more expensive city venue as the cheaper (for us) alternative would mean all our guests having to pay for a nights accommodation, and we prioritised the food and wine.
My dress was £2k: I desperately wanted to find one second hand, or cheap, but ultimately I guess I'm a strange shape as it was the only one after a year looking that i felt comfortable in. It's crazy money but I actually have no regrets.
Places to save money: photographers (we only had one for a few hours to capture the ceremony and a few group shots and it saved loads and we were happy), hair/makeup if you want them done can be cheaper if you go to a salon that have them come to you, we had invites made in a print shop that were v reasonable and we didn't have any favours/decorations other than flowers on the table which were reused from the ceremony.
I think if you prioritise the basics of what your guests want, it's hard to go far wrong. I would have loved a church hall type wedding but we don't live anywhere you can rent venues like that so we were limited unless we made people travel. For us, the marriage ceremony was for us- the readings, music, etc was all chosen for us- but the 'wedding' party bit was all about our guests. We were together six years when we got married, we had really made our commitment already so the wedding part was to show our friends and family they're important to us and we see them as part of our new shared family. (Also, legal protection before children and house purchases!)
about £20k all in - our biggest expense was £5k for catering, £2k for wine, and another £1k for a free bar in the evening.
I agree with whattowear: the church ceremony was all about us and it was beautiful and meaningful, but the party was all about our guests. We gave them a really good meal with some amazing wine, and plenty of dancing afterwards. DH & I went halves on it, and we agreed in advance what we could afford, then stuck to that budget. We actually ended up with a ton of booze left over, so our Christmas expenditure that year was minimal!
The last wedding magazine I picked up featured a bride with a budget of £220,000. I think that's ridiculous but it all depends on what you can afford.
Wedding not til early next year but it has cost us a princely £980...we're eloping
Thanks for all your comments. I would love to spend lots and have a big glamorous wedding but tbh there's no way I can afford it. I don't want it to feel cheap and look cheap etc. But obviously the less money the better. Has anyone bought a wedding dress from a high street shop? Like Debenhams? It's mainly my family that will be there and they keep saying about saving money etc an not going to extravagant. His family aren't close to us. I was going to get married in the registry office then hire a bar because I just really want to marry my man so am very impatient. But obviously I don't want it to look tacky and I'm worried that doing it the cheapest way will make it tacky?x
We spent a fair bit on our wedding but tbh in hindsight I wouldn't have spent so much as we would have had an amazing time anywhere.
I've been to a wedding that was registry office, then back to a Cheap hotel for a buffet and disco and it was absolutely brilliant. People chipped in to be wedding cars, simple cake, balloons only for decorating, dresses bought in the sale/dress agency. Minimal flowers etc
On the other hand you only do it once so go for what you want (and can afford)
We're up to around 15k, including honeymoon but excluding my dress. We're trying to keep it under but realistically it will slip over a bit. The biggest chunk so far is on food- that's about a third of it.
My dress is just under £1700, which is way, way more than I intended to spend. But it's very beautiful, and I allowed myself to be talked into it.
I don't think cheap and tacky are the same thing at all, or that one makes the other inevitable. You can trim lots of extras that you won't miss. Nobody needs favours, or chair covers, or a video, or a dozen people in the wedding party. You could keep it low key by booking a big table in a restaurant you love and a private area in a cool bar, and the venues would reflect your taste rather than being "generic wedding" or tacky. No offence to anyone who has done this, but we were determined to avoid what we christened "(local town) bloody golf club syndrome" and having a package deal in a dull place that meant nothing to us, and a pastel-toned identikit day. It sounds as though you're pretty similar.
totally agree that tacky doesn't equal cheap and vice versa. In fact, some of the tackiest wedding things I've seen have cost an absolute fortune.
I think, with the benefit of hindsight, that you need to decide what you want before you start checking in with wedding websites and magazines. You really don't need to spend £400 on a cake, unless you really like cake and want to eat a lot of it yourself. We had a fabulous cake that we totally forgot to cut until midnight, so only half the guests even got a chance to have a slice. I'm not sure anyone noticed.
You definitely don't need a posh car, a bridal arch made out of rose gold gardenias, twelve 'maids', handmade favours, woven unicorn hair adorning the chairs, a cake with tiers representing all five years of your relationship, or matching hair and make-up gowns for the whole bridal party. These are all items Pinterest/Instagram/You and Your Wedding will imply everyone else is having. THEY'RE NOT.
I've got 4 bridesmaids. I was thinking of just buying them matching colour dresses rather than matching dresses and I know I can get these fairly cheap, I won't need to go to a bridal shop, I was just thinking a high street shop. Do you think it's ok to get a wedding dress from a high street shop? Or go into a wedding shop and get one off the rail? Like if they're on sale and it fits there's no point having unnecessary alterations is there? I can't walk in heels due to an ankle problem so I was thinking just white dolly's or something? Dress will cover anyway? I wouldn't spend hundreds on a cake tbh. I feel the general consensus is to do what we want to do rather than trying to please everyone else? I don't want to offend people by not inviting them all to the actual wedding but the more people there the more expensive it is. Would you say a sit sound meal for a small number then bigger buffet in the evening for everyone else?x
We spent about £15K between us. I put money aside into an ISA for about 18 months. Some people have a reverse-snobbery on how much is spent on weddings, but that's what we paid and I don't regret it. We didn't get into debt.
We had 46 guests, I probably offended lots of people, but I look back on the day and photos and am glad I didn't just invite people for the sake of it.
The majority of it went towards food; I was determined to have everyone well-fed and watered, and it paid off, everyone said how lovely the food was and we had plenty of alcohol left over. We didn't have a cake, it would have been pointless after a big sit down meal, nor did we have a band/'entertainment', by 11pm, we were knackered and on the way back to a nice hotel in the city centre
I'm not sure about "you don't have to spend hundreds of pounds on a cake". I really want it to be true, but I don't think it is. Waitrose and M&S do chocolate wedding cakes, iced in chocolate buttercream, for around £220 for 60-70 portions. But I was hoping to get something just a little bit more special- I love those semi-naked cakes- and haven't found anything that doesn't belong on Regretsy for less than £400. And I did read a very logical-sounding article that said you'd pay at least £3.50 for a slice of nice cake from a decent cake shop, and £3.50 x 100 = £350, so that's the very least you should expect to pay, even if you aren't looking for loads of fancy sugarwork or anything.
We spent 6- 7k total on our wedding September 2016. My dress was around 700 pounds, we got lucky with a few things found a wedding package on wowcher for 100 people all day food and almost everything else you need for 3000 it was at a venue we already new and liked. my dress I picked out was about 1500 then I went back a couple weeks later to pay and there it was one on the rack half price! You don't have to spend a bomb to have an amazing time, the marriage is the most important thing! Congrats and enjoy xxx
I bought my wedding dress off the rack and paid about £700 for it. I think it's perfectly reasonable! My bridesmaids dresses were from a 50s style online shop and were around £30 each - they looked beautiful.
You can do things without breaking the bank. Prioritise what is important for you and your fiancé, and compromise on the other bits. I would rather spend less than have a tonne of debt hanging over the start of my marriage.
We got married in September, spent €20,000 on the wedding. My dress was €2,200 and that was a gift from my parents so not included in the 20!
doobigetta I meant really that you don't have to have a cake at all if you don't want to - I agree that even M&S/Waitrose cakes to feed 90+ people are getting into that price bracket, if you decide to have one. I just felt, with hindsight, that no one would have noticed if we hadn't had a cake at all, and I certainly didn't get to eat as much of it as I wanted to! It's definitely a £400 saving you can make if you're looking for budget areas to cut back on.
Rung Venue, asked were they available on our date, which they were. Told them I didn't want to spend over £1500 on Dj, Room and buffet & hot Meals for 80 people. They agreed!
Spent £800 on Dress
£1000 for Honeymoon
£30k ish, maybe a bit more but I try not to think about it! Then £10k on honeymoon.
Totally ridiculous but it was the best day (wedding) and month (honeymoon) of my life and I'd do exactly the same all over again.
8k including honeymoon. We were renovating our house at the same time and that's what we could afford. We did lots of it ourselves (I made the seating chart, favours, centrepieces etc), my uncle did the music, grandma made the cake, bil drove us to the reception in his expensive car. My dress was £120 from monsoon. I loved it. We prioritied the guests so paid for some people's accommodation and made sure the food was really nice, subsidised the bar. Make a list of priorities, then allocate budget accordingly. There are some things I just didn't care about, others I wouldn't comprise on. All guests were invited to the whole thing, not just evening do and there were around 60 guests to give you a guide.
If you're on a budget, call in favours! See what skills relatives have so you can still have your dream wedding without starting married life in debt.
Well under £1000
But it was 36 years ago, and it was a small wedding.
My mum made my dress and the cake, but had it professionally iced, a neighbour drove me to the church in his vintage Rolls Royce, and my uncle took the photos.
I regret not having a professional photographer, but have no regrets about marrying OH.
As long as people are marrying for the right reasons who cares how much it costs.
Just over £25k for wedding, majority was marquee and food/drink, we had a free bar for 250 In the evening.
Dress cost £250 and sold for more two years later
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