My feed

to access all these features

Join the discussion and meet other Mumsnetters on our free online chat forum.


If you had a big, expensive wedding...?

127 replies

LeanishMachine · 10/10/2020 10:36


Are you still together?

Would you do it again? Or differently?

I had what my parents considered "proper". White dress, church, car, flowers, sit down meal for 100 people. TBH I wasn't particularly interested in the wedding and they organised and paid for most of it, in 1992 (I did choose the dress!). It was different times and whilst mine might have been extreme, I think parents did have far more involvement in weddings as the norm.

Which was fine at the time, I don't feel I missed out on anything and we're still together, getting married was always more important to me than the wedding day.

If I did it again (I hope I never need to!), it would be a handful of people and a picnic, not because I regret it but I just don't see what's gained by spending the money and expensive weddings seem to cause so much angst.

OP posts:
frogswimming · 10/10/2020 10:40

We did 2007. Still together. Would do some things the same. The main thing I'd change is not spending money on bollocks like favours and flowers. No one else wants that rubbish and the day goes so fast you hardly notice those things yourself.

Paranoidmarvin · 10/10/2020 10:50

My sister did. And is still married. I didn’t. I’m still married. But. At the end of the day the end result is the same. Your married. That’s what I wanted. So I didn’t have all the bells and whistles. I got married in Gretna Green. And Instead of spending money on a fancy dress or flowers etc. I paid for everyone journey to come and see us get married and we paid for the hotel rooms.

PaulinePetrovaPosey · 10/10/2020 10:53

Similar to you, in 2016.

Still together and we had an amazing day, but no way was it worth the £££.

With hindsight I'd have 20-40 ish people I was really close to.

Stabbitha · 10/10/2020 10:54

Got together in 2010, 20k wedding in 2015. Seperated 2018.

I'm not ashamed, he was the abusive one, not me.

boymum9 · 10/10/2020 10:54

I did in 2014, around £30,000, things got carried away, day was a disaster for multiple reasons, we're no longer together after a 15 year relationship. If I ever got married again, it would be small intimate low cost with only the people we really wanted there

SillyCow6 · 10/10/2020 10:57

Same as you OP, had the big day, everyone ohhed and ahhed at our reception room and my dress etc, and we are still married and I dont regret anything as such BUT was it worth the money? No I dont think so. Id have loved a small intimate ceremony, just close family and friends, a quick dance on a small dancefloor with my dsis and friends and then back to a hotel room.

I think times are changing and we dont need to do things a certain way to prove our status anymore.

dannydyerismydad · 10/10/2020 11:03

2009, 60 guests. I think the whole day cost about £6k, so certainly not as expensive as many, but a fair whack of cash.

It was a lovely day. I still get a massive grin on my face when I look back at photos and we are still together and happy. Would probably do it again (but with different guests. A fair few have passed away since...)

SoddingWeddings · 10/10/2020 11:05
  1. Castle church wedding (birth right bonus, cost about £250 for the vicar and the organist). Castle hotel evening do. We had a buffet and disco - about £3k. 100 guests.

    It's exactly what we wanted, it was very relaxed, no running around, no standing on crazy amounts of ceremony, photos didn't take hours and we made sure people were comfy at the bar when they happened.

    I thought of all the elements of weddings I'd been to that I loved, and the elements that I didn't like and merged it all together. It worked. And we didn't spend a fortune.
Scoobidoo · 10/10/2020 11:05

Married in 2010. Big wedding - spent over £40k. Lovely day and we are still married, but in hindsight I would not do it again and feel slightly ashamed of the extravagance.

EggyPegg · 10/10/2020 11:08

Funnily enough, a friend and I were having this conversation last night.

I got married in 2009. Big wedding, but did things our way (no favours, meal at local restaurant rather than the caterers at the venue/back to venue for party). Still married.
It was a brilliant day and I'll not ever have all the people I love in the same place like that again. But now, 11 years and two DC on, I don't think I'd do it like that again.
DH and I had three nights abroad last year, just us, and in the craziness of parenthood/working/life, it was amazing to just be us for a little while. If we were getting married now, I'd do that, go away with just him and come back married, no fuss.

Our wedding was right for where we were in our lives then. Our lives are different now, so our wedding would be too.

Quandaries · 10/10/2020 11:08

Yes, still together and very happy.

If we had the ability to turn back time, we’d definitely have gotten married, but wouldn’t have done the big white wedding. It was a lovely day and we were lucky that my parents paid for it, but it just wasn’t very “us”. We’re both quite introverted and didn’t like all the fuss.
If we had our time over, we’d have just had two witnesses at a registry office.
OrangeGinLemonFanta · 10/10/2020 11:12

Married in 2009, spent around £19k. 70 guests, all friends and close family (big families!) so we knew and wanted everyone who was there. A fair bit of the cost was on excellent food and superb music, which was well worth it to me. We owned a home and could comfortably afford it then, je ne regrette rien Smile

Ginfordinner · 10/10/2020 11:30

Small (40 guests) church wedding followed by a reception in a local hotel in 1981. My parents paid for it as it was still the done thing then (and we were skint).

Still together, and hoping to celebrate our ruby wedding next year.

Unlike most mumsnetters I love weddings, but this is probably due to only being invited to weddings that are fairly informal and not extravagant "Instagram" style weddinggs with all the stresses that they entail.

None of the brides at any wedding I have been to have behaved in a bridezilla fashion.

I really don't understand why so many brides get their knickers in a twist about everything being matchy matchy/wedding favours etc. Guests don't care, and will only remember important things like food, drink, ambient temperature etc.

The two weddings that stand out in my memory are a winter wedding where the room where the reception was held was so cold that we left as early as we could politely do so, and a very infrmal summer wedding where the groom paid for all the drinks until late into the evening, and the guests supplied the food. It was the best wedding reception I had ever attended.

popcorndiva · 10/10/2020 11:32

Got married in 2017. still together. Wedding was for 70 guests, we did a lot ourselves, no fresh flowers and I bought a gown off a higher end off the peg site, but still cost around 11k in total(our parents gave us 5k towards it) as we had a bar tab and higher end food, which at the time was important to us.

If I was doing it again I would definitely marry abroad, but my DH was adamant his family would have been upset if we had eloped. I still dream of the Maldives and getting married just us on the sand

RaisinGhost · 10/10/2020 11:42

I spent a medium amount and had 60 guests. To be honest, I wish I spent more! There were a few things I thought of doing that I didn't because "it would a waste, it's just one day, it's silly, etc". Years later, I see it that was a one off opportunity to indulge ourselves and be a bit silly. I'm an introvert and I'll probably never have a party again, let alone a big one. Friends visited that we rarely see. I'm also very very average looking, but for that one day I looked and felt beautiful. It really was a one off experience that I'll never forget.

As for the money, we have enough and don't miss it. Not that we are rich, but a few thousand extra wouldn't change our lives.

Ginfordinner · 10/10/2020 11:44

The only thing I regeret not spending money on was a photographer. My uncles was an amateur photgrapher and took the photos. They are lovely, but just snapshots really.

BrowncoatWaffles · 10/10/2020 12:02

Married ten years ago, cost £15k or so. Had everything we wanted for 70 guests and it didn't feel like a posh wedding particularly.

We've both said that if it wasn't for family expectation etc we'd have been happy to have gone smaller though. I know there are lots of people living through the pandemic wishing they could have bigger weddings but DH and I have both said that if we weren't married yet we'd have loved to have gone to a register office with our parents and just done it and told everyone we couldn't do anything else due to Covid. The £15k we'd have saved would be very handy to spend on some double glazing about now!

Sarahbeans · 10/10/2020 12:05

I had a very average wedding in 2000. Spent £15k (average amount for that year) and had 75 guests (average amount at that time). Despite the wedding being the most average possible (church wedding followed by hotel reception), I loved my wedding day and had a great time.

Twenty years later, I'm still happily married, so there's no regrets from me. We already had our house bought by the time we got married and scrimped and saved every spare penny to spend on it. No loans, no debt so I don't regret the amount spent.

thecatsthecats · 10/10/2020 12:07

We spent about 13k two years ago. I think our friends think we spent a lot more, as we did all inclusive food and bar from Fri-Sun (they paid a reasonable rate for their rooms but that was it).

My two outfits and all wedding party dresses and suit hire came in under £1000. No cars, no photographer, no DJ, flowers were made from origami by a friend. Most of the budget on food and drink.

I don't regret a bit of it. It was a mumsnet cliche of everyone loved it Grin

Fatted · 10/10/2020 12:15

Ours was biggish and more money than i would have chosen to spend, but my parents paid a proportion. We're still married. Been married 11 years and together almost 19.

I wouldn't do the big wedding again and I wouldn't spend the money again. A lot of our friends were all having big weddings at the same time. I was also the first daughter to get married in my family so we did feel a lot of pressure to have the big day. Of course, all of the other friends have since separated and we don't speak to half of them anymore since having kids.

My sister got married in a family only wedding in Gretna and I wish we'd done something like that. Or just the registry office and a meal.

unexpectedthird · 10/10/2020 12:20

We had a big wedding, 100 people all day but it wasn't all bells and whistles. There was loads of food and loads of dancing and we all had a blast. It cost around 4k in total.

We didn't bother with table centres and trimmings like that, our food wasn't fancy but it was delicious and plentiful and it was just really relaxed and fabulous. I would happily do it all again if I had the chance.

We're still together 15 years later. 🙂

firstimemamma · 10/10/2020 12:32

We're having a small wedding next year - 2k in total (if that) registry office then meal at a restaurant. Wouldn't change a thing even if we win the lottery!

Some people just prefer to spend the money on other things. For us it was our house, we've also been on a luxury holiday and had a special engagement. Our wedding will still be beautiful & we're doing it our way.

Bickles · 10/10/2020 12:38

2006, big church wedding and reception for 100.
Yes we’re still together.
I’d do it again, differently but still a big wedding. My parents paid for most of it and my mum and I planned it with occasional help from DHGrin

LadyofMisrule · 10/10/2020 14:02

I got married in 1995. Church wedding, nice dress, reception in a local manor house hotel. Spent a few thousand in total (we concentrated on the essentials and didn't do wedding favours, etc). I'm now divorced, but don't regret the opportunity to see all my lovely aunts and uncles, as they were old and all started dying soon afterwards. I only see family at funerals now.

Ilovesausages · 10/10/2020 14:15

Ours was 2006. Around 40 guests. Not big white wedding. I’m not sure what the total amount was but I’m sure it added up (do people include honeymoon in total cost?).

It was a brilliant day. The only thing I would do differently next time would be to have some dancing.

Still together.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.