The Great Hunt: Your wastes of wedding cash - what should newlyweds avoid?

edited 21 May 2014 at 1:23PM in Money Saving Polls
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Former_MSE_DarrylFormer_MSE_Darryl Former MSE
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edited 21 May 2014 at 1:23PM in Money Saving Polls
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Your wastes of wedding cash - what should newlyweds avoid?

We're looking for tips to help those planning their nuptials - when you got married, what do you regret shelling out for? Could you have done without monogrammed napkins, chair covers, the fifth bridesmaid or special clothes for hen and stag dos?

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  • The ring is symbolic, so in retrospect, I would have bought a stainless steel or other cheap but durable metal for mine.

    Not sure if the same applies for a ring that sits next to an engagement ring, as I've heard that metals should be the same softness to avoid wear. Maybe someone can confirm that?
  • I agree - my wedding ring cost £11 from Argos. Luckily it's the same metal as my engagement ring (£100 from Beaverbrooks) so it works well.

    Other things we didn't bother with - chair covers (pointless), table decorations (the tables were full enough with the plates, cutlery, place names, bottles of wine, bottles of water etc!), a DJ (I made a 3 hour iPod playlist), a separate reception (we had it in a restaurant that had a big balcony, luckily the weather was beautiful, so there wasn't really any dancing but just lovely chatting and mingling), a meal then buffet (we got married at 3pm, which meant after photos etc it was time for the main meal), extra people for the reception (we kept it small and everyone just came to everything), a photographer (we asked a friend who was coming along to take pictures for us and bought her a bottle of champagne as a thankyou).

    What this meant was that we had a really relaxed day, we had a boat trip around Bristol and we were able to afford prosecco and canapes on the boat. Then everyone made their way up to the venue for the meal, and it was just a really good party atmosphere all day and evening. People still say it was the best wedding they've ever been to :)

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  • lincoln_djlincoln_dj Forumite
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    I know someone who apparently made every guest pay for their meal at their wedding, yet had an exclusively John Lewis gift list and spent £800 on a poncy book shelf. Wouldn't surprise me if the bridal party paid for their own dresses too! So turn's out you can go without paying for a lot of stuff...
  • hogger84hogger84 Forumite
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    We did away with the "meal" as costs were huge and had a "sit down BBQ", friends of my parents who were just too distant to ordineraly be invited then acted cooks and servers (didnt get to come to church as cooking but then once cooking done joined reception) and so set up a tent outside the hall to cook burgers, hotdogs, chicken legs and then there was salads, all in I think it was less than £10 per head. We had 5 BBQs but only ended up using 4
  • kboss2010kboss2010 Forumite
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    The whole day? Weddings are such a waste of money. I have been to 4 weddings in the last 6 weeks and the amount each of my friends spent was insane.

    My partner would like to get married but I really don't see the point. You can spend £10k+ on a single day or you could go on several nice holidays or buy a car/use it as a house deposit. I know where my priorities lie!
    "I want to be a glow worm, A glow worm's never glum
    'Coz how can you be grumpy, when the sun shines out your bum?" :D ~ Dr A. Tapping


    I'm finding my way back to sanity again... but I don't really know what I'm gonna do when I get there :p
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  • pippinpusspippinpuss Forumite
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    lincoln_dj wrote: »
    . Wouldn't surprise me if the bridal party paid for their own dresses too! ...

    Bridesmaids are supposed to pay for their own dresses. It's tradition.
  • kboss2010kboss2010 Forumite
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    As a young child (6) I was left out of being a bridesmaid for an aunt out of a family of 10 female cousins because my parents couldn't afford to buy me the dress. No one mentioned the reason at the time and I felt as though I wasn't being included because they didn't like me. You have to be so careful with these tthings not to upset/offend people.
    "I want to be a glow worm, A glow worm's never glum
    'Coz how can you be grumpy, when the sun shines out your bum?" :D ~ Dr A. Tapping


    I'm finding my way back to sanity again... but I don't really know what I'm gonna do when I get there :p
    ~ Lifehouse
  • Definitely chair covers. I'm not paying £300 for a sheet and a bit of a ribbon!


    I would also say don't get favours. Having worked in a hotel that did lots of weddings when I was a teenager, they had a bit of a tendency to get left behind at the end of the night, and I don't really want to waste money on that. Instead, we're handing out retro sweet shop-style paper bags filled with a teabag (I'm making personalised tags for them with our initials and wedding date) and a slice of wedding cake, because I reckon people will want a brew at the end of the night and some cake for the next day.

    kboss2010 wrote: »
    The whole day? Weddings are such a waste of money. I have been to 4 weddings in the last 6 weeks and the amount each of my friends spent was insane.

    My partner would like to get married but I really don't see the point. You can spend £10k+ on a single day or you could go on several nice holidays or buy a car/use it as a house deposit. I know where my priorities lie!



    Or you can spend £119 (bare minimum for cheapest registry office ceremony, giving notice and marriage certificate) and then see everything else as 'optional extras'. Whilst I appreciate £119 is a lot to some people, there's no law saying you have to spend silly money on a wedding if you don't feel that way inclined.
    "A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister
    Married my best friend 1st November 2014
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  • DigForVictoryDigForVictory Forumite
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    Going along with the Great White Wedding idea.

    It made my parents terribly happy, and the families enjoyed the party, but with hindsight we could have skipped the Wedding (having been married at the Rgistry office anyway) & just had a party at the reception.

    Still, hindsight is 20/20 & the wedding album not only has photos of almost every relative with a pulse on the day but also several splendid examples of why the Great White is not to be undertaken lightly. We used it to advise (and laugh with) another mother & daughter months later - and they decided to have an altogether more modern do.
  • Having recently got married (and dealt with all the hilarious stress that went with it!) one thing I'd say you can do without is the expense of hiring a photo booth. It's a great idea, but who can't find other things they'd much rather spend £600 on?? We set up my digital SLR in a spare room at our venue and spent £15 on a RF Remote shutter control, £35 on an ornately framed blackboard (which we now have up in our kitchen to make shopping lists with) and £1 on a packet of chalk from the pound shop and ditched the idea of a guest book altogether. We used an old laptop that we weren't too worried about getting anything spilled on, and the software that came with my Canon to connect up to the camera, then all people had to do was write their message to the bride and groom and take their picture. Within a second or two they could see their photo from where they were standing (or sitting) and take another if they didn't like it. (We thought about the whole Polaroid thing, but realised you have to have someone there to take the pic for you, and that it could easily disappear into another room and get found at the end of the night in a corner without much use, OR you could spend a fortune on spare photo paper for it and end up with a load of useless and fuzzy pics at great expense). The pictures we ended up with are brilliant - we never knew how creative our friends and family are, especially with a few drinks in them! :)
    Other things you can save on are table decorations - some people spend a fortune on those AND favours too. We got some kilner jars for £1 each from Ikea and filled them with sweets we bought in bulk at Makro and the sweet was the name for each table, so three jars on a table with sweets in and some paper striped sweetie bags from ebay made that super cheap! Also I had a heart-shaped paper punch that my mum had given me as a kid which I ended up using to punch a load of little hearts out as table confetti in our colour to help fill the table out a bit. That lot with a few tea lights and the glasses, cutlery etc looked great!
    Also on flowers you don't have to go to a florist (although we thought for a table decoration we probably should) but for our bouquets and button holes we bought stems from a local garden centre that has a floristry section, and in total on flowers we spent about £200 (three bouquets of cala lilies, 5 button holes and one large table decoration for use when signing our register and was then transferred to the top table)
    My bridesmaids dresses ended up coming from the sale rack at Marks and Spencer - we found the dresses online but then by the time we managed to get together to try them on they'd disappeared but were luckily still available in store and had been reduced three times to £25 each from £79 :T
    My drop sparkly earrings were from a Sainsbury's Tu 25% off sale and with my nectar points cost me £1.50 :)
    I also made my own wedding cake - super stressful but really rewarding in the end! It was a 3 tier ruffled cake all in white with silk flowers from HobbyCraft on top and a wire MR & MRS topper from Etsy on top. It was HUGE and with all the practice bakes that I did (my work colleagues loved me in the run up to the wedding with all the cake I brought in for them to eat!) I think it probably cost about as much as having someone make one for us, but by the time I figured that bit out I was too far down the line! So if you want to save yourself the hassle, pay for one to be made, or ask a friend to do it for you - the last days before the wedding should be spent on getting your nails done and trying to make sure everything else is done rather than stressing about icing a cake!
    See what your venue will throw in for free - cake stand and knife etc.
    Hope this helps!
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